With the aim of contributing to the second cycle of the national UNCAC implementation review in Papua New Guinea (PNG), this parallel report was written by TIPNG using the guidance materials and report template designed by the UNCAC Coalition and Transparency International. The production of this report was supported by the UNCAC Coalition, made possible with funding provided by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida).
Recommendations of Priority Actions in the report:
1. The National Anti-Corruption Strategy Taskforce (NASTF) must hold regular meetings.
2. Each state agency should develop an internal anti-corruption strategy.
3. Wide consultation is required to ensure a thorough regulatory framework for OLICAC.
4. Amendments to go beyond the traditional employer-employee relationship need to be made to the whistleblower legislation to ensure its effectiveness.
5. Ensure that sanctions under the Leadership Code and the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leaders are proportionate and compel reporting by public officials.
6. Amendments are required to the OLIPPAC to ensure it is constitutional and followed.
7. Creation of a legal basis for beneficial ownership data to be collected and shared.
8. Operationalisation of PNG’s e-procurement system with reference to global standards.
9. Support is required for the national chapters of EITI and OGP to achieve their broad objectives, and specifically to enact a Freedom of Information law.
The National Integrity System (NIS) approach considers that preventing corruption and promoting good governance in a country requires the effective operation of all key institutions. According to this assessment, only 5 of Papua New Guinea’s 14 NIS institutions have a relatively high Overall Score although it is concerning that they still fall short of having both an adequate legal framework and adequate actions in practice: the Judiciary, Procurement, Anti-Corruption Agencies, Ombudsman Office and the Media. These pillars tend to score relatively better than others because of supportive legislative frameworks but like all 14 pillars, there are troubling weaknesses in their implementation. This result points to a number of challenges that require action for preventing corruption and for strengthening democracy in general.
The report’s final chapter reviews the relative strengths and weaknesses of each pillar according to the NISA PNG 2021 and contains specific recommendations for each institution.
The following highlights the key reforms that TIPNG considers must be implemented in the lead up to and beyond the 2022 National Election, as a priority to strengthen the country’s national integrity system and democratic governance:
1. Open Up Parliament! Broadcast full Parliament session, Demand MP Constituent Meetings, Release Annual Report on Parliament Performance, and restore OLIPPAC.
2. Make every vote count! Prioritise the National Census, register every eligible voter, and implement the electoral laws, to ensure integrity within the electoral process.
3. Let the People Know! Protect our media, empower our citizens and welcome informed investment by delivering an effective way for us all to access public information
4. Start ICAC Strong! Recruit competent staff, use the NACTF to coordinate anti-corruption partnerships, and protect the integrity of our new anti-corruption agency
5. Bridge the Integrity Gap! Develop and Recognise integrity initiatives in agencies, enable citizens to hold public servants accountable, align Police Conduct with integrity provisions in Police Act and support multi-stakeholder forums
This reports sheds light on what Papua new Guineans think about corruption and anti-corruption efforts. It does so by presenting data from a survey into citizens understandings of corruption conducted during 2010 and 2011.
We interviewed 1800 rural and urban citizens across nine provinces and asked them about definitions, causes and reporting of corruption and their perceptions of the effectiveness of organizations in addressing corruption. In addition we asked respondents to evaluate scenarios that might be considered corrupt, as well as a variety of statements about corruption, trust, democracy, the legal system and leadership.
Perhaps as suggested by a billboard at a busy intersection on a Port Moresby street, corruption is killing Papua New Guinea (PNG). Indeed Corruption in its many forms has saturated many aspects of the public and private sectors of its society. Corruption is endemic and it happens at all levels of government and public sector organizations. There is also evidence of corruption in the private sector, although at less alarming rates.
The performance of various components of the National Integrity Systems study in PNG has produced a mixed bag of results. Except for the judiciary, the media, the PNG Ombudsman Commission and civil society, most government institutions are perhaps tolerant and passive towards corruption.
This report provides an analysis of national integrity systems in PNG and provides recommendations to improve the fight against corruption in country.
TIPNG was accredited by the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) as a domestic PNG observer group. The TIPNG observation team was comprised of volunteers from: academia, independent constitutional bodies, TIPNG Staff and TIPNG Directors, who possessed relevant knowledge of electoral processes.
The purpose of the observation was to report whether: Bougainvilleans were free to exercise their right to vote, if the Referendum process was fair to all voters; and to see if polling was safe from violence. These observation results fed into an overall assessment as to whether the Referendum outcome credibly reflects the will of Bougainvillean voters.
There were two survey forms that TIPNG observers used in the field: the first survey form, systematically evaluated polling stations and officials; and the second form that collected the views of voters. In total, nine TIPNG observers participated in the field work during the week of polling from 23 to 28 November 2019 in North and Central Bougainville. There were 28 polling places observed and 163 voters interviewed by TIPNG observers.
Quantitative results from both observers and voters demonstrated a high degree of freedom of expression and the exercising of voters’ rights. Additionally, a substantial majority of observers deemed the referendum process was very fair. A sole incident in Central Bougainville and bias of a polling official at one polling place in North Bougainville are not considered to be reflective of the overall high degree of fairness observed.
There were significantly high percentages of reports by TIPNG observers that voters and polling officials were not subject to intimidation or bribery, as recorded by 93% and 71% respectively. These findings were also supported by the voter surveys where 99% of respondents never felt threatened to select a particular option.
TIPNG’s overall evaluation based on observation data both quantitatively and qualitatively reflected that the Bougainville Referendum was free, fair & safe and credibly reflected the will of voters.
Papua New Guineans must be empowered to obtain public information from the State. Once informed, a citizen will be able to more effectively demand accountability, oppose corruption and monitor public service delivery.
Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has surveyed 24 Government Agencies, to assess their current ability to provide public information both online and over the counter, the findings are contained in this report.
Over 90% of State agencies surveyed were unable to give public documents when requested over the counter, yet these same documents were already available online for 54% of the agencies.
This disconnect between officers and agencies demonstrates the culture of secrecy that has formed in the bureaucracy and the urgent need for structural changes within organisations. Public servants should have a clear process and adequate infrastructure to keep the public informed.
TIPNG calls for the immediate creation of a Right to Information Policy outlining the process by which a citizen can expect to obtain information and for a Right to Information Law to establish a public-interest body to assist citizens’ requests for information from government agencies.
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Report with a transcript of the discussions held from 09-10th November at the 2017 TIPNG Integrity Seminar. The Seminar saw the launch of the 2017 National Elections Observation Report and 7 Integrity Initiatives of Excellence were presented by their implementing National Agencies.
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Public Opinion Survey in Five Provinces on Levels and Consequences of Corruption in Papua New Guinea and State and Society Response, 2015
This survey report on public opinion, conducted independently for TIPNG, shows that the levels of corruption in Papua New Guinea are very high and in alignment with the findings of the global Corruptions Perceptions Index.