Former Secretary for Defence Trevor Meauri was arrested and charged on Monday this week with one count of abuse of office by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate.
Detectives from NFACD arrested and charged Mr. Meauri after he was alleged to have written to L&A Construction Limited to give him estimated costing to re-construct the run down Guard House at Murray Barracks.
The company provided the costing to be at K3.6 million. On 20 November 2017, Mr Meauri then wrote to L&A Construction Limited to advise the company that its offer of K3.6 million was accepted. Mr Meauri’s financial authority limit was K500, 000.00 as per the Public Finance Management Act. Mr Meauri entered and executed the contract with L&A Construction Limited in excess of his financial powers.
Later when Mr Meauri requested CSTB to grant approval for special contract, CSTB refused to issue or approve special contract.
Despite the request being refused, Mr Meauri being Section 32 Officer made payments to the company which exceeded K3.6 million as the work had already progressed when his request was refused.
The Defence Engineering Division estimated the project to be valued at K1.8 million.
The complaint in this matter was lodged with the NFACD by Officers of the Department of Defence, for investigation. At the concluding of the investigation, Mr Trevor Meauri was invited to the NFACD office, where record of interview was conducted.
After the interview and charge procedures were completed, Mr Trevor Meauri was taken to Boroko Police Station where he was placed in the cells. He was allowed bail.
He will appear in Waigani Committal court next week.
Trevor Meauri was the former Secretary for Defence when he committed the offence. He served in the position between February 2017 and July 2019. Mr Meauri, aged 44 comes from Rapa village, Bereina, in the Kairuku Hiri District in the Central Province.