By ABBIE COLLACO
KEWA Papiango, a former assets manager of Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration (PNGIPA), was illegally charged with misappropriation and official corruption as a public servant.
But even after he was cleared by the court of all the charges on Oct 16, 2009, PNGIPA could not reinstate him.
He said on June 10, 2009, the management of PNGIPA signed his suspension for misappropriating a sum of K5069 and the suspension took effect on June 5, 2009.
He said the suspension became null and void because departmental head who effected the signing of the suspension on June 5, was already appointed the head of another department on June 3, 2009.
He said he was arrested without police and PNGIPA carrying out a thorough investigation and without following the correct procedures of the General Orders as stipulated in Section 10.3.
He said the officer who actioned his suspension was acting on the position as a director which contradicts section 10.3 of the General Orders.
He said the section stipulates that an acting director on relief basis shall not exercise any disciplinary powers unless he or she is formerly appointed by the Head of State.
Papiango said after two weeks of questioning by police, he was arrested and was later released on K500 bail on the same day on June 30.
He knew that he was wrongly accused of misappropriating K5, 069. 60 belonging to the PNGIPA account with a hardware shop in Waigani.
He said after months of thorough investigations, he found that the money that went missing was a mistake made by the hardware shop in Waigani with its headquarters downtown Port Moresby.
He said without the knowledge of PNGIPA, an amount of K1238.84 was invoiced to Kokopo and the balance was entered into a ledger.
On May 8, 2009, there was an advice from the headquarters of the hardware shop informing him that an error occurred and that it was corrected to show the balance of K1238.84 and a cheque of K1238. 84 was raised to the hardware shop in Waigani.
The shop confirmed to Papiango on July 7, July 2009 that the error was corrected and completed with the outstanding balance of K5069.60 deposited into the PNGIPA account held at the shop.
He said the court has reinstated him to his position as assets manager. He said the acting director wrote to him and requested him to immediately report for duties on Nov 9, 2009, but when he enquired with the registrar, he was given a notice from the acting director, banning him from entering the PNGIPA premises as of the date he sighted the notice until the police investigations were completed.
Papiango said he is caught in the middle because the police had failed in their investigations and the institute had also failed to provide documents to substantiate its allegations against him.
He said his legal council wrote to PNGIPA regarding the ban after he was cleared by the court on Oct 16, 2009, but this also fell on deaf ears.
He called on relevant authorities including the Public Employees Association to see that qualified and competent CEOs are placed in high officers, the Ombudsman Commission to investigate the acting director under the leadership code.
He also called on Minister and Secretary of the Department of Personal Management to look into the operations of the PNGIPA.