28 Oct 2003

Leading PNG public servant reinstated in ongoing spat

6:58 pm on 28 October 2003

The suspended head of Papua New Guinea's Office of Environment and Conservation, Dr Wari Iamo, has been reinstated.

Dr Iamo was suspended earlier this year by the former minister for the Environment and Conservation, Sasa Zibe, over alleged breaches of responsibilities.

The Post Courier reports that they included awarding a number of contracts to a company which allegedly was not registered.

The prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, intervened in the dispute, demanding that Mr Zibe re-instate Dr Iamo and drop all charges.

Sir Michael then dumped Mr Zibe from the ministry after he refused to listen to the demands.

That decision resulted in an outcry from environmental groups who said the decision to suspend Dr Iamo had brought transparency and improved governance to a forestry sector riddled with corruption.