Basil says MP's misled on OC bill and Nape gagged debateMarch 16 2010 at 11:09 AM
Basil says Opposition was misled
THE Opposition was ‘misled’ into agreeing with the Government when they block voted 83-0 to amend section 27(4) of the Constitution to remove the powers of the Ombudsman Commission on last Tuesday.
Bulolo MP Sam Basil said: “Before Esa’ala MP Moses Maladina presented the Bill, he told Parliament that the bill was supported by the OC, which led to all members of the Opposition and the backbenchers supporting the bill.
“The misunderstanding was compounded by Speaker Jeffery Nape’s arrogance in denying proper debate (on the bill).
“This worsened for both the backbenchers and the Opposition to fully understand the implications of the bill.
“Parliament lawyers are no longer effective in informing MPs regarding the implications of bills on the notice papers,” he said.
“I can confirm that not all MPs understand the bills put before them and backbenchers most of the time just pass bills because they are in Government.
“But the Opposition will try our best to understand the implications of bills put before us with
limited resources or no help at all from Parliament’s legal service,” the member said.
Mr Basil is now calling for a stop to amendments to the Ombudsman Commission bill until after all implicated MPs, with their cases pending before the courts and the Ombudsman are cleared.
Like the practice in India’s parliament, he said civil societies and non-governmental organisations could help through the media to publish the implications of bills put before Parliament for the public to scrutinise.
“If given a proper presentation of the implications, I believe my colleagues in the Opposition and I may not vote for the final reading and I urge the backbenchers to do the same,” he said.
“With the amendments, the OC will be powerless to prevent payments from public funds which it deems unnecessary and political, and gives birth to a parliamentary ombudsman committee that will have
inquiring powers on its own, similar to the Public Accounts Committee.”
Parliament changes the law to hide corruption and castrate the OC
|March 16 2010, 12:17 PM |
Transparency International PNG today slams recent decisions by Parliament to vote in favour of amendments to the Organic Law on the Duties & Responsibilities of Leadership (OLDRL - the Leadership Code) and the Constitution.
The anti-corruption organisation says the amendments, if endorsed by Parliament again in two months, will seriously weaken the Ombudsman Commission, make it harder for the Commission to do its job, and erode the standards of integrity that MPs and public service heads must adhere to.
TIPNG Chairman Mr Peter Aitsi says "the fact that these amendments have been passed points to the selfishness of the country's political elites. They are shocking decisions that certainly are not in the best interests of Papua New Guinea." The decision to revoke the Ombudsman Commission's powers to issue directives to public service leaders is a huge step in the wrong direction, TIPNG says. These powers were previously used to stop abuse of public funds and have saved the nation millions of kina.
Taking away this power will allow more scams and scandals like those identified by the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department. More public money will be misappropriated if this amendment is passed.
Mr Aitsi says "The Commission's directive powers have been used effectively in the past, preventing public funds being spent on election campaigns and politicians' unnecessary overseas travel. They were used to freeze the education infrastructure (RESI) funds when they were being misspent. If these powers are removed then public money will be wasted or embezzled."
TIPNG is also disgusted that MPs approved amendments easing required disclosure of share trading. The excuse that MPs need more relaxed rules to take advantage of market developments on the other side of the world ignores the real question - why are MPs concerned with trading shares when they should be more interested in their work as people's representatives?
TIPNG also says that the work of the Ombudsman Commission will be made harder by the time limits imposed by the amendments, and it will therefore be harder to hold MPs and public service heads to account. TIPNG agrees that the Ombudsman Commission should work hard. However if the government wants the Commission to work harder, they need to provide more resources and support, not the kind of short-sighted solutions proposed.
TIPNG is also very worried that proper consultation was not carried out in the community regarding these amendments. It says that if the constitution is to be amended then the community must be widely consulted - including business, NGO's, and the grassroots community. So far the government has produced no evidence of consultation and therefore has no real mandate to meddle with the constitution.
Somare is a dictator
|March 16 2010, 4:30 PM |
The amendments to the Organice law on Duties and responsibilties of Leadership - the Leadership Code is move against the spirit of the Constitution which is the promotion of rights and interests of Papua Guineans.
The Maladina Bill is an attempt by the members of the Somare Government to scape being charged for 'crimes' against PNG people. The 83 that supported the bill on the floor of parliament are either paid to support the bill or are so stupid and ignorant that they could donot care what happens to their people or the majority of the citizens.
Come on PNG citizens - are we also stupid to allow this dictator to get away with this. Where is our voices and out guts to stand up?.
Sori tru PNG.
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