Author: Michael Arnold

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Parliament Must Give ICAC Full Powers to Fight Corruption

Tuesday 2nd June 2020 – In June session of Parliament, when the Bill for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is tabled for a second reading, the Government and elected representatives must ensure that the law being considered will create a fully empowered entity that is able to actively pursue corruption in Papua New Guinea. This was the call from Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) to the Marape-Steven Government and MP’s on the eve of the resumption of Parliament.

“The Government of Papua New Guinea has made a concerted effort since the gazetting of the ICAC Bill in October 2019, to enact this vital anti-corruption measure in 2020, and for their progress they should be rightfully commended. The ICAC Bill is now being brought for a 2nd Reading in Parliament all Papua New Guineans who value good governance, will be watching closely to see if the proposed ICAC will have the full powers of Investigation, Arrest & Prosecution required to be effective in addressing the scourge of corruption,” said Peter Aitsi, Chairman of TIPNG in a media statement.

“TIPNG welcomes Prime Minister Marape’s recent public commitment on getting ICAC to a third reading in Parliament, and so to assist the public to keep track of the process of enactment, TIPNG has produced a visual guide to the ICAC enactment process.” Mr. Aitsi said. “TIPNG also acknowledges the role of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Laws & Acts and Subordinate Legislation, as they collect views from the Department of Justice & Attorney General (DJAG) and others to ensure the law for the ICAC, gives it the full powers of Investigation, Arrest & Prosecution in order to give this watch dog teeth. It is our hope that Sir Peter Ipatas, as Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee, will table a report next week in Parliament supporting a fully empowered ICAC for PNG.”

In terms of parliamentary process, the ICAC Bill will need to be read a second time, followed by a period of adjournment if there are changes and then read a third time in Parliament. Members of Parliament will vote at each of the readings of the Bill, if they are in favour or against the proposed ICAC. TIPNG urges all Papua New Guineans to inform their MP to support the fully empowered ICAC, and to take note of how their MP votes on this essential anti-corruption law next week.

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Click here to download a PDF flowchart of the ICAC Bill progress

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Updated COVID-19 funding timeline

With only six days to go before Parliament resumes at 2pm on Tuesday June 2, 2020 we are all now looking to the government to produce an audited report on PNG COVID-19 SOE finances.

As part of our ongoing campaign, in which we have urged the government to implement proactive measures to safeguard public money and the external donations which have flooded in since the government activated the current state of emergency on March 22 this year.

To kick off this series, we are starting with this updated timeline of funding from both internal and external sources, as reported on the public record.

Click here to download the updated COVID-19 Funding Timeline

Follow our Facebook page for further updates in the coming days!

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Accountability needed for COVID-19 SOE

Thursday 05 May 2020, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is demanding greater accountability and proper detailed disclosure of financials from the Government and Leaders, as allegations of financial impropriety relating to use of funds allocated to the COVID-19 State of Emergency (SOE) response.

Since the declaration of the COVID-19 SOE in March 2020, the State has allocated public funds to address the Emergency, however the clear details of funding and evidence of procurement processes have not been made public. For instance, it is unclear what measures have been put in place to ensure corruption does not impact COVID-19 efforts in Papua New Guinea.

TIPNG has collated public statements in the media and created a funding timeline (see link to timeline at the end of this article), of both internal funds and external contributions to the COVID-19 budget in PNG, but there is a distinct lack of objective financial data. This absence of information creates suspicion and undermines the public’s confidence in the Government and our Political leaders. This should be a concern for Papua New Guinea, a country already vulnerable to corruption and a history of impunity.

“The exact sum of funding for the COVID-19 emergency currently at the PNG Government’s disposal is still unverified. As a further matter, there is no independent verifiable information or data on exactly how much funding has been spent so far and how it has been spent. We call on the Government, state of emergency authorities & SOE Parliamentary Committee to be proactive with information and ensure good governance is upheld during these times,” said Chairman of TIPNG, Mr. Peter Aitsi.

“The best way to combat disinformation during this time is to let independent media do their job and to grant media access to Government’s information related to COVID-19 SOE funding and spending. TIPNG supports the call from the Media Council of PNG for Government to issue official information through official channels and via authorized sources to engender public confidence and peace of mind” said Mr. Aitsi.

The Marape Government should not repeat the mistakes of 2018 when there was alleged gross misuse of APEC funds, with no expenditure report to date provided to Parliament and the public. TIPNG reminds citizens, churches, like-minded organizations and the media that it is their right to demand accountability from the COVID-19 SOE authorities on funds. In the absence of decisive action to prevent corruption, Papua New Guinea could be hard hit by COVID-19, and the number of lives lost would not solely be due to the illness but also as a result of mismanagement of COVID-19 funds.

Click here to download TIPNG COVID-19 Funding Timeline

Click here to download PDF copy of this press statement

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Vacancy – PAIS Project Finance

We are embarking on a new and exciting project to systematically strengthen the integrity of national institutions through research, partnership and advocacy for better anti-corruption strategies

TIPNG is looking for suitable applicants to fill this new and exciting position of a PROJECT FINANCE OFFICER – PROMOTING ANTI-CORRUPTION & INTEGRITY STRATEGIES (PAIS).

The Finance Officer will work with the PAIS Team to implement this 2 year project.



