I REFER to the letter “Funds do not reach the ground at all” (The National, Dec 30) by Sam Basil.
I appreciate his no-nonsense and straight to the point criticisms and strong stance against one of the social evils of society – corruption.
On the same day, The National also published the PAC reports on the Sepik trust funds where large sums of road project money were unaccounted for.
Prosecution and conviction are necessary to deter corruption.
The majority of individuals and companies in the industry do not want to commit corrupt acts.
They will be further deterred from doing so by the knowledge that certain actions are crimes for which they may be prosecuted.
However, there will always be some individuals and companies who are prepared to practice corruption regardless of the ethical considerations.
Unless there is a real threat of prosecution and conviction, these people will not stop committing corrupt acts and will, therefore, prejudice the efforts of more ethical companies and individuals to act with integrity.
At present, there are few instances of prosecution for corruption in road or other construction projects.
Prosecution must be increased if corruption is to be deterred in PNG.
Corruption in the procurement, construction and maintenance of roads is probably the greatest obstacle to the development of an adequate and safe road network in PNG.
On the whole, absence of suitable technology or sufficient funding is not the main cause of inadequate development.
The primary problem is simple theft on a grand scale.
In such an environment, there is little money or desire to repair roads or to provide badly-needed roads to certain parts of the community.
Roads are the arteries of a nation’s economy.
Without a good road network, little can be done to develop trade, industry and tourism, to provide health and education, services such as water and electricity, and to distribute aid, such as disaster relief.
Corruption blocks the development of a nation.
If Papua New Guinea were to prosper, it is critical that corruption in the road sector, if not eradicated, be at least significantly reduced.