PAC orders freeze on war relics
The National [July 10, 2006 ]
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THERE would be no more salvage, removal, export or sale of any war relics or surplus material from Papua New Guinea until the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee completes its inquiry.
The PAC also directed that the former US bomber, Swamp Ghost not be removed from Papua New Guinea until the committee had completed its inquiry and made a report to Parliament.
PAC also directed that the Swamp Ghost should, at the cost to Aero Archeology, be removed to a place of shelter and safety, possibly Nadzab airport or some other secure location, pending the completion of this inquiry.
These were among a total of 22 directives issued by the PAC to the National Museum and Art Gallery last Friday.
“The public accounts committee directs that no shipping agent, company or provider remove the Swamp Ghost from Papua New Guinea pending further inquiry and determination by the Government of Papua New Guinea,” acting chairman Chris Haiveta said in the statement outlining the directions issued last Friday.
“All parties will have 30 days from the date of this inquiry to respond or submit what they may wish.”
Mr Haiveta said the committee encouraged all parties and any other interested or knowledgeable person to make submissions or provide materials to the committee that may assist in the inquiry.
Other directives issued include:
*The acting director of the national museum will within 14 days, produce to the committee a complete copy of the proposal from the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation sent to the National Museum and Art Gallery in January 1998 seeking a permit to recover the Swamp Ghost and all and every document that was before the board of trustees at any time relating to the decision to sell the Swamp Ghost;
*The acting director of the museum provide a copy of the directions, request to or retainer of Robert Greinert, or historical aircraft restoration society to supply a valuation of the Swamp Ghost to the National Museum and all records of payment made for that valuation;
*The acting director of museum produce full details of his travel to Aero Archeology, MARC and March Field Flying Museum including details of payment for airfares, accommodation, per diems and travel allowances received and any other museum officer, who accompanied the director, dates of travel, purpose of travel, approvals sought and obtained under the Finance Instructions and all acquittal of monies received for that travel; and,
*Within 30 days, the acting director will produce an inventory of all items under the control, possession or power of the National Museum and Art Gallery for every year since independence, the current whereabouts of each item, full details of any sale, loan, exchange or other deals or arrangements in respect of any of those items in the last 30 years. This includes cultural artefacts, war surplus, art, sculpture, natural history collections, specimens and every other items or things held by or managed by the museum, wherever they maybe.