Department of Finance

Police pay corrected

The State of Emergency (SOE) Controller Donald Yamasombi has engaged with the Department of Finance to ensure that police pay is returned to normal from pay two of 2024, and reimbursements are made to all police personnel in pay three of 2024.

Yamasombi said the mistake was made by the overall government finance system and should never have occurred. He said it is being rectified by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary management. However, technical limitations in the Finance Department pay system mean that the reimbursement cannot take place until pay three.

Treasurers to come under provinces

One of the endorsed resolutions at the 2nd Provincial Governors Conference in Lae was that the provincial and district treasurers should come under the Department of Personnel Management’s recruitment process.

Chairman of the Bipartisan Committee and Governor for Morobe Province, Luther Wenge, outlined this at the conclusion of the two-day event this afternoon.

GST awareness for suppliers

The session is conducted by the Internal Revenue Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Finance.

The first day was on Tuesday, August 1st, where it was attended by ‘authorised withholders’ – which are the provincial governments, district development authorities and provincial health authorities.

The second and final day was for suppliers and service providers to these authorised withholders.

“It was positive to have the number that turned up,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner for IRC’s Tax Audit, Ranzoline Kalokalo.

Imbal is CPG Finance Manager

Senior officials from the Department of Finance, Deputy Secretary Sam Penias, district officers, and Provincial Administrator, Francis Koaba witnessed the occasion.

The appointment of Acting Provincial Financial Manager, Terence Mairi, was revoked by the Department of Finance and an appointment made for Walis Imbal to the substantive position as Provincial Finance Manager for Central.

Penias acknowledged Mairi for the time he has worked as the acting Provincial Finance Manager, saying he has done extremely well on the job.

2022 Fiscal Year Commences

In a statement, the Department of Finance through the Office of the Secretary stated: “It has been a challenging year for the Department of Finance ensuring funds are available to meet our Government’s response to Covid-19 pandemic as well as reconnecting users to IFMS and the Alesco Payroll System following the ransomware attack which severed the connection in October 2021.”

PGAS Return In Talks

Minister for Finance, John Pundari said this in response to questions raised by West New Britain Governor, Sasindran Muthuvel during parliament sitting.

Governor Muthuvel had sought clarification from the Finance Minister on the cost of the IFMS setup and proposed the use of the PGAS to address funding issues for districts and provinces.

Muthuvel said, “We are currently facing a huge problem because of the malware attack on the system. What is stopping us from going back to the PGAS system that was working perfectly well and that is more transparent and accountable?”

Still Reeling From Cyberattack

With the disabling of the Government’s Integrated Financial Management System, Morobe’s education division is unable to pay service providers.

Though the Minister for Finance, Sir John Pundari, said on the 28th of October that the department managed to fully restore the system, the Morobe Provincial Government’s finance office says its system is still down.

Provincial program advisor of education, Keith Tangui, said this is why they are behind schedule in the marking of Grade Eight exam papers.

New cash office for Finance Dept

The facility is part of a modernisation program undertaken by the Department to improve its interaction with clients.

Finance Minister James Marape said: “This one is the phase of our relationship with the public who pay their taxes, who pay their fines, who pay their fees.

Issues raised on public money act 2017

After its initial discussion with the Department of Finance, the Commission has further deliberated on the finer aspects of the PMMR Act on whether there are irregularities or sufficient doubt as to the constitutionality of the passing of the PMMR Act, as to warrant the Ombudsman Commission bring questions of constitutional interpretation and application to the Supreme Court under Section 19 of the Constitution*.

DPE needs capacity building

Acting Secretary, Kepsy Puiye, says this has resulted in a lack of efficiency and coherence.

“We have serious issues in terms of our capacity, in terms of our human resources, in terms of infrastructure needs.

“On the other hand, you will find that the industry demands the best or demands a lot from us.

“And they have the right to demand that because they are investing billions of dollars into our country.”

Kepsie said improving their capacity is one of the major dilemmas he currently faces.