9 Jan 2008

TI in PNG questions allowances at parliament

7:05 am on 9 January 2008

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea is questioning a reported push for higher allowances for parliamentary committees.

Most members of parliament are appointed to committees, for which they are paid an allowance at the beginning at the year, but few committees ever meet.

TI's chairman in PNG, Mike Manning, says an increase in the allowances is unnecessary.

He says no one should be being paid any allowances until they've actually sat in committee.

"The Committee should not be receiving allowances until such time as it not only sits, but actually prepares reports for parliament. But on the other side of the slate, it has been the case that even the public accounts committee had to be paid, one of its inquiries had to be paid for by one of the members of the committee during the period of the last parliament. So all of the parliamentary committees have been underfunded and therefore it's no wonder the haven't met. so it's a bit os a chicken and egg situation."

Mike Manning says if the committees were properly funded and could fulfill a proper watchdog role over the Government, it wouldn't be such a problem.