PNG PARLIAMENT FUNDING CALLED INADEQUATE

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By Harlyne Joku

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug. 23) – Papua New Guinea’s parliamentary system needs adequate funding to be able to operate effectively, according to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK branch secretary Andrew Tuggey.

Mr. Tuggey, who is on a fact-finding mission in PNG to explore potential areas for Commonwealth partnerships, told reporters yesterday that one of the concerns raised by the Speaker of Parliament Jeffrey Nape was that there was inadequate funding for Parliament. He said it was important that Parliament receives proper funding and support from the Government.

He said that in the United Kingdom, Parliament recommended to the Government how much they needed to operate effectively.

Tuggey stressed that parliamentary committees needed to play their respective roles with greater enthusiasm. He said from his recent observations, almost all parliamentary committees were ineffective except for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Tuggey said PAC could be improved by having the Opposition leader as chairman as was the case in the UK parliamentary system.

British high commissioner David Dunn supported Tuggey’s comments saying that it was vital for a parliamentary system to be effectively working so that the people of PNG would be well represented.

Mr. Dunn said the Commonwealth was a unique family of nations that encouraged close parliamentary links.

The CPA UK branch is one of over 150 branches of the association throughout the Commonwealth. The UK branch has members from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

It provides opportunities for UK Members of Parliament to liaise with fellow parliamentarians and parliamentary visits as well as providing a point of contact within the Westminster for Commonwealth Members of Parliament visiting UK.

Tuggey left PNG early this morning for the UK. His four-day visit included a call on the National Parliament Speaker, meetings with MPs and a visit to Bougainville where he met with the Autonomous Bougainville Government parliamentarians and officials.

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