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THE TOKAUT BLOG

Hidden Valley landowners scavenge for law and order funding

…Understanding was signed between the stakeholders in the mine. The MOU governs the disbursement of royalties by the State to the Provincial government (42%), three Local-level governments (14%), the customary owners of the mining lease land (39%), other affected communities (3%) and settler communities (2%). The ‘settler communities’ are defined in the MOU as people that had been granted permissive…

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THE TOKAUT BLOG

Death toll climbs yet again as Health Dept reforms fall flat

…of stock since July. It is not just rural clinics that are suffering. In August it was reported the Angau Provincial Hospital had been without critical drugs since January. The Provincial Health CEO blames the national procurement and distribution system for the shortages. It means patients have to buy their own medicines from private pharmacies when seeking treatment at the…

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THE TOKAUT BLOG

Yama fails in latest bid to quash criminal charges

…bribed two election officials during the counting of votes for the Madang governorship. Although the two officials were arrested, charged and convicted, the Provincial Police Commander ordered no action be taken against Yama himself. It was a decision the National Court later condemned. Justice Canning found the police commander had ‘actively prevented’ any investigation of Yama, and in doing so…

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THE COURT REPORT

Court Ruling Places Governor Parkop at the Centre of NCDC Scandal

…claims was sent in even ‘more terse terms’, demanding Bani Investment be paid. The National Court judge then notes: The intervention by Governor Parkop achieved a major result in that on 24 December 2013 BIL [Bani Investment Limited] received a cheque dated 21 December 2013 for K350,000 from the NCDC’s Regional PSIP [Provincial Service Improvement Program] Account via the Office…

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THE TOKAUT BLOG

Illegal logging in Musa Foru stopped

…was not properly carried out. It was conducted by an unauthorised officer without the knowledge and consent of the Provincial Lands Office, and the land investigation report was incomplete and unreliable. The Provincial Lands Officer gave evidence that the land investigation process had been conducted by an officer from Port Moresby and he had been forced to sign the report….

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

Former Forest Minister a lone wolf or is he being thrown to the dogs?

…Block 6 did not support the PNG Forest Authority’s decision. They sought a judicial review, claiming that the extension was granted in breach of the Forestry Act. The National Court agreed. The court found the extension had been granted without the Forest Board and the Minister first receiving a mandatory recommendation from the local Provincial Forest Management Committee. The court…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

O’Neill Linked to Irregular Land Deal Uncovered by Deloitte

Through a skeletal structure that wraps around the earth of the Southern Highlands, the Kutubu Petroleum Project extracts a rich interior of oil held beneath the surface. Once exported onto heaving global markets, this translates annually into hundreds of millions in revenue for provincial governments and Fasu, Foe and Kikori landowners, channelled through a holding vehicle, Petroleum Resources Kutubu Limited….

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

Marape resurrects defunct Konebada statutory body mired in fraud allegations

…account its senior personnel, it appears Prime Minister Marape has negotiated a deal with Donald Valu to reinvent the KPPA as a business arm of the Central Provincial Government. In today’s investigation the Department of Finance’s pursuit of Donald Valu for financial impropriety and mismanagement is revealed. We also expose how the Prime Minister has chosen to involve himself with…

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THE COURT REPORT

Kimbe’s ex-Mayor convicted of theft

…illustrates both how far the cancer of corruption has infected our nation and how those on the lower rungs of the ladder are sometimes not just exposed but also made to pay. The small provincial town of Kimbe serves as the administrative centre for the logging and oil palm province of West New Britain. At its heart, across the road…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

Taxpayers to fund questionable K8.5 million ‘bonus’ for private lawyer

…agreement struck with the Morobe Provincial Government in 2018. The Morobe Provincial Government contracted Ralph Saulep and a business associate, Elizabeth Bradshaw, as ‘Special Advisors and Consultants’ for a five year period at a rate of K25,000 per month each. If the name Elizabeth Bradshaw sounds familiar, it may be because she is one of the directors and shareholders in…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

Sand mining plans littered with red flags

…by the plan to bestow upon Derrick Ong the title of ‘Business Ambassador’ in Singapore for the Madang Provincial Government. A month later, Governor Kas and Provincial Administrator Daniel Aloi were guests of honour at the Powerplus launch of its heavy equipment range in Singapore Derrick Ong and Anthon Wagambie pose alongside a banner welcoming then Madang Governor Jim Kas…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

MRA accused of steamrolling sand mining approval

…Commission investigation. Kas was found to have abused his position to exert political pressure on the Provincial Administration and Provincial Treasury and had improperly applied and used District and Provincial Service Improvement funds to buy vehicles for 19 LLG Presidents. He had also created an unlawful position within his office and then given the officer unlimited access to provincial funds….

