30 Dec 2009

A former PNG Public Curator hits back at critical report

4:51 pm on 30 December 2009

Papua New Guinea's former Public Curator, Paul Wangun, has hit back at criticism in an Auditor General's report to Parliament's Public Accounts Committee which claimed the office was a national disgrace.

The audit detailed widespread failures in systems at the Public Curator's office, which mainly serves as trustee for deceased estates.

It said there were thousands of outstanding files with as many as 700 estates unaccounted for.

It also detailed theft and fraud within the office.

But Mr Wangun told the Post-Courier newspaper that when he took over the role in 2001 he recognised the mess and called for an audit at the point.

He says that audit investigated accounts dating back 10 years prior to his appointment and that report went to the Auditor General since 2003.

But he says the Public Accounts Committee, using that report, has now blamed him for the disorder when he had been the one trying to clean it up.

Mr Wangun has calls for Parliament to urgently act on the report, appoint its lawyers to look at the PAC findings, distinguish between facts and allegations and charge and prosecute those implicated.