The Correctional Service has welcomed the budget cut of over K26 million this year based on the current depressing financial situation the country is facing. In a statement released today, the CS Commissioner said about K17 million was taken out from ongoing infrastructure projects while the remaining K9 million was taken out from operational budget. The Correctional Service has a liability of over K16 million backdated to 2006.
The budget cut will see a reduction of K12 million from the K26.3 million liabilities the Correctional Service owes to service providers since 2014. Up until now, CS has only managed to reduce its debt at the average of K2 million per years for the past 6 years including 2019.
Making the cut in capital and operation budget also affects its debt repayments. CS Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis explained that the cut in the operational budget is likely to affect the provision of essential services like rations for detainees, fuel for operations including the current effort to pay off liabilities CS owed to services providers for APEC 2018 and the national court circuits among others.
Commissioner Pokanis says however, his management team is working around the clock to revise its remaining budget to keep the departments’ operations going until the end of the year. meanwhile, he has advised all commanding officers in correctional institutions around the country to live within their means and in accordance with their priorities all the while appealing to all service providers to be patient during this time given the country’s financial dilemma.
By Annette Kora – EMTV News, Port Moresby