Thursday, February 24, 2011

Judge: Arms of state failed



A NATIONAL Court judge in Papua New Guinea has blamed the failure by state agencies on individuals operating the systems of government, The National reports.

Justice Ambeng Kandakasi said the finance and legal offices were no exception to this sad fact, which is a shame for the country.

These sentiments were expressed while hearing a complaint by PNG Defence Force ex-servicemen against the state and its finance office for declining to release the complainants’ 8% interest on their retirement claims.

Counsel for the ex-servicemen had told the court that a resolution had not been reached during the mediation process because the state had changed its stance in the negotiations.

The court was told that while the state had agreed to pay the 334 claimants their entitlements, with some yet to be paid, the 8% interest would not be entertained.

The 8% interest, the Department of Finance said, would only be paid if there were further submission of claims.

Kandakasi said he thought the matter was straight forward and that both parties had reached a consensus; instead of a stalemate.

He added that the financial arm of the state seemed to be functioning for a few people and millions of kina had been released without delay upon their requests while the ordinary people were given a run-around.

The judge told the ex-servicemen to check with the office of the state solicitor to make sure they were paid their entitlements.

On the 8% interest, Kandakasi said the matter could be raised in court later if the ex-servicemen wished to do so.


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