From PAUL OATES
I refer to an article in today's Post Courier titled 'Bill delay...'. Yes, there's been a change of 'tact' on the part of some leaders, but it seems it is still business as usual? If the amendment to Section 27(4) has already been passed and is now up the Speaker, what chance is there of rescinding it? If Mr Malandina now wants more work done on his Amendment, why didn't he first check it out with ALL the stakeholders and circulate it publically and widely prior to introducing it into the House? Surely this is an attempt at 'smoke and mirrors' and further obfuscation of Mr Malandina's true intent? What is the government's view on this? Clearly it supports the entire Amendment and is only waiting for the current furore to die down. I hope those who are trying to have the Amendment withdrawn are not to be fooled. _____________________ Article in today's PC: News Friday 30th April, 2010 Bill delay . . . By JONATHAN TANNOS NON-government organisations yesterday made a breakthrough in getting the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ombudsman, Moses Maladina, to agree to delay final debate on the controversial Constitutional amendments. But Mr Maladina now faces the daunting task of convincing the Government caucus lead by the Leader of Government Business, Paul Tiensten, to allow for it. This is in order for them to make supporting changes to the amendments or review the proposed changes to the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership and the other Constitutional alterations. The breakthrough came through an open meeting with leaders of the NGOs led by Transparency International PNG, Community Coalition Against Corruption, the Churches and Women's Councils plus others led by National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop. In a change of tact Mr Maladina has invited most protesting groups including lawyers, senior citizens and students to sit down with him and go through the changes. But he has also made it clear that he would not be withdrawing the bill, as it was already the property of Parliament and any changes would have to be integrated with current amendments on final approval by the government caucus. "The last thing I want to do is withdraw it," he said. "It's in Parliament and I want to make the changes there." Yesterday's open meeting was the first opportunity for the NGOs to hear from Mr Maladina first hand clarifications over the many misunderstandings and misinformation relating to the amendments. For many there it was a relief when Mr Maladina explained each specific amendment when they were given the opportunity to voice their objections on each one. On the most controversial one - Section 27(4) of the Constitution - rescinding the directive powers of the Ombudsman Commission, Mr Maladina told them it had already been passed and was only awaiting certification by the Speaker. And instead of the expected confrontational approaches to the meeting all parties found themselves being tasked by Mr Maladina to carefully scrutinize their own proposed changes and improvisations to be presented to his committee for consideration. "I myself want some more work to be done on the changes," he said. "There's a lot more work to be done." Mr Maladina said it was the responsibility of the Ombudsman Commission to protect the integrity of leaders "not having a prosecutorial attitude." Mr Maladina gave the working committee representing the NGOs to come up with their changes by Monday next week. He gave assurance that there would be debate on the floor after the additional consultations have been held.