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Pacific Ombudsman Alliance Supports PNG Colleague

Pacific Ombudsman Alliance Supports PNG Colleague

CANBERRA, Dec. 15 /Medianet International-AsiaNet/ --

The Commonwealth Ombudsman and Chair of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, Professor John McMillan, today condemned the shooting of his colleague and friend, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Chief Ombudsman Mr Chronox Manek OL.

``Since his appointment in 2008, Mr Manek has dedicated himself to safeguarding PNG's citizens through his fearless investigation of complaints against government officials and agencies,’’ Professor McMillan said.

``His excellent leadership of the Ombudsman Commission of PNG and courageous fight against corruption have served to strengthen a well-deserved reputation for independence.

``This attempt on Mr Manek's life is of great concern to the Ombudsman community worldwide.’’

The Ombudsman Commission of PNG, which was created by the new PNG Constitution in 1975, performs a unique role under the Constitution of the Independent State of PNG in that it is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Leadership Code.

Under the Code, all elected officials and constitutional officer-holders, including the Governor-General, government Ministers, judges and senior government officials have a duty to avoid a conflict of interest in the discharge of public duties. Further, they must not act in a way that demeans their public office or undermines respect for the integrity of the government of PNG.

Since 1976, Ombudsman Commission investigations have led to more than 40 leaders being found guilty of breaching the Leadership Code.

On behalf of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, Professor McMillan extended his best wishes to Mr Manek for a speedy recovery.

``Mr Manek is a highly respected member of the Alliance, and a Board member of the International Ombudsman Institute. He is deeply committed to the role of the Ombudsman in ensuring integrity in government.

``I am confident that Mr Manek will continue his work in the intrepid manner that characterised his former role as Public Prosecutor, and now as the Chief Ombudsman,’’ Professor McMillan said.

The Ombudsman Commission of PNG is a member of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, along with other Ombudsman offices from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. The role of the Alliance is to provide support for the development of Ombudsman offices and complaint handling in Pacific Forum countries.

ENDS

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