Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > PNG Inquiry Into Madang Government Uncovers Big Issues

PNG Inquiry Into Madang Government Uncovers Big Issues

Update to on the corruption in the Madang Provincial Administration

Committee finds defects, failures, weaknesses largely unaddressed

By Jeffrey Elapa

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into Papua New Guinea’s Madang provincial government yesterday found a serious lack of accountability and reporting.

The inquiry, citing an Auditor-General report of 2011 and 2012, has found gross abuse of public funds while the province lacked accountability issues.

PAC chairman John Hickey said the province has breached the Public Finances (Management) Act, Appropriation Act and the Financial Instructions.

He said the committee has carefully studied the audit report for 2017-10 and found that the provincial government has made slight improvements in a few areas but generally the defects, failures and weaknesses  remain unaddressed.

“Today, we consider the state of provincial accounting and reporting and governance in 2011,” Hickey said when resuming the inquiry.

However he said the report indicated that the province failed to furnish financial statement.

A statement from the provincial government was not correct and has errors such as the statement of balance not being certified.

In 2011, the reconciled balances of the provincial revenue and grants revenues did not agree with the revenue fund balance, while other inconsistencies were identified.

The PAC found other irregularities such as funds totaling K805,000 [US$341,682] not being properly acquitted.

It was revealed that one officer in the provincial government was paid more than K388,508 [US$164,902] as advance but did not acquit the funds, which is illegal.

Hickey directed that those officers who received these funds be charged and repay the money within 14 days.

It was also found that funds have been used outside the budget while the province lacked monthly budget reviews and reporting, meaning that it failed to monitor the budget.

Hickey said the reports were not correct while the province lacked competent paying and receiving officers as casual and retired officers were engaged to carry out the duties.

He said revenue collection was not done properly as they do not have records while the 2011 records indicated an under-collection of K97,400 [US$41,341] from liquor licenses against the budget while there were not database to monitor fees.

“It seems clear that budget control, revenue collection and accounting is in a mess,” Hickey said.

“The law is not obeyed, criminal activities exist, no oversight is in force, public money and properties are treated with contempt and still the PA (provincial administrator) and treasurer hold the positions. All these are clear breach of financial instructions.”

Hickey has directed that a full report containing accounts of fees collected from each district is submitted to the committee.

The inquiry also announced that, because the provincial government failed to properly gazette decisions since 1994, all laws, appointments and contracts since that time are now null and void.

  1. Neil Nicholls
    August 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    If true, the last detail in this article is a game changer, isn’t it?  But will it really be put into effect?  Does this mean that Lange’s appointment is null and void, or did he get gazetted in the PNG National Gazette  y a national department, Prov Affairs? 

    >________________________________ > From: PNGexposed Blog >To: nagnich@yahoo.com >Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2013 9:28 AM >Subject: [New post] PNG Inquiry Into Madang Government Uncovers Big Issues > > > > WordPress.com >pngexposed posted: “Update to on the corruption in the Madang Provincial Administration Committee finds defects, failures, weaknesses largely unaddressed By Jeffrey Elapa The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into Papua New Guinea’s Madang provincial governmen” >

  2. pkay
    August 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    The problems and prognosis in Madang is not unique to Madang. It is rampant in both national and provincial governments – including the absence of gazettal of decisions, even keeping proper records of formal decisions. So all this is nothing new, nothing to get excitedly optimistic about in what PAC’s findings are.

    Will Lange get a day in Court? I don’t hold much hope.

    Hickey served as Chairman of PAC for the previous two Parliaments, this is his third appointment at the helm of Committee. There have been no prosecutions that I can recall of offending officials from any of the PAC inquiries into AG’s public accounts. The most PAC has done has been very stern and strong statements from the Chairman decrying mismanagement and alleged misuse or thievery of public funds but nothing proceeds much further. The furthest the Committee has gone to in sanctioning or prosecuting offending bureaucrats has been its referrals to the Ombudsman Commission. This is a slap in the wrist or a scratch on the knuckles. All of these PAC referrals are probably stuck like solid shit in the various sewer pipes that the Commission has running through its offices atop Deloitte Tower.

    Will anything change or come of this PAC inquiry into Madang provincial government?

  3. Jude.A.Bugazi
    August 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    PAC does not have powers to prosecute is correct, also the gross mismanaging of public accounts throughout the country. At least PAC headed by hon. Hickey can publish some stink without favor or fear. Police fraud squad and the ombudsman should now take over as per recommendation.

  4. Auditor
    February 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    The topic of Contracts is interseting.
    Lange was convicted and served a suspended sentence for 12 momths by National Court in Madang for contempt of court..The same court ordered that he pay K10, 000.00 compensation out of his own money. Can PAC investigate and confirm that the K8, 000.00 Came out from six Districts contributions
    using Agriculture fumds as directed by Lange.This should be confirmed with Financial Delegate of the funds.

    Madang Provincial Executive Counvcil has made a devision to sideline him as Provomvial Administrator..
    PAC should find out the validity of his contr
    act with DPM..and establish if Lange can continue to exercise power of attorney to
    ensure the decisions he made and makes on behalf of the state and Madang Provincial
    Governmwnt is legally binding. How can a state prisioner exercise such rights and
    powers and make decisions on behalf of the state. His contract of employment should be invalidated or terminated.

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