28 Oct 2004

Vast alleged fraud uncovered in a PNG government department

8:32 pm on 28 October 2004

Two directors are among 41 employees who face the sack from the Papua New Guinea Agriculture and Livestock Department for alleged fraud amounting to millions of dollars.

The National newspaper reports they are alleged to have claimed allowances when they were not on duty.

A total of 78 charges are being prepared against the 41 workers.

The expose follows a three-week investigation which has so far covered only a third of the department's staff.

Department secretary Matthew Wela Kanua says they could wipe out 75 percent or more of the department when all disciplinary charges are completed.

He believes that almost 1-POINT-6 million US dollars is lost each year through cheating and stealing and a new payroll system implemented two years ago worsened the problem.