Bogia MP and PAC Chairman, John Hickey, says the lack of action on recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been personally frustrating for him.
While there has been some success, many of the people who have been referred to the Public Prosecutor for allegations of corruption have not been investigated or charged.
Much of the inaction stems from the Public Prosecutor’s limited capacity.
The PAC has had some success in its inquiries. The public health system was investigated by the committee.
An inquiry team went to Lae to look into the state of the Angau hospital several years ago.
What they reported was pretty much the obvious – a rundown hospital that needed help.
But the attention given by a high profile parliamentary committee prompted the government to act.
Angau is being rebuilt; other hospitals have also received government attention. It has been a major achievement for the committee.
But it hasn’t been all that good. In fact the unimplemented recommendations outweigh the committee’s successes.
And it’s largely not because of the committee’s work but because the lack of capacity and inaction by other government agencies.
One of those agencies is the public prosecutor’s office which has expressed that they are overburdened with a backlog of work that they are unable to work on PAC recommendations.
The investigation recommendations that remain outstanding include those from the housing and lands inquiries. According to records, not much has been done.
Earlier this week, the Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, called on the government to implement PAC recommendations.
He said if the government is going to set up an independent commission against corruption, PAC recommendations have to be implemented.
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