8 Jan 2007

PNG's Ombudsman Commission asks parliament to revoke amendments to NCDC

4:15 pm on 8 January 2007

The Ombudsman Commission in Papua New Guinea says parliament should revoke amendments to the laws governing the National Capital District Commission.

The amendments, which were sponsored by a National Alliance party member Wari Vele, were passed in parliament in November last year and include the removal of some members of the board.

There is fierce opposition to the amendments, with Transparency International, the Media Council and the churches leading a nationwide petition against them, saying they made the NCDC more vulnerable to corruption.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney, says the Ombudsman Commission is now saying the amendments are not in line with the constitution.

"They say that Wari Vele will be getting a letter this morning stating that if there were any moves by him or his administration to make decisions that were supported by the new amendments, all those decisions will be deemed illegal effective from today. The prime minister will also be getting a letter later this week, asking that he and his government make sure that the amendments are revoked in parliament."

Alex Rheeney says the commission says it should be the government's top priority to retract the amendment.