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PNG Ombudsman Commission freezes all development accounts

All Development accounts in Provincial and District Administrations across the country have been frozen as of today.

This happened following a directive from the Ombudsman Commission under Section 27(4) of the Constitution against the Development Funds held in the Provinces and Districts.

The Ombudsman Mr Richard Pagen said the directive comes as sitting Members of Parliament are likely to transfer funds from the Development Accounts to the Operational Accounts during this Election period for campaigning or other use.

“The Current directive is conditional and it’s targeting PSIP and DSIP funds and it does not apply to funds in the Operational Account but we’ve also noticed that a lot money is sitting in the Operational Accounts than Development Accounts” said Mr Pagen.

Mr Pagen is calling on the MPs to return those funds that were transferred from the Development Account to Operational Accounts as bank details have shown that transaction of funds has actually taken place between these accounts.

It is understood that the Directive also requires that any MP wanting to utilize funds in the Development Accounts for projects will have to go through a committee that was formed by the
Ombudsman Commission who will be working along with the Commission to ensure proper guideline and procedures are followed when accessing the funds.

The Committee is made up of Department of Rural Development and Implementation and the Department of Finance who were also advised to refer any outstanding DSIP and PSIP payments to the Committee before releasing to the respective accounts.
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