Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Defence under scrutiny

THE PNG Defence Force is expected to come under the microscope of the government when the National Executive Council meets today, The National reports.

Some cabinet members are furious that both the uniformed and civilian heads of the Defence Force are out of the country when it is facing dire situations with power, telephone, and water to Murray Barracks cut off for non-payment of bills.

Sources said Defence secretary Fred Punangi was in Israel with Foreign Minister Sam Abal while commander Brig-Gen Francis Agwi is in South Korea for a regional meeting.

Both have taken trips at a time when questions about mismanagement of finance, frustrations about lack of consultations and tensions were emerging from army headquarters, causing grave concern in government.

Punangi is understood to have travelled despite a direction from Defence Minister Bob Dadae for him not to take the trip.

“Our phones have been cut and we have been without power for over two months.

This is Murray Barracks, the PNG Defence Force headquarters we are talking about.

“Yet, the two heads can find the money to travel abroad, but cannot find the money to pay the bills to restore these vital services,” a defence source said.

Dadae is expected to brief cabinet on the situation confronting the force, and may even recommend that action be taken against those in charge.

Sources said heads of various sections of the force had become very concerned about the transfer of funds from one account to another and the use of those funds for purposes not intended for.

A number of confidential internal PNGDF correspondences sighted by The National suggested a deep level of frustration about these issues.

Defence ministry officials contacted refused to comment, saying the minister was the only one authorised to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:06 PM

    Defence Force will always be the subject of discussion as long as Fred Punangi is the Secretary and the current CDF does not do anything about improving Soldiers welfare.....and the Defence Force's runned down facilities and equipments. This ailing situtation will contribute directly to the countries internal security instability in the near future