Thursday 10th October 2019, Port Moresby– Media reports that officials may have swindled vast amounts of public money due to lax procurement and governance processes involved in the financing of the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Series of Meetings in Papua New Guinea are alarming says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).
TIPNG has called on the Prime Minister James Marape to demonstrate how serious his government is about enforcing accountability by tabling the APEC Report in Parliament and acting on the serious allegations of misappropriation.
“The possible corruption involving funds for the APEC meeting has been a standing concern for TIPNG. TIPNG pointed out specific concerns in procurement processes to purchase the Maserati vehicles in October 2018. Unfortunately we can now see these concerns were well founded given the delay in tabling the APEC report which demonstrates a lack of accountability on the part of the senior bureaucrats and government executives who were responsible for managing the event,” said Chairman of TIPNG, Mr Peter Aitsi.
“Their negligence has resulted in millions of Kina being wasted and more worryingly it appears some of the funds cannot even be ‘accounted’. The Marape Government must act to address this outstanding issue, especially at a time when our country is going through very difficult economic conditions and where the government now has to drastically cut back on budgeted public expenditure,” added Mr Aitsi.
In the APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 Co-ordination Authority Act 2014, Section 29 (1) calls for the APEC Authority to provide the APEC Minister a final report on its performance and activities. Section 29 (2) (b) of the Act says that the APEC Report must be, “tabled in the Parliament by the Minister during the first sitting of Parliament after receipt of the report by the Minister.”
Friday 27th September 2019, Port Moresby – A new report by Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) has shown that the public are unable to access documents from Government Departments because there is no existing law to enforce the public’s Right to Information (RTI). At the launch of the Our Right To Know, Their Duty Tell Report, to mark the International Day for Universal Access To Information, TIPNG called for the Marape-Steven Government to prioritise the RTI Law as a means for citizens to stop public-sector corruption.
“TIPNG surveyed 24 agencies in 2018-19 and found that for over-the-counter information requests, 90% of the time agencies would not provide any of the following 4 documents; current corporate plan, recent speech by the head of the agency, most recent audited financial report or most recent report with public statistics,” said Mr. Yuambari Haihuie, TIPNG’s Deputy Director -Policy & Advocacy, “This is deeply concerning because it means there is a pervasive culture of secrecy, the result being that citizens are unable to check on what our public-sector bodies are doing with our money.”
“A noteworthy finding is that 54% of the agencies that wouldn’t give the information in person, already had it uploaded on their website, which means that there is a break-down in the process of giving information to the public. Bear in mind that for over 40 years there hasn’t been an RTI Policy or Law, even though Section 51 of our National Constitution gives us the right,” said Mr. Haihuie at the launch of the Report, “The good news is that the government has already committed to drafting an RTI Law through the Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan 2018-2020, which was endorsed by cabinet in NEC Decision No. 323/2018, however the challenge is now to ensure that we put in place an effective law that empowers Papua New Guineans to demand accountability from all public offices and office-holders.”
TIPNG in the Our Right To Know, Their Duty To Tell Report calls for the establishment of an Information Commission to assist the public with requests for information from Government Departments. This independent commission will exist to ensure that the RTI Law, once it is drafted and enacted, is fully operational with a clear process for obtaining public information, and penalties for agencies or individuals that do not provide information. TIPNG recommends the Government look at successful models such as the RTI frameworks of Sri Lanka and Vanuatu.
Each citizen is responsible in building this nation. Papua New Guineans know from experience that the current Government, and previous regimes, could not solve all the problems. Like their predecessors, the current Government vowed to strengthen our democracy and restore the trust of citizens in government and its institutions.
Papua New Guinea’s independence is about the people. These 44 years of continuity should inspire you to reflect on your strength as a citizen, so that you can live the values that were first put forward in 1975.
Since our inception in 1997, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has existed for exactly half as long as the country. Over those years, we have witnessed the resilience of Papua New Guineans, who in the face of overwhelming impunity for the corrupt, have held the course. As a nation, we have staved off the risk of descending into anarchic ‘instability’ that was speculated by some commentators to be our inevitable future.
The new Government has just completed its first 100 days in office, with many statements about the agenda and intentions of ridding corruption, changes in ministerial portfolios and some paradigm shift. These new pushes towards transparency, accountability and integrity are a great opportunity to stop the corruption that plagues the daily lives of ordinary people and brings rot to the system. However, the Government efforts to fight corruption are only achievable if public power is monitored by relevant institutions but more importantly a vibrant civil society.
