Government takes steps to fight graft

National, Normal

THE Government is taking positive steps to fight corruption despite its failure to implement an anti-corruption strategy.
The Government has repeatedly come under fire from its critics, especially the Opposition for failing to address corruption issues.
It has been accused of failing to act on various inquiry reports, including the NPF and the Moti Inquiry.
Parliament this week adjourned without the Prime Minister tabling the final report on the Inquiry into the Finance Department.
Last week, Transparency International released its 2009 corruption perceptions index, which showed PNG had dropped three places, from 151 to 154 out of 180 countries.
That means on the corruption scale, PNG was getting worse.
But acting chief secretary to Government Manasupe Zurenuoc said yesterday the National Government was serious about combating corruption and had taken positive steps to address this.
He said the Government’s commitment was evident with the allocation of K200,000 to support the formulation of a national anti-corruption strategy.
He said Government agencies were currently meeting to look at the details of the strategy and would come up with an initial draft before the year’s end.
“Following that, the wider community and other concerned stakeholders will be consulted for their input into the formulation of the anti-corruption strategy,” he said in a statement.
In March 2006, the Somare Government directed the Department of Prime Minister and NEC to proceed to develop a strategy to combat corruption and improve good governance.
In May 2007, Papua New Guinea ratified the United Nations’ convention against corruption.
As required under the convention, PNG is obliged to develop its national anti-corruption strategy
“So far, the development of PNG’s national anti-corruption strategy is currently being finalised and is expected to be completed by February next year.
“An inter-departmental committee on anti-corruption, which was established by NEC in September this year, is putting the finishing touches to the first draft,” Mr Zurenuoc said.
It will then proceed to hold consultations with members of the public and other stakeholders and will invite comments.
This is likely to happen next month.