23 May 2007

TI PNG says government not serious about fighting corruption

1:37 pm on 23 May 2007

A Papua New Guinea anti-corruption group says suspending an inquiry into the finance department shows the government is not serious about tackling corruption.

Transparency International PNG said in a statement the government inquiry into bogus payouts for claims processed through the department was a positive step forward in getting to the root of corruption in the public sector.

The Finance Department has been accused of paying out more than 120 million US dollars in bogus claims between January 2000 and July 2006.

Last week, the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, refused to extend the inquiry following concerns over its cost and allegations that two inquiry members facilitated fraudulent payments.