23 Jun 2006

PNG Enga Province Governor found guilty of misconduct over building project

3:51 pm on 23 June 2006

A provincial governor in Papua New Guinea has been found guilty of misconduct over the granting of a school building project to his family company.

Enga Governor Peter Ipatas has been found guilty by a specially-appointed leadership tribunal on a series of charges related to the use of public funds in his province.

Some of the charges stemmed from his application for provincial support grants and the approval of his family company Panda Builders to construct a double classroom at a primary school.

The tribunal found Ipatas had placed himself in a position of conflict of interest in the discharge of his public or official duties.

Ipatas was also found guilty of failing to supply the Ombudsman Commission with required returns of his assets, liabilities, income and accounts over six years and of furnishing false statements.

The tribunal was adjourned until July the 10th for submissions on penalties.

The maximum penalty a leadership tribunal can impose is a ban from holding public office for three years.