PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Sir Mekere Morauta is indulging in lies and half-truths in attacking the role of former Independent Public Business Corporation managing director Glenn Blake, Arthur Somare said, The National reports.
"It is totally unbecoming of a former prime minister to stoop to these levels," the Angoram MP said.
"Just over a week ago, he told the nation Blake had resigned but his story has now changed to a termination exercise by the National Executive Council.
"Blake's terms and conditions as the MD for IPBC were approved by the IPBC board and subsequently endorsed by the Salary and Conditions Monitoring Committee.
"It was then reviewed and approved by the office of the State Solicitor before being forwarded to the governor-general for signing. These are facts that can easily be checked.
"Sir Mekere lied before about the so-called resignation of Blake. He is now lying about Blake's contract as MD, knowing very well that all expected processes have been followed.
"IPBC, which manages the Government Business Trust, has been one of only 10 government departments and government enterprises that received endorsement of its 2010 accounts by the auditor-general and Parliament's Public Accounts Committee – public acknowledgment of the good governance shown by Blake.
"Sir Mekere is indulging in half-truths in blaming Blake for the reported loss of K31 million in Lehman Brothers.
"The investment involved a management decision to place funds, which previously only earned 2% annually, in PNG 30 Series 3 Notes that attracted an average interest rate of 8.5%."
Sir Mekere said in a televised interview that IPBC was staffed by "refugees" from the Department of National Planning even though none of its 25 staff were from National Planning.
Somare said the so-called "refugees" referred to by Sir Mekere "are young and highly qualified Papua New Guineans who have played an important role in assisting IPBC and the SOEs to engineer the turnaround that has occurred in recent years".
"When he left office in 2002 and passed on the biggest ever budget deficit in the nation's history, Sir Mekere left the SOEs in such a parlous condition that two of them – PNG Power and Post PNG – had become totally insolvent. PNG Power and Post PNG today, like other SOEs, are robust and well run organisations that we can all be proud of."