School Cry Foul Over Misused TFF Funds

by Quinton Alomp, EM TV – Port Moresby

Three schools in Port Moresby have shifted blame on the Education Department and a Korean company for cheating, resulting in them using tuition fee free funds to pay for a project they never intended to.

Wardstrip demonstration primary school and Gordon Secondary have spent K56,666 each and Badili vocational have spent K56,000 for the Korean company, Sungwoon International Limited, to install a computerised access control system at the schools.

The project was initiated by the Education department and the three schools were chosen to try out the pilot project in 2013.

However, Education department has no funding for the project. Instead the department verbally instructed the three schools to pay for the installation using TFF funds.

Wardstrip head teacher, Emily Tamate-Ricky, said some officers within the Education department knowingly tried to defraud the schools.

The schools carried out their own investigation and found that the project cost less than K123,000. But their investigation show that the company has been overpaid by the department and the schools.

Wardstrip board treasurer, Mathew Kulimbao, said they want their K56,666 given back.

The installation of the access system has not been completed.

They are taking the matter to court.

However, the company said they will only return the money if their lawyers instruct them to.

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