PNG's Re-elected Oro Governor Questions Awarding Of Drug Distribution Contract

Claims corruption in the Central Supply and Tenders Board has lead to individuals negotiating deals with politicians to award inflated contracts to dubious contractors at the expense of the health of Papua New Guineans

By Tony Sii

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 28, 2017) – Re-elected Oro Governor Gary Juffa is questioning the recent awarding of a contract by the Health Department to Borneo Pacific Limited to deliver drugs in the country, describing it as controversial and suspicious.

He held a news conference yesterday where he revealed copies of the contract documents he got from sources.

“When this contract was awarded it was rejected by the Solicitor General’s office. It was rejected because it was given using a COI – certificate of inexpediency that are only issued during times of emergency,” he said.

He said despite the Solicitor General declining to give clearance for the issuance of the contract because it didn’t meet the procurement procedures under part seven of the Public Finance Management Act and part 13 of the financial instructions, the government went ahead and gave the contract just before the election.

He claimed corruption in the Central Supply and Tenders Board has lead to individuals negotiating deals with politicians to award inflated contracts to dubious contractors at the expense of the health of Papua New Guineans.

Mr Juffa claimed that Borneo Pacific was initially denied awarding of the contract as it didn’t meet the then procurement criteria of the ISO 2001 compliance quality assurance methodology set up by the Australian government until 2012 when the O’Neill government came into to power.

“They removed that system and tendered again and Borneo Pacific won the contract,” he said.

Borneo Pacific initially didn’t meet the procurement criteria, as it was getting drugs from a pharmaceutical company in China that was cited by the World Health Organization for peddling with counterfeit drugs, he claimed.

Mr Juffa said the removal of the ISO quality assurance system also saw Australia remove a program where they supplied medical kits to all health centres throughout the country to supplement the medical supplies there.

“We are endangering the health of our people on two fronts; those who went ahead and gave this contracts and those who know about it but are saying nothing about it and keeping quiet,” he said.

PNG Post-Courier
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