Costly issue of corruption yet to be tackled: CBC

The Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands says concerns raised in the past are yet to be adequately addressed.

The ongoing and costly issue of corruption is still not being addressed in any meaningful way.

In a press briefing on Friday, the Catholic Bishops Conference queried the progress on the proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption.   

President of CBC and Bishop of Kavieng, Bishop Rochus Tatamai, said the only ones benefiting from the delay in implementing this are the corrupt. He questioned when this culture of impunity will end.

He further highlighted the ongoing issue of the collapse of partnership in education and health.  

Bishop Rochus said the interference of politicians and public servants in appointments and selections to their agency schools is chronic, adding it is not only illegal but destructive to the welfare of their students.

“Rather than strengthening and promoting partnership, we see direct interference,” he stated. “And this is another example we see happening in the university (UPNG).

“There are due processes in place, and should be strengthened and promoted, and yet, we see political interference. If this continues, we are just destroying our own process of delivery of services.”

Expressing similar sentiments, the National Catholic Education Secretary, Michael Ova, highlighted a recent issue faced by the Port Moresby Business College when the higher education minister made an appointment to the principal’s post.  

“A level 6 teacher was elevated to principal’s position,” Ova said. “While the recognised people have been put aside; those duly-appointed by the National Education Board. And that’s why that issue has come to a head and we are looking at a very serious situation now.

“If we are looking for quality, this is not the way to look for quality; appointing wrong people, in wrong positions, using their authority.”

Ova stressed that laws and regulations have been put in place for the appointment of education officials, hence politicians and public servants should abide by them.

(Bishop Rochus Tatamai, left, and National Catholic Education Secretary, Michael Ova)

Carmella Gware