16 Sep 2008

Inquiry into Papua New Guinea's Finance Department to re-start

3:41 pm on 16 September 2008

A new Commission of Inquiry has been set up in Papua New Guinea to investigate the misuse and management of public funds by the Finance Department in the past six years.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the Commission will be headed by Justice Maurice Sheehan supported by Justice Cathy Davani and Don Manoa.

The Terms of Reference require the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the handling of public money in excess of 300 thousand kina by the Department of Finance between the periods the January 1, 2002 to July 1, 2006.

More than 400 files have been opened by the inquiry's team of investigators and lawyers who are ready to make a presentation in relation to some 30 files.

Details of these files will be released at the opening on Thursday.

The Terms of Reference were set by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in May this year.

They ask the investigators to look into the systems that protect public monies from illegal claims and identify core failures that have exposed the state to improper liability.