PNG ELECTION FUNDS MISAPPROPRIATED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 12, 1997 -PACNEWS)---An investigation into misappropriation of funds by Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commission indicates large sums of money were used for unbudgeted purposes.

An internal report on the matter, prepared by the government's Finance Department, has been submitted as evidence in court.

The report states that between $435,000 and $507,000 of the Commission's funds were used for purposes not related to last month's PNG national election, which saw Bill Skate emerge as new Papua New Guinea Prime Minister.

The court document also notes that guidelines required by the Melanesian country's Public Finances Management Act were not followed in paying salaries and allowances and purchasing vehicles.

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