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Peter Aitsi elected new Chairman of Transparency International PNG

Saturday 22nd June 2019, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has a new Chairman. He is Mr Peter Aitsi, MBE.  Though not new to the position, Mr Aitsi has been involved with TIPNG since 1999. He also served as Chairman from 2008 to 2010.

Also elected was the Secretary, Michelle Hau’ofa, Treasurer, Akae Beach and directors, Brian Alois, Belinda Kanau, Evah Kuamin, Philip Samar, Mary Udu, Jerome Sesega, Lawrence Stephens, Michael McWalter, Christopher Elphick, Philip Samar, Paul Barker and Richard Kassman.

The 2018 audited financial report was also presented at the AGM.

In welcoming the Board, the TIPNG Executive Director Ms Arianne Kassman emphasised to the Directors to ensure that they were entering into the role with the same passion and purpose that the TIPNG founder, Sir Anthomy Siaguru had when he established TIPNG 22 years ago.

TIPNG has recently developed a new Strategic Plan 2019-2013, with a refocused strategy to create a deeper sense of purpose and direction, renew TIPNG’s presence and brand and a reenergized team to inspire members and the community

TIPNG is a member of Transparency International a global anti- corruption movement committed to fighting corruption. TIPNG is an independent organization in PNG known as a Chapter of the international movement. The PNG chapter advocates against corruption and promotes transparency, good governance, honesty and accountability both in private and public sector dealings.  TIPNG tries to assist strengthen the integrity systems of our country such as the police, the parliament, the public services and the judiciary.

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Corruption must always be met with justice

Sunday 9th June 2019, Port Moresby – Almost 2,000 people in Port Moresby came together to take part in the 13th annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption (SASWAC) and show peacefully their opposition to corruption and demand justice.

A total of 173 teams registered to take part in the Walk, supporting Transparency International PNG with almost K165,000, almost reaching the targeted fundraising amount of K200,000.00.

The theme for the 2019 Walk Against Corruption was Justice = Enforcement + Reporting. Justice is fundamentally the fairness in protecting the rights of an individual and punishing the wrongdoer. Through the theme, TIPNG emphasised that achieving justice was both an institutional and an individual responsibility.

Citizens must take on the responsibility of being active partners with the law and justice sector by reporting corruption, being pro-active and learning the laws of our country to ensure they are upheld. This responsibility towards securing justice for wrongdoings is also equally that of law enforcement agencies that are mandated to carry out their duties with integrity so that the corrupt are held accountable for their actions.

Businesses must practice integrity in their dealings, refusing to participate in practices tainted by corruption and speaking out and reporting such practices when encountered. Teaching children about justice and the law must begin in homes and schools. By instilling the values of good citizenship and active participation in upholding the law in future leaders, we can ensure a future where Corruption is always met with justice.

The Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption is TIPNG’s major fundraising and awareness event. TIPNG’s annual Walk has 3 aims: conduct greater awareness about corruption, provide citizens with an avenue to peacefully show their opposition to corruption and to raise much-needed funds for TIPNG to sustain its programs and operations as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

The Walk was concurrently held in Lae on Saturday 8th June 2019 under the theme: “I am the future”. The highlight for the Lae Walk was a writing competition held in line with the theme to encourage students and young people to play an active role in the shaping of a better future for themselves; a future free of corruption.

TIPNG acknowledges the support of numerous organisations and individuals that have shown their support by donating resources towards the event, the registered teams & organisations and the volunteers who have signed up to assist during the event.

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Business houses back anti-corruption walk

Thursday 5th June, Port Moresby – The 13th Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption is just two days away and the level of support towards the event has been immense.

“Many business houses and organizations in Port Moresby showed their support to TIPNG and the anti-corruption cause by donating towards prizes, catering and providing logistical support. We also acknowledge volunteers from schools and organisations who will be assisting us to ensure the walk happens without a hitch. We are grateful and humbled by the level of support from all sectors,” said Arianne Kassman, Executive Director of TIPNG.

