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Date Posted: Fri, May 25 2007, 03:24:03pm
The postings below is only a sneek preview.
Apparently, the articles appeared on the same paper and date.
The public informed opinions from the different spectrum of the society indicates how SELFISH, CORRUPT and IGNORANT National Alliance Party really is.
Those who blindly continue to support NA are either naive or are detached for the realities of life with their heads burried in the sand.
Focus Weekend Edition Fri - Sun May 25th -27th May , 2007
The Government has the responsibility to regulate mineral resources development. The ill-advised enactment of the Mineral Resource Authority Act, 2005, will shut our government and the industry will regulate itself.
The politics of mineral law
MINERAL resource is a vital commodity. It is of economic, political and strategic importance.
Law on a very important national heritage such as mineral resources must be tested for its appropriateness.
Government has the responsibility to regulate mineral resources development.
Ill-advised enactment of Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005 will shut out government and the industry will regulate itself.
There are daunting truths about the Government’s enactment of the Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005. Yielding to pressure from World Bank and European Union the Government gave away its regulatory responsibility and compromised policy making powers.
On a lot of legal issues for review, the Justice Department did not review and advise the Government.
The Government was deceived about European Union funding of the Mining House. The recently opened Mining House has no relationship with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
Mining House is one of the 10 projects funded by the European Union.
The Mineral Resources Authority is linked with two projects, namely, the geological mapping and airborne geophysical survey. These two projects were linked with the Mineral Resources Authority to bring Geological Survey of PNG into the Mineral Resources Authority.
Initially, Geological Survey of PNG objected to being part of the Mineral Resources Authority.
It was Mining Minister Sam Akoitai who rolled Geological Survey of PNG into the Mineral Resources Authority.
Timing for the signing of the financing agreement with the European Union was not properly arranged. As such the Prime Minister signed the agreement instead of the Minister for Treasury. Perspectives of rural people on mineral resource development under the Mineral Resources Authority were not obtained when the Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005 was enacted. Their members of Parliament did not lend any help. They failed to debate the Bill.
Mining Minister Sam Akoitai sought to allocate ministerial responsibility over the Mineral Resources Authority to himself.
It is now confirmed that Mr Akoitai had no ministerial responsibility over the Mineral Resources Authority.
Having no ministerial responsibility over the Mineral Resources Authority, he sought to exercise powers he did not have.
Minister Akoitai advised the Head of State to commence the Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005.
He (Akoitai) got various industry bodies to nominate candidates for Mineral Resources Authority board membership.
Minister Akoitai protected the papers on applications to non-existent positions from being brought to the attention of the Secretary for Mining. In doing so Minister Akoitai prevented fraud from being exposed and dealt with appropriately.
The Mineral Resources Authority was to have replaced the Department of Mining.
It was thought the Mineral Resources Authority would get PNG out of regulatory troubles to utopia. Talking about utopia, regulation was punctuated as the major reason for Mineral Resources Authority replacing the Department of Mining.
It is now clear the primary reason is money. Money by itself is useless. Many big businesses in the past have failed in the world because of bad governance.
Mineral Resources Authority has all the credentials for bad governance. It does not have vision. It does not have mission, objectives, strategies and values. These are minimum requirements. The Mineral Resources Authority has already failed these minimum requirements for good governance. Governance also requires respect for rule of law.
Legal advice given to Minister Akoitai is that he has no political or statutory responsibility over the Mineral Resources Authority.
Mineral resources is at the heart of politics in many countries. The New International Economic Order was founded on mineral resources. It was said to be receding in the past but there is an air of resurgence. Hugo Chavez is reported to have nationalised mineral resources businesses in Venezuela recently. Last year Evo Morales nationalised gas fields in Bolivia. At home we have heard a number of leaders calling for the review of mineral resources law.
Most wars were fought over mineral wealth.
The recent Gulf crisis was initially over oil and subsequently overtaken by terrorism.
Our own Bougainville crisis has its roots in the exploitation of mineral resources on customary land. The Government did not use its regulatory powers to address the plight of the Panguna people thereby escalating their grievance into a major crisis.
Ok Tedi has a number of supplemental agreements negotiated by shareholders and rubber-stamped by Parliament. The regulator becomes a taker. Many other issues are variously raised. Tolukuma has health and safety issues, Ramu has the political issue of land ownership, Kainantu has the technical issue of reserve, Simberi has the issue of security of tenure, Sinivit has an environment issue with its leaching process, Hidden Valley has the gold royalty issue, Porgera has relocation and the illegal miners issue, Lihir has issues on implementation of integrated benefits package and the relocation of Kapit people.
To give away its regulatory responsibility the Government is reneging on its core responsibility. It is giving to an entity that does not have a vision. It is like blind leading the blind.
Doing service is the work of public service. Regulation is a public service function.
The Mineral Resources Authority is said to avoid public service rules just for the money.
“Role playing” of public servants especially chief executive officers keeps a lot of them still in the service. Saying no to the “rule” is suicidal. Often open debates occur when truths are revealed.
When the Secretary for Mining raised a breach of the rule of law and due process relating to his removal, senior leaders of Government were tightlipped.
When no is no, ministers think that removal is the answer. Far from the truth. Truth is, find the reasons and address them. This is leading to solve issues.
Truthful professionals will provide objective opinion and advice. Ultimate decisions are for responsible leaders to make.
Knowing governance rules, principles and practices is vital.
Role playing flourishes in unclear situations and circumstances.
