We are embarking on a new and exciting project to systematically strengthen the integrity of national institutions through research, partnership and advocacy for better anti-corruption strategies
TIPNG is looking for suitable applicants to fill this new and exciting position of a PROJECT COORDINATOR – PROMOTING ANTI-CORRUPTION & INTEGRITY STRATEGIES (PAIS).
The Project Coordinator will work under the supervision of the Deputy Director – Policy & Advocacy and ensure the efficient and effective running of the project.
Reporting to the Deputy Director – Policy & Advocacy, the Project Coordinator shall:
- Coordinate project funds and reporting while implementing the project
- Supervise Consultant engaged to do a National Integrity Systems Assessment (NISA)
- Coordinate stakeholder meetings with key Government Agencies for the NISA
- Organise and deliver a National Anti-Corruption Summit
- Lead the PAIS Team within TIPNG
Key Qualifications and Skills:
- Must have an academic background in either political science, public policy, economics, project management and/or related fields.
- Must have at least three (2) years of successful project management experience, ideally in the development-sector
- Must have excellent English language report writing skills
- Must have competency in using MS Office Suite
- Should possess the ability to multitask and engage with stakeholders
- Should have experience facilitating group trainings/workshops
- Should possess excellent organisational, information management & communication skills
- Should be a highly motivated self-starter who can work well under pressure of competing deadlines.
- Should have concern and interest in anti-corruption and democracy issues.
- Be a team player
Applications must include 3 referees with reliable telephone number and/or email address. Send applications addressed to:
The Executive Director
Transparency International PNG Inc.
P O Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD
Applications can be emailed to: email@example.com
Applications close at 5:00pm on Monday 18th May 2020. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day, which occurs annually on 3rd May, is “Journalism Without Fear or Favour”. In line with this theme Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is releasing a Preliminary Statement on our forthcoming report examining Media Trends in Papua New Guinea and the issue of bias in reporting on Governance issues amongst Print Media.
TIPNG Media Trends Report
Mainstream newspapers have been criticised by citizens as being biased for some time now, with the intensity of feelings increasing in the lead up to the 2017 general elections and the 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit. The question that has been asked by the public is; to what extent is there a bias in the media on governance issues, and more importantly, will it matter in the next major national event e.g. 2020 COVID-19 Emergency or 2022 Elections?
To address this question, TIPNG looked at media trends on how the daily newspapers here report on governance. In PNG, most people rely more on print media than social media for their daily dose of current affairs and information. For this reason, understanding local print media story choices and general trends is important. Examining the content of the stories on governance shows the strengths as well as weaknesses that the media can work on to improve the quality of news that informs PNG citizens, businesses and policy- makers alike.
Analysing the content of newspaper articles on; the 2017 National Elections, Politics, Law & Order, 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, and Governance in general, we covered a one-year time period from June 2017 to August 2018.
Preliminary Findings from TIPNG Media Report
First, we looked at which governance topics the PNG print media write about most frequently, and which issues are overlooked. Then we examined whether there are different viewpoints expressed to enable a healthy societal debate on governance. Related to this, we assessed the extent to which a range of sources is used. Overall, we considered the evidence on bias in the newspapers in reporting on governance, and on the 2017 National Elections in particular.
This study by TIPNG on Media Trends is perhaps the first to provide Papua New Guineans an objective basis to evaluate claims of whether the media in PNG are fair.
For instance, one of the questions we examined from our data was the percentage of then Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, related stories from positive, negative and neutral standpoints in both Newspapers which produced this pie graph (above), demonstrating an overwhelming deference to the incumbent Prime Minister.
Another area of interest examined in the report is less explicit biases such as when reporting on sub-national (at the Province, District, LLG level) governance issues whether voices from those areas are captured in reports. In this particular case we looked at the clear difference between provinces with larger populations (EHP & Morobe) and those with lower populations (Manus & Gulf) and it is clear that there is a disparity whether conscious or not.
Threats to Media Freedom in PNG
While PNG has enjoyed a relatively free media this has been under threat in recent years. For instance, the 2020 Reporters Without Borders (RSF), World Press Freedom Index assess PNG to have a press whose independence is ‘endangered’, with a corresponding drop of eight places in rank since last year. Interestingly one of the reasons cited by RSF for the diminished ranking is that “Journalists nonetheless continue to be dependent on the concerns of those who own their media.”
