PAPUA NEW GUINEA JAILS WITHOUT FUNDS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 29, 1999 – Post Courier)---The Correctional Institutional Service (CIS) chief says prisoners in jails around the country will not get anything to eat if money is not forthcoming from the Government by the end of May.

CIS Commissioner Ken Serupi said this during NCD Governor Philip Taku's inaugural Safe and Sound parade in Port Moresby yesterday morning.

He said, "By the end of May, I will not feed any more prisoners. After May, I do not know what to do with them.''

Mr. Serupi said he had made his concerns known to finance officials when he discussed the problem with them last week.

He explained that there was a formula for provinces to give funds to CIS, however provinces were telling him that they did not have any money.

Mr Serupi told the officials that funds from the K13 million (US$ 8 million) he received under the 1999 Budget would run out in May.

He warned that the Government must respond as soon as possible.

Mr. Serupi said officials told him they would look at his situation and give him K13 million more.

Under the 1999 Budget provinces were supposed to foot 50 percent of the operational bill of prisons in their area.

However, he said so far only the National Capital District Commission had given K2.4 million to Bomana Prison.

CLAIMS MADE THAT PNG PRISONERS WILL STARVE WITHOUT MORE FUNDING

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 29, 1999 – Radio Australia)--- Commissioner of Prisons Ken Serupi says that prisoners in Papua New Guinea may starve if the national government doesn't provide funding immediately.

The Commissioner said negotiations with the government for an additional $8 million dollars to maintain prisons from June until the end of the year were unsuccessful. The money may force his department to take drastic cost cutting measures, including stopping food service to the prison population as of the end of next month.

The national government slashed prison spending by 50 percent, to $8 million dollars, earlier this year. Provincial governments were directed to provide the balance, but have failed to do so.

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