4 Nov 2005

PNG provincial governor refers himself to corruption watchdog

9:25 am on 4 November 2005

One of Papua New Guinea's provincial governors has created a first by referring himself to the Ombudsman Commission.

The Eastern Highlands Governor, Malcolm Smith, a Vietnam war veteran, owns PNG's largest helicopter fleet.

Mr Smith has referred himself and his administrator, Munare Uyassi, to the Commission over allegations of gross misconduct in office.

Mr Smith said he'd taken this course of action, to be seen to be doing the right thing, and also to have both his name and his administrator's cleared, in public.

Mr Smith said the allegations included suggestions that he'd engaged his own company to work on maintenance around the provincial office buildings, without following proper tender procedures.