Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Why is TI silent on the prominent role of Rex Paki in our State owned entities?

Why is TI silent on the prominent role of Rex Paki in our State owned entities?

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Businessman Rex Paki has been heavily criticized in a number of investigations into alleged corruption and fraud involving millions of kina.

His business activities have attracted the censure of two Commissions of Inquiry and the Auditor Generals in a special investigation; he has been investigated twice by the Public Accounts Committee and Mr Paki has been described as “evasive and dishonest” by the Supreme Court which also found his conduct to be “improper, unreasonable and blameworthy”.

The Finance Department Commission of Inquiry found Paki’s firm RAM Business Consultants helped Andrew Mald inflate damages in a legal action against the State. The Commission found “Ram Business Consultants deliberately inflated the [value] by K4,659,650 for reasons known only to themselves… we conclude that the Cash-flow projection was specifically engineered in a way to inflate the yearly income projection… so the damages claim would be high”.

The Public Accounts Committee in a completely separate investigation found that RAM was paid K1,561,062 over an 18 month period by the Public Curator’s Office, yet “there was no formal contract… there was no check of the claimed hours worked and no evidence that any benefit flowed to the Public Curator at all”. The Auditor General found that after eighteen months of work, the Public Curator could only report that a small amount of computer equipment was provided.

Yet, Rex Paki sits on the Board of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, is Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority and has more recently been appointed to the Board of the PNG Sustainable Development Program.

Why is Transparency International so quiet on the apparent disconnect between Rex Paki’s dubious business history and his prominent public roles?

One observer has pointed out that Lawrence Stevens, Chairman of TI PNG is a program manager employed by PNG Sustainable Development Program – where Rex Paki is now a Director.

It is to be hoped that Lawrence Stevens does not feel constrained by this relationship and that the silence of TIPNG is not a result of any undue pressure.

It is time for TI to speak out on the inappropriate role Rex Paki has in the governance of some of our key institutions.

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  1. stanistao.tao@gmail.com
    October 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Digicel Pacific

  2. Tipil Kyak
    October 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

    PNGexposed Blog,

    As a fair and thinking Papua New Guinean, I think you are trying to make Mr Lawrence Stevens guilty of his actions or inaction on the accusations leveled against Mr. Paki.

    The allegations made does not seem as sufficient enough to warrant any explanations/comments from TIPNG since almost all of them have been closed. For the benefit of all of us following this blog, please highlight the real issue, if there is any worth sharing, and why this blog is adamant on souring any relationship Messrs Paki and Lawrence may have.

    Please dont let personal differences mislead the followers of this blog.

    • October 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      How have any of the allegations against Rex Paki become ‘closed’? They remain fresh and relevant until such time as Rex Paki faces criminal charges and is found guilty or not guilty by the courts. There is no statute of limitations for criminal acts and these matters are not ‘closed’.

    • Lawrence Stephens
      October 30, 2012 at 10:20 am

      This discussion in relation to Rex Paki draws on some useful sources. It raises questions which are of concern to many people. Questions however are not sufficient for responsible people to treat as facts. People accused are surely entitled to be heard out before being convicted, particularly if the convicting is being done by people who do not even give their real names!

      TI PNG views with concern the official and unofficial records of many people holding public office and the disappointing regularity of appointments of reputedly inappropriate individuals to important positions. We are also conscious of the times where accusations prove baseless. Our approach is generally to encourage transparent scrutiny of all public appointments.

      We are a partner to government in seeking to improve the manner in which governance is practiced. We do not normally focus on unproven accusations against individuals. We do focus attention on idications that, as a result of corruption, systems are failing or not operating as they should. Often our work is conducted quietly, working with like-minded public office holders and other community organisations, to assist bring about change. Occasionally public comment appears necessary and we are not constrained by relationships with governments, companies and individuals in so responding.

      Individual TI PNG directors over the years have had interests in organisations and activities which have been subject to public debate and challenges. This does present the organisation with challenges which need to be worked through. In my experience we have, as a group of concerned individuals encouraging better ethical standards in government and business, faced these challenges without being constrained by our wide network of personal associates across the community.

      Lawrence Stephens

      • Kris
        October 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        Hi Lawrence,

        I did not write the above post, however, it does draw heavily on a post I did write – so I feel somewhat compelled to respond: https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/the-evidence-on-rex-paki-a-reply-to-kusai-mahn/

        Now I agree in part with what you say, no one deserves to be publicly censured unless there is authoritative documented evidence against them – after all innuendo and speculation only serves to undermine the hard work of those people doing serious research.

