Friday, 24 July 2009 3:05 PM

SI Ombsudsman Sleeping

I read below from the post courier of PNG. Their Ombudsman is working and doing action while ours is sleeping, hardly prosecutes any one. Wake up obudsmans!!

By Simon Eroro

FINANCE and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch has been referred to the Public Prosecutor by the Ombudsman Commission on misconduct charges.
The seven charges refer to 10 categories of allegations of misconduct in office as the MP for Aitape-Lumi electorate. Mr Pruaitch was referred after he failed to respond to the allegations within 21 days after the Ombudsman Commission asked him to do so on October 11th 2006. According to the statement of reasons provided by the Ombudsman Commission, Mr Pruaitch was accused of:
- DOUBLE dipping into support vehicle allowance. The minister is alleged to have received support vehicle allowances while at the same time using a 24 hour fully maintained car.
- DOUBLE dipping into operational cost allowances for support vehicle. The minister is alleged to have improperly received operational costs allowances for his support vehicle while the vehicle was fully maintained by the State.
- IMPROPER receipt of public funds for fuel costs for private vehicles. Mr Pruaitch is alleged to have sought and improperly allowed his spouse and associates to receive reimbursements from PNG Forest Authority for fuel costs his family cars incurred.
- DOUBLE dipping into entertainment allowance. He is alleged to have asked for and received reimbursements from NFS funds expended on entertainments when he was receiving entertainment allowances.
- MISAPPROPRIATION of 2003 District Support Grants. Minister Pruaitch allegedly improperly disbursed the discretionary component and it appeared that he made cash cheque payments to business houses.
- failure to give on time annual statements and non disclosures from 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2003/2004 and 2004/2005
- failed to declare gifts - knowingly, recklessly or negligently gave to the commission an annual statement that was false and misleading contrary to Section 4(6)(b) of the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.
Mr Pruaitch, on November 30, 2006, responded to the commission for the right to be heard.
However, documents showed the Ombudsman Commission was satisfied that under Section 29(1) of the Constitution and Section 17(d), 20(4) and 27(1) of the organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, there was prima facie case that Minister Pruaitch was guilty of misconduct in office.
But yesterday, Mr Pruaitch responded that his referral to the Public Prosecutor for possible prosecution before a Leadership Tribunal over misconduct allegations had no substance.
He stated that he had responded to the allegations as required under the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership and that any proceedings arising from the same allegations would be defended vigorously.
He denied having committed any wrongdoing.
The OC on its own initiative began investigation into suspected misconduct in office by the treasurer in respect of various allegations, including his alleged failure to give the OC on time his annual statements.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Dave Kiva and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

Other Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province