In the great words of US President Barrack Obama who made a call for the protection of citizens:
“Strong civil societies help uphold universal human rights. They promote good governance by making governments more effective and holding leaders like me to account. And they’re critical to economic development, because in our global economy, trade and investment flows to countries that give citizens the freedom to create and develop new ideas and that are protected by rule of law.”
As we celebrate 44 years of our country’s independence, we must remind ourselves about the words in the Preamble of Our Constitution:
WE, THE PEOPLE, do now establish this sovereign nation and declare ourselves, under the guiding hand of God, to be the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. AND WE ASSERT, by virtue of that authority
- that all power belongs to the people—acting through their duly elected
- that respect for the dignity of the individual and community interdependence are
basic principles of our society
- that we guard with our lives our national identity, integrity and self-respect
- that we reject violence and seek consensus as a means of solving our common
- that our national wealth, won by honest, hard work be equitably shared by all.
And together we can make the years ahead the best years our Nation has ever had if we take on our social responsibilities as citizens and rise above cynicism and doubt.
ADVOCACY LIAISON – POLICY & ADVOCACY TEAM
The Advocacy Liaison officer will develop, organize and execute a wide range of activities to influence policy according to the scope of TIPNG programmes, and specific results-oriented projects. The Officer will carry out policy analysis and the develop position statements of TIPNG for advocacy.
- Adherence to TIPNG policies and guidelines
- Prepare and develop reports as required by management
- Ensure proper filing of documents – online and offline
- Live and breathe the values of TIPNG within and outside of the organisation and throughout all work carried out on behalf of the organisation
- Actively seek Membership for TIPNG amongst Policy & Advocacy stakeholders
- Team Tasks – Support the Policy & Advocacy Officer with day-to-day work of the Team by:
- Working with the Policy & Advocacy Officer in keeping minutes of all stakeholder meetings and preparing team reports for donors, board and when required by Management
- Organising events and meetings to ensure the Advocacy Plan is active and progressing
- Working with the Officer to develop and maintain document control for the Team
- Research & Campaigns Tasks – Support the Deputy Director – Policy & Advocacy in providing the evidentiary basis for TIPNG Campaigns, by:
- Implementing the Advocacy Plan
- Conducting analysis of existing research literature and produce briefs for campaigns
- Reviewing legislation and policy documents to produce briefs for campaigns
- Developing campaigns with clear objectives based on research and TIPNG Strategy
- Monitoring the impact of TIPNG research and campaigns to improve future interventions
- Maintain Policy and Advocacy document library for use by colleagues
- Keep colleagues informed of positionson issues and campaigns
- Maintain record of positions on issues and campaigns
- Liaison Tasks – Coordinate work within TIPNG to strengthen advocacy outside the organisation
- Responsible for liaising with Communications Team on Campaigns
- Ensure the Team is consistently using key messages from the Communications Plan and the Advocacy Plan in Campaigns and team activities
- Consult within TIPNG so as to share TIPNG’s position on campaigns & relevant issues and to represent the organisation in forums
- Support engagement with stakeholders, for activities external to the Team
- Provide relevant content for dissemination to stakeholders
- As and when required
- Attend meetings on behalf of Deputy Director – Policy and Advocacy
- Assist counterpart TIPNG Core and Programme Teams with specified tasks and activities
- Assist TIPNG Board and Management with specified tasks and activities
- Demonstrable experience and achievements working in and advocating towards multi-stakeholder platforms and processes
- Experience in stakeholder mapping and strategizing according to policy objectives of different projects
- Experience in policy analysis, lobby and advocacy working with sub-national, national, regional and global dimensions
- Good understanding of political affairs and international institutions dynamics Papua New Guinea and the Asia Pacific region
- Ability to quickly understand and absorb new topics, issues and disciplines and distil relevant advocacy strategies from them
- Ability to write clear and concise technical briefs and to quickly understand and absorb new topics, issues and disciplines and distil relevant advocacy strategies from them
- Proven ability of multitasking and producing quality results within tight deadlines and under pressure
- Excellent communication and project management skills; team player and facilitator
- Analytical, decision making and presentation skills with excellent command of written and spoken English
- Time management and organisational skills with experience working in a not-for-profit organization
- Good computer proficiency and knowledge MS Office Suite
APPLICATION CLOSE: Friday 20 September 2019, 5:00pm
The Communications Officer is responsible for the effective researching, writing, editing and publishing information of Transparency International PNG’s work.
