TIPNG SUPPORTS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ICAC TO COMBAT CORRUPTION AND HELP FIX BUDGET WOES

TIPNG SUPPORTS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ICAC TO COMBAT CORRUPTION AND HELP FIX BUDGET WOES

Thursday, January 23, 2020, Port Moresby – With the official global launch of results from the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) today, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is calling on the Government to establish a fully Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

This will be a major step in fighting corruption and helping to prevent the leaks in the Government budget, which is contributing to PNG’s money woes.

Scoring 28 out of 100 and ranking 137 out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2019 CPI, PNG now finds itself among two thirds of participant countries that have shown little to no improvement on their scores from the 2018 CPI.

In a short presentation during the launch today, TIPNG Chairman Peter Aitsi, highlighted CPI trends showing that most countries that performed well on the 2019 CPI had strong and independent institutions supported by active and independent watchdog agencies.

Mr. Aitsi said that unlike many other countries that found themselves in a similar position, PNG had actually taken a number of steps to address the issue of corruption in the country such as signing on to global anti-corruption initiatives (United Nations Commission Against Corruption and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative), as well as the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2010-2030.

However, he added that having an independent anti-corruption enforcement agency like the ICAC is not only essential to boosting the effectiveness of the NACS, but would also allow for the most effective implementation of the National Budget, by preventing wastage through corrupt activities.

Figures cited previously by former Operation Task Force Sweep head, Sam Koim in 2015, suggested the cost of corruption to government revenue was estimated to be above K5 billion. Furthermore, in 2016 former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta also cited Police Fraud Squad estimates of over K1.5 billion per year being lost to corruption.

In a time when the PNG government has prioritized repairing the National Budget and reducing National Debt, Mr. Aitsi gave the example of Indonesia’s premiere anti-corruption enforcement agency, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK), which was recently reported to have saved the Indonesian government about 63. 8 trillion rupiah (approximately US$4.52 billion or K15.59 billion) in potential losses, in the past four years alone.

The TIPNG launch of the 2019 CPI results today coincided with the lifting of a global embargo on the results, in a coordinated global launch throughout all Transparency International Inc. chapters around the world. This year’s 2019 CPI launch was centered around the theme of “POLITICAL INTEGRITY”, while the PNG launch was themed “LET’S CLEAN UP OUR ACT, SET UP THE ICAC.”

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Click here to view the methodology video on YouTube.