19 Jun 2007

PNG's Ombudsman commission raises concerns over corruption allegations

7:15 am on 19 June 2007

Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission has raised concerns over official institutions being used to legitimise corruption.

The Commission's counsel, Nemo Yalo, made the remarks at the closing of a week-long trainers workshop preparing for the national orientation of incoming national and provincial leaders.

Mr Yalo told the Post Courier newspaper that leaders were using parliament and other institutions to protect themselves, making this corruption of the highest form.

He says for example, that amendments to the Forestry Act removed the forest owner's rights to participate in consultations before their resources were developed.

Mr Yalo also says the National Gaming Control Board Act was amended in 2000 to indemnify MPs from prosecution.

He says there were 12 MPs and one chief executive officer ready for prosecution at the time for allegedly plundering millions of kina of public funds.

Mr Yalo also pointed out that the long adjournments of parliament by ruling coalitions was institutionalised corruption because MPs enjoyed a very expensive paid holiday while peoples' grievances are ignored.