PNG TREASURER LASHES OUT AT PREDECESSOR

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Polye accuses Pruaitch of making ‘false allegations’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 5, 2011) - "He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones", Treasurer Don Polye reminded former treasurer Patrick Pruaitch yesterday in Papua New Guinea {PNG). Mr. Polye urged Mr. Pruaitch not to mislead the public with false allegations of misappropriation and illegal use of funds by the O’Neill-Namah Government and allow himself to be used by the selfish elements with selfish interests to disseminate fake and misconstrued facts.

Mr Polye said that as former treasurer Mr Pruaitch knows very well that when trust instrument expire, the minister responsible for the Public Finance (Management) Act (PFMA) under his or her powers either extends or revokes the instruments depending on what best suits fiscal management.

"Mr Pruaitch should have also known that at the end of every fiscal year, the report of the process of the close-of-accounts which considers the accounting of the fiscal year is made available at the end of the fiscal year.

"The fiscal year has not yet ended and that process is continuing and therefore any comments made by anybody are premature and naïve as the genuine information cannot be made available at any time earlier.

[PIR editor’s note: The accusations are in part fueled by a recent demand by the PNG opposition to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the government’s US$226 million spending of public funds.]

"What has gone on in the media with regards to the so-called "500 million kina [US$226 million]" expenditure outside of budget is only a political gimmick," Mr Polye said.

Mr Polye said Mr Pruaitch should bow his head in shame for approving a 125 million kina [US$56.6 million] payment out of the worker’s contribution in Nasfund for his own and his friend’s selfish gains — the Sovereign Community Infrastructure Treasury Bill (SCITB) that was approved by Mr Pruaitch for the Kokopo District when he was treasurer and finance minister.

"I remind Mr Pruaitch that he should be contemplating when and how he would fork out of his own pocket to repay all or part of the contributors’ K125 million to the Nasfund," said Mr Polye.

The Minister said the country knows that Mr Pruaitch and his cohorts breached Section 209 and 210 of the Constitution and all the sub-ordinate laws of the land to authorise the payment of K125 million outside of the Parliament process.

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