The threats to PNG’s Media Freedom are most obvious when it comes to major national events that require objective reporting in the public interest. Recent instances where the ability of the media to report have been hampered by other interests (often political) include; the 2017 national Election, the 2018 APEC Leaders Summit, the 2019 Political Transition and the 2020 COVID-19 Public Spending. Journalists in PNG are further disadvantaged by the lack of Right to Information (RTI) legislation to enable them to obtain public documents from the State. In the absence of a RTI law in PNG the media outlets are further beholden to political interests as sources of information – which further erodes public trust in news outlets.
Strengthening Media Freedom in PNG
Findings like these are examined in the forthcoming report by TIPNG on Media Trends to be released later this year. It is hoped that the findings of the report will stimulate discussion about print journalism in Papua New Guinea and outline steps that can be taken to improve reporting on Governance issues, without ‘fear or favour’.
TIPNG will continue to act in solidarity and support media professionals as they report on allegations of corruption and demand accountability on behalf of citizens in Papua New Guinea
TIPNG is a national chapter of the global transparency movement, with a mission to empower Papua New Guineans to act against corruption. Since TIPNG’s establishment in 1997, we have worked with the media to ensure that the voices of citizens who value transparency and accountability are unrestricted and heard by those in positions of power. The role of a free media to maintaining democracy in Papua New Guinea cannot be overstated.
The quality and credibility of the news matters because the media can be a powerful force for change. Where it is able to effectively fulfil the roles of watchdog, gatekeeper and agenda-setter, the media can improve governance by raising awareness on social issues, enabling citizens to hold leaders and government to account, curbing corruption, and creating a civic forum for debate. It can also amplify the voice of marginalised and excluded groups, serving young, rural, and non-literate citizens across the country.
The media can be an influential force around elections, although impartiality of the media during electoral campaigns and after elections is difficult to achieve. Where electoral processes are flawed or outcomes are contested, the media can either exacerbate or help settle disputes, and can influence the likelihood election-related violence. To reach its potential, however, professional and ethical journalism standards need to be raised in the face of increasing political pressures.
Wednesday 25th March 2020, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG takes this opportunity to provide a timely reminder to Prime Minister James Marape and the Covid-19 Emergency Committee that they have a duty to the public to be vigilant to ensure that corrupt individuals do not attempt to profit from the Government declared Covid-19 state of emergency response.
“Procurement of goods and services during an emergency situation still needs to be subjected to stringent and proper processes. Ensuring these processes are transparent and open to external scrutiny will instill greater public confidence. The gravity of the situation the Government has a duty to proactively disclose this information as the lives of People may depend on their decisions. During a state of emergency partnerships between state, business and civil society are essential to minimizing the prevalence of corruption in our National efforts to mitigate this insidious virus” said Chairman of TIPNG Mr. Peter Aitsi.
“The Government must learn from past mistakes and ensure that there is proper independent oversight of the funding provided for the state of emergency and also a mechanism to receive any complaints from whistle-blowers. If this is not included in Covid-19 planning then the outcome can only be to the detriment of our efforts.”
Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is making this call following similar concerns raised in previous emergencies such as the 2018 Highlands earthquake and from the issues around procurement of medical supplies in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings into Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals (BPP) in 2019.
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.
Three students from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) School of Law have completed their eight-week internship with local anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG), on Monday 10th February, 2020.
The interns; Alois Sinen, Rhonda Tevlone and Melvia Lyandenge, began their internship on 2nd December, 2019 within TIPNG’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), which provides information to assist witnesses & victims of corruption in PNG.
“Since 2017, there have been 2 cohorts of interns. The 2019-2020 TIPNG Interns are the third cohort to have completed the program. We are proud to have these budding legal professionals gain experience of TIPNG’s activities and programs which empower citizens to address corruption,” said Mr Samson Kandata, coordinator of the TIPNG Legal Internship Program (LIP).
“The 2-month internship involved attending to complainants through phone calls and face-to-face meetings with clients. TIPNG is a non-government organisation so does not investigate, arrest or prosecute perpetrators of corruption. The LIP Interns while with TIPNG compiled case briefs and followed up referral of cases with responsible agencies on behalf of complainants.”
In addition to their duties under ALAC, the Interns also contributed to research & policy work on outstanding national cases of corruption and assisted with advocacy & outreach events by TIPNG. Meeting with TIPNG stakeholders and partners in the Public & Private Sectors was also a part of the LIP. The Legal Internship, now in its 3rd year, is an arrangement between the UPNG Law School and TIPNG, with funding support from ExxonMobilPNG (EMPNG).
Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is the local chapter of the global Transparency Movement and has been operating in Papua New Guinea since 1997. TIPNG’s mission is to empower Papua New Guineans to act against corruption.
This statement is a preliminary assessment of the TIPNG Observation of the Bougainville Referendum Polling which was an activity entirely funded by the European Union. The statement will also provide an overview of TIPNG’s Observations and highlight key areas which will be covered in depth in a full report that is to be launched before Parliament resumes at the beginning next year
Background on Domestic Election Observation
TIPNG has had significant engagement in the past with both electoral observation and the electoral reform process in Papua New Guinea as part of its vision to see our country strengthen good governance and ensure the rule of law is upheld.
TIPNG Observed the National Elections in 2007, 2012 & 2017 as well the 2013 Local Level Government Election. Electoral Observation has been part of TIPNG’s broader engagement with citizens, with over 400 individual volunteers participating to observe the 2017 National Elections across the country.
The TIPNG Electoral Observation reports have been the basis for legislative changes such as the introduction of the Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) and also highlighting weakness in the system which has led to a call to improve on issues such as Voter Identification. Additionally, under the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections TIPNG has had a nominee serving on the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC), a body which advises the Electoral Commissioner on whether an election should be classified as ‘failed’.
TIPNG Bougainville Referendum Observers
TIPNG received accreditation from the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) to field Observers during the week of polling from 25th-29th November 2019 in North and Central Bougainville. Four (4) Observers were fielded in North Bougainville and five (5) observers in Central Bougainville. Our observer teams were comprised of TIPNG Board & Staff and volunteers from the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the National Research Institute (NRI) and the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The TIPNG Observers played a critical role in the Referendum by observing the conduct of polling and counting, to ascertain if the process was free, open, transparent, democratic and fair – based on national legislation and according to national and international standards. Observers were tasked to maintain a high level of neutrality and professionalism to meet international standards. They were not to interfere in the polling and counting process, but to act as independent observers of the process – not to control or interfere in the conduct of the referendum.
Methodology of Observation
TIPNG’s Observation of the Bougainville Referendum was across 28 polling sites in North and Central Bougainville with well over a 100 voters interviewed. TIPNG only observed the Polling Process and not the Counting.
There were two (2) survey tools used, the first to systematically evaluate polling stations & officials and the second tool to collect the views of voters on whether the referendum was free, fair & safe. The surveys were modified from the surveys used in the 2007, 2012 & 2017 National Elections Observation, and to an extent are comparable.
TIPNG thanks the People of Bougainville and the BRC Polling Officials for their unanimous support in answering our survey questions over the week of polling. TIPNG Observers were all welcomed and did not encounter any hostility or violence; in fact most polling stations had a sense of celebration by communities as polling commenced. Furthermore, all voters that were interviewed by TIPNG Observers were forthcoming in their answers and gave answers freely.
The voter surveys were almost all entirely unanimous in their assessment that there were no undue or coercive behaviours, e.g. Bribery, Threats of Violence, Block Voting, etc. Almost all respondents responded that they had not experienced or witnessed issues that have plagued elections in Papua New Guinea in the past, and this was corroborated by the TIPNG Observer teams.
It should be noted that amongst the twenty-eight (28) polling places observed, only one (1) in Central Bougainville, had a serious deficiency as the Secrecy of the Vote was violated by a man from the community seeing how each vote was cast at the ballot booth and in some instances filling in the ballot for electors. It would appear that this was an anomalous incident, however in the absence of other observer reports it is unclear how reflective this incident was of other electoral violations.
While there were other procedural issues by BRC officials, e.g. inadequate provision of provisional votes, limited polling booths, and early close of polling stations before 6pm, etc., these were minor instances and could be easily ascribed to under-resourcing or insufficient training of BRC polling officials.
On the whole the TIPNG Bougainville Referendum Observation preliminary finding is that while there were minor procedural issues, if measured against the standard of previous elections in PNG, the Bougainville Referendum was free, fair & safe and credibly reflects the will of the people of Bougainville.
Due to the instance of an observed electoral violation and of other minor procedural issues, it cannot be said that the Bougainville Referendum was entirely without incident.
Full Report & Interim Recommendation
TIPNG will release a Full Report later in 2020 with the financial support of the European Union. The report will be released before the first seating of the National Parliament in February 2020. The full report will present the data collected by TIPNG Observers during the Bougainville Referendum.
TIPNG welcomes the official conclusion of the Bougainville Referendum with the return of the writs by the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) to the Governor General of Papua New Guinea on Friday 13th December 2019.
