PAPUA New Guinea’s politicians have a tendency to dish out cash from the provincial and district improvement funds to their favoured civil society organisations, community associations, schools, aid posts and churches.
These ‘political gifts’ are legally protected from misuse by Public Finance Management Act. So long as it is designated ‘public money’, it cannot be labelled as a bribe.
Since this money is disposed at their discretion, politicians find ways to direct it for their personal benefit or to gain voter support in elections.
One of the avenues politicians use is through the organisations I mentioned previously.
This is happening throughout PNG in all provinces and districts. It is a form of corruption that has found its way to be acceptable to people who are willing to be compromised to get their hands on the money.
Many people already accept this practice as normal. It is illegal and must be stopped.
The Public Finance Management Act says all public money must follow the proper procedures in delivery and acquittal. When funds are donated to entities other than government, they breach the Act.
As we head towards elections in six months, politicians are looking for avenues to secure support and votes and associations, churches, schools and other non-government institutions are finding themselves preferred destinations for this illegal dishing out of cash.
PNG has had many cases of where goverment funding took off in the wrong direction. I well recall the millions that went missing that was supposed to go to Kerevat National High School.
And the recent government funding that ended up in the Fly River Foundation. The provincial governor has just been sent down to Bomana for 10 years.
I am not against any good work by community associations and other similar organisations. Far from it. I support their work but they must distance themselves from these illegal hand-outs from politicians
This money is meant to be for genuine service delivery; anything else is illegal and corrupt practice.
It seems many politicians do not faithfully comply with the government system they are elected voted to maintain. Or they not have the vision and understanding to build the capacity of government institutions in order to channel services to needy people through the established system.
We cannot sit back and allow these politicians to continue to tamper with the system and confuse and deprive voters.
We need to stand up and fight for our rights.
Corruption involves two or more people. If you say no to compromise with corruption, you are acting positively to stop this entire network of dishonesty.
Say no to corruption and vote wisely this election.