By LULU MAGINDE
THE country has shown improvement on the corruption index and has been ranked 124 out of 180 countries with a score of 31 out of 100 last year, according to Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).
In 2020, Papua New Guinea (PNG) was ranked 142 out of 180 countries with a score of 27 out of 100.
With the key message of the analysis focused on human rights and corruption, TIPNG said a greater focus was needed in the enforcement of policies.
According to TIPNG, while a number of new laws had been introduced as well as amendments to existing ones, this alone was not enough unless effectively implemented with a strong enforcement framework, which still remained a big weakness for PNG.
“Efforts to reinforce law enforcement frameworks in PNG must include the provision of adequate support through relevant supporting policies within agencies across all sectors in the public, private and civil society,” chairman Peter Aitsi said.
He said the average score out of 100 for the Asia-Pacific region was 45, with PNG being assessed at 31 out of 100, showing minor improvements.
Aitsi said the country still had much more work to do in comparison with its neighbouring island states.
He said two of the possible factors for the slight improvement of the score was the introduction of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the passing of the Whistle Blower’s Act in Parliament.
“Alternatively, it could just be a general improvement in the country’s own governance and attitude towards speaking out against corruption, which is a great step forward towards the recognition of corruption as a problem,” Aitsi said.
As the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is a collective index of surveys and assessments of corruption collected by a number of institutions, the rankings show how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be.
A higher CPI of a country indicates that its citizens generally enjoyed greater freedoms and civil liberties as compared to those living in low scoring countries.
TIPNG has also made a number of recommendations to the Government and other stakeholders in the private sector and civil society on anti-corruption priorities including:
- STRENGTHENING law enforcement agencies;
- IMPROVING public access and availability to information; and,
- STRENGTHENING independence of democratic institutions.