OC urges State Entities to maintain reliable services amidst COVID-19 SOE

The Ombudsman Commission is urging all essential State Entities to maintain reliable services to the people of Papua New Guinea during this 14 day State of Emergency Period to contain any possible spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These State Entities include:
1. PNG Power who is to provide a reliable undisrupted power service to the people,
2. Telikom and BMobile to maintain reliable telecommunication services,
3. EDA Ranu and Water PNG to maintain undisrupted water supply,
4. Police to maintain law and order and security,
5. Defence to maintain effective security,
6. Health Department (Hospitals) to maintain health services and ensure emergency contacts (hotline or toll free numbers ) are in place and functioning and
7. ICCC to ensure that prices of goods are not increased unnecessarily; also maintain a functional hotline or toll free number for people to call should they encounter any business house/shop allegedly taking advantage of this crucial period

Whilst urging these state entities to maintain their services, the Ombudsman Commission at the same time is strongly urging the Government to ensure these frontline state entities are adequately funded which includes the necessary risk and overtime allowances for their staff.

The Commission’s advice to these state entities is in compliance with the Ombudsman Commission’s purposes under Section 218(a) of the Constitution which is to ensure that government bodies are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.

“It is your statutory obligation to provide and maintain these essential services at this crucial period; you are required to provide and maintain these services if it means going the extra length,” said the Acting Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen.

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