This annual event is TIPNG’s largest fundraising and awareness activity, bringing over a thousand people together every year to show their opposition to corruption through a peaceful walk.

The target amount to be raised through the Walk this year is K200,000 and so far TIPNG has raised K139,500. Over 135 Corporate, civil society , School and Family Teams have registered .

The theme for this year’s Walk is Justice = Enforcement + Reporting. Through the theme TIPNG is promoting justice for corruption through enforcement of the law by agencies responsible and the reporting of corruption by all citizens. Corruption affects the accessibility and quality of justice.  It takes citizens and the law and justice sector to work together to achieve corruption for justice and to put an end to corruption.

The Walk will be led by Constitutional office holders in the Law and Justice Sector: Secretary for Justice and Attorney General, Dr Eric Kwa, Deputy Police Commissioner for Operations, Mr Jim Andrews and Acting Correctional Services Commissioner, Mr Stephen Pokanis.

The SASWAC will also be held in Lae on Saturday the 8th of June 2019 and is set to begin at 7am at the Coronation College Campus.

If you would like to register a team to participate, please contact TIPNG on phone: 3234917/7517 or email info@transparencyinternational.org.pg.

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PM Marape Urged to Deliver Anti-Corruption Laws

Friday 31st May 2019, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) in a media statement has reaffirmed its position as a non-political organisation that will represent the concerns of citizens that value accountability and good governance to the newly elected Prime Minister, James Marape, and his cabinet.

“Prime Minister Marape introduced governance reforms within the Department of Finance when he was Minister, such as the Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS), the establishment of a new National Procurement Commission and the innovative Phones Against Corruption initiative whereby citizens can text reports of corruption to the 16321 SMS service,” said TIPNG in their statement.

“Corruption robs our communities of their resources, restricts our people’s access to essential health and education services and denies our children the opportunities and futures they deserve. Papua New Guineans have heard Prime Minister Marape’s strong words on corruption when he was Finance Minister. Now that he is the country’s leader, those strong words must be followed by real action.”

“TIPNG has maintained honest and constructive relationships with previous governments to address corruption gaps in the country’s legal framework and will do so again with the Marape government. TIPNG is not anti-government, it is anti-corruption.”

There are five crucial legislative actions that are of national interest that TI-PNG would be urging the Marape Government to take to reduce corruption and restore good governance in Papua New Guinea:

  1. Establish a fully empowered Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), with the power to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of corruption.
  2. Pass amendments to the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) to ensure it follows the constitution and is ensures greater accountability in how MP’s conduct themselves.
  3. Address the tangible deficiencies identified in TIPNG’s 2017 Election Observation Report through reform of the Electoral Law.
  4. Use the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to pass Access To Information Legislation and strengthen accountability in service delivery through civic participation.
  5. Establish the outstanding Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) so that benefits from the country’s natural resources can be transparently managed.

These recommendations are drawn in part from report entitled Lest We Forget by TIPNG on 20 Issues of National Concern from 2007-2017 that are still to be addressed by the Government. TIPNG will be writing to Prime Minister Marape to present its recommendations to the Office of the Prime Minister.

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ATI TIPNG

Lack of Law for Access to Information in PNG is Cause of ‘Fake News’ says TIPNG

Friday 17th May 2019, Port Moresby – The spread of unfounded speculation on Social Media in Papua New Guinea is caused by the lack of legislation to empower citizens to access accurate information from state institutions says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG).

TIPNG calls on the government to address the underlying issue that is the lack of an Access to Information law, which has led to unreliable information on social media, referred to by the Prime Minister as ‘fake news’ in media reports.

“Proposals by elected leaders to close down social media sites hides the real issue of the inability of citizens to access timely, verified public information so that untrue rumors and speculation can be disregarded,” TIPNG said in a media statement

“TIPNG calls on all Parliamentarians to not be victims of lazy thinking which demonises civic spaces provided by modern technology. Leaders must avoid the trap of proposing short-term solutions that deprive citizens their rights to free speech and expression, but rather, be visionary and consider the long-term goal of empowering citizens by passing legislation for all State Entities to provide information upon request by the public. This vision was expressed by our founding fathers in Section 51 of the National Constitution which gives a general Right To Information, and calls for a Law to be made – this still has not been done in the 43 years since Independence.”

