29 Dec 2009

Damning audit report of Papua New Guinea's Public Curator

4:19 pm on 29 December 2009

A report by the Papua New Guinea Auditor General to the Public Accounts Committee has described the office of the Public Curator as a national disgrace.

The Public Curator's role in PNG is to serve as trustee of the properties of deceased or mentally incapable people and of insolvent estates.

But the Post Courier newspaper says the Auditor General's report to Parliament revealed nearly 20 thousand estates remain unresolved - some more than 15 years after the office had taken responsibility for them.

It also says over 700 properties have been mishandled or cannot be found or accounted for.

The report also highlighted that estate monies, property and assets have been misused and misapplied by the Public Curator and the office of the Attorney General.

It isolated a failure to fulfil statutory obligations, to understand or implement the basic duties of a trustee, instances of theft and fraud and an almost total failure to maintain proper accounting systems.