- Ensure adherence to TIPNG policies and guidelines
- Prepare and develop reports as required by management
- Ensure proper filing of documents – online and offline
- Live and breathe the values of TIPNG within and outside of the organization and throughout all work carried out on behalf of the organization
- Strategic Communications
- Develop, implement and monitor and review TIPNG’s Communications Plan
- Provide creative, editorial and operational support for communications projects
- Provide creative, editorial and operational communications support for TIPNG projects and programs
- Prepare communication and media promotion budget, and track expenditure
- Prepare a work plan, implement and track progress
- Draft media and stakeholder briefings
- Work with the Policy & Advocacy Team to develop campaigns
- Develop content ideas for internal and external communications including publications, press releases, website content, annual reports, speeches, and other marketing material in line with TIPNG’s brand guide and Strategy
- Media Relations
- Develop and maintain a strong working relationship with the Media and maintain a media database
- Monitor media coverage of interest to TIPNG and collate analytics and metrics
- Respond to media inquiries and arrange interviews on behalf of TIPNG
- In consultation with program staff, prepare briefs for programs involved in media interviews
- Identify potential issues TIPNG should respond to
- Draft and disseminate media releases
- Website Maintenance
- Manage and maintain the TIPNG’s website
- Use Google Analytics (or similar) to produce reports on referrals to the TIPNG website and conversions attributable to social content and provide regular internal reports
- Attain key performance indicators such as reducing the website bounce rate, etc, and provide regular internal reports.
- Branding & Marketing
- Support the development, promotion and organisation of TIPNG’s seminars and events
- Seek opportunities to enhance the reputation of the brand, and coordinate publicity events as required.
- Ensure consistency and quality across all creative inputs on TIPNG’s communications and publications.
- Publications Development
- Draft success/impact stories of TIPNG’s work for publication and dissemination
- Design Annual Report for TIPNG
- Design Quarterly Newsletters for TIPNG
- Annually review and update brochures and information material on TIPNG
SKILLS & REQUIREMENTS
- Be exceptionally well organized, flexible and have the ability and multi-task
- Must have experience of working effectively underpressure, to tight deadlines, for long hours, whilst retaining good humor
- Be computer literate, able to use MS Office Suite
- Have a relevant qualification in Arts, Humanities or Communications
- Have experience in producing high quality publicity materials, and to design and edit web pages
- Be a team player, willing to support team members in their roles, and tobe able to seek support from them when you need it
- Be innovative, thorough and responsive to change in the dynamic environment in which TIPNG works
- Have some experience in website content management and maintenance
- Must be highly flexible
- Must have some project management experience
- Must have good problem solving and decision making skills
- Must have exceptional networking skills
- Must be able to establish firm and reliable contacts in various media outlets
- Must be highly detail oriented
APPLICATION CLOSE: FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2019, 5:00PM
The public needs to be informed on the political party affiliation status of Members of Parliament (MP) says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG). In a media statement TIPNG called on the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to publish in the media a list of all MPs in Parliament and the current political party with which they are registered.
“Leading up to the election of Prime Minister James Marape by Parliament, and the more recent movement of MPs across the floor of Parliament, there is a distinct lack of clarity on membership of political parties by MPs. This weakens the ability of citizens nationally and within electorates to hold their Members of Parliament accountable on their campaign platforms and policies. This lack of political accountability is further worsened when the distinction between Government and Opposition is blurred, with members of the same political party seating in both camps,” said the Chairman of TIPNG, Mr Peter Aitsi.
To aid the public in using political parties to hold leaders in the current Parliament accountable, the office of the Registrar of Political Parties must make public the following information:
- What party does each MP belong to?
- How many MP’s does each party currently have?
- Who is the Parliamentary leader of each party with an MP?
- Have all MP’s that have resigned from a Party in the last 3 months followed the legislated process for resigning from a Party?
- Have all Parties with an MP submitted their financial reports for 2019?
In a statement earlier this year calling for the Marape-Steven government to strengthen governance through legislation, TIPNG said that amendments must be made to ensure that the Organic Law on Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) is both constitutional and effective.
Thursday 29 August 2019, Port Moresby – The Advocacy & Legal Advice Center (ALAC) is a program of Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) that offers free legal services for victims and witnesses of corruption.
Recently TIPNG was in Lae Morobe Province to run a legal aid outreach to provide the opportunity for people in the province to report instances of corruption that they may have encountered.
“TIPNG collected a substantial number of complaints from the general public in Morobe Province and a lot of these complaints were related to lack of transparency in public administration at the provincial level ,” said Mr Samson Kandata, ALAC Coordinator.
