The action taken by the New Ireland Government to prosecute people who misappropriated public funds for community projects has gained the support of communities in the target areas who never saw the projects take off the ground.
Community leader from Konogogo on the West Coast of Sentral Niu Ailan LLG, Mr. Raphael Boski, said the law is for everyone to follow and persons who hold positions of trust and authority must be held accountable when dealing with public funds.
Mr. Boski said, “People who receive public funds to spear head projects must be transparent, accountable and honest in using the funds because the Government has entrusted the communities to take care of their own needs by providing the funding. It is only the good Governor for New Ireland who has acted on our cries for help. Anyone found guilty of misappropriation of these funds must be dealt with accordingly.”
Mr. Boski made the press statement in support of the action taken by the Governor’s Office led by the Project Coordination team withthe help of two Police Detectives to follow up and investigate cases of community projects like church buildings, community halls and Aid Post buildings that were funded but never materialized.
The Governor for New Ireland, Sir Julius Chan,directed the team to investigate the alleged misappropriation of Government Project Funds following an inspection visit to confirm status of projects given out over the period between 2010 – 2017.
The intensive follow up investigation is purposely to get information of how these projects funds were used, why the projects were not implemented and who is responsible. Those that are found guilty will be arrested,charged and dealt with by the Courts.
The Council areas covered under the initial investigation audit are East and West Coast Sentral Niu Ailan LLG and part of Tikana LLG but the Investigation Team will extend its coverage to all eight Council areas
Mr. Boski said, “We are fortunate to have the New Ireland Government commit to deliver big impact community projects in infrastructure,health, education, religion and community under the Malagan Declaration Policy. It is not an easy thing for the Governor to search and fight for funds for people of New Ireland.
Therefore, it’s a must that people of New Ireland should prove themselves to be self- reliant, transparent, accountable and honest.”
“Our Governor Sir Julius is a trusted leader, he responded to the cries of our people and relied on our community leaders, both elected and traditional to deliver projects for the benefit of the whole community.
This is the only Provincial Government that gives K30,000 to K40,000 to each ward member, the only Government that approved K200,000 for LLG Presidents for approved projects, the only Government that gave K9.8 Million to the churches including the Catholic, United, Seventh Day Adventist and other denominations since the inception of this key partnership in 2015 through to 2018, with this years top up increase of K300,000 to the Catholic Church and K250,000 to the United Church, bringing the total budgeted for our Churches to K13.7 million by the end of 2019.
The heads of these churches have absolute discretion in the release funds for church related projects. Where else can we find such Government leaders that truly separate State/Church relations? We the people owe it to ourselves to cooperate with honest leaders or we fail our people and our children.
New Ireland has been lifted by projects that touch the people – Free Education, Old Age Pensions, Roof Over Heads,Solar Lights and so many more. Our people must respond with Honesty,Responsibility and Pride,” concluded Boski.