Kramer to file complaint on inflated Parlt cost

Madang MP Bryan Kramer intends to file a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission regarding the K8.5 million cost of repairs to the Parliament House.

He told this newsroom that after doing some fact and figure-checking against the unit cost to replace the damaged facilities, he concluded that the figure indicated in the Damages Assessment Report and tabled in parliament, could only be a scam to siphon money.

Before he went to the media, Kramer shared the information he had gathered on social media.

Yesterday, he came to make his intentions known; that he was filing a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission.

“So what we have now is parliament blaming security forces, and they want them arrested. Then they create fake documents and make false claims and then want to profit off the arrest, which is just despicable. And an investigation needs to be happening to this…basically debacle.”

Kramer said since he was not given a chance to argue the report on the floor, he decided to do some fact-checking into the report details.

Some of the information he uncovered about initial costs of the facilities mentioned in the report, did not cost as much as they did.

“Which I then made enquiries into the accounts section of parliament, to find out what parliament paid for them (biometric locks) initially and it wasn’t K2.2 million.

“So again this is another scam. So the actual cost involved was around K16,500 for one unit to replace…that’s based on the 2017 invoices. When I went online to check what they cost, it was around K3,000. So parliament paid K16, 000 (when) they should have or commercially obtained on the internet for around K3,000.”

For example, in the outline he posted recently, the company that assessed the damages claims that it would cost K88 thousand to replace four water coolers – meaning each water cooler costs K22 thousand to re-install.

The Member said he will be taking this information, and others he has gathered from parliament records, including invoices, to the Ombudsman Commission.

Former Chief Ombudsman and Police Commissioner Sir Ila Geno said it would not have come to all this, if the government had not jumped the gun by taking the matter into its own hands, when security forces attacked parliament.

Sir Ila urged that democratic institutions maintain neutrality in the rule of law.

Meantime, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also believes the costs may indeed be too high.

And while he says he has yet to see any quotations or documents supporting the K8.5 million cost of repairs, he also suggested speaking to the Clerk of Parliament who may be in a better position to respond.

The clerk could not be reached after several calls.

Salome Vincent