Ombudsman Commission

Lae land under probe

The popular recreational area outside the Lae Rugby League Oval has been fenced off by Y&C Enterprise for the construction of a service station.

It was section 67, lot 20, that was awarded to Tracy Nen on September 2nd, 2021, by the Lae National Court. However, that area covers the access road from the rugby oval to the main road.

On top of that, the Morobe provincial building board granted the leaseholders a permit to build a service station on that recreational area.

Investigate Open MPs

The Assembly made the call in a three-part motion passed in the New Ireland Assembly meeting held on the 21st of December 2022. 

The Appointed Chief Representative, Robin Kamkam, in moving the motions called on the appropriate State agencies to audit the expenditures of the Lihir Mining Royalties including investigating a secret bank account in Singapore allegedly operated by Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt.

The motion further read that it must also established whether Schnaubelt is a born citizen of PNG.

OC called to speed up process

Because of the national general elections, the Ombudsman Commission is controlling the expenditure and disbursement of public funds, pursuant to Section 27(4) of the Constitution.

“This is to avoid the current Member of Parliament from being tangled during the campaign period by disbursing public funds towards projects and services within their electorate,” said the watchdog.

“No funds will be released unless clearance has been sought from the Ombudsman Commission.

OC Restricts Spending Of Public Funds

Chief Ombudsman Commission, Richard Pagen in a statement said to avoid current Members of Parliament from being tangled during the campaign period by disturbing public funds towards service delivery in their respective electorates.

"The distribution of public funds as the PSIP, DSIP, LLG SIP, COVID and other development funds during the NGE period are an ongoing concern"

"From the day the issue of writs is issued up until the date when the new Government is formed and the new PEC and DDA have advised us of the change of bank account signatures. 

Mirisim Cleared Of Multiple Charges

The Tribunal members consisting Justice Les Gavara Nanu, Magistrate Josephine Kilage and Magistrate Mark Selefkariu made the ruling last Wednesday, 17th of November at the Waigani National Court.

Mirisim was slapped with 22 charges for misconduct in office. Of these charges, he pleaded guilty to one charge, where he provided incorrect dates of birth for his spouse and children on his annual statements.

OC warns Gov’t authorities on vaccination

The Ombudsman Commission has warned government authorities to respect people’s rights and not force them to get vaccination.

Chief Ombudsman, Richard Pagen in a statement said the Ombudsman Commission is fully aware that PNG is a signatory to several core Human Rights Treaties and that its National Constitution is very unique that it almost contains all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. 

Watchdog queries deferral of LLG elections

The Ombudsman Commission filed the special constitutional reference in the Supreme Court to find out whether section 34 of the Organic Law on the Provincial and Local Level Government, allows for a deferral of the LLG elections to more than three months. This is after the date of the return of writs for the National General election.

OC files reference on SIM registration

This requires all mobile phone device users in PNG to register their SIM cards.

The Ombudsman Commission filed the special Supreme Court reference on January 31st, 2019.

In 2016 the head of state enacted the SIM card registration regulation, in accordance with the advice of the NEC under section 216 of the National Information and Telecommunication Technology Act 2009.

The SRC Regulation binds all licensed telecommunication service providers and all persons who use SIM cards in PNG.

Kepore sworn in as Accountant Ombudsman

His appointment now completes the Ombudsman Commission’s administrative body, specifically referred to as Members of the Commission.

The Ombudsman Commission should consist of three ombudsman - the Chief Ombudsman who could be of any professional background, an ombudsman with legal and administrative background and an accountant ombudsman.

Since December 2014, the commission was one member short.

An accountant by profession, Kepore was appointed on October 9th, 2018, by the Ombudsman Appointments Committee.

Former finance manager arrested

Geita Doura, 43, of Gabi Village, Hanuabada was arrested on July 6th 2018 and charged with 11 counts of Misappropriation of Funds, totalling K419,927.42

He was further charged with 11 counts of False Pretence, five counts of false accounting and two counts of Money Laundering.

The funds belonged to the Ombudsman Commission of Papua New Guinea.

Doura allegedly committed the offence between March 19th 2012 and August 6th 2014.