Department of Finance

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.

Department controls Sepik Economy Zone funds

That is the clarification from Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru.

The SEZ project is located in Minister Maru’s Yangoru-Saussia District in East Sepik.   

“Finance has all the records, they decide and sign all the cheques, so all the cheques that go out, Finance gives the authorisation, (and) are the ones doing the acquittals,” Maru responded to a question from Loop PNG.

“It’s not that the funds are in an account that we control, the funds are in a trust account that the Finance (Department) controls.”

Govt to switch accounting system

This is to improve the quality of cash management and effectiveness of spending.

This follows an assessment by the Department of Finance in 2014 on PNG’s public financial management systems against the internationally recognised Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA).

The Government says the assessment revealed that the use of both the PGAS and IFMS affected the comprehensiveness and quality data in budget execution reports.

Fraud squad arrests former treasury officers

Detectives from the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate (NFACD) apprehended them in Mt Hagen.

In a statement, Director Matthew Damaru said the former public servants were each arrested for one count of abuse of office, one count of conspiracy, one count of official corruption and one count of misappropriation.

“It was reported to the police at NFACD, by the Department of Finance, that more than K1.3 million was misappropriated by treasury officers from Mt Hagen,” said Damaru.

School not aware of students protest says principal

He says there was no school notice given to the school administration about the protest.

However, the peaceful protest by students who assembled outside the Vulupindi Haus got a favorable outcome which pave the way for a meeting today between the school management and the department.

Kaupa told Loop PNG after the meeting, that both parties have come to an agreement and students will return to classes and prepare for their national examination.        

“A guarantee letter will be given by the department that the money will be forth coming.”