7 May 2010

Catholic Bishops Conference says PNG amendment process lacked consultation

1:04 pm on 7 May 2010

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands says the people responsible for drawing up amendments to the Ombudsman Commission have not done enough consultation.

A protest march in Port Moresby this week drew 5,000 supporters, who presented a 20,000-signature petition to parliament demanding the so-called Maladina Bill be dropped.

Proponents of the bill, which will be read for the third time in July, say it'll broaden the scope of the Commission's work but its critics claim it flings open the door for more government corruption.

The conference's general secretary, Father Rolando Santos, says the bishops are unhappy with the consultation process.

"You know last Monday Maladina himself he promised that he will submit the report on the consultation which they were suppose to have done from 2006 to 2009, consultation on the amendments and they were supposed to have produced those reports but they have not which makes people suspect that probably there was no consultation at all."

Father Rolando Santos says if the bill passes corruption will increase and the poor will be most affected by that.