Govt bypass law office to amend or draft laws

The Government is bypassing the country’s only law reform office and engaging private firms to review and draft laws, which are costing the state an estimated K100 million.

This was revealed by the Chairman of Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, during the Certified Practising Accountants Annual conference in Port Moresby.

Dr Kwa said what was costing the state in millions of Kina in laws drafted by private firms, could be done freely by CLRC.

The CLRC is also the only constitutionally mandated office to carry out reviews and drafting of laws in PNG.

“The current legal fee that we’ve got from a private law firm, they’re charging K7 million for the drafting of a law.

“Now if your charging K7 million across all those (government) agencies, we are saving these people a lot of money,” said Kwa.

Kwa said the Government, however, has not provided the appropriate funding for the CLRC to do its job. Even when tasked by the Chief Secretary to carry out review of laws.

“I tell them were saving you this money by doing this law review, and yet you’re giving money to other people to review laws. Why?” It defeats logic! He stated.

He went on to say “I told the government look at your audits, were saving you at least K10 million to K20 million a year, so therefore you must give us a little K1 million or K2 million for me to do my work. But they can’t.”

Dr Kwa called on the Government also not to secretly pass laws which will impact the country.

He said the public has a right to know what laws are being amended of proposed and that is one of the fundamental principles of the CLRC in being open to public consultation and participation.


Cedric Patjole