Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has this afternoon called on Papua New Guineans to be wary of ‘fake news’ being peddled by the Opposition in the MVIL BSP shares story, pointing out that Cabinet has a stringent due process in place for all submissions it receives and approves.

Prime Minister clarified that this due process includes a Secret Ballot that ministers vote in whose result becomes the accepted decision of the Cabinet, with him having no one-man influence or role in the decision-making of Cabinet as chair.

“All submissions that come to Cabinet originate from a sponsoring agency or department that funnels it all the way up through the Minister responsible.

“Since we took office, we introduced something that has never been done before since 1975, and that was to get all ministers to vote in a Secret Ballot on all submissions that are presented.

“I have also introduced a provision in the NEC process called Declaration of Personal Interest, and another provision where any submission made must tick off the Key Result Areas expected from that department or sector.

“But before a paper comes to Cabinet, it has to go through various stages.

“It must be circulated to relevant departments and agencies. After it has been retired by the relevant departments, it is then funneled through the Ministerial Economic Committee, if it is an economic sector paper, or the Ministerial Social Sector committee, if it is not.

“Then it comes out through the Central Agencies Coordinating Committee process. Matters pertaining to budget must get Treasury clearance. Matters with legal implications must get State Solicitors clearance.

“The CACC is the last place where it sits while CACC offers its thoughts on recommendations.

“Then the paper comes to Cabinet with those necessary clearances,” said PM Marape.

He said for the MVIL shares, the submission was the decision of both the boards of MVIL and Kumul Consolidated Holdings with the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises bringing it to Cabinet.

“The proposal to sell the BSP shares is part of the approach by KCHL to liquidate assets, where possible, to be able to beef up investments in other utilities such as power and water.

“Proceeds are earmarked to improve generation and transmission of power in Port Moresby and Lae. This is a strategic balancing of loans from ADB for specific reforms, but liquidating assets for investment purposes.

“I want to assure everyone that there is no vested interest here,” said the Prime Minister.

PM Marape warned Papua New Guineans to be careful of the fabricated news and misinformation the Opposition is peddling to push their political interest to get into the office he now holds.