Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MP: Millions in Wewak funds ‘lost’

A TOTAL of K16.2 million of public funds, earmarked for Wewak district, has been misused and misapplied, Wewak MP Dr Moses Manwau has claimed, The National reports.

Manwau asked during question time if Finance and Treasury Minister Peter O'Neill was aware of an audit report of the funds from the Wewak district being misused and misappropriated.

He asked what penalties would be given to those who were responsible for the abuse of the public funds.

"The decentralisation functions of the treasury without proper and skilled management team to handle finances in the district is causing havoc to the effective delivery of goods and services in my district," he said.

He said that a 2010 audit report indicated a total gross misuse, misapplication and prudently usage of public money for 2008 to June 2010 of more than K16.2 million.

He said that another independent audit report was also done and the report was with the Office of Rural Development. It also revealed misuse of the funds.

Manwau said later, after parliament was adjourned to 10am, that last November, he got K2 million from his DSIP funds and deposited the funds into the district treasury but they had all been used up without his knowledge.

He said there was only K40,000 in balance and he did not know where the rest of the money had gone without the knowledge of the district budget priority committee.

"The district treasurer and the district administrator are the signatories to the district funds which are basically for services in the district and I am not a signatory to the district treasury accounts," he said.

However, O'Neill replied that he was not aware of the audit but the matter was serious and he would respond after having a look at the audit report.

He said there must be transparency and accountability at all times when dealing public funds.

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