As the governments of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville begin deliberation on the Referendum results, TIPNG strongly recommends that leaders maintain the democratic values captured by the Referendum process.
In the interest of preserving Democracy, leaders in Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, have a duty to be open to citizens as they deliberate on our behalf for an outcome to be ratified by the Government of Papua New Guinea in line with the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Tuesday 19th November 2019, Port Moresby – Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) with funding support from the European Union, will be observing polling stations during the Bougainville Referendum. TIPNG has received accreditation from the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) to field their Observers during the week of polling from 25th-29th November 2019 in North and Central Bougainville.
“The observers have been briefed by TIPNG and will be fielded next week, with 6 observers in Buka and 5 observers in Arawa. Our observer teams are comprised of TIPNG Board & Staff and volunteers from the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the National Research Institute (NRI) and the Public Service Commission (PSC),” said TIPNG Deputy Director, Policy & Advocacy, Mr Yuambari Haihuie.
“This observation is similar to the National Election observations by TIPNG as we will monitor the conduct of the Referendum Polling by officials, as well as the freedom of voters to cast their votes without fear or intimidation. TIPNG has a free and confidential hotline number 180 6000 for voters in the referendum to call if they see any cases of corruption. We request the support of Bougainvilleans at polling stations if interviewed by our observers,” added Mr. Haihuie, who is coordinating the TIPNG Observation team.
The role of Observers in the Referendum is to provide a critical role in the democratic process by observing whether the conduct of polling and counting is free, open, transparent, democratic and fair – based on national legislation and according to national & international standards. Observers must maintain a high level of neutrality and professionalism to meet international standards. They cannot interfere in the polling and counting process. Their role is to observe only. They do not control or interfere in the conduct of the referendum.
Following the Observation, TIPNG will issue an independent public report on its findings early next year.
Monday 21st October 2019, Port Moresby – The European Union has made funding available to Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) to conduct domestic observation of the Bougainville Referendum process.
“TIPNG thanks His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič and the European Union Delegation to Papua New Guinea for their continuous support of good governance and democracy in our country. Through their financial support, TIPNG will be able to monitor the conduct of the Referendum polling by officials as well as the freedom of voters to cast their votes without fear or intimidation,” said Ms. Arianne Kassman, Executive Director of TIPNG at the occasion of the signing of the grant agreement.
TIPNG has previously conducted observation of National and Local Level Government elections in Papua New Guinea and will field teams of volunteers to observe polling from 23rd November – 7th December 2019 which are the gazetted dates of the Bougainville Referendum.
TIPNG has sought and obtained accreditation status as an Observer Group with the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC). Following the conduct of the Observation, TIPNG will issue an independent public report on its findings.
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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Monday 25th March 2019, Port Moresby – A proposal to improve the design of the online school-leaver selections to tertiary institutions has taken out the top prize in a public contest for youth to submit ideas on how a more open government can improve the lives of young people in Papua New Guinea.
To mark global Open Government Week which ran from 11-17th March 2019, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) launched the ‘Design a Youth Commitment’, contest to inspire young citizens to actively engaging in transforming the Government with the aim of better serving the needs of the people.
“When the Government of Papua New Guinea first signed up to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2014, and subsequently submitted a 2-year National Action Plan (NAP) in 2018, we in civil society knew this would give us more of an even footing in co-creating what an Open Government in our country could look like – the ideas submitted in our contest to see how young people envisioned that future are testament to that,” said TIPNG Executive Director Arianne Kassman at an event on Friday 22nd March 2019 to present the 3 winners in the contest with their prizes and certificates of recognition.
“The OGP gives citizens a unique framework to co-create an agenda, captured in the NAP 2018-2020, for openness to improve service delivery through 7 specific commitments. Throughout Open Government Week, TIPNG as the lead Civil Society body in the OGP has led discussions on OGP on radio, online, in a seminar and through this contest where young people between the ages of 12-25 submitted innovative ways in which an Open Government could transform society. The winning entry from Mr. Arvin Kopi calls for more consultation to be done with manual selectors to ensure that digital selection captures all the nuance required for a more holistic school-leaver selection process,” said Ms. Kassman.
The OGP NAP 2018-2020 contains 7 commitments to be achieved by 2020 in 4 key areas, and was drafted by both Government Agencies, with the Department of National Planning taking the lead, and over 20 Civil Society Organisations. The NAP has been endorsed by the National Executive Council in Decision No. 323/2018 and is currently the overarching mechanism for coordinating Open Government initiatives in Papua New Guinea.