Government fails bid to amend Leadership Code

National, Normal


PARLIAMENT’S attempt to change the Leadership Code has failed to get the required two-third majority of 73 votes to pass the Bill.
The proposed law to alter the Organic Law on the duties and responsibilities of leadership was introduced by parliamentary chairman on Ombudsman Commission and Esa’ala MP Moses Maladina.
It was defeated with the Opposition voting against the move.
The Government could not muster the numbers and settled for 69-16 after Opposition MPs refused to support the Bill.
Mr Maladina, in introducing the motion, said that the amendments relate to shareholding, heads of departments to be held accountable as leaders, complaints must be investigated within two years after the date of making a complaint, investigations must not be revealed to the media and the composition of a leadership tribunal.
He said in this day and age, leaders needed to have shareholdings to sustain their current income and prepare themselves for the future.
He said while the Port Moresby Stock Exchange was closed for the day, other stock exchanges in New York and London would open for business and leaders cannot inform the Ombudsman Commission at two in the morning as they would miss out on opportunities.
The amendment was that leaders could make investments provided the Ombudsman Commission is notified.
The other amendment was that heads of departments who breached their duties to control public funds, inappropriately apply and misused public funds or failed to implement Government budgetary allocations were guilty of misconduct in office.
The amendment also gives parliamentary committees the teeth to summon persons to appear before them. If they fail to do so, these persons are guilty of misconduct in office.
Another proposed amendment was for the Ombudsman Commission to cease investigating or hear any complaint of misconduct in office if it, or any other authority, failed to complete investigating the complaint within two years from the date it was filed.
The same would apply if the Ombudsman failed to refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor within two years from the date the complaint was registered.
Failing its passage, leader of Government business Paul Tiensten rescinded the motion and had it registered as the order of the day for another vote when Government has the numbers.