Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) is calling on the Minister for National Planning Richard Maru, to take immediate steps to restore integrity of both the multi-million National Identity (NID) Project and National Statistical Office (NSO), by suspending the National Statistician, Roko Koloma.
TIPNG made this call following media reports that Koloma is being sought by the police, in regards to a discrepancy of more than K24 million in the NSO accounts, after the Department of Finance conducted an audit investigation in 2017.
“To preserve the integrity of the NSO and the NID Project, the Minister for National Planning must suspend Koloma until the Police have completed their investigations, citizens must not just turn a blind eye at such vast sums of public monies disappearing” said Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens.
“The NID is vital to safeguarding our democracy and the NSO is essential to measure the government’s efforts in national development. They are both assets of the people of Papua New Guinea and should be afforded the proper respect by the public servants employed as their caretakers,” said Stephens.
TIPNG launched 3 campaigns for 2018, one of which called for a full audit of the NID project, so as to restore confidence before the Project was rolled out across the country.
At the time, the Deputy Prime Minister and former National Planning Minister Charles Abel, said an independent audit committee would be established by February to quell justifiable public concerns. Unfortunately there is no indication that committee has been established.
Source: Press Release by Transparency International Papua New Guinea