How Peter O’Neill Mismanaged PNG's Economy.

by
HARINI MATABI ALUMALE

PNGeans, we seem to FORGET things very easily and blow with the wind of PROPAGANDA to believe falsified make-believe social media posts, controlled mainstream media headlines (controlled by conglomerate Foreign companies & Former regime), and gossips on the streets.
Those of you praising your Master on Media and Facebook forums must read this carefully and this are few but I will post in details from time to time .

Peter O’Neill|KING wiru Mari | Leadership

1. The K37 billion loan (dinau) incurred by former Prime Minister Peter O'Neill that you and me and our children will have to 'repay' in the years to come.

2. The inflated contracts in billions of Kina by Peter O'Neill that was swept under the carpet in the name of "Infrastructure". The 10% cuts and excessive overpriced costs for all infrastructures are something that PNGeans must know.

For example, the back road from 9mile to Gerehu/Baruni costed almost to a billion Kina when it should be contructed for a K100 million less. The cost of the wharf reconstruction in Lae is also questionable, amongst all other similar inflated infrastructures.

3. The much talked about APEC and its unforeseen benefits! The APEC has costed this country and its people over K2 billion. O'Neill promised PNGeans that the APEC will bring tangible benefits to PNGeans and it was worth spending to host the APEC. Where are the benefits? We know the cost is excessive in billions of Kina funded through the Exim Bank Loan in billions.

4. The PNG Games and SP Games spending on the games infrastructures. Additional Billions of Kina were spent here. All moneys spent on hosting these games went unaccounted for. Construction of the Games facilities were awarded to O'Neill's wantoks at "inflated" costs.

The formula: inflated contracts + wantoks= kickbacks.

5. The many inflated contracts awarded by O'Neill to wantoks still remain unaccounted, and made many more PNGeans become beggars on the streets selling Chinese made products. We were treated second-fiddle to the Chinese, Indians, Sri Lankans and the Westerners including Australians.

6. Appointments of Key Public Service positions were controlled and manipulated by Peter O'Neill. You can now see these positions still occupied by O'Neill's wantoks. What about the rest of PNGeans, where will you get your job, in the private sector?

7. There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the impartiality and independence of the "THREE ARMS OF GOVERNMENT". O'Neill's maladministration and dysfunctional government brought disrepute to the independence and respect to this very key institutions that hold the fabrics of our democracy, particularly the public bashing the Judiciary receives from the social media.

8. The Health and Education sectors received billions of Kina every yearly. Substandard medicines, substandard school materials, and award of inflated contractors to Wantoks were part of governance and administration cycle of Peter O'Neill. Yet PNGeans easily forget!

9. In the past 8 years of O'Neill administration, this country suffered many accumulated governance and corrupt issues that is economically crippling this country now. Yet we seem to forget fast.

10. And you add the list here on all the bad things done by Peter O'Neill in the past 8 years which we seem to forget easily, including "giving away SME businesses" to foreigners like the Chinese and Indians (PO's in-laws).

O'NEIL AND PNC PARTY POLICIES

1) There is no such thing as Free Health Care in Developed Countries and PNC has cunningly employed this political propaganda and deceived many average PNGeans into voting his party.
The consequence is as follows; most or all of the rural aid posts and health centers have been closed in the last seven years.

Provincial Hospitals have functioned as aid posts and health centers because they cannot provide services at their level due to funding. The result is a drastic compromise in the quality of health. Sadly, thousands have lost their lives who otherwise would still be alive today had there been quality service.
2) Free Education is another crafty scheme employed to deceive the citizens and has irreversibly compromised the quality of education in this country.
For instance, due to overcrowding, limited facility and under staff, students are not competently taught. The end result is, a dramatic increase in cheating, which is record-breaking and after being admitted in a University like UPNG Science Foundation, historically.
No Student meet the quota or cut of GPA to enter Medical School for successive years.
And the rest is just mess, hence the usage of the word irreversible above.
3) Inflated Projects: I like to call this a 'Legal Stealing' because everything is within the framework of the law so long as you are not caught at the negotiation stage.

What do I mean by that?
To seal a 20 kilometers road, the actual cost may be K20 million, the government and the contractor purportedly adds another K15 million and makes it K35 million in the contract documents. The rest is activity behind black curtains.
Many of such nature have transpired of which, an attempt by a very prominent and honest figure to expose it under O'Neil government was sacked.
4) Centralised Services: No one can deny that in the last seven years, Port Moresby has changed at the expense of the rest of PNG. Ironically, only a small percentage of the population benefits while the rest suffers.
5) Others to note are Very high debt level ah surpassing legally defined debt limit due to reckless borrowings and expenses. The end result is a generational burden of the drop in kina value, no hefty payoffs for the extracted resources, high taxes, high inflation etc..
6) Compromising the Judicial System, and undermining its constitutional powers and functions. A very scary precedent set by the O'Neil government which will take time and effort to clear.
I just wish, we learn to stop our emotional media outbursts if we are intelligent and post praises, critics and or arguments based on political and economic progress and aspirations as compared to developed nations.
The prevalent of all this mass he Create is the: FINANCIAL GOVERNANCE SPACES

In the financial governance space, we have seen public debt ratio being willfully breached and then O’Neill and his party members boasting they will borrow more and indebt our nation more.
Such taunts are based on fanciful claims it will be for infrastructure spending but we see suggestive evidence that the cost of road infrastructure is excessive, that the scale of infrastructure itself is not in the national interest and the net returns from the investments may be less than other infrastructure investment opportunities outside the capital city.

