PM :Oders high level investigation into fraudulent payments

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has directed several of his ministers to spearhead a high level investigation into payments made to law firms, companies or individuals for services rendered tothe government.

The directions went tothe Ministersof Finance, Treasury, Justice, Police, Public Service and National Planning.

Mr O’Neill instructedthe investigation team be made up ofthe Taskforce Sweep, Police Fraud Squad, withthe support of Australian Federal Police andInterpol.

He futher directed Treasury to make available two million kina for the investigation.

Ministersfor Public Service Sir Puka Temu and Finance Minister James Marape were called on to prepare appropriate charges in accordance withthe Public Service Act public servants found to have processed payments fraudulently.

Mr Marape will also reviewthe Financial Management Act and ensure that guards such as an Audit Committee are put in place to oversee payments.

Mr O’Neill said corruption is rife inthe country and his government is committed to eradicating it inthe public service.

The cabinet will meet next Tuesday to discussthe issue.

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