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THE COURT REPORT

New Scandal Engulfs Embattled Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch

…the Provincial Supply and Tender Board. However, on 3 February 2013 K1.3 million was paid to Karridale Limited, with the payment divided between five separate invoices which were virtually identical to each other. Splitting a single procurement into multiple invoices to avoid review or competitive selection, can be a strong indicator of corruption. [Italics added] Set against this backdrop, last…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

Rooting Out the Rot in PNG’s Forest Industry

…Hwong are heavily connected to a number of other logging companies. Yih Siang Hwong owns 95% of the shares in Ambogo Sawmill Limited. Both Yih Siang Hwong and Yih Wei Hwong are company directors. The other 5% of the shares in the company are owned by the Oro Provincial Government. Both Yih Siang Hwong and Oro Provincial Government are shareholders…

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THE TOKAUT BLOG

COVID-19 Spending Alert

…revealed to be NKW Holdings. Baker notes, NKW Holdings ‘was on Bank South Pacific’s “watchlist” for unpaid debts at the time it was engaged by [Australia’s] Home Affairs [Department]’. Baker continues, ‘its directors include provincial government officials and retired PNG Supreme Court judge Don Sawong, who in 2017 unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s political party’….

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

K53 Million in Health Dept Contracts Go To Gang of Red Flag Firms: Part I

…build a Provincial Transit Medical Store in Mendi, Southern Highlands. K 1 million to build a Provincial Transit Medical Store in Goroka, Eastern Highlands. In total PNG Constructions – in this report alone – had been awarded K16.5 million in contracts. Of the large contracts documented in the DoH quarterly report, PNG Constructions had won the lion-share. According to corporate…

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THE COURT REPORT

Illegal Car Hire Agreement Almost Fleeced Taxpayers of K1 million

…some notable comment for the ‘shilly-shallying of Madang Provincial Government and the various lawyers who have acted on its behalf’. He observes: ‘This case is yet another example of what I said many times during my ten years as resident Judge for Madang Province: Madang Provincial Government is poorly represented, and the interests of the People of Madang are routinely…

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THE TOKAUT BLOG

Have govt Ministers been lured into another expensive scam?

…Central Bank in tranches. Once the money arrives McKinley will signal the provincial government who will then ask the government to set up a State negotiating team – to negotiate what exactly? Project components will be delivered on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model, so the investor will build a factory (usually after having been granted significant tax…

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THE COURT REPORT

Illicit K10.6m payment

…reasons why. Firstly, neither the claimant or the recipient of the funds had any legally enforceable right to claim damages from the PNGFA. Secondly, payments from the LEDL are only supposed to be made to local or provincial governments. They should be made to fund agriculture or infrastructure development projects in logging areas. Also, the levy was only introduced in…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

COVID-19 Expenditure: Reporting the Red Flags

…unpaid debts at the time it was engaged by [Australia’s] Home Affairs [Department]’. Baker continues, ‘its directors include provincial government officials and retired PNG Supreme Court judge Don Sawong, who in 2017 unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s political party’. A leaked email acquired by Fairfax from a Bank South Pacific manager states ‘Australian Department of…

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PNGi INVESTIGATES

PNG Architect Defeats Malaysian Timber Dynasty

…although a Forest Clearance Authority (FCA) was issued to Northern Forest Products Limited on 3 July 2017, and signed by the Chairman of the National Forest Board, ‘proper process was not followed’. Sabuin states that no public hearing on the FCA application was held as required under the Forestry Act, the Oro Provincial Forest Management Committee did not approve the…

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THE COURT REPORT

Rimbunan Hijau behaviour “a sham, fraud and unconscionable”

…subsidiary, Niugini Lumber, to do the logging and another subsidiary, Timbers PNG, paid Pinpar’s bank guarantee required under the LMA. RH was ‘therefore in effectual and constant control’ of Pinpar. The Supreme Court also noted that RH and Pinpar shared the same registered office and the same Company Secretary. The royalties paid to TL Timbers and the provincial government were…

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THE COURT REPORT

Yama Bribery Scandal Takes Another Twist

…that has seen two electoral officials convicted. The case centres on a complaint submitted by former Madang Governor, James Yali, to police on 19 July 2017. Yali alleges that Yama gave cash to two assistant returning officers, during the counting period. While police successfully convicted the two returning officers for receiving corrupt gratification from Peter Yama MP, Provincial Police Commander…

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POWER PROFILES

William Duma: From Manu Manu to Horizon Oil

…a tightrope between legitimate and illegitimate conduct. The AFR reports: The files document … the narrow line Horizon was already walking in PNG, with a seemingly endless list of paid political consultants and community affairs managers, who were chasing rumours about shifting power structures, seeking “per diems” for provincial staff and arranging drinks with the then prime minister Sir Michael…

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