By MALUM NALU
National Planning Minister Sam Basil says additional funding of K3 million will be made to boost operations of the anti-corruption Task Force Sweep team.
He told reporters at Vulupindi Haus today (Thursday, December 22, 2011) that the team had achieved a lot since the change of government last August and must continue its work.
He was flanked by Health Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham, his department secretary Dr Peter Kora and senior officers.
Basil said K6m had been allocated for the team and it needed another K3m to continue its work in the new year.
“We (government) have suggested that we increase their funding by another K3m, and in doing so, accelerate their efforts to bring in the culprints,” he said.
“This is because they are having problems in investigating properties that have been purchased overseas.
“There are so many more millions to be retrieved by the state.”
Basil said since the team was set up, it had recovered about K50m for the government with this figure expected to increase to K100m next year, at a cost of only K6m.
He compared this to commissions of inquiry, which he said cost so much more, with no tangible benefits to government.
Basil also fired a broadside at officers within his department who did not release K5m for freight subsidies this year.
“My department didn’t roll out the funding,” he said.
“The officers concerned will be investigated.
“Such attitude also raises questions about the ability of my department to expand the K2.437 billion development budget for 2012.”
Basil said there was still a lot of confusion about which projects his department was running and which ones Department of Finance and Treasury was running.
“We’re all confused as to who runs these programmes,” he said.
Basil reaffirmed that the O’Neill-Namah government was now firmly in place.
“I’m very confident that my government now is in control,” he said.
“We have had very bad records of government spending out of budget in the past.”