The National – Wednesday, December 8, 2010
By VERONICA FRANCIS
IT is a sad reality that 98% of Papua New Guineans die without leaving a will to their next of kin, placing a burden on inheritance of assets by family members.
To address this, the Office of the Public Curator, the official trustee of the state, has embarked on an awareness drive throughout the country to educate people on its roles and responsibilities.
Acting Public Curator Julius Pololi said due to the lack of awareness, immediate family members of those who died were unable to access the accounts of relatives or were unable to legally transfer ownership of assets and properties to their names.
Awareness team leader Jonah Irum admitted that the biggest failure of the Office of the Public Curator was service delivery, which the programme aimed to address so that it was improved at the provincial level.
He said with the bad publicity in the media over the years, the office, under new administration, had now taken a bold step to address some of the issues.
“The awareness will enable us to have dialogue with people at the lowest level so that there will be a better understanding between all parties involved,” he said.
Irum added that they had carried out awareness in Northern, Milne Bay, New Ireland and East New Britain because of the economic activities there and, later, would move to the provinces under the LNG project.
He said this exercise targeted the public but mostly the provincial administrations and important stakeholders.
Irum said an assessment would be carried out later in each province that had had the awareness to evaluate the outcome of the programme.