Lands Dept looking into complaints


Investigations are continuing into complaints against the Lands and Physical Planning Department, Minister Justin Tkatchenko says.
He said a number of managers and staff were being investigated following allegations by the public through the fraud and complaints unit.
“That unit has been a big success. We got a highly commended award for the initiative taken by Transparency International PNG,” Tkatchenko said.
“With the new acting secretary, his role will be to clean up the department of this corrupt practices, and individuals and staff who have already been highlighted and detailed to me.
“For me, it’s not to do a witch hunt and remove everybody, but if you’re going to corrupt the department and not assist our genuine Papua New Guineans in their day-to-day issues when it comes to their land, then we cannot have you here.
“You are a public servant, which means you are to serve our people and not to take from them.”
Tkatchenko said while Oswald Tolopa was acting in the role, the secretary’s position would be advertised to give confidence to the workforce in the department.
“This is so that we can permanently appoint people in their rightful positions and we are also advertising another 11 positions in the department,” Tkatchenko said.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we allow people to act in positions for three or four years or even longer sometimes. We need to give them a guarantee to move on and do their job for the benefit of the public and the department.
“We have to give people an opportunity in order to know how they are going to perform or what they can do and I’m giving him an opportunity to step up.