MEMBERS of Parliament should not make excuses on lack of information to pass the Anti-Corruption Bill in Parliament.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in May this year deferred the Bill from going to parliament, citing lack of support from the Opposition and Independent Groups.
Chairman of Law Reform Commission, Frank Paulsen, told reporters yesterday the bill came about after a nationwide awareness on corruption.
Mr Paulsen said the Anti-Corruption Steering Committee had also gave technical advice and appeared before the Bills and Legislative Committee to explain the bill.
He said the Bill is just the translation of what they want and how we want to combat corruption.
“Leaders are well informed of these issues we need to address and most of them are in the Bill,” Mr Paulsen said.
“The Bill comes about as a result of concerns raised over the year,” he added.
Chairman of Leadership Code Commission, Solomon Kalu said he’s not sure what the political leaders are not aware of in the bill.
Mr Kalu said for Ministers, they have Permanent Secretaries to help them understand the Bill.
“But to say they don’t know what to do or being lured somehow, is anyone’s guess,” he said.
The 2016 Anti-Corruption Bill aims to set up an independent commission against corruption with powers of prosecution not accorded to the country’s Ombudsman and Leadership Code Commission.
Mr Sogavare earlier said the tabling of the proposed legislation would be postponed until both sides of the house were able to agree on the importance of having robust anti-corruption legislation.
The bill was to have been tabled alongside the 2016 Whistle blowers Protection Bill which aims to protect citizens who report corruption to authorities.
By EDDIE OSIFELO