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PNG Planning Minister orders audit on use of K20 million by NSO for 2020 National Census

PNG Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Hon Samuel H Basil has directed his department to immediately conduct an audit of the National Statistical Office expending of K20 million allocated towards the 2020 National Census.

Minister Basil’s directive were issued directly to the Secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring Mr Koney Samuel together with a letter to acting National Statistician Mr John Igitoi.

“I have directed Secretary of Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM) Mr Koney Samuel today in his capacity as Chairman of the National Census Steering Committee to initiate a departmental audit of the K20 million allocated thus far into the 2020 National Census process,” said Minister Basil.

“This audit is necessary to account for the expending on the K20 million appropriated in the 2019 National Budget.”

Estimates for the total cost of the 2020 National Census have set the figure at K200 million but Prime Minister James Marape has directed that NSO work within K100 million budget all up.

Minister Basil has asked the NSO to give Secretary Samuel and the audit team he appoints every cooperation necessary and needed to give a full appreciation of how these K20 million allocated has been expended.

“I am giving two weeks for this audit to be undertaken and the report delivered to my office by 30th September 2019. This audit report will be a vital document to support the DNPM and NSO case for further funding,” said Mr Basil.

Minister Basil intends to bring an NEC Information Paper before mid October 2019 that will advise on progress and seek approval for further funding in 2019 to progress and sustain the 2020 National Census efforts until the first quarter of 2020 (March 2020).

The same information will also help ascertain what funding appropriation are required in the 2020 National Budget to ensure sufficient and sustained funding for the 2020 census through to when the final census report is compiled and published.

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