13 Nov 2010

PNG police commissioner's sacking a concern, says academic

7:22 am on 13 November 2010

Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs says the sacking of the country's police chief is a major cause of concern.

Gari Baki was dumped this week, reportedly for what the government considers a misleading funding request to support police operations at the liquified natural gas project sites in Hela Province.

The Institute's CEO, Paul Barker, says PNG has long had a politicised appointments process within its police force - something he says the country can't afford, given the law and order issues it faces.

And he says whenever the PNG government gets involved it seems to make matters worse.

"So you have the situation at the moment where a commissioner who's within two months of the end of his contract getting prematurely removed. It might well have been a more expedient move and kept everyone calmer to have left him to complete his term and then make an appointment in an orderly manner for a successor."

The acting commissioner Tony Wagambie says the force is stable and united despite Mr Baki's sacking.