By MALUM NALU
There has never been a greater need for more education on fraud, corruption and bribery, according to the facilitator of a week-long course on forensic accounting and fraud investigation.
Prof John Oliga of the PNG Graduate School of Management said this yesterday at the end of a week-long course on forensic accounting and fraud investigation, organised jointly with the Australian Institute of Certified Management Accountants, which brought together participants from various government departments and statutory organizations.
The course was the first of its kind in the country and was well attended by participants (pictured above) from the departments of Justice and Attorney General and Defence, Post PNG, PNG Forest Authority and self-sponsored participants.
Presenters covered a wide range of topics including planning investigation, source of information, interviewing prospective witnesses, evaluating deception, admission-seeking interviews, signed statements, report writing and legal elements.
"The objective of the programme is to get as many Papua New Guineans as possible to see the seriousness of the problem – politically, economically and socially – as the multi-billion LNG project gets underway," Prof Oliga said.
"There is more and more corruption likely to take place.
"It is also perhaps timely when the next general elections are coming in 2012."
Prof Oliga said the recent revelation by deputy police commissioner Fred Yakasa that 50% of the national budget, amounting to a whopping K4 billion, was defrauded from the state by public servants underlined the urgent need to arrest the problem.
"This programme will be running over the next couple of months in order for more participants to become aware of the enormity of the problem and perhaps begin to take pro-active action to arrest this national problem," he said.
"This programme is unique, with nobody having done such before.
"The problem (corruption, fraud and bribery) is widespread and can't be solved only by police.
"The programme is really to help save the country from the ever-growing cancer of fraud.
"We hope that when the participants go out from here, they will start implementing what they have learned here."
PNGFA senior internal auditor Peter Peya concurred with Prof Oliga that there was an urgent need for more such workshops.
"With all the fraud and corruption in PNG, we need to sharpen up on our skills and knowledge, and that will help us to undertake effective investigations," he said.
"The presentation, however, has to be more tailored to PNG's needs.
"Material should be from PNG experience.
"That will place us in a comfortable situation, which we can understand and apply back in our workplace."
Joel Dami, an accountant with justice and attorney general, said the course was an eye-opener.
"This is the first time that we have attended a course like this on fraud investigation," he said.
"Currently, we have the LNG project and a lot of other developments coming up in PNG.
"The course is timely, so that we can have an idea of problems like, for example, the landowners fighting outside Vulupindi Haus."