Citizens can reasonably expect this legislation as the Government in NEC Decision No. 323/2018 endorsed the PNG Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan 2018-2020, which is coordinated by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), and has a commitment that Access to Information Law be drafted and brought to Parliament by 2020. TIPNG urges elected leaders, including members of the Opposition, to support the Bill when it is tabled in Parliament. Members of Parliament should use the Right to Information Bill as the avenue to meaningfully address so-called ‘fake news’, not resort to reactive unconstitutional threats.

TIPNG is the Civil Society Co-Chair of the OGP in Papua New Guinea and has been working to use that platform to create a space for Government and Civil Society to come together and create an agenda for a more Open Government in PNG, thereby ensuring reliable and cost-effective service delivery to citizens The need for Access to Information is also listed under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which PNG ratified in 2007.

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WALK AGAINST CORRUPTION 2019

Thursday 16th May 2019, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG launched the 13th Annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption today (Thursday 16 May 2019).

The theme of this year’s walk is JJustice = Enforcement + Reporting. Through the theme, TIPNG wants to draw people’s attention to how corruption affects the quality and accessibility of justice but at the same time show national solidarity in the laws and institutions that we have in Papua New Guinea that ensure justice.

The Walk Against Corruption will be led by the Secretary of the Department of Justice & Attorney General, Dr Eric Kwa, Deputy Police Commissioner Operations, Mr Jim Andrews and Acting Correctional Service Commissioner, Mr Stephen Pokanis.

In the past months the country saw a lot of political changes that have shaken the foundations of PNG’s democracy, but people to be reassured that the basic laws enshrined in our Constitution are upheld, that every citizen is also aware of their right to quality justice and their responsibilities as citizens.

TIPNG calls on all Law & Justice sector agencies and other organization to register teams to participate in the Walk. So far, 22 corporate teams, 1 civil society organization team, 3 family teams and 28 school teams have registered. There are 9 sponsors waiting to sponsor school teams, so Schools in Port Moresby are urged to and register their students to participate in the walk Against Corruption.

The Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption is TIPNG’s major fundraising event that also aims to create greater awareness about corruption and provide citizens with an avenue to peacefully express their opposition to corruption. Funds raised from past walks have allowed for the development of Civic Education materials for use in schools in PNG. These materials teach students the basics of good citizenship, human rights, democracy and the Laws of the land.

TIPNG acknowledges the support of various organizations and individuals that have shown their support by donating resources towards the event, the registered teams and organizations, the volunteers who have signed up to assist during the event.

Registrations fees for the Walk are:

  • Corporate organisations – K2, 000 for a team of 12 people
  • Civil Society Organisations- K 200 for a team of 10 people
  • School teams – K200 for a team of 10 students and 2 teachers
  • Family teams – K 100 for a team of 10 people

This year the walk will be held in Port Moresby and Lae. To register a team, please call the TIPNG office on 3237517 or 3234917 and speak with Kalia or email  info@transparencypng.org.pg.

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Civil Society to Work with Government for Openness

Wednesday 07th May 2019, Port Moresby – It is vital that Community Groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) work closely together and with the State to ensure that the Government is more open and accessible to the people to ensure quality service delivery, says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG)

As part of its role as CSO Co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP)  in Papua New Guinea, TIPNG coordinated a CSO update meeting earlier this week at its office in Boroko, National Capital District.

The meeting was attended by representatives from The Voice Inc, Oxfam PNG, the Goroka District Office and the PNG Forest Certification Inc, who offered suggestions on how best to implement Papua New Guinea’s National Action Plan 2018 -2020, which was endorsed last year, is anticipated to be formally launched later this month. One of the suggestions from participants was to strengthen CSO ties with the LLGs and District offices in provinces to  ensure that all citizens have access to the information that they need in order to ensure a more open and transparent government.

