AUSTRALIA NETWORK NEWS
The Papua New Guinea government recently awarded the multi-million dollar contract to a company called Borneo Pacific to distribute supplies to health centres across the country.
But the Department of Foreign Affairs has told PNG it will not be providing $38 million to fund the program due to serious concerns about the tender process.
"The Australian government had agreed to pay for the distribution across PNG of medical supply kits and of course the kits were to be high quality from a reputable and international supplier," she said.
"We are ready to assist with the distribution of medical supply kits that meet international standards from certified supplies."
Ms Bishop says she has reached out to her counterpart in PNG regarding this issue, adding that the Australian government has proposed an independent health authority in PNG to oversee the procurement process.
"What we have sought to do is to support the establishment of an independent health procurement authority in PNG," she said.
"If the government of PNG approves the establishment of an independent health procurement authority, then the Australian government is prepared to provide technical assistance to help draft a legislation and help establish it."
Ms Bishop says Australia agreed to fund the program on the condition the contract be given to an internationally certified supplier.
"Our key concern was the noncompliance with PNG's own tender requirements and particularly, the supplier had to be internationally certified and that hasn't turned out to be the case."