In November 2020, the newly elected Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama met with the Members of the Ombudsman Commission and its Officers to discuss among other things way forward for the creation of the Bougainville Ombudsman Commission.
President Toroama, whilst thanking the Ombudsman Commission for the meeting, expressed concern that there are a lot of issues – corrupt practices – currently faced by the Bougainville Government which would require assistance from the Ombudsman Commission to help alleviate. “I would like to see transparency and accountability instilled in my government to better serve my people,” he said.
Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen in response said the Ombudsman Commission is ready and willing to assist the new President and his government deliver the commitment made with the previous government.
In terms of what is expected of a leader, the Chief Ombudsman said the Commission is ready to provide a day induction session for all the Bougainville leaders. “It is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure the leaders are aware of their roles and responsibilities for the purpose of good leadership and governance,” said Chief Ombudsman Pagen.
The Commission has also assured President Toroama that it will continue to work with his government to develop enabling laws that will allow for the establishment of the Bougainville Ombudsman Commission, a commitment that was initiated with the previous government.
Apart from this major project, Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen said the Commission will also be working with the Bougainville administration to develop laws that will govern state enterprises to ensure service delivery to the people as there are currently no laws governing these state owned enterprises.
Source: Office of the Ombudsman Commission, Papua New Guinea