PNG Ombudsman Commission Appeals To Public Not To Question Leadership Code Enforcement Role

Follows comments in media, Commission assures proper use of constitutional authority 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, September 1, 2016) – Leadership watchdog, the Ombudsman Commission, has appealed to the public not to comment on matters that are before independent constitutional authorities.

This follows recent statements in the media questioning the Ombudman’s role in enforcing the Leadership Code.

In a three-page statement yesterday, acting Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick and acting Ombudsman Richard Pagen said that the Ombudsman Commission is an investigative body given powers by the Constitution to supervise the enforcement of the Leadership Code.

They said that the Commission’s investigations are guided by law with every step of the process being diligently followed from the decision to investigate, the investigation, the right to be heard, the decision whether to refer, notice to the leader and the referral to the Public Prosecutor.

"If the Commission’s investigations or any of its proceedings are motivated by malice, self-interests or are vexatious or it takes into account irrelevant considerations, its decisions will not stand up against any reasonable test or acceptable standards.

"The Public must be informed that the Ombudsman Commission and Public Prosecutor exercise absolute independence in all fairness and comply with rules of natural justice.

"This is truer in relation to determining evidence and referring a leader to the Public Prosecutor in that no one Ombudsman directs and controls its proceedings. Not even the Chief Ombudsman."

PNG Post-Courier
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