Paul Barker urges strong stance on inquiry into MPs’ funding
19 November 2013
RADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL
AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY could be lost if an investigation into MPs who failed to submit financial returns falls by the wayside, says Paul Barker (pictured), the director of Papua New Guinea’s Institute of National Affairs.
The Registrar of Political Parties, Dr Alphonse Gelu, has referred nine members of parliament to the Ombudsman Commission for failing to submit election expenses incurred during last year’s election.
Political parties also have a poor record - from over 40 parties who participated, only 12 filed returns.
This is the first time the Registrar has taken such a step and Paul Barker hopes the Ombudsman Commission will be equally motivated to send a strong message to politicians.
“There’s clearly pressure on the independent constitutional office holders to avoid taking action against some particularly powerful leaders,” Mr Barker said.
“There’s also such a backlog of investigations and prosecutions that this could join the in-tray and maybe never get addressed for one reason or another.”
The chief ombudsman says a decision will be reached soon as to whether the case should be referred to the public prosecutor.
Phil, the key difference between what gets the politicians knickers-in-a-knot over Mark Davis is that, where Paul Barker is concerned, there is no money involved, i.e. INA are only a think-tank not a money-bank, like SDP.
Besides, it's palpably obvious, at the grassroots level anyway, that no bureaucrat in their right mind really listens to the INA. Otherwise we might actually be doing something to save PNG.
That brings to mind the new budget...
So were spending money we don't have and now it's a good time to talk about agriculture and tourism?
And the big question about pigs is...?
Posted by: Michael Dom | 19 November 2013 at 01:06 PM
I wonder when Paul Barker will be kidnapped by the police, driven around Moresby and then delivered to Jacksons with a one way ticket to Cairns and nothing else.
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 19 November 2013 at 07:37 AM