27 Nov 2013

Questions raised in PNG over public funds being held in commercial banks

11:41 am on 27 November 2013

The Public Accounts Committee in Papua New Guinea has questioned senior civil servants on why public funds held in trust accounts are deposited with commercial banks rather than the central bank.

According to The National newspaper, the committee has grilled the secretaries of the departments of Finance, Treasury and Planning on the matter.

The paper reports the Chairman of the Committee, John Hickey, told the secretaries very little accountability and almost no reporting of the use of public funds through the trust accounts had been discussed.

About US$870 million has been invested in trust accounts in PNG and of that, only seven percent is invested in the central bank, while 93% is kept in commercial banks.

Mr Hickey says the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor-General have found enormous misuse of the trust account systems and funds held in these accounts.