PNG leaders to declare business transactions

Richard Pagen

Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission (OC) has reviewed its annual statement forms, meaning that a total of 452 leaders will now have to declare all their business transactions.

PNG Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen launched the new annual statement forms on Friday, saying the previous form did not make it compulsory for leaders to declare any income made or received from their business activities.

“Of the 7,967 leaders in PNG, 452 fall into category A: people holding office with greater powers and responsibilities. The OC issues and receives statements to and from these leaders annually,” Pagen said.

“These are all MPs, including Opposition leaders and ministers, provincial and local level government members, all department heads and their secretaries, all statutory heads of authorities and agencies, the Commissioner of Police and Governor-General’s staff to name a few.

“Business transaction is one that requires leaders to tediously go through their account statements of both your personal and business that you have or activities that you’re engaged in,” he said.

In the first review since 1975, Pagen noted that when he presented it to Parliament during the induction ceremony, because of the complaints he received from leaders, the OC designed a new form that is more user-friendly.

“In the new annual statement form, all money received by your businesses, whether it is a partnership or if you are a shareholder, you will have to disclose this and in doing so, you will also have to disclose your relationship with that partner or company,” he said.