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THE Education Department should process teachers leave entitlements before the end of an academic year and allow for them to go for holidays on time.
This should be done before December, but when Government books are closed Education department cheques are not recognised by the banks.
Finance Minister James Marape raised this concern in a media conference at his Vulupindi office in Port Moresby yesterday.
"We are a Government and we have money all the time to run this country. The delay in teachers leave entitlements is not the Government’s fault nor is it a cash-flow problem in the system as claimed by the Opposition.
"It is caused by the Education Department, which failed to workout teachers entitlements prior to the close of accounts."
He says what happens is when Government accounts are closed in mid December all funds of Government held by state agencies and departments are pulled back into the Department of Finance for the accounts to be tied up therefore obviously there was no money in the education department when the cheques were drawn.
He says, instructions were issued to all agencies and departments to go to finance if they needed to make some emergency payments based on the main 2014 budget and the 2014 supplementary budget as it was the only department in operation during the close of business but the education department failed to follow the instructions.
"It has been a problem for a long time so the education department and other concerned departments and agencies should put their heads together and come up with a system which will work better," he stressed.
"As the former education minister I sympathise with all the teachers out there for the delay and I’m sure the current Education Minister Nick Kuman will get his staff to liaise with concerned agencies and come up with a solution," he said
"We have a whole year to work on the teachers entitlements, you don’t come on December 25 crying for leave pay, teachers should be already in their villages celebrating holidays by then," he said
Meanwhile, Mr Marape says he will issue the first warrant for 2015 next week Monday to officially open government business for the year.
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