Fraud squad intervenes in Contractors’ payment claims

Investigators from the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate today met with contractors who were engaged in maintenance works in NCD schools and the National Library and Archives.

Contractors gathered as early as 8am outside the Waigani National Library area where they waited for Fraud investigators to go meet them. This is the second time Fraud officers will be assisting the Education Department to investigate and verify list of contractors.

A team of investigators from the NFACD arrived around 10 am at the National Library to check and verify a list of contractors who did works around the National Archives and Library in Waigani and the Hohola Library.

They are looking at 260 contractors who are claiming an initial amount of K600m, this includes those claiming payment from the Resi funds on works done around the Schools in NCD.

K350m is the amount claimed by contractors who did work for the Library and Archives area while NCD Schools Education maintenance work claims are around K150m.

With most payment claims deemed as bogus in the first assessment, investigators are now going over the verification list of contractors’ payment claims again.

They will be getting the contractors to go to the sites where work was done before a list is given to the Education government.

 Meanwhile, contractors have welcomed the exercise thanking Education Minister Nick Kuman for it.

Chairman of National Library and Archives contractors Nelson Nebare said he was happy the process of verification is being done again to eliminate bogus claims through set terms of reference.

“I believe this process of investigation will be the last and final assessment,” he said.

 One contractor, David Gail, who early this year chained himself to the gate of Fincorp building, said many genuine contractors have suffered over the years.

They say 20 contractors have since passed on while waiting for their payment.

Those who were engaged in NCD schools claim they have waited since 2007 while Archives and Library contractors have been waiting for payment since 2012.

Sally Pokiton