Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Conservation Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) Bill is a Scapegoat!

Conservation Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) Bill is a Scapegoat!

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Environmentalist, Waigani Corridor

CEPA is a scapegoat!!

It is a carefully scheme strategized by a well-organised network to suck public money. Under the management of Dr Wari Iamo as the Secretary, with his smooth talking PR spin-doctor, Gunther Joku (current acting Secretary), and their Australian friend and strategist Andrew Taplin, along with close aids and cronies, this clique has successful enacted their grand plan. The CEPA Bill!!

It is common knowledge within the department that more than K3 million has been spent on this unbudgeted project. CEPA Project was never budgeted for in the 2011 fiscal year! The money was raised internally by transferring money from one account to another especially from the funds allocated under developmental (PIP) budgets, projects undertaken through joint-bilateral agreements like Kokoda Track Initiatives and Coral Triangle Initiatives (CTI), and further purged from the recurrent budgets.

This money was systematically (without detection) diverted in 2011. Department of Treasury, Planning, and Finance can confirm to approve or disapprove this fact. All this money went into the pockets of fly-in fly-out consultancy services from Australia, including a few PNG friends, whilst local expertises were undermined. If CTI Headquarters and the Australian Government ask the country focal point (SEP division of the DEC) to provide substantiated detailed acquittals, PNG is likely to face international sanctions due to misappropriation by entrusted agencies.

The CEPA concept has never been clearly articulated and presented by these “transformers”. Even DEC officers are kept at bay wondering what this concept is, a concept which has been the closely guarded secret of a private network. The CEPA Documentation has always been highly confidential.

Moreover, the industry or public has never been consulted widely. This begs the question, is the CEPA bill a bill or is it just a concept? The Minister responsible, John Pundari, might have been misled conveniently by the bureaucrats of the department and their spin-doctors. Alternatively, perhaps Mr. Pundari, with full knowledge of this scenario, tabled a bill, for a project that is grey at best, in an effort to blunt the genuine outcry from responsible leaders, and citizens who wish to know the truth about the Nautilus project, as well as other controversial projects.

There is no policy underpinning this bill either, if there is one, then, it was never sighted. Mr. Pundari, the CEPA bill was a cleverly created scapegoat to deviate and ease tension and save face.

The minister has requested adequate funding for the Department also, the reason being that it is underfunded. Well, that is reasonable request given the range of environmental concerns expressed in recent years, however, the real issue is:

  • Is the DEC’s management effectively and efficiently executing their mandated roles and responsibilities within the given budget ceiling, including the development funds (PIP) and various trust and imprest accounts?
  • Is the DEC prudently managing public funds as per the Public Finance Management Act?
  • *If the minister and secretary know that the department is and was so under-resourced that it could not fulfull its regulatory functions, why did they issue countless permits of all sorts?
  • Does the Secretary, Minister, and Environmental Council have the power to vet and say NO to further environmental permits until the current operations are properly regulated?
  • Whilst the Department is concentrating on the bigger mining, petroleum, gas, agro-business and industrial industries, how effectively are the smaller businesses being regulated?

Respective leaders and Departments like DPM, Treasury, and Task Force Sweep should demand an urgent audit of the DEC spending, as well as weed out the bureaucratic syndicate that exists. PNG cannot lay back and watch the Department sink when functionally illiterate MPs waste public time day-dreaming in the champers ignoring significant discussions whilst their innocent colleagues call for a merge, which is totally irrelevant and unpractical.

We cannot risk this nation because of few devious greedy wannabe barons in the public sector. We want a Papua New Guinea where there is hope and the future is secure and well within our grasp, where our beloved environment can be preserved and protected, our responsibilities to flora and fauna met and the management of our environment conducted in a manner that is responsible and respectful.

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  1. stanistao.tao@gmail.com
    November 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Digicel Pacific

  2. Tony Flynn
    November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    A serious failing of our leaders, political and others, that shows up time and time again.
    If they are a part of an organisation that does not work well, don’t fix it; set up a new one. Government departments, Political Parties, Churches etc.
    In terms of the coffee industry DAL was perceived to be failing: don’t fix it (that would mean sacking a lot of dead wood). Set up the CIC which was very active and now appears to be kept alive by artificial rescusitation.
    DEC does not work well, it cannot be fixed because Dr Wari Iamo is at the head: so set up a new organisation which in its turn can fail.
    I know that in some churches when some of the congregation do not agree with others , they will set up a new offshoot that they can be influential in.
    My advice is for our leaders to fix what we have now and then develop new organisations as needed to keep up with new developments.
    Tony Flynn

  1. November 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

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