Decision to keep truth is not easy. It requires sense of professionalism. Very often many professionals compromise their professional integrity.
Putting up a professional argument can be viewed with great suspicion.
Use of words to explain a vital point can be misinterpreted to suggest other motives. Getting to the truth is the best way to deal with professional opinion and advice. Being politically sensitive is written in the heart of every leader. No yielding to pressure is political sensitivity. It is professional to face the truth.
Governance is willingness to sacrifice for the truth. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Knowingly avoiding or breaching the law is reckless.
It is very rare for leaders to humble themselves. Humility is a virtue. Respect for Government is worthless if Government does not reciprocate with respect for professionals. Getting a pay packet is not the only driver for many professionals. Other non-monetary things are also important.
Sometimes leaders use dubious means to get at professionals. They use other staff, individuals and politicians.
Power has two main limbs. Position power and personal power.
They can exist together or separately. A politician usually has position power. He or she takes a decision on the basis of position.
Personal power is associated with a professional.
He or she has specialised knowledge or skill based on which a decision is made, advice is given, or action is taken.
What is important is the outcome of the use of power.
James Wanjik is the former secretary for mining
viewpoints - Weekend Edition Fri - Sun May 25th -27th May , 2007
Western Governor did not pay for students’ fees
WESTERN Province is the largest in PNG. We know that we have enough resources to cater for the population in Western Province. Right now we need human resource, highly educated people of Western Province to play a role in different fields of employment to develop the province.
Our Governor Bob Danaya has misled the people.
In January, the Office of the Governor informed the three electorates of Western Province in a circular that any student who was accepted for higher education for higher institutions in PNG would be given half payment of their school fees. Hundreds of students made their way by boat to Port Moresby. The students went to their respective institutions and waited for the half payments which the Governor has promised. For five months these students had suffered living in hunger in Port Moresby. They visited the Governors office many times but the securities turned them away.
They tried other means by going to the Governors house but were once again turned away by securities who were all from the highlands. The students talked to securities through a spy hole advised by his security for reasons. Most of the students have gone back home with only a few having paid for their school fees.
We have a serious problem in Western Province. Is the Governor aware of what he has created? We need human resource, manpower for the next decade.
If he has done nothing for the development of the province then there is no point for him to campaign now.
The order of the day is that we, the people of Western Province want Bob Danaya back into the medicine field treating children in the hospital and not politics.
This the type of bad government Western Province has voted in the past. Please let’s not make the same mistake again.
– Swamp Tiger
viewpoints - Weekend Edition Fri - Sun May 25th -27th May , 2007
Immigrations staff must be investigated
THE level of corruption in the immigration division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is becoming increasingly rampant.
Our report of officers being paid large sums of money to grant Papua New Guinea citizenship to foreigners raises extremely serious issues which require urgent attention.
Investigations were carried out on similar reports in the past but it appears no action was ever taken against those responsible.
Now, these reports are surfacing again. What is going on, we ask.
The immigration division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for one of the most sensitive functions of the Government. It cannot allow unscrupulous officers to work in that division.
The public are entitled to know what the Minister for Foreign Affairs Paul Tiensten and his department secretary are doing about this problem. The head of the division and all officers implicated in the corrupt deals must be immediately suspended from duty as a matter of sensible conduct pending an investigation by both the fraud squad and a high level government investigation team headed by a senior lawyer.
The Chief Secretary to Government must take the lead in ensuring this is done. The Public Service and the whole Government system has been branded as being corrupt and what is happening at the immigration division is one more confirmation of that.
We have stated our view that government officers found guilty of white collar crime and corrupt practices must be given much tougher punishment under the law. Such people should be sent to jail for life. They do not deserve anything less.
One of the highest priorities of the incoming government must be to tackle corruption head on. It should do this by setting up the Independent Commission Against Corruption with wide-ranging powers to tackle corruption in both the public and private sectors and also powers to prosecute people before the courts.
Corruption has crippled PNG and is choking it.
The political will to tackle this disease is no longer there, at least not with the present government. Under their regime, corruption has flourished and spread. They have done nothing to prevent it.
PNG needs a new government that will fight corruption with impunity. We need a government that will ensure the public service is free from corruption and that public servants who engage in corrupt deals or theft of public funds or receive money from other people to do favours are locked up behind bars for the rest of their lives.
viewpoints - Weekend Edition Fri - Sun May 25th -27th May , 2007
Wealth Department brushing our claims aside
THIS is the only response that we the residential doctors, dentists, pharmacists, medical imaging, laboratory scientists and health extension officers have been receiving after our confrontation with the Health Department several weeks ago. I’d say we have been fooled and cheated again. These are some of the many excuses given by individuals from the Health Department and the Department of Personnel Management for the delay:
* NO funds available from the Treasury Department,
* NO file numbers,
* Responsible people never present in the office,
* University producing more than is required; and the most recent,
* System cannot deliver the funds entered, just last week Thursday May 17 to pay us this week. The public has to be aware that we the health professionals are the main public servants, who work around the clock everyday looking after the sick, being exposed to sicknesses and are still able to deliver health services to the citizens of PNG. And not being paid for five months now is tyrannical for these departments to continue to delay our payments.
Such excuses come about because of inefficiency, neglect and wrong people in such positions.
So those of you interested in the health profession, think twice because you can see how we are being treated and of course brushed away with the well known “next fortnight!”. If no pay next fortnight, names will be mentioned in the media.
– Worn-Out Warrior Princess PMGH
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