Spending vast sums of money on contracts that raise doubts is hardly a euphemism for inclusive development and good governance.
We have seen the O’Neill Government claim that it has managed public finances well and made necessary adjustments to the budget in years of stress.
However, these adjustments have been hidden both from the Parliament and our people until the end of the financial year. The release of regular reports on public finances have been delayed or avoided completely, despite requirements in our laws for this.
For instance, the practice of issuing quarterly reports on warrants, effectively the quarterly cash flow, has ceased. A pillar of good governance is transparency and O’Neill and his government has steadfastly refused to provide information.

Our people have the right to demand accountability from our Government and from our public officials. We have a right to understand how scarce public funds are been allocated and spent. We have a right to know if these are extracting the maximum value for our people from these limited funds. We have right to demand accountability in relation to procurement and the award of contracts.

We have seen continued erosion in the quality of our public institutions. Our over sighting agencies continue to be deprived of required funding or legally disempowered and political patronage perhaps influences agency heads to flout their agency’s independence.
We have seen the O’Neill Government make legislative changes that strip the Public Service Commission of its powers to ensure a merit-based appointment process and to transfer their powers to a committee of Ministers. This politicization of the civil service is already working to erode the quality of our government institutions.
For instance, the Bank of PNG an independent institution by law has breached its mandate by expanding the money supply by funding O’Neill’s budget by K1.8 billion in 2016 alone. Without this funding the Government would have stopped functioning if it had failed to adjust the budget. The Bank of PNG shockingly paid a dividend of K102 million in 2014 when it was technically bankrupt and this was done at the direction of O’Neill and his cabinet of ministers.
So what are pathways forward to combat the scourge of corruption? Let me share my good governance platform, which is summarized in the figure at the first.
The new Parliament should act decisively to institute various measures to rebuild our public institutions that can guard against any abuse of executive power. We need public institutions which are a bastion for integrity, professionalism and high standards of ethics so that fundamentally the country can rely on institutions to independently act to ensure good governance prevails.

The powers of the Public Service Commission must be restored.
We need laws to protect whistler-blowers that step forward to expose corruption and for freedom of information to be enacted.
The Police Force must be free from political influence and the Ombudsman Commission must be supported with adequate funding and additional legal powers as required.
The ICAC established or its proposed functions and powers should be embedded within an existing body like the Ombudsman Commission, if this is sensible.
It is time to consider an Unexplained Wealth Legislation where people that have wealth that is at variance with their declared income are required to justify it or face confiscation of those assets and prosecution under other laws. The new Government can demonstrate its commitment by allowing a phased introduction where this is applied to public leadership positions first.
Corporate governance of our public bodies needs to be strengthened. Requirements for directors of boards to satisfy strong fit and proper test must be satisfied and I want the removal of all legal provisions that allow Cabinet to be shadow directors. Statutory agency heads should be accountable solely to Boards of Directors, which should have the power to hire and fire them.
Public procurement needs to be reformed. The removal of certain public officials, like the State Solicitor, from the tender’s board is necessary to avoid conflict of interests. I advocate that a probity auditor for procurement be established.
This can be housed within another agency such as ICAC or as a new independent office. This function will ensure that disputes are promptly heard but also investigate any allegations of malfeasance or to simply verify costing’s reasonable and robust.
I believe that fiscal transparency must be strengthened by publishing key details of major project including estimated rates of return, estimated and final project costs, contractor and its gender impact.
We have seen too many reports of excessive legal costs and it is time to ensure that there is legal compliance of the engagement of lawyers for public purposes through a procurement process that results in panel selection of firms and ensures value for money.

The publicity of Parliamentarians on signage of public works or assets purchased with public funds and the deception that Parliamentarians alone deliver must stop. It is time for anti-signage provisions in law
Parliament, an important arm of government must be strengthened to provide oversight of executive government.
The challenge of curtailing the corrosive culture of corruption and instilling good governance is the ultimate leadership challenge. In the Ala-Tau Accord the O’Neill Government promised that it would “be remembered … as the most decisive, action packed, transparent and accountable Government the nation has ever had”.
Sadly, it seems the O’Neill Government will be remembered instead for the slow but devastating erosion in good governance and poor growth outcomes of our economy and mismanage it .
To end with, Hon PO who don’t follow legitimate government process and has shown habitual traits of forgoing national interest to foreign interests and personal gains .
For instance the reason why Wafi Golpu project was delayed was because the former PM PO circumvented the process on the margin of mining conference in Sydney in 2018 to get a MOA signed that gave away 10% of state equity options that caused Morobe PG to fight in court amongst other things.

Good MP for Ialibu_Pangia should know I substantially differ with him in how we want to gain from our resources for our country and how we run our country for the collective gain, that’s
We are not stupid’s in our country, be ashamed of yourself and stay silent and challenge Marape and his government I 2022 general elections.

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