Parkop defends yoga deal

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has defended the awarding of a contract to a company to provide yoga training to Port Moresby residents.

He said due process and proper procedures were followed by the National Capital District Commission in the securing of the K3 million-a-year contract.

He was replying to questions raised in Parliament this week by Madang MP Bryan Kramer regarding the engagement of a foreign-owned company to provide yoga training to Port Moresby residents.
Kramer claimed that there were “irregularities” in the awarding of the contract.

Parkop however accused Kramer of abusing parliamentary privilege to make false allegations against him.

He challenged his critics to lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission or the police fraud unit so that the matter could be investigated if they still think that rules had been breached.

“If they have a problem, they can go to the Ombudsman Commission and the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption squad and we will give all the files (on the contract) to them,” he told Parliament yesterday.

“And if any political opponents want to challenge me, then they can wait for 2022.”

Parkop had been behind the Walk for Life programme in 2014 to promote healthy living among city residents. It involved organised walks in the city on weekends. The National Capital District Commission later contracted the company in question to provide yoga training as part of the programme.

He said if Kramer had cared to, “he will find out that we went through a due process to award the contract”.

“I was a co-founder of this Walk For Life programme in 2014. I paid for the cost out of my pocket money, paying all the volunteers, drivers, and the programme got too big. The cost went too high.

“That’s when I went to the National Capital District Commission to use funds from my Provincial Service Improvement Programme. And we started humbly with K300,000. So I have declared my interest.”
He said the contract with the company was approved by the NCDC board and managed by the NCDC.

“Everything is on file. There is acquittal, monthly acquittal both in terms of how the money is spent and also the outcomes of the programme,” he said.

He said the company had paid for its own certification with the Investment Promotion Authority. He urged Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori to verify that with the authority.

“If you go to IPA, you will find that we (NCDC) did not pay for that certification. How can we pay for that certification? We would be stupid to use public funds to pay for a private (company) certification,” he said.

He also defended the healthy living programme he started.

“I have nothing to hide, I’m ready to answer questions. This programme is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and is shared with seven other cities in the world.

“It’s based on a model that was devised in Liverpool city in England. Liverpool used this model to address problems of crime and violence. And we are using this programme to change the negative mindset of the city’s residents.”

Source: The National PNG