Daughter of State Minister Appointed Acting Managing Director (MD) for Climate Change Without Proper Processes and Procedures

Ms. Debra Sungi appointed as acting MD for Climate Change without proper processes raises concerns about political interference in PNG’s state institutions.

Climate Change and Development Authority papua New Guinea Image credit: Climate Change and Development Authority

Source: Samson Komati

In a concerning development, the National Executive Council (NEC) has appointed Debra Sungi, the daughter of Public Service Minister Joe Sungi, as the acting Managing Director (MD) for Climate Change without following proper processes and procedures. This appointment has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism from various quarters, highlighting issues of political interference and nepotism within state institutions.

Debra Sungi, who was previously a senior officer within the department, has been catapulted into a position of significant authority without demonstrating the requisite qualifications or experience for such a role. The lack of transparency and adherence to established procedures in her appointment has sparked outrage among the public, raising questions about the integrity of the appointment process.

This incident exposes a broader pattern of political influence and cronyism within Papua New Guinea’s state agencies and departments. The practice of appointing individuals based on political connections rather than merit undermines the credibility and effectiveness of these institutions, eroding public trust and confidence in the government.

Moreover, the appointment of individuals without the necessary qualifications and experience poses a serious risk to the effective functioning of government agencies. In the case of Climate Change, where informed decision-making and expertise are crucial in addressing pressing environmental challenges, the appointment of an inexperienced individual to a leadership position could have far-reaching consequences.

This appointment also reflects broader concerns about corruption and governance issues in Papua New Guinea. The lack of transparency and accountability in the appointment process opens the door to corrupt practices, including nepotism, favoritism, and crony capitalism. Such practices not only undermine the principles of good governance but also perpetuate inequality and hinder socio-economic development.

To address these challenges and minimize corrupt practices in political appointments, there is a need for comprehensive reforms in governance and accountability mechanisms. This includes strengthening transparency and oversight mechanisms to ensure that appointments are made based on merit, qualifications, and experience rather than political connections.

Furthermore, there is a need for greater public awareness and engagement to hold government officials accountable for their actions. Civil society organizations, the media, and the public at large play a crucial role in exposing corruption and advocating for reforms that promote transparency and accountability in government appointments.


The appointment of Debra Sungi as the acting Managing Director for Climate Change without proper processes and procedures raises serious concerns about political interference and nepotism in Papua New Guinea’s state institutions. This action calls for an urgent reforms to strengthen governance and accountability mechanisms and ensure that appointments are made based on merit and qualifications rather than political considerations.

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