Home > Corruption, Land, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > SABL Case Study No.8: Acting Lands Secretary Romilly Kila-Pat

SABL Case Study No.8: Acting Lands Secretary Romilly Kila-Pat

December 6, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Mr Kila-Pat “unlawfully caused a SABL to be created, which he further unlawfully granted to an entity not even agreed upon by the landowners” [p 59]

“…Romily Kila-Pat deliberately decided to ignore and by-pass the existing protocols and practices… when [he] decided to grant three separate SABLs … over Portions 2456C, 2466C and 2485C”. [p153]

there was “misrepresentation and fraud involved in the whole process”… “His conduct was ‘highly suspicious”  [p164]

 Mr Kila-Pat’s explanation is “critically faulty and arguably deceptive” and “untenable under any circumstances”. [p59]

  The lease issued by Kila Pat was so “fundamentally flawed” … it is “null and void” [p898].

SABL Commission of Inquiry Reports 1 and 2

Acting Secretary at the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, Romily Kila-Pat, has been heavily implicated by the Commission of Inquiry in some of the worst cases or abuse that it uncovered. Yet this is the man tasked by the Prime Minister to lead a committee to come up with recommendations based on the Commission of Inquiry findings!

“The Commission of Inquiry found widespread abuse, fraud, lack of coordination between agencies of government, failures and incompetence of government officials to ensure compliance, accountability and transparency… Statutory compliance with respect to process and procedures and effective monitoring and oversight is seriously lacking.” [p235]

What is the Prime Minister thinking? Is he really expecting the public to trust a process in which the people who have overseen the corruption, mismanagement and incompetence have been handed the task of sorting out the mess!

According to the Commission of Inquiry Romily Kila-Pat was at the heart of some of the worst cases of abuse including:

  • Kila Pat as acting Secretary unlawfully issued the SABL for Portion 2465C in Central Province. Almost everything possibly wrong with an SABL was wrong with this lease. There was no valid Land Investigation report, no public hearings, no Certificate of Alienation, no informed consent from local landowners, the lease was issued to a non-landowner company owned by a single person with no connection to the land, the process was “hijacked” by DLPP and duress was used. The sublease was unlawful and the lease-lease back agreement fraudulent. The SABL was “improper and unlawful” [p157].
  • “…Romily Kila-Pat deliberately decided to ignore and by-pass the existing protocols and practices… when [he] decided to grant three separate SABLs … over Portions 2456C, 2466C and 2485C”. [p153]
  • Kila-Pat granted the SABL for Portion 2466C when there was “misrepresentation and fraud involved in the whole process” [p164]. His conduct was ‘highly suspicious” and the “Intimidation tactics used by officers from DLPP and the lawyers… is both unacceptable and unprofessional”. [p164]
  • Kila-Pat unlawfully issued the SABL for Portion 2541C in Port Moresby which ended up in the hands of Rimbunan Hijau. The LIR was defective and unreliable.There was an obvious lack of landowner consent. No Lease-leaseback instrument was executed so the State never obtained the right to create or issue a title, hence the SABL was defective, invalid and unlawful. Mr Kila-Pat’s explanation is “critically faulty and arguably deceptive” and “untenable under any circumstances”. Mr Kila-Pat “unlawfully caused a SABL to be created, which he further unlawfully granted to an entity not even agreed upon by the landowners” [p 59]
  • Kila-Pat unlawfully issued an SABL over 22,850 hectares of customary land in Portion 40C in Sandaun Province to Ainbai-Elis Holdings Ltd in December 2010. Kila-Pat granted the SABL despite the fact the Land Investigation Process was not properly executed, the Land Investigation Report was badly done (and involved possible fraud and forgery), the Declaration as to Custom was not properly obtained, the SABL overlaps with an adjacent SABL (Portion 160C), and no transitional land rights were preserved (“a reckless failure” p75)
  • Kila-Pat issued an unlawful SABL over Portion 16C despite the lease being so”fundamentally flawed” [p898] it is “null and void” [p898]. The defects included a “blank LIR [which] basically nullifies the SABL lease” [p886] and which was and “reckless and negligent” [p886], no Certificate of Alienability, complaints the landowners were forced to sign papers at night and without knowing what they were signing and an agriculture plan that “is not feasible to implement” [p898]

The Commission of Inquiry has given clear recommendations the majority of the SABL leases should be REVOKED – their emphasis. Why is the Prime Minister ignoring their advice and going back to those implicated in the fraud for a second opinion?

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  1. Kristian Lasslett
    December 6, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Sad, Kila-Pat got slammed in the 2006 Public Accounts Committee report. Some would say he obtained his current position in spite of this conduct, others might more cynically remark it is because of this conduct Kila-Pat currently enjoys the position of Acting Secretary.

    See here for the 2006 report: http://statecrime.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Appendix-H.pdf

  2. ToPam
    December 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Why should we allow such rot to continue to dismantle our country? It is very clear from the findings of the COI, most of these SABLs are ” ill-conceived, fraudulent, stinks, faulty and any other terms under the sun you can think off, that is resilient to corruption.

    These investors know very well the weak spots in the SABLs concept and are using those spots for their own gain.

    Nobody is bold and courages to fight this epidemic. Because we are all slinging mud at each other. What are shame……….

  3. Watcher
    December 9, 2013 at 1:10 am

    the crook leads a very lavish lifestyle and now we know why.. He needs to be behind bars for the whole duration of the leases he is giving out fraudulently!

  1. January 13, 2014 at 7:13 am
  2. April 13, 2015 at 11:46 am
  3. April 14, 2015 at 9:29 am
  4. April 16, 2015 at 9:53 am

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