Food supplier resumes deliveries to PNG jail

11:57 am on 25 February 2017

The company supplying food to more than 170 inmates in a Papua New Guinea jail has now resumed its deliveries after almost a week's suspension.

The owner of Whiskey Fresh Ltd, Berry Maip, told local media last week that he suspended the service in protest for unpaid bills dating back to November last year.

But the acting commissioner of PNG correctional services, Stephen Pokanis, said while payment delays of sometimes up to two months have occurred in recent times Mr Maip's claims are false.

Mr Pokanis said he had met with the Whiskey Fresh owner on Thursday and the situation was now resolved.

"The correctional services has done its payment and everything should be okay."

"I told him to continue supplying rations and if he does not want to continue with his business then he should write to the commissioner and inform him that he is withdrawing services so that we can find another reputable supplier that is willing to provide service to Baisu correctional institution," he said.

Stephen Pokanis said he had since contacted administrators at the Baisu facility who told him the food supply services have resumed and everything was back to normal.

Mr Pokanis said other companies supplying food to jails around the country have also been affected by payment delays due partly to budget shortages but also to late submission of invoices.

But he said Whiskey Fresh was the first company to take such a drastic action to protest delayed payments.

PNG correctional services are responsible for 19 jails across the country which the run on an annual budget of $US5.4 million.