Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Transparency International hits out at K9 million guns purchase



THE PNG chapter of the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, Transparency International, yesterday said the acquisition of non-lethal weapons and munitions by the Correctional Services will not solve the various problems faced by jails throughout the country, The National reports.

TIPNG said the K9 million would be better spent on upgrading and securing all prison facilities, including living quarters, to boost the low morale among staff and instill discipline among service members.

CS Minister Tony Aimo had earlier explained that the purchase would, presumably, deter mass breakouts.

However, yesterday, he said the organisation would not use its development budget to make the buy.

“It is just an order, with money not coming out of the CS development budget.

“This arrangement is on a protocol level (government to government),” Aimo explained.

He said the demolition and reconstruction of its staff living quarters and other entitlements were not compromised in the arms deal.

Aimo said the statement by TIPNG was “a slap in the face of hardworking prison officers working and living in trying conditions over many years”.

During a visit to the Beon jail in Madang last month, court judge Justice David Cannings also highlighted the problems faced by warders and their families. 



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