THE tabling of the Mineral Resources Authority Act Amendment Bill 2017 without addressing the key legal and financial implications as well as rational suggestions raised by MRA management and board deems the Bill a miscarriage of public policy fundamentals and consultative processes.
There were genuine issues pointed out from the original submission to Cabinet done by the Department of Mineral Policy, which were totally overlooked by the government review processes including the state solicitor and ministerial economic committee.
First and foremost, the Department of Mineral Policy was so discourteous to the Mineral Resources Authority that it unilaterally formulated a submission without consulting it.
The Cabinet has been misled by the submission which demonises the non ex-officio members of influencing decisions on licencing and operational matters of recruitment which are totally baseless.
There is an MRA board and a Mining Advisory Council within MRA which have roles that delineate statutory functions like licencing and the board which provides oversight on administrative matters on governance.
So here again the government has been misled on the functions of the board and the integrity of the representatives of the industry on the board of the MRA.
These members are nominees of the Business Council of PNG and the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum and are individuals with integrity and status. Check them out.
It is mischievous on the part of the Department of Mineral Policy which knew that the submission was for its benefit also, and while it was in a conflict-of-interest position continued to mislead the government anyway.
Sure, the MRA Act could be improved through a review, but not based on fallacious and conflict-of-interest motives which seem to be the case here.
Therefore, the MRA Act review is yet another of those fake exercises that Papua New Guinea is becoming famous for these days. It should be challenged.
Lomux of Pom