COSTLY PNG GAMES LEAVE VENDORS HOLDING BAG

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Unanswered questions over $187,000 in unpaid bills

By Henry Morabang PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec.16, 2009) - THE 2009 PNG Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea has left its service providers including contractors high and dry with more than 500,000 kina [US$187,000] in unpaid bills.

According to documents sighted by The National yesterday, the Host Organizing Committee (HOC) owed six contractors who rendered their services for general maintenance of field, fencing and upgrading the accommodation in various schools in the National Capital District to host the Games in excess of 500,000 kina [US$187,000].

One of the six contractors, Michael Kuman, appealed to the HOC and the relevant authorities to pay their dues. Kuman who owns Shepards Corps Ltd spent 90,000 kina [US$33,600] to upgrade accommodation at Badihagwa High School (20,000 kina [US$7,500]) and fencing (77,000 kina [US$28,800]) at the Rita Flynn Netball Courts.

Kuman and his fellow contractors were given a merry-go-around by HOC, PNG Sports Foundation and PNG Games Secretariat office in Port Moresby seeking their outstanding monies.

He said his fellow contractor, Malanias had a total of 65,000 kina [US$24,300] outstanding for providing the services in upgrading the accommodation at Gerehu Secondary High School.

Kuman said they have been chasing their outstanding dues since last Friday and called for PNG Games chief executive officer Mary Karo to come forward to clarify the matter with the contractors.

He said it was widely read that PNG Games received substantial financial backing from both the corporate, government statutory bodies and even 3.3 million kina [US$1.2 million] from the National Government for staging the PNG Games.

Attempts to contact PNG Games Secretariat and Games event manageress Mary Karo were unsuccessful yesterday.

HOC chairman Jack Pidik replied to this question via the email confirming that Mrs. Karo was currently on break and was out of the country.

He said HOC and PNG Games would meet NCD Governor Powes Parkop and his senior management next week and settle the outstanding payments for contractors and service providers for the PNG Games.

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