We must change our system of Government |Allan Bird, East Sepik Governor

Our country is overrun with corruption because we do not have an effective check on power.

There is a complete lack of checks and balances in the system. In fact I would say that there aren’t any checks and balances at all.

We negotiate for an opportunity to spend money. Everyone spends public money, from the PM all the way to the LLG presidents and the ward members and public servants.

Who checks on the Provincial Governments? No one. Who checks on the DDA? No one. Who checks on the LLG? No one. Who checks on the national government? No one.

The only check and balance is the goodwill of those who are in those positions. We work on a series of concensus. We have consensus in Parliament to spend money, we have consensus in the Assembly to spend money, we have consensus in the DDA to spend money and we have consensus in the LLG to spend public money on projects we desire.

Right now, the only real check and balance is the individual himself. And if the individual feels he is doing the right thing, the nation is at the mercy of the individual in a position of power to negotiate his opportunity to spend public money.

We need strong mechanisms of checks and balances that will say NO to those spending money and to jail them if they don’t comply.

Such a system does not exist in PNG right now.