By ALISON ANIS
TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG) has, to date, collected more than 6,000 signatures for its petition opposing the Ombudsman Commission amendment bill which will be debated in Parliament next month.
A TIPNG spokesman said there had been widespread public opposition of the legislation.
“We will still need to get more signatures on the petition before the deadline of April 30.
“We want get as many signatures as we can to oppose the bill.
“Previously, TIPNG was able to secure 25,000 signatures for a petition, but, due to lack of resources, we are unable get more signatures,” the spokesman said.
The petition has been distributed via email, faxes, and has been posted on websites as well as post offices walls.
He said although there had been no support from sister organisations in Australia and other countries, the PNG community overseas were very supportive of the move to get Parliament to recall the bill.
On March 9, Parliament voted 83-0 to amend section 27(4) of the Constitution which allows the Ombudsman Commission to issue directives to prevent payment from public funds to office holders if it felt there was impropriety.
That will essentially curb the powers of the OC in the fight against corruption by public figures.
The amendment has attracted much public criticism and outcry and has been the main focus of TIPNG and concerned organisations to get Parliament to recall the bill.
The spokesperson said TIPNG was still trying to make arrangements for a special meeting with Members of Parliament, including Moses Maladina, the MP who tabled the amendment.
On May 4, TIPNG, through the community coalition against corruption, will petition against the legislation.