Act to Stop Corruption During Covid-19 Emergency
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.