Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Bougainville’s new Minister for Economic Development has history of misappropriation

Bougainville’s new Minister for Economic Development has history of misappropriation

Bougainville President John Momis has appointed Fidelis Semoso as his new Minister for Economic Development (see story below). In 2012 Semoso was found guilty of using his office for the benefit of his associates, guilty of misappropriating public funds; guilty of sexual assault, torture and humiliating his house girl and guilty of failing to disclose his interest in a contract…

“The purpose of a Tribunal inquiry is to determine whether a leader is guilty of misconduct in office. If the leader is guilty, it is recommended that the person be dismissed from office or position or that some other penalty provided for by the law be imposed. Three Members of Parliament were referred to the Public Prosecutor in 2006 and 2011. Following the referral, in 2012 a Leadership Tribunal was appointed to inquire into the allegations of misconduct in office against Mark Maipakai Member for Kikori, Fidelis Semoso, Bougainville Regional Member and Arthur Somare, Member for Angoram.

“…The same Tribunal on Maipakai’s matter also dealt with Mr Semoso’s matter which commenced on 21 February 2012 when it accepted the Public Prosecutor’s Reference containing 14 allegations of misconduct in office.

“After sitting for a total of 29 days (including 14 days in Buka), the Tribunal found Mr Semoso guilty of using his office for the benefit of his associates, guilty of misappropriating public funds; guilty of sexual assault, torture and humiliating his house girl and guilty of failing to disclose his interest in a contract. Mr Semoso was guilty of a total of 11 out of 16 allegations on16 July 2012. The Tribunal recommended that Mr Fidelis Semoso be dismissed from the office of the Regional Member of Parliament for Bougainville on 24 July 2012. In its recommendation for dismissal, the Tribunal stressed that “a penalty of dismissal must be imposed to act as deterrence and to protect the people of ARB from conduct of leaders such as Mr Semoso”. The Tribunal also completed all the formalities by forwarding its recommendations to the Governor-General.”

See full story at http://www.paclii.org/pg/OC/Newsletter/2012July_Wasdok.pdf
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New Bougainville Government : Momis appoints seven members to the executive council
The new parliament will be required to prepare the autonomous Papua New Guinea region for a vote on possible independence, to be held before 2020.
Mr Momis says a critical element of this process is to ensure the region’s economy becomes viable and this has prompted the new portfolio.
“We want to put a lot of emphasis on the responsibility of the autonomous government to raise revenue and I think one of the best ways of doing that would be to have a ministry wholly and solely responsible for economic generation of revenue for economic development.”
The President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Grand Chief Dr John Lawrence Momis has announced seven Members of the Bougainville House of Representatives to the Bougainville Executive Council.
The new Ministers join Vice President Patrick Nisira, who is the new Minister for Referendum, Peace, and Veterans Affairs on the BEC.
Six of the Ministers have been appointed under Section 81 (3) of the Bougainville Constitution on the Recommendations of the three Regional Committees of the House of Representatives with the seventh Minister being the nominee of the four women Members of the House unders Section 80 (1) (c).
The new Ministers are;
Hon. Albert Punghau (Motuna Huyono)                    Finance
Hon. Jacob Tooke (Baubake)                                     Community Development
Hon. Nicholas Darku (North Nasioi)                         Primary Industries
Hon. Robin Wilson (Terra)                                        Mining
Hon. Raymond Masono (Atolls)                                Public Service
Hon. Fidelis Semoso (Tsitalato)                                Economic Development
Hon. Josephine Getsi (Peit)                                       Community Development
President Momis retains the Planning as well as Inter-government Relations Portfolios.
“As a result of these appointments, there are five Ministerial Portfolios yet to be filled, I expect to be in a position to announce the remaining Ministers later this week and I will also announce their portfolios,” President Momis said.
“While I have confidence in the talents of my new Ministers, I want to make it clear that I expect a high standard of performance from them,” President Momis said.
President Momis added that he has put each of his Ministers on notice and that he will review their performance after the new government’s first six months in office and that any Minister who has not performed to a satisfactory level will be removed.
The President said his next task will be to revitalize the Bougainville Public Service and to ensure it is lean and starts to work efficiently to carry out its prerogatives.
He said the Bougainville Public Service will undergo serious changes to its structure in an effort to save on costs and the mismanagement of public funds and government assets.
He offered that his government will clamp down on corruption and added that with his cabinet finalized the ABG will now move to give the best possible service to the people of Bougainville.

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