Changing trees
When all hell breaks loose

The revenge of Peter O’Neill: Farewell Task Force Sweep


KILLED off by a vengeful Papua New Guinea government, the ground-breaking and highly effective corruption busting Task Force Sweep has been consigned to history.

The O’Neill government has refused to provide the unit with funds for six months and it has been operating without a budget.

Chairman Sam Koim, a dedicated servant of the people of PNG, has been working without pay since August.

But now the end has come.

The PNG Cabinet disbanded Task Force Sweep in June after an arrest warrant was served on prime minister Peter O'Neill for alleged illegal payments to a law firm.

Later the National Court granted a permanent stay against the Cabinet decision, allowing the unit to continue to operate.

But finance secretary Ken Ngangan and justice secretary Lawrence Kalinoe circumvented the court’s decision by removing Mr Koim’s financial powers.

The unit’s closure is both a calamity for public honesty in PNG and a warning to people of integrity and courage that they will be extinguished if they seek to prosecute anti-corruption activities that venture too close to the upper levels of government.

Peter O’Neill’s decision to axe the Task Force is a despicable act and will be recorded as a moment of infamy whenever the story of his time in office is told.


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Barbara Short

You will all be pleased to hear that the ICAC bill is ready for parliament. Hopefully a good ICAC will be set up very soon. It will probably take over the former investigations of Taskforce Sweep.

Lindsay F Bond

For Sam Koim, the ITFS team and OPP, on the day of announcement of the National Court sentencing a serving MP, do add to my offer of sincere congratulations, also my respectful hope that other elected practitioners (but waywardly mean) now yield their remaining days in office toward real urgent needs of the electors and for the betterment of PNG as a truly independent state.

Lindsay F Bond

How…how can it be, that the reported actions by ‘finance secretary Ken Ngangan and justice secretary Lawrence Kalinoe’, do not entail actions that are in concert (together with measures imposed on Task Force Sweep by ministers collectively in Cabinet), counter to the degree of enforcement that is a prerogative of the PNG National Court, where as reported, that Court granted a permanent stay against the Cabinet decision?

Busa Jeremiah Wenogo

I have always doubted Peter O'Neill's prime ministership since he was elected as PM. His announcement of major reforms were too good to be true.

His decision to disband Task Force Sweep does not come as a surprise for me. Whatever he is hiding, one way or another it will come out by the grace and power of God.

History will tell who is at the right end of it and who is at the wrong end of it.

Charlene Dinipami Nii

O'Neill's actions shows that he is hiding something big. Whatever that is, I hope that it comes out and that he is held responsible.

AJ Lambo

The fight against corruption in PNG has been dealt a blow. Peter O'Neill, as a PM and a Papua New Guinean, has stooped too low to disband what he created in August 2011.

What may come of the other investigations by TFS? Is PNG losing the battle against white collar criminals and fraudsters?

It seems PNG is a long way from seeing any improvement as far as the global corruption index is concerned.

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