Australian Government to help safeguard LNG fund

A legislative framework will be designed to safeguard the proposed LNG Sovereign Welfare Funds from political manipulation and pilfering, the Government said yesterday (according to Post-Courier Business News).

The Australian government will play a major role in helping PNG design a legal regime that would govern management of the fund, a spokesman of the Department of State Entreprises said in response to a series of questions from the media.

Asked how the Government would prevent political interference and pilfering of the funds, he said; "This is where the Australian assistance will be vital. They will help to set up a legislation framework for the operation of the SWF which should have adequate safeguards to ensure these funds are properly managed and provide a high level of transparency."

State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare on June 30 was reported to have made reference to Australian's "looking over the shoulders" in designing the structure for good governance as Papua New Guineans did not seem to trust each other.

The spokesman said Australians were keen to ensure that good governance regimes were in place "because they are as eager as PNG to see the level of dependence greatly reduce in the years ahead."



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