How to make service delivery work in Papua New Guinea
Age did not weary him – the remarkable life of Sir Wamp Wan

PNG must prioritise corruption ahead of new land laws

Act Now logoEFFREY DADEMO | Act Now PNG!

MOVES by the government to review the Lands Act and introduce revised legislation are premature and focus attention away from the real problem of corruption.

Changes to the law ignore the corruption that is at the root of most of the current problems with land administration and therefore any changes will do nothing to stop the ongoing abuses.

The Minister for Lands, Benny Allan, has publicly acknowledged the high level of corruption and inefficiency within his Department and has described the system of land administration in PNG as "corrupt and dysfunctional".

Unlawful land transactions and land grabbing in PNG are widespread and extend across both rural forest and urban areas.

The SABL Commission of Inquiry highlighted how the Department of Lands has unlawfully granted leases to more than five million hectares of land.

It is senseless to review and change the law when everyone accepts the Departments responsible for administering the laws are incapable of doing their job.

The first task for the Minister of Lands must be the complete reform of the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.

This needs to start with the removal of all those implicated in different land scandals and Inquiry reports, including the current Acting Secretary.

The reforms must also include, new staff, new management systems and much greater transparency and accountability”.

At the same time the government has to implement the laws Parliament has passed for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The government must ensure the ICAC functions as a well-resourced and independent body free from any political interference.

Only when these steps have been taken should we look at reviewing our existing land laws.

And any review needs to be done through a process of wide and open consultation with people across the whole of PNG.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)