Leader of PNG Party Belden Namah has called on Prime Minister (PM) Sir Michael Somare to act decisively in dealing with corruption in the Treasury and National Planning departments.
Namah said it was common knowledge that corruption was rife in Treasury and National Planning offices, but Sir Michael continues to pretend that all is well.
He said Sir Michael had conveniently shut his mouth and chooses to remain deaf and blind.
“When will he act to fix the problem and protect MPs from paying huge sums of money in commission to get money that is legally belongs to their electorate released?
“Why should members pay public servants who are already paid by the taxpayers to get project funds?” Namah asked.
He noted with grave concern that Treasury and National Planning offices have become houses of conmen and organised thieves robbing million of public funds that could well fund important development projects throughout the country.
“This has to stop.
“The PM must act swiftly to stop such corruptive and fraudulent acts.
“Enough is enough.
“Immediate action is needed to save the Treasury and Planning offices from becoming an institutionalised corruption houses, “Namah stressed.
He also challenged Sir Michael why he had not acted to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance and Treasury as required under the Commission of Inquiry Act.
“The nation is anxiously waiting for the PM to act and implement the recommendations of the inquiry, which among others revealed of over K500 million missing without trace.
“This is despite the PM promising to act swiftly on the inquiry recommendations to investigate and prosecute those involved in stealing public funds.
“To date, nothing had been forthcoming from the PM.
What a pleasant surprise.
Sir Michael’s inaction simply sends one message to the general public.
He condones the existence of rampant corruption in Treasury and Planning offices.” Namah stressed.
As well, Namah said National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten should stop passing the buck by blaming MPs for paying commissions, and take remedial actions to deal with civil servants and middlemen who are collaborating to rob the state and taxpayers.
On Tuesday (30th November), Telefomin MP Peter Iwei claimed that he paid K10, 000 to a staff of National Planning department to have a cheque of K12.4 million for electoral project released; only to find out that it was a bogus cheque.
Namah said this was a serious case of fraud that warranted swift and most appropriate action to deal with those involved, including criminal charges.
“The public demands immediate and decisive government action and not buck passing and lame excuses from Mr Tiensten.
“The situation demands most immediate and decisive action.
“It is incumbent on the minister to stop talk and institute remedial measures to address the issue of corruption in that office.
“The minister has a duty to take appropriate action and inform the nation what measures he has instituted to rid corruption in the department he is responsible for,” Namah concluded.