23 Jul 2010

Concerns in PNG at the Government's use of public funds to shore up support

6:54 pm on 23 July 2010

There is growing concern in Papua New Guinea at the way the Government is using public money to boost its numbers in Parliament.

The administration of Sir Michael Somare was saved from a motion for a vote of no confidence on Wednesday when partisan Speaker, Jeffrey Nape, controversially adjourned Parliament, just a day into the winter session.

The Government is alleged to have used hundreds of millions of kina from the District Infrastructure Support Programme as inducements to hold its MPs, and Transparency International's Peter Aitsi says this is a major concern.

He says there appears to be selective application of this funding.

"The methodology behind the use of this money, by that I mean the structures that are established to control the use of these public funds is not as transparent as we would hope, as we would like. And the regulatory framework around them is not as strong as we would hope. And so yes it draws significant concern from TI."