28 Mar 2011

Half of US$450m AusAID PNG spend ineffective - High Commissioner

7:01 am on 28 March 2011

Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner to Australia admits that half of the four-hundred-and-50 million dollars of annual Australian aid to his country has been ineffectively spent.

The comment comes as Australian newspapers publish reports of millions of aid dollars being squandered on non-wage running costs and the Opposition claims service delivery's fallen prey to inflated consultants' fees and dodgy invoicing.

The High Commissioner, Charles Lepani, says both Australia and PNG are at fault.

"There is some element of Australia's neglect in ensuring how the money's spent in PNG and on the part of PNG we have also on our side we have also on our side at the bureaucratic level not put in the big effort to ensure the flows of funds with our budget is integrated, first, and secondly that the priorities are funded properly."

However Charles Lepani says steps are being taken to rectify the issue and it's time to stop hammering the effort.