Case 5.2 – Whistle-Blower Legislation

Case 5.2 – Whistle-Blower Legislation

The 2009 Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance has, among its recommendations, called for the introduction and enactment of whistle-blower legislation to boost the fight against corruption in PNG.

There have been cases in the PNG bureaucracy over the years where whistle-blower civil servants were terminated from their employment (Tokunai, 2011). In February 2017 the Department of Defence sacked 9 staff for revealing details of the controversial Manumanu land deal (Yapumi, PNG Loop, 2017). TIPNG defended the terminated officers and urged bureaucrats who are witness to corrupt activities to speak out (Wiseman, 2017).

The draft of the 2015 Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption has a section dedicated to protecting whistle blowers. It states that a person is not liable to any civil or criminal action, including disciplinary proceedings, if the person in good faith gives or provides information to assist the commission. It is not known if that section (108) was retained in the bill that is now before the National Parliament for the third reading and final vote. However, it is understood discussions highlighting the need for separate legislation for Whistle-Blowers and Freedom of Information has already been raised at the National Anti-Corruption Technical Committee meeting.

Update as of 2018

The 2009 Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance has, among its recommendations, called for the introduction and enactment of whistle-blower legislation to boost the fight against corruption in PNG.

There have been cases in the PNG bureaucracy over the years where whistle-blower civil servants were terminated from their employment (Tokunai, 2011). In February 2017 the Department of Defence sacked 9 staff for revealing details of the controversial Manumanu land deal (Yapumi, PNG Loop, 2017). TIPNG defended the terminated officers and urged bureaucrats who are witness to corrupt activities to speak out (Wiseman, 2017).

In August 2017, Constitutional Law Reform Commission secretary Dr Eric Kwa, in his address at the 2017 PNG update forum held at the University of Papua New Guinea, proposed the creation of whistle-blowers law to allow the leaders of public servants to speak out about corruption without fear of being punished (Sii, Post Courier, 2017). He said that the legislation has been outstanding for 42 years, and they were preparing a draft to be presented to the government (Sii, Post Courier, 2017). Dr Kwa stated that, “public service leaders face the issue of always answering to politicians, and they face the dilemma of either keeping their jobs or telling the truth, adding that some of them cannot find any other job outside of the public service” (Sii, Post Courier, 2017).

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