Informed Local Communities Ensure LLG Accountability
Monday 18th March 2019, Port Moresby – A vital way to address corruption and ensure accountability within Local Level Governments (LLG), is to inform citizens on how to monitor and report on governance issues within their communities says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG). The local anti-corruption NGO visited Kimbe to conduct a 2nd LLG Accountability Workshop with participants from Hoskins and Talasea LLGs in West New Britain.
TIPNG was assisted by the Ombudsman Commission Islands Regional Office to facilitate the workshop the 29 participants from Hoskins and Talasea. The workshop topics included; how councilors can identify cases of corruption and report it to TIPNG’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, the role of the Ombudsman Commission and how they can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission. Other topics included the Leadership Code and how to create a Social Accountability Plan.
“The aim of the LLG Accountability Workshops was twofold, firstly to strengthen the accountability mechanisms within the three Districts where they were conducted and secondly to identify weaknesses to be addressed by appropriate entities such as the Department of Provincial & Local Government Affairs (DPLGA), Department of Finance and the Department of National Planning & Monitoring” said TIPNG workshop facilitator Mr. Yuambari Haihuie.
“While we would have ideally wanted to conduct the workshop with newly elected LLG officials, the deferral of the LLG Elections has necessitated holding the 2nd Workshop before communities had voted in new officials for their respective LLG’s. Nevertheless, it is TIPNG’s hope that the communities within Goroka, Kimbe & Madang will use the information provided and be more resilient in the face of corruption by actively pursuing accountability.”
Recently the PNG Ombudsman Commission has also sought a Supreme Court reference on the LLG Elections which have been deferred from 2017 to 2019. TIPNG raised similar concerns in 2018, as Section 34 of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-Level Government (OLPLLG) states that wherever practicable, the term of a Local-Level Government shall be the same as and run concurrently with the term of the Parliament, and can be deferred no more than three months after the National Elections which occurred in 2017.