THE Constitutional amendment to the Ombudsman Commission (OC) bill has been passed and it is the non-negotiable Organic Law amendment that will be debated publicly.
The main reason for the MPs’ action to amend the OC bill, named the Maladina bill, is because of the “double trial” MPs had to undergo.
Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said in a press conference in Lae that interested parties must “sponsor spaces in the print media outlining the details of the amendment and its consequences as well as pay for air time for national television and radio to broadcast live the proposed debate in Parliament on TV and radio”.
Mr Wenge, who is a member of the Parliamentary Committee of the OC, said the committee’s primary role was to check the Constitution and the administration of the leadership code and to ensure it was enacted in accordance with the law.
He said the OC had been using its “blanket powers” to stop and limit the use of funds by MPs.
“Some genuine projects are not implemented because of this, which is not good as not all MPs are misusing funds,” he said.
Mr Wenge said his main concerned was that MPs suspected of foul play had to go through two trials and investigations by the normal judicial system and the OC, which came up with contradicting verdicts and penalties.
“Another is the non-limitation of time which can see MPs being investigated for allegations which go back some years, or even decades.
“The constitutional amendment bill has already been passed after two readings, it’s already a law. There can be debate, but what can be achieved?
“Only the Organic Law can be debated before its third reading,” he said.
Mr Wenge also called for the suspension of the order of the day in the upcoming May 4 Parliament sitting to cater to the proposed public debate.