LEADERSHIP AND COLLABORATION NEEDED TO BRIDGE THE NATIONAL INTEGRITY GAP
With the official launch during the first day of the 1st National Integrity Summit 2021 today, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) in the National Integrity System Assessment (NISA) Papua New Guinea 2021 Report has made five recommendations to address the Integrity Gaps identified through its review of 14 National Integrity Pillars (national institutions mandated to uphold the national Integrity system).
In the NISA Report, made possible with support from the European Union, only five (the Judiciary, Procurement, Anti-Corruption Agencies, Ombudsman and The Media) of the 14 pillars of the PNG National Integrity System scored sufficiently adequate, due to the strong existing laws in PNG. Nevertheless, it is concerning that all 14 Pillars still fall short of having both an adequate legal framework and adequate actions in practice. This result points to a number of challenges that require action for preventing corruption and for strengthening democracy in general.
“The National Integrity System Assessment report highlights that there is an Integrity Gap due to the inadequate implementation of integrity laws in Papua New Guinea,” said TIPNG Board Chair, Peter Aitsi stated that “This assessment was based on information collected through thorough extensive research, interviews with anti-corruption experts and in consultation with 28 agencies in Papua New Guinea. It is incumbent on us all to work together to bridge this Integrity Gap, and while it will be a collective effort, it is also clear that firm and decisive action is required by our leaders.”
In the NISA PNG 2021 Report TIPNG, has pillar specific recommendations based on integrity strengths and weaknesses. More broadly, TIPNG has also identified 5 thematic areas of action for the next 5 years:
- OPEN UP PARLIAMENT! Broadcast full Parliament session, Demand MP Constituent Meetings, Release Annual Report on Parliament Performance, and restore Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
- MAKE EVERY VOTE COUNT! Prioritize the National Census, register every eligible voter, and implement the electoral laws, to ensure integrity within the electoral process.
- LET THE PEOPLE KNOW! Protect our media, empower our citizens and welcome informed investment by delivering an effective way for us all to access public information.
- START ICAC STRONG! Recruit competent staff, use the National Anti-Corruption Task Force to coordinate anti-corruption partnerships, and protect the integrity of our new anti-corruption agency.
- BRIDGE THE INTEGRITY GAP! Develop and Recognize integrity initiatives in agencies, enable citizens to hold public servants accountable, align Police Conduct with integrity provisions in Police Act and support multi-stakeholder forums.