landsward

Lands selected for integrity award

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By HELEN TARAWA
Department of Lands and Physical Planning has been selected for the Transparency International (PNG) integrity award.
TIPNG said in a letter to the Secretary Tiri Wanga that the department was being recognised for the establishment of its fraud and complaints unit.
Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Justin Tkatchenko said the news came as a “pleasant surprise”.
“The public is sick and tired of corruption in the department,” he said.
“We are working towards changing this perception.
“The recognition comes as a big surprise, especially when we have only been in the office for over three months.
“It is an indication that we have achieved something good for the department and have made progress in a short period of time.”
The fraud and complaints unit, which was established four years ago, was abruptly closed and only reopened this year.
Tkatchenko said the unit was dysfunctional for reasons only known to those who had set it up in the first place.
He said the unit had received about 40 formal complaints since reopening in August.
“We will continue to fight for change in the perception and the image of the department,” Tkatchenko said.
The unit is manned by independent staff members apart from the Lands Department.
A member from the Public Services Commission is engaged to monitor all complaints about any staff member in the department.
There is also an independent lawyer who assesses and compiles all documentation.

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