Politics and Business in PNG : Inseparable Partners in crime punishing the people and the country for 40 years
When it comes to development and providing basic government services in the country - is where billions and billions of Kina of public funds are pumped into every year. Year-in-year-out, every government, when comes into office makes headlines across the country - announcing big budgets for development, raising the hope of the people because they want it badly.
Despite billions of kina have been spent every year on development and delivery of basic government services to the people, people still complain about the lack of development and vital basic government services and how they struggle to survive without it.
Where are those billions of Kina budgeted by the government disappear to?
In Papua New Guinea politics and business cannot be separated from each other. To be a politician is to be a businessman or vice versa. This misconception of politics as a means to wealth accumulation explains why businessmen, ordinary persons, civil servants, priests and pastors when voted into parliament disappear and reappear as business entrepreneurs.
What happens in between?
The first thing that comes to a mind of a politician when he/she is first get elected to parliament is to find ways and means to enrich themselves from public funds meant for development.
To accomplish this evil greed, there are four (4) many ways in which large amounts of public funds are diverted by corrupt politicians for their personal gain:
(1) ESTABLISHING K2 COMPANIES
Corrupt politicians they either set up new businesses or use their existing businesses. Sometimes they allow their family members or political cronies to register businesses. These businesses are strategically placed in line with government development objectives or strategies so that development funds can be diverted into the account of their companies or government contracts can be awarded to the companies, which they have an interest.
To enable these companies to engage in government contracts, they (politicians and government officials) go to every extreme to manipulate and distort checks and balances so that contracts can be awarded to these companies, sometimes by bribing the persons responsible for executing and awarding government contracts. Sometimes it is the opposite. Companies that bidding for lucrative government contracts bribe politicians and bureaucrats or those responsible for the facilitation and awarding of these contracts.
(2) ESTABLISHING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND SCAMS
Most of the development projects the government has been proposing and funded are nothing but scams to divert and steal public funds by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their cronies.
People must be aware of this.
Politicians' personal interests are always factored into every development concept and projects the government proposes and funds.
In the pretext of funding development projects, public funds are diverted into those projects and eventually stolen.
There are cases of such where public funds have been diverted and eventually got stolen. Such examples are; the RESI funds, Boarder Development Authority, Madang Marine Park, Central City, Solomon Island High Commission Building, and you can name the others. These development projects alone have cost the State and the Tax Payers millions of Kina but some of the projects are yet to be built.
K15million DSIP funds given to MPs every year is one of those development concepts where public funds are funded straight into the pockets of MPs for them to use on anything they wish without checks and balances.
(3) IN INFLATION OF CONTRACT VALUES
Corrupt politicians and government officials inflate the contract values, three or four times more than the actual contract value.
Who benefits form the inflated costs?
The inflated free money ended up at the bank accounts of corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials who facilitates and enable such illicit transactions.
(4) CONTRACT VARIATIONS AND K2 COMPANIES
The government lost every millions of Kina through contract variations by K2 companies which don't have the capacity, technical expertise - know how, equipment, and resources to build high standard and high quality infrastructures wort the costs.
The K2 companies ended up deliberately or unintentionally delay the project schedules and later they apply for contract variations. Because corrupt politicians and bureaucrats have vast personal interests in those companies, the variations get approved without further questions being asked.
These K2 companies usually don't have the capacity, experience and capability to construct high standard and high quality infrastructures. To make worse, either the government nor these K2 companies, don't have quality control and monitoring systems to monitor the integrity of infrastructures projects to ensure compliance with accepted standards and industry best practices throughout design, engineering, procurement and construction phases. As a result what they built often comes apart or deteriorates quickly into few years of operations.
To quarantine this, the government spends more money maintaining the same low quality and substandard infrastructures - the money which could have been used for developing other parts of the country, which still lacks basic government services.
To make even worse, the government does not monitor what infrastructure projects it funds around the country allowing public funds to be diverted elsewhere or simply disappeared without the actual projects being carried out.
Corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and cronies are to be held accountable for creating a poor country in a rich country.
The question is - when are we going to end the apparent robbing of the country?
IF IT HAS TAKEN US 40 YEARS TO SCREW UP OUR OWN COUNTRY, HOW MANY MORE YEARS WE NEED TO COMPLETELY SCREW UP OUR COUNTRY?