PM firm on governance, corruption

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013

 PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says he is determined to deliver a good government to the people.

In his keynote address at the People’s National Congress party convention in Lae last Friday, O’Neill said when he was elected as prime minister, he appointed ministers to deliver on one fundamental commitment and that was to deliver good government for the people.

He said delivering good government had many aspects and many challenges.

“But I believe we have made a real impact on our number one overall objective in less than 11 months,” he said.

“We have begun the genuine decentralisation of government, and the delivery of basic services to the provinces, district and local level government.

“We are directly funding these levels of governments. This is all designed to decentralise power and decision making from Waigani – and get it to where it matters most at the grassroots.

“Our budget for 2013 made a significant start. We will do more to decentralise decision-making and delivery in future budgets.

“The budget for this year does more than just decentralise decision-making – it provides the greatest increase in real spending on education, on health, and on law and order, in our history.

“We have delivered on our commitment to providing free school education, and free basic health care. We will do more.

“We have begun the massive task of rebuilding and expanding the nation’s vital economic infrastructure.

“The next facet of our ‘delivering good government’ agenda is the most challenging.

“We must be absolutely determined to reduce corruption, fraud and abuse of public office, public money and public property.

“That must be at the very heart and soul of our ‘good government’ agenda. 

“Without it, we will fall sadly short on what the people expect of us.

“When we again face the people in four years time, I want us to be able to honestly tell them that we have delivered on all our core commitments, and especially on our absolute commitment to reduce corruption and abuse, and restore honesty, hard work and integrity in public office and public service in our nation and community.

“The Government’s national anti-corruption strategy is being fully implemented. 

“Legislations are now being finalised to establish an independent anti-corruption commission through public consultations. It will build on the excellent work Task Force Sweep has undertaken.

“It will detect corruption and abuse, and it will prosecute those who engage in and benefit from it. It will clean up what we all have described as a ‘cancer’ in our nation.”