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July 13, 2020
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NEC Approves Administrative Inquiry into Manumanu Land Issue

The National Executive Council today approved an Administrative Inquiry into the Manumanu land issue.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the NEC agrees that there must be principals of accountability and transparency in transactions that agencies of government do on behalf of the State.

Mr. O’Neill said the Administrative Inquiry has been approved in place of a Commission of Inquiry because of a court action taken out against the government, questioning the legality of Commissions of Inquiry, pending a decision.

NEC has appointed John Griffin, Queens Council, from the Queensland Bar to lead the inquiry for a duration of 4 weeks, starting tomorrow.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the NEC agrees that there must be principals of accountability and transparency in transactions that agencies of government do on behalf of the State.

“These are serious allegations of impropriety that need to be investigated as I have committed and then to be reported back to Parliament through the National Executive Council,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. O’Neill said the Administrative Inquiry has been approved in place of a Commission of Inquiry because of a court action taken out against the government, questioning the legality of Commissions of Inquiry, pending a decision.

“After legal advice that I have sought, and because of on-going court action that is now before the Supreme Court of our country, that is the Western Provincial Government, and Posman Kua Lawyers have taken out a court action against the Government, and NEC and myself as Chair of NEC, questioning the legality of commissions of inquiry.”

NEC has appointed John Griffin, Queens Council, from the Queensland Bar to lead the inquiry for a duration of 4 weeks, starting on March 8th, 2017.

The Prime Minister clarified that the appointment of Mr Griffin will enable the ongoing investigations to continue. These are the investigations that are before the police fraud squad, the Ombudsman Commission, and the Senior Public Servants that have been implicated in this matter.

“This Inquiry will look into the role of relevant Ministers, the role of relevant Departmental Heads and their officers particularly the Secretaries of Departments, the heads of various State Owned Enterprises, and it will look at the role of management of many of these organisations, as well as the role of the Valuer General in terms of the valuations of the land that was been purchased.

“The recommendations of this particular inquiry will be made to cabinet within four weeks. That is to ensure that we report to Parliament on the findings of the inquiry,” O’Neill explained.

 This Administrative Inquiry will cost about K2 million.

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