Project gets global award


PHONES Against Corruption, an initiative from PNG, received a global GovInsider Innovation Award as the “best citizen engagement” project.
It was recognised as one of the most innovative public sector practices across Asia.
The award was presented at the Innovation Labs World, a global event in Singapore last week, according to the United National Development Programme PNG office.
The awards recognised public sector projects from across the region in seven categories: Best adaptation, best citizen engagement, best team under 35, best UI and UX design, best use of data, best drones project and best risk.
The project has been offering a safe space for reporting corrupt practices using free-of-charge text messages.
Since its launching in 2014, the service received more than 29,000 SMS from 8827 users, leading to several public officials’ arrests and more cases being under investigation.
The service has proved particularly popular in rural parts of the country, where 87 per cent of the population live and 93.6 per cent of cases under investigation have been reported from rural areas.
“We have been very pleased to see such inspiring work being done in the public sector in the region,” Siim Sikkut, the chairman of the judging panel, said.
“We hope these examples will inspire public servants across Asia to continue innovating and pushing the boundaries of public service delivery.”
UNDP resident representative in PNG Roy Trivedy said: “We are happy that this initiative has been recognised internationally. This shows the potential of PNG to drive positive change.
“Innovation is at the heart of UNDP’s work and together with Government partners, we hope to deliver more innovative projects that can contribute to real improvements in people’s lives and accelerate the achievement of the sustainable development goals.”
Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan said: “I am very happy to know that our efforts have been recognised worldwide, we will continue using innovative tools like this to improve compliance and accountability, strengthening our system and processes for minimising the risk of corruption for the benefit of all Papua New Guineans.”
Phones Against Corruption is part of a wider provincial capacity-building and enhancement programme, which aims to build capacity of the country’s treasury functions at national and sub-national levels.
The programme is supported by the Australian government, United Nations Development Programme and the Papua New Guinea Department of Finance.

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