The Papua New Guinea Media Council has been implicated in allegations of fraud, Australia Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reported. The council,which was set up in 1985, states on its website that its goals include improving and supporting the media.
The council receives money from Australia’s AusAID. “But there are questions about the Council’s effectiveness after its executive director was suspended following an audit uncovered issues with its finances.”
In 2010, AusAid gave the media council “half-a million dollars in funding.” However, according to ABC, “a recent audit found some of the money ‘had not been managed in accordance with procurement guidelines’ and there was ‘anecdotal evidence of fraud.’ ”
ABC reported that AusAID hasn’t revealed how much money reportedly was misused, “but the ABC understands it’s a few thousand dollars.”
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According to ABC, Nimo Kama, who was the media council’s executive director and is also Pacific Islands News Association vice president , has been suspended. The council’s president, Joe Kanekane, reportedly told ABC that Kama had been suspended but not because of fraud — instead because Kama was “in a position of compromise.”
StinkyJournalism has written to the Pacific Islands News Association for Kama’s comment and also to the Media Council’s president Kanekane and will update with any response. StinkyJournalism has also written to AusAID.