PNG Finance Minister, James Marape issued orders to all heads of
government departments and Members of Parliament to submit their 2014
acquittals. He warned that officers or MPs who fail to meet this
statutory requirement will be personally held accountable.
Minister Marape said the relaxed attitude towards acquitting public funds should be changed or there would be serious consequences, as outlined in the Finance Management Act.
“As part of our measures to ensure timely management of cash flow, I’ll be using this tool of audit inspection and reporting to determine what money will be released from Vulupindi Haus in the first instance.
“Those who successfully cooperate with us and submit their reports in time will get the benefit of ensuring that funds designated for them in 2015 to them,” warns Marape.
Referring to the fall in global oil prices, the finance minister said it is something we do not have control over but Papua New Guineans should be diligent with the resources we have as he said we are in an “economic downturn”.
Finance officers will be visiting provinces to ensure all reports are submitted on time. Deputy Secretary Samuel Penias said public officers should not be afraid of using the Finance Department’s assistance. “We have a strong audit process in place and the internal audit process is part of that to ensure government agencies comply with the law,” Mr Penias says.