While the Commission of Inquiry into Special Agriculture and Business Leases continues, revealing the layers of corruption and incompetence in the allocation of the 99-year SAB leases, the PNGExposed blog has republished the findings of an earlier Commission of Inquiry which reported in 2009 the Department of Lands was corrupt and incompetent. Its recommendations for a full Commission of Inquiry into DoL were ignored….
The Department of Lands and Physical Planning is riddled with “gross incompetence”, a state of affairs that is compounded by “extremely irresponsible and dishonest State officers” says the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance.
The Commission has recommended a separate inquiry be set up to into the management of the Department of Lands to “identify and rectify the systematic failings and misconduct”.
The Commissioners, Justices Sheehan and Davani and businessman Dan Manua, identified the following long list of serious failings in the Department of Lands:
- Lack of proper records as to original acquisition;
- Lack of instructions to the State Solicitor and Solicitor General to protect the interests of the State;
- Gross disregard of Schedule 2 of the National Land Registration Act on assessment of claims;
- Operations of the PNG Land Board;
- Non-compliance with requirements of Land Act and related legislation and lease covenants (UDL and all other leases);
- Abuse and misapplication of the laws;
- Missing land files;
- Missing documents;
- Ad-hoc creation of supplementary files;
- Unreliable filing system;
- Unreliable Registers;
- Lack of co-ordination within department;
- Fraudulent creation of files and documents;
- Forgery of signatures of officers;
- Failure to notify interested persons;
- Uncertainty with appointments for meetings generally;
- Lack of supervision of all staff;
- Failure to observe business opening hours;
- Inefficient service;
- Unreliable recording of information on files;
- Unreliable custody and movement of files;
- Lack of effective communication with Solicitor General, State Solicitor and related state agencies in protecting State’s interests.