12 Aug 2010

Transparency questions over allocation of public funds to PNG government MPs

7:21 pm on 12 August 2010

About 50 MPs in Papua New Guinea have reportedly each been paid around 740-thousand US dollars to ensure they continue to back the ruling coalition.

The newspaper, The National, reports its information comes from sources within the Finance Department.

It's alleged that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and his son Arthur Somare, as former acting Finance Minister and Treasurer, instructed the release of the funds to the MPs soon after Parliament adjourned last month.

The sources also revealed that the Department was advised not to release any District Support Improvement Programme, or DSIP funds, to Opposition MPs.

The sources say the normal financial management processes for the transfer of the funds to the district treasuries have not been followed.

The money was reportedly paid out by the Department of National Planning and personally collected by the individual MPs.