Treasurer sidelined

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday18 January 2012

THE political impasse has reached the provincial level and resulted in the suspension of a provincial treasurer this week.
Chimbu provincial treasurer Martha Anton was suspended by acting finance secretary Steven Gibson for refusing to recognise the O’Neill-led government and taking instructions from former secretary Gabriel Yer.
In a notice dated Jan 12, Gibson instructed the police to serve the notice of suspension on Anton for allegedly defying lawful instructions on two separate occasions last year.
“The officer has a serious allegation levelled against her, therefore she has to be suspended to make way for investigations to commence,” he said.
“She has publicly announced that she does not recognise the O’Neill-led government and she still maintained that she reports to former secretary Yer.”
He said that was subordination and Anton had been suspended so acting provincial treasurer Sandy Wamil could assume office.
In a letter dated Jan 9 to Wamil, Gibson told her of the acting appointment and that she had to ensure provincial treasury operating accounts and provincial government accounts were updated and reports submitted to the finance department on a monthly basis.
Wamil was told she must ensure district and regional treasury roll-outs were implemented effectively in consultation with the Finance Department and to ensure proper register and management of staff and public funds were carried out.
Gibson wrote to provincial administrator Joe Kunda advising him of the appointment and suspension.
Attempts to get comments from Anton yesterday were unsuccessful.