        Now when discussing Mr Paki’s involvement in the Paga Hill scandal, I did highlight some of this authoritative evidence, which includes two Commission of Inquiries, two Public Accounts Committee investigations, and a Supreme Court Decision.

        So I do not consider these to be merely “unproven accusations against individuals” – however, I appreciate you were speaking generally, and may not in this instant have been referring to Mr Paki in particular.

        You also note “People accused are surely entitled to be heard out before being convicted” – now once again I appreciate you may have been speaking generally, which is fair enough. But certainly in the case of Mr Paki, he was heard by the Commission of Inquiry into NPF. Moreover, when the Supreme Court criticised Paki, once again he was given an opportunity to be heard.

        Now in the case of the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the Public Curator’s Office, where Ram Business Consultants were reprimanded, I suspect they were offered an opportunity to be heard, but given that Ram sort a court injunction to stop the entire investigation (which attracted much controversy at the time), my bet is they did not elect to appear before the inquiry (though I will need to check my records).

        However, to finish, you do offer a eloquent explanation for the challenges and dilemmas TIPNG face – these are the sort of difficult issues we all wrestle with. And your explanation has certainly offers us all some useful food for thought.

        Kris

  3. JUDY
    October 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I have heard this name in the early 80s and in the 90s and now 2000s,it has been all about him do what he is still doing.I suppose he get whats coming for him very soon.No one,and I will say it again,NO ONE can get away with anything that society thinks evil,just wait and see.Soon he will be no more.

  4. Frank Akuani
    October 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Perhaps Donald Manoa, Executive Director, of PNGSDP should be asked for comment on Paki’s appointment.

    After all he was one of the Commissioners involved in the COI Inquiry into the Finance Department. Does he stand by the commission’s findings, that Ram without explanation inflated massively estimated damages for Andrew Mald. And if so, does he feel this is the type of person who should be overseeing over a billion dollars of money, ‘destined’ for the people of PNG.

    Or does he wish to disown the COI findings in this respect?

    And does he wish to disown the COI findings on Ram made with respect to NPF, on which yep, he was also a Commissioner: “Mr Manoa has also served in a number of charity and community services in PNG including as Commissioner in the Commission of Enquiry into the National Provident Fund (NPF), and the Commission of Enquiry
    into the Department of Finance” (PNGSDP 2011 Annual Report).

    Oh how the bullshit stacks upon bullshit – how can you sit on two COI which slam Paki/Ram, and then happily rub shoulders with him, on the PNGSDP Board. When does this rabbit hole stop?

    • Leo Vincent
      November 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      All sounds great as great as a mountain of lie or as truth as a morning glory! But the Simplicity of morality can not be denied one way or the other.
      It is mere hipocracy to defend ones wrong when the ethics of christian principals are slanded for self esteem.
      So how? Play around with legal terminologies to sway away from the orinal truth? Or use bibiical doctrine to stumble on sin?
      Such then what is CORRUPTION? Is it NOT perveting justice by means of pleading innocent until proven guilty or resigning from public office to allow justice to take stock of Corrupt activities.?
      With the recent maicios activities of gurus under the lime light? Are they guilty or innocent when defining Corruption?

  5. feekay
    November 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    It is quite amazing that in the case of Rex Paki, Lawrence Stephens is very defensive both of himself and in his reasoning why he has shown an incomparable and uncompromising procrastination and diffidence to come out and come forward as the iconic defender of good governance and clean, transparent an incorrupt society. Instead he has bolted out like a wooden cannon doing and saying what he never does when he speaks out for and on behalf of TI-PNG. And that is that he has never muttered previously that he – or TIPNG – are loathe to comment on any perceived corruption or wrong-doing unless he –or TIPNG- have the full facts before him that might disprove any innocence. This is odd.
    HE never has the facts to prove anyone’s innocence when he appears in print, on the TV screens and is heard on the airwaves (including on Radio Australia) commenting on and criticising anybody, anything and everything that he judges as corrupt. He rarely disagrees with oversight bodies like AGs or PAC or Ombudsman Commission until now.
    If Lawrence finds himself in a tenuous situation with the goings on of Rex Paki in both his positions in TIPNG and in PNGSP then he should do the right thing – that is leave and not tarnish or taint the organisations.

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