10 Feb 2011

PNG government secretary suspended amid allegations of misspending

2:53 pm on 10 February 2011

A Papua New Guinea government secretary has been suspended amid allegations of the misallocation of funds.

The Treasurer, Peter O'Neill, has suspended Joseph Lelang, the Ministry for National Planning and District Development's secretary, pending an audit of that department's 2010 budget.

Our correspondent in PNG, Jonathan Tannos, says the suspension follows the internet publication of a letter from Mr Lelang to the planning minister in which he claims the allocation of funds for certain projects was ordered to shore up coalition support.

"You can easily tell who the members are that come from where those projects are located and you can deduce from there that these were probably the members that were wooed to support the government in case there was a vote of no confidence."

Our correspondent in PNG, Jonathan Tannos.