Lelang: We are fighting corruption

National, Normal

The National Monday, December 13, 2010

NATIONAL Planning secretary Joseph Lelang says institutions such as Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) should be doing more to fight corruption instead of sitting back and criticising those who are trying.
Speaking in Lae on Saturday on his way home to West New Britain, Lelang said he took particular exception to what TIPNG said about him and his department “not doing enough to weed out corruption in their organisation”.
TIPNG last Friday criticised him and National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten, saying they should sack corrupt officers who were “getting paid thousands of kina to release government cheques for various approved projects”.
“I take particular offence because in my two-year tenure, 20 officers have been sacked for various disciplinary matters.
“So how can I be sitting back and not be doing anything?” he asked.
“On top of that, my job is chief planner of this country in charge of implementing government policies and plans and I cannot be going around investigating and prosecuting people.
“I have come out publicly to denounce the problem in my department because it is real and I wanted to reveal possible scams and con  artists,” he said.
Lelang said he had  taken steps to overhaul the department and create incentives for officers but admitted there could be “one or two rogue officers still around”.
“Let me challenge TIPNG to tell the public what it has done to eliminate corruption.
“What is their track record and how many people have they successfully prosecuted?” he asked.