The Opposition has expressed concern that the Ombudsman Commission is still without a permanent head with the country facing many controversial leadership issues.
Deputy Leader of Opposition and Bulolo MP Sam Basil said that the Ombudsman Commission is the chief enforcer of the Leadership Code and a watchdog over governance.
“It is unacceptable – and improper – for it to function without a Chief Ombudsman for too long,” the Deputy Leader said.
He added that “an acting appointment leaves whoever is in the chief ombudsman’s chair in a vulnerable and insecure position – subject to manipulation.”
He said a permanently appointed Chief Ombudsman would be able to provide effective leadership in the fight against corruption and breaches of the Leadership Code.
“This Constitutional Office must be restored back to its former glory. This can only begin with an activated and expedited appointment of a permanent Chief Ombudsman.”
The Bulolo MP called on the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Ombudsmen Appointing Committee to expedite the appointment process, saying that with new amendments to laws pending, and leadership cases outstanding, the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman is paramount.
“Ministers and departmental heads – and even Members of Parliament overseeing K10 million per district – all need the accountability and monitoring provided by the Ombudsman Commission especially with a high deficit 2013 Budget which requires strong fiscal discipline.
“This appointment – preferably before Christmas will signal - to Papua New Guinea and our international development partners and diplomatic friends that we are serious about good governance,” he said.