17 May 2010

PNG Planning Ministry and Department stripped of financial powers

3:11 pm on 17 May 2010

Papua New Guinea's Planning Minister, Paul Tiensten, and his Department have been stripped of their financial powers by Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The move leaves Mr Tiensten and his Department powerless to approve, allocate or fund any spending under the development budget and other funding that comes under the Planning Department.

The newspaper, The National, reports that the move comes as Mr Tiensten has been questioned by the parliamentary Opposition over the funding of projects in West New Britain amid allegations of impropriety.

Sir Michael reportedly said the Government has been adversely criticised over a number of financial transactions made by the Ministry and Department of Planning.

He said as such, public perception was that the Ministry and Department had become an expenditure organisation, when it should be playing its traditional role of planning and monitoring.

The Prime Minister directed that the financial powers be transferred to the Finance and Treasury Ministry.