TRANSPARENCY International-PNG (TIPNG) is worried about the Government’s determination to dismantle the powers of the Ombudsman Commission (OC).
TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi said recent allegations by suspected bank robber, William Nanua Kapris, of political figures in criminal involvement, sent a huge warning signal to anyone concerned about the integrity of political office in PNG.
“We have a situation where the highest levels of politics and Government are now being accused of outright criminal involvement.
“Yet, at the same time, the Government wants to weaken the OC. This surely sends the wrong signal.
“Now is the time to ensure the OC is strengthened, not restrained,” he said.
“TIPNG is certainly not suggesting the claims made by Kapris are true. That is for the judicial system to determine.
“But the people of PNG are listening to Kapris very closely,” he said.
“The community wants the Government to assure them that they are serious about integrity in the wake of these disturbing allegations.
“One way for the Government to do this would be to throw out the Maladina amendment and enter serious, honest consultation on how to make the OC stronger,” he said.
Mr Aitsi said the door was always open for Mr Maladina to come and talk about how to improve the OC’s work, but the anti-corruption organisation would insist on a wide-ranging community consultation before supporting any amendments to the leadership code and constitution affecting the OC.
TIPNG held its annual general meeting on Tuesday.
The focus was on the Maladina amendment to the constitution and the leadership code affecting the OC.