To commemorate its 20th anniversary, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is hosting an Integrity Seminar to reinforce messages of integrity, good governance and partnership.
The Integrity Seminar is being held at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby from Thursday 9th November to Friday 10th November 2017. The theme of the event is “Championing Integrity within our National Elections and National Agencies”
There are two parts to the Integrity Seminar:
- A focus on the national elections
- Recognition of anti-corruption initiatives by national agencies.
“The Integrity Seminar will identify ways to improve the electoral process, with the launch of the TIPNG 2017 National Elections Observation Report, and also strengthen national agencies by identifying and promoting best anti-corruption initiatives that we can be replicated,” said TIPNG Chairman, Mr Lawrence Stephens.
Day one of the seminar (Thursday 9/11/17) will see the presentation of findings from TIPNG’s election observation. During the 2017 National Parliamentary Elections, TIPNG fielded 313 volunteers nationwide to observe polling. The results of the observation will be presented in a report to the Electoral Commission of PNG (PNGEC). It is TIPNG’s hope that the PNGEC takes on some of the recommendations put forward in the report and start working towards ensuring integrity in the 2022 national elections.
Day two (Friday 10/11/17) involves the recognition of anti-corruption initiatives developed and implemented by selected national agencies. The agencies will be showcasing their initiatives to encourage the sharing of ideas and replication of an initiative within another national agency. TIPNG will be presenting awards to the selected agencies To give recognition to these, sometimes unsung, initiatives.
It is TIPNG’s view that the 2017 National Parliamentary Election was not delivered effectively, efficiently and of sufficient and acceptable quality.
TIPNG presented the findings of its election observation yesterday(Thursday 9/11/17) during its Integrity Seminar held to commemorate the organization’s 20th anniversary.
Key findings from voter survey were:
- voters reported that voting rights were taken by others without permission.
- voters said polling officials were responsible for delays in voting that resulted in voters not being able to vote.
- voters interviewed reported threats to voters on polling day, if they did not vote for a particular candidate.
- voters were offered bribes or asked for bribes to vote for a particular candidate on polling day
- there was a lack of secrecy in voting. Regional variation was noted, with Southern and New Guinea Islands Regions generally upholding secrecy.
Key Findings from Polling Place Survey:
- Often, polling place management and election administration was not carried out according to electoral law
- Lack of Secret Voting
- bribery and intimidation of voters during polling
- security personnel were not impartial
- polling places lacked election materials including security.
The following areas are recommended by TIPNG for the PNGEC and relevant agencies to improve:
- Enforcement of existing laws by agencies during the elections
- Electoral Roll Update and Verification
- Security and prevention of election related violence
- Election Awareness.
Transparency International PNG (TI PNG) commends Minister for Lands, Honorable Justin Tkatchenko’s undertaking to deal with officials that issue public land titles to business entities or individuals.
TIPNG is pleased to note that the Minister Tkatchenko is working with the National Capital District Commission to take back all the public land that was given away.
Corruption in land management happens when officials demand bribes for basic administrative steps, but also when high-level political decisions are unduly influenced. Administrative corruption involves bribes and illegal payments made to register land, acquire official documents and approve building permits. These land are obtained and “developed” into shopping malls, housing developments and other commercial activities.
“At TIPNG , we hope that the Minister for Lands also takes on the challenge to improve land governance. It is our strong belief that the right to land must not depend on the ability to grease the palms of public officials, but for officials to display integrity in perform their duties,” said TI PNG Chairman, Lawrence Stephens.