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Foreigner should head new ICAC: Minister

Jelta Wong
Jelta Wong - Believes a foreign ICAC commissioner will guarantee a fair and just system

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea government health minister Jelta Wong says a foreigner should head the country's new independent anti-corruption agency.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill passed its second reading in parliament last week.

With the final reading due in August, a long-touted ICAC is close to becoming a reality.

Health Minister Wong says he's pleased with the content of the bill.

As the head of the health sector, which has been hampered by corruption, Mr Wong says it's important ICAC be truly independent.

"We just have to wait for the third reading and make sure they put things in place where the people that are in charge are not pushed by other people, or they have relations," he said.

"I think the first commissioner should be coming from a foreign country so that it's a fair and just system."

Last year, a parliamentary committee uncovered extensive corruption in the country's public health sector, particularly around the procurement, supply and distribution of medicines.

The committee heard repeated accounts of health officials demanding bribes from companies involved in distribution of medicines.

It found that due diligence was rarely performed to guarantee the quality of contractors, nor the quality of the drugs supplied under the contract.

Comments

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Michael Dom

Sam Koim or his delegate, say Matthew Damarua.

Raymond Sigimet

I would agree with Jelta Wong in his assessment.

It is unfortunate that we cannot look within because of factors known to ourselves. The government has to be congratulated also for allowing the passage of this important Bill in parliament.

For the ICAC to be independent and directed in its organisation and function, an external commissioner be appointed to head and lead the commission. This person has to work with a team dedicated to see corruption uprooted and burned in this country.

We minimise corruption and we maximise benefits that corruption continues to hinder and frustrate for our people.

I also notice that the PNG court system sometimes frustrate and/ or delay cases involving corruption. Sometimes, cases get thrown out because of 'lack of evidence'. I hope ICAC, when effected, will be able to overcome this hurdle.

The people would like to see corruption cases tried successfully and the accused proven guilty (without doubt).

And the PNG governors should stop calling for the ICAC Bill to be reinterpreted to suit a political system that is essentially encouraging corruption and mismanagement of the people's money by politicians, hangers-on and the 'kaikai-man' within this system.

Simon Davidson

Peter O'Neill wouldn't pass the ICAC legislation because his administration was riddled in corruption.

Now the long anticipated ICAC Bill is soon to be passed. It will help to stem the tide of endemic corruption.

Lindsay F Bond

Sure to make some cry, if not for it being a possible gamechanger.

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