Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Australia entrusts its governance program to an exposed fraudster

Australia entrusts its governance program to an exposed fraudster

February 7, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Exposed fraudster Isaac Lupari and Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, chair the first Strategic Management Committee meeting to oversee the new PNG Governance Facility (PGF).

The photo above and the story at the bottom of this article rather sum up Australia’s relationship with PNG. Basically, Australia couldn’t give two hoots about corruption in PNG as long as some of the money keeps flowing into the Queensland property market, Australian companies get big contracts from the PNG government and cheap access to PNG resources, and, of course, the gulag on Manus stays open.

What PNG desperately needs is international friends who insist on upholding the highest standards of integrity and good governance, not countries like Australia, interested in only what they can bleed from our own suffering…

This is what the Finance Commission of Inquiry had to say about the co-chair of Australia’s Strategic Management Committee overseeing the new PNG Governance Facility, Isaac Lupari, and his K3.7 million fraud:

‘Mr. Isaac Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate contracts that were entered into as Secretary for the Departments of Finance, Defence, DPM and Transport in that order. He claimed that he had been unlawfully terminated from all those positions after serving short stints in each and claimed the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts’.

The Commission observes:

‘It will be clear from the evidence gathered so far that Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements, and was adequately remunerated by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond’.

In summary the Commission of Inquiry found:

  • In 1997 Lupari was appointed Finance Secretary by Prime Minister Bill Skate, the mentor to our current PM, Mr O’Neill.
  • On 15 January 1998 he was sacked by the Skate government, but as fortune has it, the very same day he got the job of Defense Secretary.
  • On 17 March 2000 he was made Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management by the Morauta government, with a contracted end date of 29th of June 2000.
  • On the day his contract ended, Lupari was made Transport Secretary.
  • Nevertheless, Lupari claimed he was unlawfully dismissed as Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management.
  • His legal team was … Paul Paraka lawyers.
  • The Attorney General and Solicitor General settled the claim for a cool K1 million, which was paid by the Department of Finance on the 17 September 2004 by cheque No. 790468.
  • A further K2.7 million in settlements were agreed with Lupari, after he claimed he was also dismissed as Transport, Finance and Defense Secretary– the Commission was unable to find evidence of whether this money was paid.

The Commission concluded:

‘Mr. Isaac Lupari knew full well that his claims amounted to triple and quadruple dipping. Yet he went ahead and instructed his lawyers to file claims against the State in the National Court’.

‘Mr. Lupari was not entitled to the K3,703,461.31, either legally or morally. Paul Paraka lawyers engaged in deceptive conduct when filing Writs in the order they did’.

Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari  (220KB)

Strengthening the PNG-Australia Governance Partnership

CHIEF Secretary to Government Isaac Lupari and Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, welcomed a new chapter in the PNG-Australia Governance Partnership. 

They chaired the first Strategic Management Committee meeting to oversee the new Papua New Guinea Governance Facility (PGF). 

The PGF will help consolidate and deliver our governance and economic cooperation around shared priorities.

“This reflects the close working partnership between our Governments.  Through the Strategic Management Committee, senior officials from both the Australian Government and Government of Papua New Guinea, including Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari CBE, will provide oversight of the economic and governance partnership to ensure it is aligned effectively to Papua New Guinea’s priorities,” said Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis.

Australia is committed to working in partnership with Papua New Guinea as Papua New Guinea progresses PNG Vision 2050.

  1. February 7, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Is the Minister for International Development and the Pacific based in Australia,
    Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells aware of this corruption? You can email her at:

    Bruce Davis, the current Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea is of the view that: ““There is much in the relationship that is positive,” Mr Davis said at a conference in November 2016 in Port Moresby. “But there is one thing that I would like to see recast,

    “Australia and Papua New Guinea should not be seen as donor and recipient nations but as economic and strategic partners”.

    Do you think Bruce Davis from Australia is just as corrupt by preferring to deal with someone like Issac Lupari?

  2. February 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t think it is fair to point a finger at Australia for not ‘discouraging’ corruption in PNG. What choice did the Australian High Commissioner had, but to deal with the Chief Secretary of our country. It is our responsibility to deal with the corruption here. Lupari would not have been appointed Chief Secretary if persons other than the present PM were in power.

  3. February 10, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Bruce Davis was once the Director General of AusAID and has been criticised that he
    routinely serviced Australian commercial interests through its procurement policies and misused aid to support foreign policy initiatives such as the so-called Pacific Solution. Australian commercial interests such as mining, gas and oil companies go out of their way to corrupt your politicians so they can exploit the people of Papua New Guinea, their resources and their environment.
    The question remains, is Australia and Australian commercial interests actually ‘discouraging’ or ‘encouraging’ corruption in PNG?

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