The OGP is a global initiative that over 70 countries have signed up for to open up governments to citizens and allow strengthening of delivery and monitoring of public services. It is also a mechanism that goes in line with TIPNG’s mission to inform and empower citizens to fight corruption.

Twelve government departments and ten CSOs, who form PNG’s Steering Committee, initially gathered to initiate the process for the formulation of the NAP in February 2016. These Steering Committee meetings have been co-chaired by the PNG Department of National Planning and Monitoring on behalf of the government and Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) on behalf of civil society.

Under the OGP NAP, PNG signed up for four commitment clusters have been selected to be included in the first NAP: Public Participation, Freedom of Information, Fiscal Transparency and Extractive Resources Transparency.

CSO’s will be monitoring the implementation of the agreed to NAP and have been involved in the drafting of the second action plan towards the end of the first Implementation year.

This meeting follows a similar meeting in December of 2018, where TIPNG updated the wider CSO network on the endorsement of the OGP NAP by the NEC. The meeting saw attendance from the PNG Council of Churches, the Ginigoada Foundation and the Equal Playing Field programme.

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MP’s Must Follow Resignation Laws for Transparency

Wednesday 1st May 2019, Port MoresbyMembers of Parliament when resigning from their political parties must do so through the prescribed processes, especially if they are joining a new party, and not just through media conferences as has been happening recently says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).

The local anti-corruption group is also calling for the constitutional body responsible for registering political parties, the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), to clarify to the public which parties Members of Parliament belong to before Parliament sits this month.

“There have been public statements through press conferences by Members of Parliament that they have resigned from their political parties in recent days, and yet almost all have not shown how they have done this formally through the IPPCC,” the Board of TIPNG said in a recent media release, “It is paramount to preserving Papua New Guinean democracy that an MP ensure that their electorate and the country knows they have dully registered their political affiliation as an elected representative.”

“The IPPCC is the enforcer of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC), with the power to de-register parties if they do not follow the laws. In the public interest, and before the Parliament sits, the IPPCC should release an updated list of Members of Parliament and the political parties to which they are registered. This will ensure that the constitutionally enshrined process of political party representation is not devalued for short-term benefits or self-interest,” said the Board of TIPNG.

The OLIPPAC is not without its challenges, following a successful Supreme Court challenge in 2008 which resulted in Sections 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 69, 70, 72, 73(1)(b), and 81 being declared unconstitutional. There are proposed amendments to the OLIPPAC that will seek to address these areas, but they are yet to be brought to and deliberated by Parliament.

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Partnership to Deliver National Citizenship Curriculum

Friday 26th April 2019, Port Moresby Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is building on its close work with government agencies and education institutions to ensure that people know their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

The local anti-corruption Non-Government Organisation (NGO) signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with the National Department of Education (NDoE) to progress the production and implementation of civic education resources they have been developing together since 2014. The collaboration aims to educate a generation of responsible and active citizens.

The NDoE is a strategic partner for TIPNG in the development of the civic education materials which consists of:

* Civic Education Teachers Resource Book for Grades 3- 12 with 300+ interactive exercises;

* Background Reading/Information book for teachers;

* Student reader with short stories explaining key civic concepts

* Teaching posters of 40 civic concepts

* Big Books containing large pictorial drawings for teachers to read to students

* DVD of Civic Education Videos & Presentations and sample lessons

* An android application with ethical dilemmas.

The purpose of the MoU is not only to reaffirm commitment by the NDoE and TIPNG, but also to reflect the strategic nature of the relationship of the two agencies in empowering the younger population. The partnership drives forward the significant amount of work TIPNG has put into developing the civic education curriculum but it will bring benefits to governance in Papua New Guinea.

Last year, TIPNG conducted School Based Civic Education (SBCE) teacher training workshops for teachers in the NCD, Central, Western Highlands, East Sepik and Eastern Highlands Provinces. The workshops were aimed at assisting teachers explore the use SBCE materials alongside their daily classroom program through  integrating the teacher resource materials with their social science and personal development curricula to develop lesson plans.

