Article Retrieved from the Post – Courier

Date 18th March 2024

By – Jacob Pok

CHIEF Ombudsman Richard Pagen has warned chief executive officers (CEOs) of districts that they are now subjected to the Leadership Code that a penalty of K20,000 would be imposed on late filing and submissions of annual statements. Mr Pagen said this when presenting at the one-day Leadership Code training for CEOs of district development authorities hosted by the Ombudsman Commission in Port Moresby last Thursday. “Those that submit annual statements late after the lapse of three months would be charged a penalty fee of K20,000 plus K500 per month if they continue to delay or fail to submit statements, “he said.

He said failing to submit statements in two consecutive periods would result in referral of the matter to the office of the Public Prosecutor. As per Section 28 of the Constitution and Section 4 of the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of a Leader, he said it is a requirement that those subjected to the Leadership Code must provide their annual statements, which include their statement of income, details of their family, total assets including money, personal properties, their business connections etc…

He told the leaders to avoid self-incrimination and comply with all requirements of the statements when assuming public office. “In the event, we send you s.4 (4) letters asking for more information, please take it as an advantage to yourself and disclose an information that you are required to disclose. “Persistent failure to comply, your recklessness, and deliberate actions of providing misleading information or omitting information may become an issue for investigation,” he said. He, therefore, urged the participating CEOs to adhere to the mandatory requirements of submitting the forms within the three-month requirement upon taking a leadership role. “If you need help, seek assistance from us in the three-month grace period from the date of our issuance of the forms,” he said.

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