By ROBEFRT PALME
A PRIVATE individual has been a signatory to a Papua New Guinea Government trust account.
And millions of kina from that account were paid to private consultants including payments to the signatory's company.
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee(PAC) revealed that the Konebada Petroleum Park Authority Working Group Trust Account (KPPWGTA) is operated outside the Papua New Guinea Government Computerized Accounting System (PGAS).
The PAC report, tabled in Parliament last month, reads: "Effectively this trust money has been handed to private persons and is unaccountable.
"We believe the purpose of this was to avoid scrutiny."
According to the PAC, this person is not a delegated person to be a signatory for the account.
It also reads:"It is notable that millions of kina have flowed to private consultants -including payments to the signatory's company.
"The department Secretary has lost control of Trust management. No records were produced for audit of the KPPWGTA.
"They were apparently kept at a private apartment by the Project Manager."
Meanwhile, the Committee in its report also said Government Trust Accounts should not be managed by the Public Service or Government agencies at any level.
"No Trustees, signatory officer identified as failing to maintain Trust records and accounts or conduct themselves as Trustees, signatories or accountable officers in a proper and lawful manner, should ever again be permitted to assume any degree of responsibility for management of public monies in any capacity-but particularly as a trustee," the PAC said.
The Public Service is patently and demonstrably incapable of lawful managing Trust Accounts and officers of that service are clearly incapable of understanding or performing their duties as Trustees, the report said.
The PAC attributed some of the failures to the inability by the Department of Finance and Treasury to protect the State by properly monitoring and recording the expenditure of public monies through this Trust account and or by requiring and enforcing accountability from its own Department officers.