BUKA - As Bougainville stands on the verge creating political history through a process of self-determination, it is not immune from the systematic corruption that hounds Papua New Guinea.
The last three months have seen the dismissal of several of members of the Bougainville public service after an audit of the payroll system found employees of the Department of Personnel Management had defrauded the autonomous government of more than K360,000.
Other officials in the Department of Community Government were also implicated in another scandal where K2 million from the disaster trust fund account was misappropriated resulting in the sacking of the secretary of the department.
President John Momis said corruption was still rampant despite the Autonomous Bougainville Government having a modern legal system and an effective model of representative government where democracy prevailed.
“Good governance is an issue that continues to concern me and many members of this house,” he told parliament on Tuesday.
“It is the cornerstone of autonomy and must form the bedrock of independence.
“Without good governance and effective systems and processes we cannot achieve our end goals.
“And whilst we have elected leaders and senior public servants who continue to undermine our systems of governance, we cannot achieve our goals,” Dr Momis said.
A joint autonomy review found that the government and public service consistently failed to adhere to public finance management legislation, allowing corruption to seep into government services.
“I continue to speak forcefully on the need to ensure our leaders are held to account, and I am heartened by advice that the fraud squad will soon be deployed to Bougainville to investigate,” he said, adding that nobody was above the law and everyone must be held to account for their actions.
PNG police commissioner Gari Baki has agreed to deploy the Fraud Squad to investigate people against whom there are allegations.