TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG) has urged newly-elected Prime Minister James Marape and his cabinet to revisit five legislative issues of national interest to reduce corruption and restore good governance in the country.
In a statement, TIPNG reaffirmed its position as a non-political organisation that represented the concerns of citizens that valued accountability and good governance.
“Marape introduced governance reforms within the Department of Finance when he was minister, such as the Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS), the establishment of a new National Procurement Commission and the innovative Phones Against Corruption initiative which citizens can text reports of corruption to the 16321 SMS service,” TIPNG said.
“Corruption robs our communities of their resources, restricts our people’s access to essential health and education services and denies our children the opportunities and futures they deserve.
“Papua New Guineans have heard Marape’s strong words on corruption when he was Finance Minister.
“Now that he is the country’s leader, those strong words must be followed by real action.
TIPNG has maintained honest and constructive relationships with previous governments to address corruption gaps in the country’s legal framework and will do so again with the Marape government.
“TIPNG is not anti-government, it is anti-corruption.”
There are five crucial legislative actions that are of national interest that Transparency International PNG would be urging the Marape Government to take to reduce corruption and restore good governance in the country:
- Establish a fully-empowered Independent Commission Against Corruption, with the power to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of corruption;
- pass amendments to the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates to ensure it follows the constitution and is ensures greater accountability in how MP’s conduct themselves;
- address the tangible deficiencies identified in TIPNG’s 2017 Election Observation Report through reform of the Electoral Law;
- use Open Government Partnership to pass Access To Information Legislation and strengthen accountability in service delivery through civic participation; and,
- Establish the outstanding Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) so that benefits from the country’s natural resources can be transparently managed.
These recommendations were drawn in part from report entitled “Lest we forget” by TIPNG on 20 issues of national concern from 2007 to 2017 that were still to be addressed by the Government.
TIPNG will be writing to Marape to present its recommendations.