12 Mar 2010

Transparency PNG alarmed at move to curb Ombudsman Commission

2:52 pm on 12 March 2010

Transparency International PNG says amendments voted on in Parliament this week threaten the ability of the Ombudsman Commission to carry out its work.

The anti-corruption organisation says if the amendments to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership and the Constitution are endorsed by Parliament again in two months time, the Commission will be seriously weakened.

Don Wiseman has more:

"The TIPNG chair, Peter Aitsi, says it will erode the standards of integrity that MPs and public service heads must adhere to. He says they are shocking decisions that are not in the best interests of PNG. TIPNG says revoking the Commission's powers to issue directives to public service leaders is a huge step in the wrong direction. It says these powers have been used in the past to stop abuse of public funds and have saved the nation millions of kina. The watchdog also says it's disgusted MPs have approved amendments easing the required disclosure of share trading. It also says there's no sign that the Government made any effort to consult with the wider community before making these constitutional amendments."