30 Mar 2010

Transparency International in PNG says political leaders undermining Ombudsman

7:37 pm on 30 March 2010

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea says the Government should be strengthening the Ombudsman Commission rather than trying to cut its authority.

It says strong watchdog agencies are more vital than ever given the accusations of criminal William Kapris that Asian gangs and political leaders are involved in crime together.

The PNG Parliament is considering legislation that would stop the Commission referring politicians to the Leadership Tribunal.

TI's chair Peter Aitsi says this power has only ever been used sparingly but it's been effective and saved the country millions of kina.

Mr Aitsi says TI is very concerned that few politicians seem willing to support the Commission.

"We feel given the weak nature of these institutions that the politicians, our leaders, should be supporting and perhaps reinforcing and strengthening the ability of these watchdog agencies to play their independent role in upholding our constitution and the integrity of our nation."