Up PAC funding, says Kela-Smith

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The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THE parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and other agencies inquiring into abuse of public funds should receive increased funding, Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith said yesterday.
He said many PAC reports had not received attention, citing last year’s PAC report as an example.
Kela-Smith suggested that the government provided direct funding to the PAC rather than getting funding from the parliament budget.
He also suggested that the government increased funding for the agencies involved in research, investigating, reporting and prosecuting offenders.
Kela-Smith said management of trust funds was poor.
He asked if the government should regulate by allowing specialist consultants to manage all trust funds because there was widespread misuse and mismanagement of such funds.
“It is a shame for the government for not funding the investigating and research agencies like the police fraud squad, auditor-general, the ombudsman commission and other agencies,” he said. 
As an example, he said 52 senior public servants had been implicated for their involvement in the misuse of public funds but no action had been taken against them.
Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal said the widespread misuse and abuse of public funds by public servants were a concern.
However, he has instructed the public service minister to look into it and make necessary policy changes which would see all public servants manage funds.
Abal also said the government would look into increasing funding for other state agencies involved in investigation but the question of separating PAC funds from parliament could be difficult as PAC was a body like other parliamentary committees in existence.