Prime Minister Peter ONeill must come clean on total APEC spending.
It is unacceptable for the Prime Minister to keep hiding the vast
amount spent on the meeting, Sir Mekere Morauta, Member for Moresby
North-West, said today. This money belongs to the people, not Peter
Public money is not his to do with as he pleases, wasting it on
luxury cars and private parties for his cronies. People have a
right to know how their money is spent, and that right is backed by
According to the Public Finances (Management) Act, Section 47K, the
APEC Authority must be audited by the Auditor-General, Sir Mekere
said. But there is no record of any audit.
The report of the Auditor-General on the APEC Authority must be
tabled in Parliament. This has not happened. Mr ONeill has been
promising for ages to table the APEC budget and expenditure report
in Parliament but has never done so.
These latest irregularities are in addition to likely breaches of
the Constitution, the PFMA and other laws I have previously
outlined in relation to the APEC vehicle procurement, Sir Mekere
said. The smell of corruption grows by the day, and only full
inquiries by the Ombudsman Commission and the Fraud Squad can
ascertain the truth.
We know why there is all this secrecy it is a favorite tactic of Mr
ONeill to hide his activities from proper scrutiny.
So, Mr Prime Minister, what exactly are you hiding this time? Why
are you, the APEC Minister, Mr Justin Tkatchenko, and the APEC
Authority CEO, Mr Christopher Hawkins, apparently so willing to
break the accountability and transparency laws related to APEC?
The answer may be that APEC spending has far exceeded the figure of
K3 billion given by Treasury to the IMF. The Prime Minister claims
that it is far less, but the only way he can convince the public of
that is for him to provide the Parliament and the people with all
the APEC expenditure details this sitting.
Even the officially acknowledged spending is well over K1 billion:
Budget allocations of K650 million (K100m 2014-16, K250m 2017, and
K300m 2018), plus APEC House K120 million, Paga Ring Road K50
million, Jacksons Airport K240 million, 20 percent shareholding in
the Star Mountains Plaza project K300 million.
These figures for APEC House, Paga Ring Road and the airport were
announced well before the works were completed. I wonder what the
final costs were?....