Author: Yuambari Haihuie

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TIPNG Observers Ready for Bougainville Referendum

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.

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European Union Supports TIPNG for Bougainville Referendum Observation

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.

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Our Right To Know, Their Duty To Tell

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.

KEY FINDING

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.

KEY RECOMMENDATION

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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Proposal to Improve Online School-Leaver Selection Winner of Open Government Contest for Youth

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.

 

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Informed Local Communities Ensure LLG Accountability

Monday 18th March 2019, Port Moresby – A vital way to address corruption and ensure accountability within Local Level Governments (LLG),  is to inform citizens on how to monitor and report on  governance issues within their communities says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG). The local anti-corruption NGO visited Kimbe to conduct a 2nd LLG Accountability Workshop with participants from Hoskins and Talasea LLGs in West New Britain.

 

TIPNG was assisted by the Ombudsman Commission Islands Regional Office to facilitate the workshop the 29 participants from Hoskins and Talasea. The workshop topics included; how councilors can identify cases of corruption and report it to TIPNG’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, the role of the Ombudsman Commission and how they can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission. Other topics included the Leadership Code and how to create a Social Accountability Plan.

 

“The aim of the LLG Accountability Workshops was twofold, firstly to strengthen the accountability mechanisms within the three Districts where they were conducted and secondly to identify weaknesses to be addressed by appropriate entities such as the Department of Provincial & Local Government Affairs (DPLGA), Department of Finance and the Department of National Planning & Monitoring” said TIPNG workshop facilitator Mr. Yuambari Haihuie.

 

“While we would have ideally wanted to conduct the workshop with newly elected LLG officials, the deferral of the LLG Elections has necessitated holding the 2nd Workshop before communities had voted in new officials for their respective LLG’s. Nevertheless, it is TIPNG’s hope that the communities within Goroka, Kimbe & Madang will use the information provided and be more resilient in the face of corruption by actively pursuing accountability.”

 

Recently the PNG Ombudsman Commission has also sought a Supreme Court reference on the LLG Elections which have been deferred from 2017 to 2019. TIPNG raised similar concerns in 2018, as Section 34 of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-Level Government (OLPLLG) states that wherever practicable, the term of a Local-Level Government shall be the same as and run concurrently with the term of the Parliament, and can be deferred no more than three months after the National Elections which occurred in 2017.

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TIPNG Warns that Koloma sets back Government NID Response

Port Moresby, 14 February 2018 – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG)says that positive steps by the Government to audit the National Identity (NID) Project in response to their campaign is marred by the efforts of National Statistician Roy Koloma which appear intended to evade a police investigation into alleged fraud.

TIPNG, a chapter of the global Transparency International movement, marked its 21st Anniversary in January by identifying 3 key national issues that they would be campaigning for in 2018; these were the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), enabling legislation for citizens’ constitutional right for free access to public information, and lastly resolution for the scandals involving the NID Project.

“In January, TIPNG called for the Government to halt payments to the NID Project until an independent audit was done on the K230m spent by the Department of National Planning, we also called for the head of the National Statistical Office (NSO) Mr. Roy Koloma to step aside whilst investigations of alleged fraud were conducted,” said Mr. Lawrence Stephens, Chairman of TIPNG.

“Subsequently the Deputy Prime Minister and the National Planning Minister responded with promises that an independent committee would be established in February. We are keen to hear the findings of the committee.”

“However, it is now reported that Mr. Koloma has taken what appears to be a deplorable step of attempting to evade the police and apparently demanding that he be given special consideration. TIPNG reminds Mr. Koloma and all citizens that they must comply with the efforts of legal authorities, exercising constitutional powers on behalf of us all, to cooperate when requested to provide information”.  Mr. Stephens emphasised. “There is only one law, and it should be applied to all citizens equally, moreover leaders like Mr. Koloma must preserve the integrity of the office they occupy and, if being investigated for serious criminal offences relating to their office, step aside until being cleared. The people of Papua New Guinea demand and deserve accountability.”

Mr Stephens added that the Transparency International Secretariat, in Germany, will be releasing its global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on February 22nd, an index in which countries are ranked and scored by levels of perceived corruption. “Sadly Papua New Guinea has consistently ranked poorly. However, if the Government and police continue to respond as quickly as seen with the NID saga, then it is inevitable that one day the perception of corruption will decrease and our CPI score will improve. This would be something the Government can rightly tout when hosting events such as the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on Prevention of Corruption happening later this month.”

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Position Vacancy: Office Manager

TIPNG is inviting applications to fill in the position vacancy of OFFICE MANAGER.
The role is responsible for a diverse set of administrative tasks including maintaining office operations, human resources , finance and executive secretarial duties.

Send your application to:

The Executive Director
Transparency International PNG Inc.
P. O. Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD
Email: exectipng@gmail.com
Applications close on Monday 15 January 2018 at 4:00pm.

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2017 Integrity Seminar Report

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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PNG Mining Licences Risks

Report Title: Transparency International Papua New Guinea Corruption Risks in Mining Awards Country Report

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) is one of 20 national chapters participating in Transparency International’s global Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) Programme. The Programme is coordinated by TI Australia. The M4SD Programme complements existing efforts to improve transparency and accountability in extractive industries by focussing specifically on the start of the mining decision chain: the point at which governments grant and award mining permits and licences, negotiate contracts and make agreements.

The Programme has been about understanding the problem by identifying and assessing the corruption risks in the process and practice of awarding mining licences, permits and contracts. This report presents the main findings from the corruption risk assessment in Papua New Guinea.

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TIPNG Report Assesses Risk of Corruption in Mining Licences Process

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) in a new report has identified 7 areas within the process of issuing Mining Leases that need to be addressed urgently to minimise the risk of corruption occurring. The report comes from TIPNG’s participation in a global research initiative called the Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) Programme.

This programme brings together 17 chapters of the Transparency International movement, in countries where mining is a major component of the national economy, to identify risks in the process of awarding Mining Licenses. The awards process is the start of the mining value-chain and any effects of corruption there will be passed along, eventually impacting a countries’ sustainable development.

The TIPNG Corruption Risks In Mining Awards Country Report highlights weaknesses in cross-institutional capacity, human resources capacity in regulators, coherence of feasibility studies & MOAs, the lack of a national geo-spatial agency, consultation with community representatives, Corporate Social Reporting and issues surrounding the inclusion of women and vulnerable members of communities.

“We believe that national agencies benefit from having an external party like TIPNG assessing the processes to ensure that they are of a world-class standard” said Lawrence Stephens, Chairman of Transparency International on the launching of the report, “Mining is a steady driver of the economy of our country and is key to ensuring future sustainable development. We hope this report and its recommendations will be part of the discussion going forward about how the minerals sector can be better able to address the risk of corruption in the issuing of mining licenses in PNG.”

TIPNG as a local CSO and national chapter of the global Transparency International movement has been supportive of efforts promoting transparency in the resources sector such as being an active member of the multi-stakeholder group within the PNG Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) Secretariat. While the recently launched report has been funded separately from the PNGEITI’s activities, it will certainly inform TIPNG’s work within this initiative.

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