TIPNG has worked to ensure that the SBCE curriculum is aligned with the Citizen and Christian Values Education Framework. The Curriculum will go the Board of Studies next month for endorsement into the National Curriculum. The SBCE project will work to partner with the Curriculum Division to ensure teachers are trained using the concepts of Civic Education and that the publications are printed and distributed around the country. The MoU reaffirms is a mutually beneficial partnership with the view of strengthening Good Citizenship in Papua New Guinea.

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Youth to utilize media skills for advocacy

Wednesday 23rd April 2019, Port MoresbyTransparency International recognises the role that youth play in nation building and creating a better future for Papua New Guinea, thus it carries out activities to inform and empower youth through its Youth Integrity Program (YIP). YIP conducted a 3 day Media Smart Youth (MSY) Workshop with students from secondary schools in Port Moresby and the Central Province at the Dream Hub of The Voice Inc. in Port Moresby.

The workshop ended last week Thursday with a media conference attended by members of the media and TIPNG Executive Director, Ms Arianne Kassman. The event was organised and set up by the participants using the knowledge they gained from the workshop. They also took part in a question and answer panel discussion and held a Mini exhibition of four media products they were tasked to create: 1. Photo exhibition to show the photography skills they learned 2. Letters to the Editor on issues of concern 3. Short stories and feature stories of unique PNG experiences 4.Video diary that integrated the interviewing and videography.

A total of 21 participants, including a teacher from the Port Moresby International School and 2 Youth Advocates from the Sanap Wantaim Campaign, participated in the workshop. Speakers at the workshop included Click TV Journalist and Producer Ms Florida Gulaseni, Videographer Mr Jerry Albaniel, Writer and blogger Ms Tess Gizoria.

Workshop topics included: writing letters to the editor, interviewing techniques, public speaking, how to write short stories and feature stories, photography, Videography, print media, broadcast media, using social media as a tool for advocacy and, radio and radio jingles and organising a press conference. Participants were also taken through team building exercises to help increase their confidence when interacting with each other and the workshop speakers.

Participants were from the Saint Joseph’s International Catholic College, Port Moresby International School, Sogeri National High School, Jubilee Catholic Secondary School La Salle Technical College, Gerehu Secondary School, De La Salle Secondary School, Marianville Secondary School, Port Moresby National High School, Kilakila Secondary School, Kopkop College, Sanap Wantaim Campaign and The Voice Inc.

Workshop topics included: writing letters to the editor, interviewing techniques, public speaking, how to write short stories and feature stories, photography, Videography, print media, broadcast media, using social media as a tool for advocacy and, radio and radio jingles and organising a press conference.

Participants were from the Saint Joseph’s International Catholic College, Port Moresby International School, Sogeri National High School, Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, Gordons Secondary School, La Salle Tecnhical College, Gerehu Secondary School, De La Salle Secondary School, Marianville Secondary School, Port Moresby National High School, Kilakila Secondary School, Kopkop College, Sanap Wantaim Campaign and The Voice Inc.

YIP Coordinator, Mr Dagia Aka said that having Media Smart Youth was very important in that young people can start using the various forms of the media available to them as tools for advocating against corruption and for a better future, and ensure that their voices are  heard.

Mr Aka also thanked the parents of the students and heads of participating schools for allowing students to be a part of the workshop, and The Voice Inc. for use of their dream hub space to conduct the workshop.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, Marie Jose Laua from Gerehu Secondary School thanked TIPNG for the opportunity to learn about the media and the many ways they as young people can properly utilise the media to speak up about issues that they are concerned about. She went on to say that through the workshop, they are now more confident and ready to put into practice what they have learned.

Joyce Apelis Nindivi, the teacher participant said the workshop was a good initiative undertaken by TIPNG to educate young people on the importance of the media. She also expressed that she had learned so much from the workshop and was looking forward to sharing what she had learned with her colleagues and students.

Transparency International PNG through its Youth Integrity Program plans to carry out similar workshops throughout the rest of the year to continue to empower young people and provide them with the opportunity to raise their voices on issues that they are concerned about such as corruption.

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