The Prime Minister's decision to reinstate the financial powers of Minister for Planning, Paul Teinsten, seems to have more to do with political opportunism than good governance and sends all the wrong signals on corruption.
Minister Teinsten's financial powers were removed in response to serious allegations of fraud and mismanagement in his Department.
But the Prime Minister now claims that in just 7 days all the allegations have been investigated and found to be baseless and that Mr Teinsten and his Department have been given a clean bill of health.
The seven days it took to clear the Minister and his Department stands in stark contrast to the three years it took to investigate the fraud and mismanagement in the Department of Finance that uncovered K780 million had been stolen.
After a five month delay the Prime Minister did table that report in Parliament - it seems highly unlikely he will be doing the same with the Department of Planning report (if such a document exists).
The Prime Minister had perhaps been hoping to show that he was prepared to get tough on corruption by making the decision to sideline Tiensten. But that strategy rather backfired when it was announced that Planning's financial powers were to be taken over by the Finance Department which was the subject of the Commission of Inquiry and is under the control of Minister Pruaitch and Secretary Yer.
An ACT NOW! poll has shown 99% of us believe the Prime Minister is not doing enough on corruption. The events of the past week only reinforce the perception that the Prime Minister is prepared to tolerate rampant and systematic corruption as the price he has to pay to hang on to power.
Sadly it is the people of PNG who are suffering as they watch Somare flush his once noble name down the drain.
Seems all is not clean in the Department of Planning as the PM
Seems all is not clean in the Department of Planning as the PM has claimed!
Alleged perpetrators team up with police
By TODAGIA KELOLA
THE two women who were alleged to be part of a network in the Department of Planning and Monitoring involved in corrupt practices have not been charged but they will be helping police to get the real perpetrators.
That’s from NCD metropolitan commander Chief Superintendent Fred Yakasa.
The two women who are not employees of the department were apprehended after being found with government cheques worth K5.5 million.
They were caught after exchanging a cheque of K2.5 million for K25,000 belonging to the New Erima Primary School.
Mr Yakasa told the Post-Courier that his men were making progress in their investigations into the alleged corrupt practices at the National Planning and Monitoring Department, and names of officers implicated had surfaced and arrests might be imminent.
Police started investigations following an official complaint laid by the Secretary for National Planning and Monitoring, Joseph Lelang, after reports by this paper revealed that there were numerous instances of corrupt practices from officers within that department who used their authority to withhold cheques until their demands for “some payment” was met.
Early this month, police apprehended their first suspect, a woman who had three cheques worth K5.5 million and K2500 in cash.
She was caught by police when exchanging a K2.5 million cheque with board chairman of the New Erima Primary School Simon Eyork at a hotel in Port Moresby.
The second woman was apprehended the next day.
Chief Superintendent Yakasa had at that time stated that “This is corruption at its best...here people are paying for what is rightfully theirs...police will be investigating this.
“There are people out there who have been affected.
“And I am more than happy for anyone who has been in this kind of situation or who knows of it to come forward so we (police) can uproot all these evil.
“I think this is a wrong practice,” he said.
He said there were many other government departments which were facing the same thing and he appealed to anyone to come and report these corrupt practices so the police could help out.
He said the investigation had so far expanded to other provinces.
Hey someone on the inside with the information of who these guys
Hey someone on the inside with the information of who these guys are in Finance, please toksave na mipla tokim ol pipol bilong PNG....
How may times have we heard the popular phrase by the police
How may times have we heard the popular phrase by the police hierachy "we will get to the bottom of this..." and nothing actually gets done or it takes too long for the investigation to be complete. People are sick and tired of this crab and incompetence of the police who just cannot do anthing with these people in high places, however they see all too fit to run around in police vehicles with car fan belts and guns and belt the hell out of the poor defenseless person on the street who has just committed a much lesser petty offence. And mind you, they are even going into people's residents without a proper warrant to exercise their brutality infront of other family members, wantoks and neigbours. And how many of these police officers been brought to justice? Again a popular phrase the police hierachy uses is "we will hold these officers responsible for their actions" and nothing gets done - Incompetence?, nepotism?, slackness?, poor management - It's all of the above.
What kind of place is this? Is this a country where western democracy is supposed to prevail and justice is seen to be done when the rule of law is broken?
C'mon PNG wake up and take a good look at it. It's all happening around us. Politicians are stealing and/or committing serious offences and getting away with it. The Police just watches these unfolding right infront of their eyes and cannot do a thing, rather they see fit to use brutal tactics on the simple man on the street and they get away with with it. The justice system, with the back log of cases and all too frequent deferrals, I don't know... I'll let you comment. Who do we turn to - God? But God only helps people who help themselves - PNG wakeup.
It is a damning sad situation for a wonderful country with wonderful people.