TIPNG receives complaints and creates advocacy on the types of corruption complaints received or sectors that are reportedly practicing corruption. TIPNG also works with state agencies and other organizations to strengthen their anti-corruption mechanisms.
Current statistics from ALAC show that a lot of people approached TIPNG to report corruption within general public administration and services, police, the education sector, land/property and natural resources. Further to this, the corrupt practice that most complainants reported to ALAC were lack of transparency and mismanagement of public funds.
“From the complaints we rec eive at ALAC, we have made a strong call for the Government to enact an Access to Information Law. We also urge state agencies to ensure they have a corporate anti-corruption plan in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2010-2030,” said Mr Kandata.
In Lae, TIPNG also held stakeholders meetings with the Ombudsman Commission Momase Regional Office, the Lae Police, Morobe Provincial Lands Department, Internal Revenue Commission Lae Office and Lae Chamber of Commerce & Industries.
Port Moresby, 29 August 2019 – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) was in Lae recently to workshop its School Based Civic Education curriculum to teachers in the province.
Civic education refers to teaching people how to be good citizens. TIPNG’s School Based Civic Education project aims to create a generation of responsible citizens that work to ensure good governance at all levels of society.
In a survey conducted in 2009, TIPNG found out that schools ac
ross Papua New Guinea did not have adequate materials to teach concepts of human rights, democracy, how the government system works and the roles and responsibility of citizens. Without the proper materials, teachers lack the confidence to teach civic education.
“From the findings of the survey, we set out to develop civic education materials for Papua New Guinean schools. We have done this in close consultation with the National Department of Education. So the workshop in Lae was aimed at increasing teachers’ accessibility to our civic education materials and increases their knowledge on civic concepts. We also met with the Morobe Provincial Education Division and they are also keen on having these materials,” said TIPNG’s Civic Education Coordinator, Ms Marlene Delis.
TIPNG has produced the following Civic Education materials for schools in Papua New Guinea. These materials are targeted for primary and secondary schools, teacher colleges, police training school centers and vocational schools:
- Teacher Resource Book – containing teaching and learning concepts about democracy, human rights, and how the government works;
- Book of Background Readings for Teachers – an information book for teachers;
- Student Readers – containing short stories explaining key civics concepts;
- Big Books – large picture story books for teachers to read to primary school students;
- Posters – large teaching posters on civic concepts such as conflict of interest, citizens’ rights;
- Android Phone Applications – users to engage in a game of ethical rationing and knowledge of PNG;
- Teacher Training – workshops for teachers on how to use the materials;
- DVD – containing videos and sample lessons on civic education concepts.
A teacher from Haikoast Community School in Morobe Province that participated in TIPNG’s workshop expressed appreciation for the materials stating that civic education in Papua New Guinea could be a national topic for schools in-service for all teachers.
TIPNG has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Education that forms the basis of collaboration and innovation of the delivery of civic education materials and training for schools and associated institutions in Papua New Guinea.
The NID Project involves vast amounts of public money with almost no accountability says Transparency International PNG as it calls for release of Independent Audit Committee Report.
Port Moresby, 11th February 2019 – It is irresponsible for the state to continue to spend public money on the National Identity (NID) project without completing a full Independent Audit Report, says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG).
The anti-corruption NGO said this in response to media reports that National Planning Minister, Richard Maru, was disappointed that the K230 million NID registration system was not working. TIPNG shares the Minister’s concern and has been calling for explanations of the loss or possible misuse of at least K24m and efforts to hold those responsible accountable.
TIPNG is calling for suspension of funding to the NID until the findings of the Audit Committee on NID spending, established in 2018 and headed by the Chief Secretary, are released for the public, authorities and MP’s to examine. With the known inefficiencies and also the allegations of gross mismanagement and corruption in NID implementation it would be unwise for a responsible government to sign off on further money being allocated to NID.
Since January 2018 TIPNG has been insisting that the Government audit the NID Project. The Deputy Prime Minister and former National Planning Minister, Charles Abel, responded with a promise that an independent Audit Committee would review NID expenditure. In late September 2018 a team headed by Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari was appointed to investigate the K24m that allegedly went missing under the watch of the suspended Chief National Statistician Roko Koloma.
The recent release of the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Papua New Guinea 138 out of 180 countries with a score of 28 out of 100. The CPI scores countries on their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 being perceived to be “very clean” and zero perceived to be “highly corrupt”. If the government is serious about combating corruption then it must start by ensuring proper accountability in large public expenditure programs such as the NID Project.