KUNDIAWA – A stunning report by Papua New Guinea’s no nonsense corruption fighter Bryan Kramer MP yesterday suggested that an K8.5 million bill for damage to parliament was a scam to defraud the state by people related to prime minister Peter O’Neill.
The damage was caused by security personnel who laid siege to parliament when they were not paid allowances following last year’s APEC conference in Port Moresby.
The government decided to pay the assailants K300 ‘sorry money’ in addition to the delayed allowance but last week finance minister James Marape said the government was looking at deducting the K300 allowance as security force members’ contribution to offset the damage to parliament caused in the rampage.
An investigation by Kramer into the K8.5 million damage bill tabled by acting speaker Jeffrey Komal and approved by MPs showed the bill was fraught with irregularities and inflated costs.
Of the K8.5 million approved, K3.3 million was for the repairs of elevators and K2.2 million was for access control systems and water coolers.
Kramer reported: “I carried out an inspection of the lifts and confirmed [there] was no damage caused during the attack on parliament. A company connected to O’Neill put in a false claim with the plan to profit from it by blaming the security forces.
“These costs are nothing but a con job,” Kramer said.
While confirming there was damage to the access control system, Kramer said the K1.537 million cost was highly inflated. He said the cost estimate should have been K275, 000.
The video phones cost K82, 000 in 2017 but the claim was for K607,000 - a 640% increase in less than two years.
The replacement cost of the four water coolers was K88, 000 which Kramer said was absurd.
The company engaged by parliament to carry out inspection and damage assessment, Port Moresby Lift Services, is said to be owned by prime minister Peter O’Neill’s cousin Peter [Oscar] Yamuna from Ialibu-Pangia.
It has operated from a small office on the second floor of Parliament House rent free since 2011 and planned to defraud the state of K3.3 million for elevators that were not damaged by members of the armed forces.
Simac Ltd, a company registered in Kundiawa and 50-50 shareholding by Mack Banai and Simeon Wai, engaged to carry out an independent inspection and damage assessment of the elevators, also came under fire by Bryan Kramer.
“So a company based in Kundiawa is now carrying out inspections and damage assessment of lift systems in the nation’s capital. Correct me if I am wrong I wasn’t aware elevators even existed in Kundiawa,” Kramer said.
This is another serious corruption allegation involving O’Neill and Kramer’s report, which went viral on Facebook, had many readers asking the prime minister for an immediate explanation.
The nation’s corruption watchdogs, the Ombudsmen Commission and the Police Fraud And Criminal Investigation Unit, now need to carry out an immediate investigation and make sure the people involved are promptly prosecuted.