PNG lacks political will to probe graft claims, says Basil

National, Normal


PAPUA New Guinea has systems and agencies in place to investigate allegations of corruption, but what is lacking is political will and sufficient funding from the Government to strengthen the cause to achieve results, Bulolo MP Sam Basil said.
Mr Basil was reacting to Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal’s intention to push a corruption bill through Parliament.
While Mr Basil appreciates the fact that corruption has tainted PNG’s image abroad and the gesture to push for change via a stronger law, his concern is that PNG must utilise what it has.
“Let us not just give up as yet on agencies such as the Ombudsman Commission that are still capable of delivering its services,” Mr Basil urged.
“We need to strengthen these agencies to function to our expectations,” he added.
Mr Basil cited the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee as an example of a toothless organisation.
“The PAC has no power, there are many reports and recommendations collecting dust, it would be good to give more power and funding support to such committees to have more bite,” he said.
Mr Basil urged Mr Abal to collaborate meaningfully with chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ombudsman to source ways to move forward.