Accountability of Australian advisors in PNG questioned

4:16 pm on 25 September 2015

An academic specialising in Papua New Guinea state crime says there is an accountability issue around the surfeit of Australian advisors in PNG.

Dr Kristian Lasslett,
International State Crime Initiative

Dr Kristian Lasslett, International State Crime Initiative Photo: RNZ

This comes as the PNG prime minister recently signalled a review of foreign advisors in the country.

Peter O'Neill said the presence of the foreign advisors and consultants was making locals lazy, and that those advisors should start working as in-line employees of PNG's government rather than Canberra.

Dr Kristian Lasslett of the International State Crime Initiative says Mr O'Neill has pinpointed a genuine problem of accountability in a costly area for which money being spent could be developing local capacity instead.

"Obviously a lot of money is being spent on advisors, bringing in advisors from Australia. They're being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, they then have significant amounts of influence on policy being made, and they're largely unaccountable."