A LONG time politician, and former premier and Member of Parliament and Minister, Sinai Brown has called on the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare to immediately remove Paul Tiensten as Minister for National Planning.
Mr Brown who was the former NGI leader of National Alliance party made the call alleging that everyday money is leaving the National Planning and Monitoring department and is unaccounted for.
He revealed that last week K80 million left the National Planning and the staff of National Planning and Finance are concerned that these funds are being spent on unbudgeted activities without proper scoping, and without following the proper government's procurement processes.
Mr Brown alleged the governor for Manus received two lots of payments. First was K700, 000 last week and more recently on Wednesday 10th February 2010, he once again received another K10 million under the pretext of fisheries project. Both these funds were not scoped and costed. Proper government procurement processes was not followed under the Public Finance Management Act. These funds were from various other activities pulled in together so that Mr Tiensten can give it to Mr Sapau to get his support.
Similar activities were used in East New Britain province (ENBP) where K30 million was spent. The people of ENBP are now asking whether or not these funds were scoped and costed.
Mr Brown said he was reliably informed that K80 million had been allocated to a province in the Momase region.
He said all these indicate that the Prime Minister must quickly remove Paul Tiensten from the Planning Ministry because the longer he stays, more money will leave the government coffers.
The former MP alleged that Mr Tiensten is using National Planning funds as his private account. He called on all NGI governors to be careful and to fight this type of practice as it amounts to bribery and corruption.
"They should not accept any cheques delivered direct to them. All cheques should be delivered to the head of the provincial administration."
Mr Brown also called on all other government agencies such as the Ombudsman Commission and Transparency International to speak out against these types of practices because they all boarders on bribery and corruption.
He reiterated that Planning Ministry is for NGI. Now the regional member for Bougainville, Fidelis Semoso has been appointed as NA leader for NGI, and anything Paul Tiensten does is irrelevant.
Mr Brown said that Mr Semoso has the support of all NA supporters of the region especially chiefs from his home province, in Bougainville.
Further, Mr Brown has called on the Ombudsman Commission to investigate the purchase of two second hand boats for K6.5 million each totalling K13 million allegedly for the people of Kandrian and Pomio district. The first cheque NO.40607, serial number 239661 dated 4th December 2009 for the K6.5 million. Both cheques were written in favour of Sarakolok West Transport Limited.
Mr Brown said that preliminary checks have suggested that the two boats should not cost more than K2.3 million each but much bigger boats.
"If that is the case, then where is the balance of the money? How will the Pomio people benefit?" he queried adding that "evidence has also shown that one of the boat is registered and owned by the principal of Sarakolok Transport Limited, a private company and not Pomio District Services. The second boat for Kandrian District is yet to be delivered. The question is does the people of Kandrian and Pomio own the boats?"
He called on the governor for ENBP, Leo Dion and the Ombudsman Commission to investigate these transactions for possible breaches under the leadership code.
However, Minister Tiensten in responding to the allegations said he is not surprised about all these allegations and has welcomed the call by Mr Brown and his exclusive club of governors and followers for investigations by Ombudsman or Transparency International in to the so called allegations.