Tuesday, August 23, 2011

LLG chiefs slam suspension of Morobe powers


SEVERAL Morobe local level government presidents claimed yesterday that the national government has also withdrawn their province's financial powers, The National reports.
Morobe will be the second provincial government to have its powers suspended after East Sepik, although, no formal announcement had been made of the action taken against Morobe.
Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah alluded to Northern and Enga facing similar fates while visiting Popondetta last week.
Wampar LLG president Peter Namus said the province had not received any notice from the auditor-general citing abuse of funds.
"Therefore, any withdrawal of Morobe's financial powers is unwarranted," he said.
Namus said the LLG presidents hoped cabinet was not reacting to allegations at the whims of certain national politicians.
He warned that the people would be the biggest losers if Morobe's financial powers were withdrawn.
He claimed no audit had been done on the provincial accounts and was suspicious of cabinet's action.
The conditions for a suspension of a provincial government would be warranted if the auditor-general had established that there had been an abuse of funds or if the minister (or special investigating committee) finds an abuse of power by the provincial government as stipulated by section 51 of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments.
Based on the AG's findings, the National Executive Council (cabinet) then directs the province to take corrective measures to fix the anomaly or anomalies.
If this is not done, then, cabinet can withdraw all or any of the powers and functions, a process which the presidents alleged had not been followed.
East Sepik and Morobe provincial governments had their financial powers stripped by cabinet on Aug 12.
Morobe had filed legal proceedings in the National Court challenging the decision.

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