Office of Public Curator to set up units in provinces

National

THE Office of the Public Curator and Official Trustee is looking forward to establish offices in all provinces, Public Curator Jacob Popuna says.
He said this would help people to lodge their applications for beneficiary’s claims instead of coming to Port Moresby.
Popuna said 60 officers, who undertook a week-long training last week, came from all the regions of the country.
“We are trying to establish offices in every province and we are seeking assistance from the provincial governments so that we have offices in each province to deal directly with the local people,” he said.
He added that these were mostly new officers with minimum knowledge of dealing with deceased matters. “This kind of training is very critical because the dispute that normally ends up in court from the public curators’ office are family-related,” Popuna said.
“So we engaged people who have experience in dealing with deceased matters and dealing with deceased estate administration to train them on the basics.
“We have involved the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) from the national court.
“The training on ADR is a must. This is a beginning of it.
“We will go further training in that field so that all estate officers are knowledgeable and capable to deal with deceased matters when the dispute arises
Popuna said the office was important these days because many people in the country owned much wealth, unlike in the past. He said that by Oct 25, the Public Curator’s amended Act would be tabled in Parliament.
“The amended Act will enable us to work and address current issues and affect our administration process,” Popuna said.
“For example, currently when a disclosure notice is given for someone to disclose what they have been doing with deceased matters like the banks or lands, our Act does not provide for a provision for penalty, or the old one there is K200.
“But in the amended Act, the penalty is K10,000 for corporate entities and K5000 for individual persons.
“That will now give us the power and authority to drive our work forward.”

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