28 Apr 2010

PNG group urges to maintain Ombudsman Commission powers

2:30 pm on 28 April 2010

A new Papua New Guinea NGO, ACT NOW, has called on its supporters to oppose the government's plans to limit the powers of the Ombudsman Commission.

The amendments are being promoted by MP Moses Maladina who says they will broaden the scope of the Commission's work.

He says the Constitution has been used by the Commission on numerous occasions in issuing general blanket directives hampering the implementation of Government policy.

But opponents, such as students' group and Transparency International, say it will stymie the Ombudsman's ability to highlight malpractice within government at a time when corruption is becoming systemic.

Effrey Dademo of ACT NOW says the bill is taking the country in the opposite direction to where it needs to be going.

She says the public wants increased accountability and more transparency rather it being made easier for leaders to abuse their positions of trust.