Public watchdog ruled 2008 National Accounts INCOMPETENT

The public watchdog on public spending has ruledthe 2008 National AccountsIncompetent. It cannot be audited.

The Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts revealed this at its hearing in Port Moresby yesterday.

The Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2008 found failed accounting, poor record keeping, and bad corporate governance across all of government.

Chairman ofthe PAC and member for Begia John Hickey, flanked by committee members confronted top public servants summoned to give evidence inthe hearing.

They included Auditor General Philip Nauna, Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc, Secretary for Treasury Simon Tusali and Secretary for Planning & Monitoring Dr Peter Kora.

They were questioned onthe public accounts of 2008 and ther related matters.

Chairman Hickey emphasized some ofthe irregularities highlighted intheir inquiry which showed that millions of kina had not properly accounted for.

Irregularities included cheques drawn in 2009 but predated to 2008 amounting to K84 million, andthe non-validation of a supplementary budget appropriation of K850 million for nine months.  

Witnesses toldthe PAC that though proper book keeping has been a major problem, proper financial statements was somethingthey try to ensure doing.

The PAC also questionedthe Auditor General onthe four year delay of public accounts.

Auditor General Phillip Nauna saidthe inefficiency of state agencies in preparing financial statements wasthe setback.

Witnesses present atthe hearing were not too familiar withthe findings ofthe PAC inquiry. This forcedthe PAC to postponethe hearing to Thursday.

Cedric Patjole, National EMTV News

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