19 May 2006

PNG Finance Secretary sacked

3:50 pm on 19 May 2006

The Papua New Guinea Finance secretary Thaddeus Kambanei has been sacked.

The National newspaper reports that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare made the move yesterday just before he flew to Japan.

Mr Kambanei had a falling out with the government when he decided to file a legal challenge against a Parliament decision ordering the Public Accounts Committee to probe the affairs of the Finance Department.

Then in March Mr Kambanei was suspended.

Cabinet has decided to sack Mr Kambanei and pay out the balance of his contract, which expires in August.

Mr Kambanei had been the driving force behind Treasury Minister Bart Philemon's district treasury roll-out programme.

He had completed roll-outs in 41 of the 86 rural districts when the programme was put on hold.

He was also instrumental in setting up audit committees in the government departments to cut down on wastage.

Meanwhile, the prime minister also announced that he would call a commission of inquiry into the Department of Finance following the unraveling of serious allegations of fraud.