Council members tender resignation over mismanagement claims

11 council members of the Madang provincial assembly have tendered in their resignation due to the alleged mismanagement of funds and administrative functions within the province.

A spokesperson (name withheld) told this newsroom that they disagreed with the way funds were being used as well as appointments being made, hence the tendering of resignation with the Provincial Affairs and Inter-Government Relations Department.

“For example, a cheque totaling over K1 million was issued last Friday while our Treasurer has been sidelined, making way for a crony to take up the post,” alleged the group.

“We hope our resignation will attract attention to the way our province is being run.”

Letters highlighting their concerns were submitted to various Government departments and agencies, including the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, but they are yet to get a response.

Furthermore, the group hopes that their resignation will handicap the quorum, which is the minimum number of members of an assembly that need to be present to make the meeting legal.

The group told this newsroom that there were 30 members in the provincial assembly before their decision to leave.

“We don’t want them to make any more decisions to remove money from the province’s account.”

Unfortunately for the group, the Provincial Governments Administration Act 1997, Section 8, states:

  1. Subject to Subsection (2) the quorum for a meeting of the Provincial Assembly is half the total membership of the Provincial Assembly.

Meantime, acting Madang Provincial Administrator, John Bivi, described the group’s actions as ‘politically-motivated’.

He claimed the members of the group were sympathisers of losing regional candidates.

“Losing candidates are advising them and trying to force them to resign,” Bivi told Loop PNG.

“These are the people who took sides and went against the governor to ensure the deputy governor becomes the acting governor.

“I am not aware of any official resignation by the (LLG) presidents.”

In response to the cheque, Bivi said they started accessing funds last Friday (April 13).

“I’m the CEO of the province and the chief accountable officer and what we did on Friday was conduct the payment of K1.5 million to the program that these Provincial Executive Council (PEC) members are aware of.

“The payment was to send over 100 students to study in the Philippines by the end of the month. We are giving drop-outs a second chance.”

Bivi said the decision was made in November 11, 2017.

“Meeting number 05 of 2017, decision number 08 of 2017, Subject: K7.5 million to technical school and new school buildings.

“That was the PEC decision signed by the governor.”

Payments will be made in stages until the K7.5 million is reached.

Carmella Gware