State Agencies Must Empower Vulnerable Citizens through Anti-Corruption Policies
Each Government agency should have an anti-corruption policy, statistics from TIPNG’s 2016-2018 Corruption Complaints shows that women, youths, the illiterate and rural populations have not been able to report corruption.
Port Moresby, 7th December 2018 – Statistics from Transparency International Papua New Guinea’s (TIPNG) complaints desk the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) collected between 2018-2016 shows that vulnerable members of society must be empowered to report corruption. In making this known in a media briefing, TIPNG also called on public sector bodies to address this issue by developing anti-corruption policies in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2010-2030.
“The ALAC is a public service offered by TIPNG for victims and witnesses of corruption to seek free and confidential legal advice, it is something we have been offering since 2010” said Chairman of TIPNG Lawrence Stephens at the media briefing, “The statistics we are presenting are over the last 2 years and show that more still needs to be done. Women, the youth and rural populations are underrepresented even though we know that they are more likely to be disadvantaged by corruption and its effects. TIPNG has sought to address a toll free hotline, 180 6000 that anyone from across the country can call to seek assistance on how to report corruption.”
“On the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9th we are also reminded that public sector bodies must do their part by ensuring that they each have an internal anti-corruption policy in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy endorsed by the government ”, Mr. Stephens stated.
In the presentation by TIPNG, it was shown that ‘Lack of Transparency’ and ‘Conflicts of Interest’ were the two most common corrupt practices reported by clients to the ALAC. Additionally, the sectors that received the most complaints were ‘Public Administration’ and ‘Land and Property’. Over 80% of complainants were from men, with over 60% being aged between 40-54 years old. TIPNG has an office in Port Moresby but has attempted to reach rural communities by doing outreach activities and also promoting in 2018 its toll free hotline along the Highlands Highway on a billboard in Goroka.
TIPNG has also used the statistics collected from the the ALAC complaints to engage with state agencies. In 2014 TIPNG worked with the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, which has enabled to lodge complaints. TIPNG is currently working with the Department of Lands to develop a policy that will address complaints of corruption and which aligns with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Other solutions pursued by TIPNG include supporting the drafting of Right to Information Legislation and the establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption.