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Old 02-05-2003, 10:22 PM
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TI PNG - Transparency International PNG

Press Release: April 07, 2003

TI PNG questions the re-employment of a retrenched public servant to head the National Fisheries Authority

PORT MORESBY: Transparency International PNG questions the re-employment of a retrenched public servant by the Fisheries Minister to head up the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).

"The appointment of Mr. Chapau is not proper and does not comply with the laws of the land." TI (PNG) said.

" An officer who has been retrenched from the Public Service previously shall not be re-appointed or re-deployed back into the Public Service either in a line of position or in short term contract employment under any circumstances," Section 16.7 of the Revised Public Service General Orders states.

TI also questions the government's decision when representatives of the NFA have confirmed that all duties and responsibilities of this position have been carried out effectively by out-going Dr. Anthony Lewis.

According to the Fisheries Management Act 1998, the Minister may, at any time, by written notice, advise a member or the Chairman that he intends to terminate his appointment on the grounds of misconduct in office, and such notice shall specify the details of the misconduct. TI has seen no allegations nor evidence of misconduct on the part of Dr. Lewis.

The Act also states that the NFA Managing Director shall be appointed by the Head of State, acting on advice of the National Executive Council, by notice in the National Gazette. In this instance, the Minister made the appointment.

Claims were also made from the Fisheries Minister, Andrew Baing, that Dr Lewis had no contract with the state. However, Dr. Lewis has revealed that he has a contract with the state between NFA and himself which was approved by the Salaries and Conditions Monitoring Committee.

The recently passed constitutional amendments aimed at restoring merit based appointment process for departmental heads and provincial administrator also provide the Public Service Commission with a more proactive role in the suspension, selection, appointment and dismissal of Departmental Heads, Provincial Administrators and Heads of Public Authorities.

All these positions must be advertised and the Public Service Commission will assess the candidates on merit and will provide a ranked shortlist to NEC from which Cabinet will make an appointment.Again, TI has not seen any advertisements in the papers.

TI PNG therefore, calls on the government to reconsider its decision and carefully assess the facts before taking any further steps of the formalities of the appointment.

Despite Dr. Lewis's strict adherence to principles of good governance, transparency and accountability, the Prime Minister has signed the Cabinet's decision to revoke his appointment. Such a decision again brings the PM's commitment to good governance into question.

TI urges both the NA and PPP to fulfill their campaign promises, which were to "practice good governance, establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption and embark on public awareness including dissemination of information on corruption and what constitutes corruption. These initiatives will be undertaken by the relevant bodies to deter would-be corrupt leaders,"
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:25 PM
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Contact Information :

Transparency International PNG depends on the participation and involvement of the general public in its fight against corruption. If you would like more information about the work of TI PNG or you would like to become a member, please contact us at:

Transparency International Papua New Guinea Inc.
PO Box 591,
Port Moresby,
National Capital District,
PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Tel: +(675)-320-2188 / 320-2182
Fax: +(675)-320-2189

Email: tipngi@daltron.com.pg

Contact Information for
Transparency International in the Pacific:

Australia:

http://www.transparency.org.au

Email: tioz@transparency.org.au

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