Tuesdya this week Governor Jim Kas made an announcement in Mindere, Rai Coast, that the dumping of Ramu Niko tailings into Basamuk Bay would now cease!
This was announced on the heels of the report from the Public Accounts Committee and John Hickey that found serious errors in the provincial accounts dating back to 1994 (see below).
The inquiry also announced that, because the provincial government failed to properly gazette decisions since 1994, all laws, appointments and contracts since that time are now null and void.
Looks like Madang's people and marine life have something to be happy about---finally.
Inquiry Into Madang Government Uncovers Big Issues
Committee finds defects, failures, weaknesses largely unaddressed
By Jeffrey Elapa
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 13, 2013) – The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into Papua New Guinea’s Madang provincial government yesterday found a serious lack of accountability and reporting.
The inquiry, citing an Auditor-General report of 2011 and 2012, has found gross abuse of public funds while the province lacked accountability issues.
PAC chairman John Hickey said the province has breached the Public Finances (Management) Act, Appropriation Act and the Financial Instructions.
He said the committee has carefully studied the audit report for 2017-10 and found that the provincial government has made slight improvements in a few areas but generally the defects, failures and weaknesses remain unaddressed.
"Today, we consider the state of provincial accounting and reporting and governance in 2011," Hickey said when resuming the inquiry.
However he said the report indicated that the province failed to furnish financial statement.
A statement from the provincial government was not correct and has errors such as the statement of balance not being certified.
In 2011, the reconciled balances of the provincial revenue and grants revenues did not agree with the revenue fund balance, while other inconsistencies were identified.
The PAC found other irregularities such as funds totaling K805,000 [US$341,682] not being properly acquitted.
It was revealed that one officer in the provincial government was paid more than K388,508 [US$164,902] as advance but did not acquit the funds, which is illegal.
Hickey directed that those officers who received these funds be charged and repay the money within 14 days.
It was also found that funds have been used outside the budget while the province lacked monthly budget reviews and reporting, meaning that it failed to monitor the budget.
Hickey said the reports were not correct while the province lacked competent paying and receiving officers as casual and retired officers were engaged to carry out the duties.
He said revenue collection was not done properly as they do not have records while the 2011 records indicated an under-collection of K97,400 [US$41,341] from liquor licenses against the budget while there were not database to monitor fees.
"It seems clear that budget control, revenue collection and accounting is in a mess," Hickey said.
"The law is not obeyed, criminal activities exist, no oversight is in force, public money and properties are treated with contempt and still the PA (provincial administrator) and treasurer hold the positions. All these are clear breach of financial instructions."
Hickey has directed that a full report containing accounts of fees collected from each district is submitted to the committee.