The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013
PAPUA New Guinea will take giant strides in the fight against corruption once the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is set up, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
O’Neill said this when commenting on the 2012 ranking of PNG on Transparency International’s Corruption index released last week.
The report acknowledged slight improvement in PNG’s work against corruption, although it was ranked at a low 150.
“It is pleasing that Transparency International has acknowledged the work our government has gone about doing since taking office.
“When we took office in August 2011, one of the first things we did was set up the Task Force Sweep to tackle corruption.
“The resources we provided to the sweep team and other government agencies is improving detection, ensuring perpetrators are prosecuted, and enabling us to close weaknesses in the system that allowed corruption to flourish for a long time.
“One of the first decisions of cabinet after the general elections was to approve the national anti-corruption strategy,” he said.
“A task force set up to implement this strategy is headed by Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc. One of their tasks was to develop the ICAC legislation.
“This legislation is now ready for endorsement by cabinet before it is brought to Parliament by year’s end.”
O’Neill said a key feature of the ICAC and associated legislations would be a law to protect those who gave information to expose corrupt and criminal practices.
“Those who blow the whistle on corrupt practices are key to us winning this fight, so it is important to guarantee them protection.
“The task force will soon launch a website can be accessed by all to see what the government is doing, and to contribute ideas in this fight.
“Remember, a collective effort is required if we are to eradicate this cancer, so we must all take ownership and contribute the best we can,” the prime minister said.