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Papua New Guinea Police Minister Bryan Kramer said he wasn’t afforded the luxury of time to complete an internal audit of a K23 million (US$6.6 million) spent on the Covid-19.
Suspended Opposition Leader Belden Namah had called for the audit to be made public.
Namah said Kramer had committed to complete the internal audit in seven days but it was now more than 21 days.
“You can’t make such statements and do the audit (because) you are not an auditor,” he said.
Kramer said Pape consultants and Business Advisers would be conducting an independent audit.
He told The National the firm was highly recommended and their engagement was authorised by State of Emergency Controller David Manning.
“I’m informed they were also involved in auditing GM Australia and incentive fund projects,” he said.
“So they will be doing an independent audit into the K23mil Covid-19 funds in the next two weeks.”
Kramer, in a statement on Facebook on Friday, said: “It is true I did make the statement that an internal investigation would be carried out into in the K23mil released by the Marape-Steven Government to the Health Department for the Covid-19 and I did say I expected it to be done within seven days.
“Unfortunately, following that statement, I was tasked to deal with a number of pressing issues and I became embroiled in a number of court matters.”
Kramer said he received all the bank statements and source documents from the Health Department.
“Pressed for time, I sought advice from professional advisers in aid and donor programmes to engage an independent auditor to carry out the work,” he said.
“Based on the advice provided, Andy Pape of Pape Consultants and Business Advisers was highly recommended.”
Kramer said, on 16 May, he met Pape at the National Operational Centre in Port Moresby where he briefed Pape on his plans to engage a forensic accountant to carry out an independent investigation into the expenditure of K23million Covid-19 funds.
“Pape provided a company profile and an expression of interest to provide services,” he said.
“Terms of reference were drawn up and agreed to.
“There was a delay of two weeks to formalise the details and define the extent of the work to be carried out.
“I’m informed that if provided all relevant information, the forensic audit should take no more than two weeks," he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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