Thursday 10th October 2019, Port Moresby– Media reports that officials may have swindled vast amounts of public money due to lax procurement and governance processes involved in the financing of the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Series of Meetings in Papua New Guinea are alarming says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).
TIPNG has called on the Prime Minister James Marape to demonstrate how serious his government is about enforcing accountability by tabling the APEC Report in Parliament and acting on the serious allegations of misappropriation.
“The possible corruption involving funds for the APEC meeting has been a standing concern for TIPNG. TIPNG pointed out specific concerns in procurement processes to purchase the Maserati vehicles in October 2018. Unfortunately we can now see these concerns were well founded given the delay in tabling the APEC report which demonstrates a lack of accountability on the part of the senior bureaucrats and government executives who were responsible for managing the event,” said Chairman of TIPNG, Mr Peter Aitsi.
“Their negligence has resulted in millions of Kina being wasted and more worryingly it appears some of the funds cannot even be ‘accounted’. The Marape Government must act to address this outstanding issue, especially at a time when our country is going through very difficult economic conditions and where the government now has to drastically cut back on budgeted public expenditure,” added Mr Aitsi.
In the APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 Co-ordination Authority Act 2014, Section 29 (1) calls for the APEC Authority to provide the APEC Minister a final report on its performance and activities. Section 29 (2) (b) of the Act says that the APEC Report must be, “tabled in the Parliament by the Minister during the first sitting of Parliament after receipt of the report by the Minister.”