As Bougainville stands on the verge creating political history in Papua New Guinea through the process of self-determination this distinction has not made it immune to the systematic corruption that hounds the country.
The last three months has seen the dismissal of several of members of the Bougainville Public Service after an audit of the payroll system found members of the ABG’s Department of Personnel Management defrauding the public purse in access of K360,000.00.
Other officials from the ABG Department of Community Government were also Implicated in another scandal where K2 million of the Disaster Trust Fund account was misappropriated by the department and resulted in the sacking of the Secretary of the department.
ABG President Chief Dr John Momis said that despite the Autonomous Bougainville Government having a modern system of laws and an effective model of representative government where democracy prevails corruption is still rampant.
“Good governance is an issue that continues to concern me and many members of this House. It is the cornerstone of autonomy and must form the bedrock of independence,” Momis told the Special Parliamentary Sitting yesterday.
“Without good governance and effective systems and processes we cannot achieve our end goals and whilst we have elected leaders and senior public servants who continue to undermine our systems of governance, we cannot achieve our goals,” Momis added.
The Second Joint Autonomy Review found that the Government and the Public Service consistently fail to adhere to public finance management legislation allowing corruption to seep into the cervices of the ABG.
“I continue to speak so forcefully on the need to ensure that our leaders are held to account, and I am heartened by advice that the fraud squad will soon be deployed to Bougainville to investigate allegations of fraud,” Momis added.
He said nobody was above the law and that everyone must be held to account for their actions.
Papua New Guinea Royal Constabulary Commissioner Gari Baki has agreed to the deployment of the Fraud Squad to investigate those implicated in the sordid affair.
Those found to be in breach of the criminal code will be prosecuted under the full letter of the law as this will now have become a police matter.
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