I COMMEND the Government under Prime Minister James Marape and the Opposition for passing the Indpendent Commission Against Corruption (Icac) Bill in parliament.
The Icac Bill was unanimously passed in parliament in Nov 12, 2020, with a vote of 96-0.
Over the years, there were calls for Icac and although the previous government acknowledged the need for such a body, there was no political commitment to get Icac to parliament for enactment.
The Marape-government made a commitment to bring the bill to parliament and delivered on that in 18 months.
Because the Ombudsman Commission tends to be manipulated by the Government, the passing of Icac is most welcome as there are many high profile corruption cases that needs to be investigated and prosecuted.
The Icac will protect the systems of government against corruption and dishonest behaviour.
It will ensure that there is an avenue for whistleblowers to report corrupt practices against politicians, public servants, contractors and others.
The commission will investigate cases such as sudden wealth gain by politicians and public servants as there are numerous cases of this nature in the country.
For Icac to function, there should be a strong whistleblower protection to encourage men and women to come forward and report on corruption against politicians and public servants.
The Icac should be independent from the executive arm of the government.
It should be free from political interference to be more effective in dealing the corrupt practices.
Icac officers should be recruited from overseas.
That is to discourage the practice of favouritism, nepotism and wantok system as experienced in other anti-corruption bodies in the county.
The passing of Icac Bill is welcomed by Papua New Guineans.
Because of a high level of corruption involving politicians, public servants and other corporate people, the country needs such an institution to address that.
Mumeng Landowners, Bulolo