24 Jun 2013

PNG government told to fix public service before committing on spending

7:18 am on 24 June 2013

The Papua New Guinea government has been told it should build capacity in the public service and provide proper oversight mechanisms before more major spending commitments.

The government has announced huge spending commitments since coming to power last year - on infrastructure, local level government and other sectors, relying on earnings from the LNG projects and returns on other resource developments.

But the Institute of National Affairs executive director, Paul Barker, says more capacity to properly manage these funds is needed to ensure the money is not squandered.

"Critical to that capacity is the oversight mechanisms, the strengthening of the internal and external auditing, the empowerment at the community level to effectively socially audit and to hold government accountable for funds that are there. To make they really are invested and result in good returns to the whole community."

Paul Barker.