PAC Queries Missing Funds from Works and Finance Departments

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The Public Accounts Committee has giventhe Works and Finance departments till September to furnish detailed reports on why millions of kina allocated for national highways and roads have not been accounted for.

 

Yesterday,the committee met withthe two department’s heads and staffs, and questionedthem on matters dating back to 2009.

Also in question was 55 million kina earmarked to improverthe highlands highway, Hiritano inthe Central Province, Beluminsky inthe New Ireland Province, East and West New Beitain Provinces.

 

Mr. Hickey said to datethere were no reports submitted for these major projects.

 

Donor funding for these national highways also came under scrutiny.

 

The respective departmental heads and staff gavetheir accounts of whatthey had on hand.

 

However,the chairman came down hard onthem sayingthe reports lacked athenticity.

 

The Auditor General’s office reported countless cases of over-expenditure since 2009.

 

 

The department was also told to keep a log on its fleets particularly inthe provinces becausethere has not been any stock take to date.

 

The committee said its staff continuously abused government vehicles and it is high time this trend change for the better.

 

Reports concluded that many public servants lackedthe basic knowledge of managementobookkeeping and accounting amongst ther skills. This wasthe case for the works department inthe provinces.

 

The works and finance departmental heads and staff saidthey will comply withthe directives given today to submit detailed reports by September this year.

 

The Auditor General’s office has begun investigations and more results are expected inthe next meet sometime in September.

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