A FORMER senior Papua New Guinea public servant and political candidate claims she has uncovered a multi-billion dollar mistake in the government's 2016 budget which she says amounts to an “unbelievable breach of the Constitution”.
Ex Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Kessy Sawang, a candidate for next year's national election, said the budget papers show the government spending is out by about 10 billion kina.
Ms Sawang said the money hadn't been accounted for in the 2016 Budget and the mistake needed to be fixed.
"It comes back to whether the government was aware of this but didn't do anything about it," she told the ABC's Pacific Beat.
Ms Sawang said the discrepancy meant the PNG National Government had engaged in unlawful spending.
"If they were aware of this and didn't do anything, actually they're saying that they don't care about us people.' she said.
Ms Sawang told the ABC the government ignored her when she pointed out the budget was underfunded by around 40%.
She said parliament should have immediately passed a supplementary budget to cover the missing K10 billion.
"It's very important for the government to realise that if the parliament hasn't approved the expenditure then technically that expenditure is unlawful, it's illegal."
Paul Flanagan, a former PNG treasury advisor and director of consultancy firm PNG Economics, said that, while the hole was difficult to explain, it was most likely an error rather than a deliberate misappropriation.
Mr Flanagan said failing to correct it sets a precedent in which the executive may consider it does not always need parliamentary approval for expenditure.