TREASURER AND HEALTH MINISTER REITERATE TRANSPARENT USE OF COVID-19 FUNDS

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TREASURER AND HEALTH MINISTER REITERATE TRANSPARENT USE OF COVID-19 FUNDS

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – Media Release

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Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and Health Minister Jelta Wong have agreed to strengthen cooperation between their two departments to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the use of Covid-19 funds.

“The K600 million that has been approved by National Executive Council to be spent on activities related to Covid-19 will be accounted for properly and publicly,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.

“A total of K127 million has been allocated to Health from the government’s economic stimulus package, consisting of K30 million for the procurement of protective equipment and other essential health items, K37 million for provincial health authorities and K60 million for upgrading hygiene in districts.

“The Health Minister and I are acutely aware of the public’s demand that these funds be managed transparently and accounted for properly. Minister Wong has urged my department to withhold funding from implementing agencies that fail to provide acquittals for the funds they receive.

“I share his concern – I also understand the need to ensure that the funds are not wasted or misappropriated.”

Mr Ling-Stuckey said that financial instructions had been issued that make clear the procurement requirements for all Covid-19 expenditures. These requirements are set out in Finance Instruction 05-2020 available on the procurement.gov.pg website.

“In addition, we have lifted accountability by publishing on that website all contracts for Covid-19 health expenditure, including details on the suppliers. In the coming session of Parliament, we will also see the initial audit of Covid-19 expenditures.

This is a truly historic level of transparency on the use of emergency funding. I encourage people to look at the PNG Government’s procurement website, including the Covid-19 section and all the details that are provided.

“Let us contrast this level of transparency with the hidden expenditure and failed response to the massive 2015-16 drought and then frosts that hurt so many families. Let us remember the contrast in transparency between the regime of the former Prime Minister and the current Prime Minister.

“Honesty and transparency on the one hand, deception and corruption on the other.

“The government will continue insisting on transparency and accountability on the use of Covid-19 funding.”

Ends//

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