Thursday, 1 September 2016

District Treasury Officer in Unggai Bena District abuse DSIP funds; a case example of gross abuse by public servants at the district level

THERE is gross misapplication and abuse of district services improvement program (DSIP) funds by the district treasurers at the district level. District Treasury officials are colluding with contractors and outsiders without the knowledge of the designated Section 32 officer determining the payment for the services rendered.This was highlighted by the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning and Unggai Bena MP Hon. Benny Allan during the presentation of his 2015 DSIP Acquittal reports to the Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) at the Parliament House in Port Moresby.

Minister Allan said district treasury officers in the districts and provinces are colluding with contractors, drawing down huge sums of DSIP/DSG cheques and paid directly to them without proper documents.“In the Unggai Bena district, we have suspended several district treasury officers for not complying with necessary paper works and replaced them with new officers to oversea the operations of the treasury section. 

They have by-passed the system.“The Chairman and Section 32 officer who is the Chief Executive Officer or District Administrator responsible for facilitating the payment process had no knowledge. We never gave approval to anyone for facilitating the payment to contractors and suppliers.Allan said after discovering this, Unggai Bena district instigated an investigation and traced back K26,000 different cheques paid to contractors and service providers in the district.“There were something went wrong so we decided to check and there were couple of cheques drawn out from the district treasury operating account so we managed to pick up those cheques and trace back. 

There were not even registered as well,” Mr. Allan said.Minister claimed that there wasn’t any approval granted by DDA Chairman and the CEO and feared that if district treasury officials are colluding with contractors and service providers, there are millions of kina being misused not only in Unggai Bena district but the scam is happening all around the country.
Allan said there must be check and balance system established in the districts and provinces so that those officers found guilty be penalized accordingly.

Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator Solomon Tato who accompanied the team to furnish their reports said every acquittal reports should be submitted to his office before they present it to DIRD for appraisal.“Because of such practice, the provincial administrations has to go down to the districts and LLGs to check whether the actual projects and programs were implemented on the ground. We don’t want fake or cut and paste reports to be submitted,” Tato said.While Tato thanked the O’Neill Deon government for front-loading huge sums of funds in the form of DSIP, PSIP and LLGSIP, there must be prudent management of these funds so that tangible development can be achieved to improved the livelihood of the rural majority.

“We have established a system in the provincial administration to ensure each district have to submit their reports to my office so that we’ll double check, physically go down and see for ourselves,” he said.

The following were some of the impact projects and programs implemented at the district include;
1) District road maintenance = K1,000,000.00 
2) Sigerehe Megunagu road = K300,000.00
3) Unggai High School = K3,000,000.00
4) School classrooms and teachers house = K1,000,000.00
5) Vocational Skills Training = K300,000.00
6) School fee subsidies = K300,000.00
6) Yabiufa P/School staff houses = K200,000.00
7) Small Medium Enterprise = K400,000.00
8) Police Awareness and Peace Mediation = K300,000.00
9) Brick Factory = K400,000.00
10) Rural Electrification = K300,000.00
11) Rural Housing = K300,000.00
12) LLG Project Counterpart funding = K300,000.00
13) Others like transport K800,000.00, 
14) Community Development projects K1,400,000.00, 
15) Agriculture and economics K1,650,000.00.
16) Unggai Bena district received K10 million and had rolled over K3 million to 2016 fiscal year.
Minister Hon Benny Allan with District staff  

VIDEO: Eddie Tanago from Act NOW PNG says corruption within the public service is affecting our image overseas and especially our people  

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