Under the direct supervision of the PAIS Project Manager, the individual will:

  • Manage all payments, accounts receivable and accounts payable for the Project
  • Maintaining the ledger and preparing monthly bank reconciliations, in close consultation with the Finance Officer
  • Track expenses and maintain the pipeline budget in close consultation with the Project Manager
  • Maintain accurate and up to date financial and contractual records and a register of fixed assets
  • Prepare donor finance reports on time and using the required format;
  • Make purchases as directed by the Project Manager


Qualification, Experience and Skills

  • Qualification in Accounting from a recognized institution
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in NGO Accounting and experience working with donor funds would be an advantage
  • Have the ability to work under pressure but remain calm
  • Have excellent time management skills and be a team player
  • Have high standards of honesty and integrity and meticulous with record keeping
  • Be competent in the use of MS Word and spreadsheets on MS Excel
  • Be competent in the use of MYOB

Applications must include 3 referees with reliable telephone number and/or email address.  Send applications addressed to:


The Executive Director

Transparency International PNG Inc.

P O Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD


Applications can be emailed to:

Applications close on Friday 15th May 2020. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

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Vacancy – PAIS Project assistant

Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is a non-government organization dedicated to fighting corruption in PNG and promoting transparency, honesty and accountability in public and private dealings.

TIPNG is an equal opportunity employer who promotes respect in the work place. We take pride in also offering the following:

  • A fun & exciting work environment with the opportunity to contribute to positive societal change
  • Training & development for our employees
  • Exposure to local, regional & international networks
  • A competitive salary to attract the right person
  • Access to supportive coaches and mentors

We are embarking on a new and exciting project to systematically strengthen the integrity of national institutions through research, partnership and advocacy for better anti-corruption strategies.

TIPNG is looking for suitable applicants to fill this new and exciting position of PROJECT ASSISTANT – PROMOTING ACCOUNTABILITY & INTEGRITY STRATEGIES (PAIS).

The Project Assistant will work with the PAIS Team to implement a 2 year project.


Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager – PAIS, the individual will:


  • Keep minutes of all stakeholder meetings held for the project
  • Organize events and meetings to ensure the Project work plan is active and progressing
  • File soft and hard copy of project records including correspondences, finance, publication;
  • Assist with scheduling of meetings, outreach activities and making contact with relevant institutions and persons;
  • Coordinate with the Project Manager to organize logistics for outreach and awareness activities, including meetings, forums, workshops, project site trips and stakeholder hosted events;
  • Assist the project Finance Officer with keeping financial records of the project
  • Assist with the setting up of the logistics for air and road travel, and accommodation when required
  • Maintain a database of PAIS stakeholders and partners


  • Assist in the preparation of operational reports/ final reports to partners and donors;
  • Provide input on project implementation for internal project reviews
  • Contribute to project development, implementation, research and report writing, visibility actions and monitoring and evaluation of relevant project activities;
  • Assist the Project Consultant for the NIS Assessment
  • Perform any other duties which may be assigned to you from time to time in relation to the PAIS project.

Qualification, Experience and Skills:

  • University Diploma/Degree in a relevant field
  • At least 2 years work experience in an NGO environment would be desirable however applicants with other sector experiences are encouraged to apply
  • Experience in project financial management
  • Experience in organizing workshops/conferences
  • Knowledge of primary and secondary research methods
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent time-management and organizational skills
  • Able to work and interact in a dynamic team environment
  • Highly motivated, self-starter and works well under pressure of competing deadlines
  • Excellent written and oral proficiency in English
  • Excellent communication/report writing and presentation skills in a clear and compelling manner
  • Driver’s license would be an advantage
  • Have concerns and interest in anti-corruption issues

Applications must include 3 referees with reliable telephone number and/or email address.  Send applications addressed to:

The Executive Director

Transparency International PNG Inc.

P O Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD


Applications can be emailed to:

Applications close on Friday 15th May 2020. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

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Our first 2020 quarterly newsletter is out now!

From prospects of a PNG ICAC, to our new campaigns, events, engagements and everything in between, check out our first 2020 quarterly newsletter for the scoop on what we’ve been up to over the past quarter!

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Bougainville Referendum was free, fair and safe

Thursday 20th February 2020, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has released a report outlining findings from its Observation of the Bougainville Referendum last year, to stakeholders and partners.

TIPNG’s Observation of the Bougainville Referendum was across 28 polling sites in North and Central Bougainville with well over a 100 voters interviewed. TIPNG only observed the Polling Process and not the Counting.

“The TIPNG Observers played a critical role in the Referendum by observing the conduct of polling and counting, to ascertain if the process was free, open, transparent, democratic and fair – based on national legislation and according to national and international standards,” said Mr. Yuambari Haihuie, TIPNG Deputy Director (Policy & Advocacy) and coordinator of the Bougainville Referendum Observation (BRO) Project.

“In terms of TIPNG’s overall assessment of the Bougainville Referendum, while there were minor procedural issues, if measured against the standard of previous elections in PNG, the Bougainville Referendum was free, fair & safe and credibly reflects the will of the people of Bougainville. Observers were all welcomed and did not encounter any hostility or violence; in fact most polling stations had a sense of celebration by communities as polling commenced,” said Mr. Haihuie in presentation at the launch of the report.

Furthermore, all voters that were interviewed by TIPNG Observers were forthcoming in their answers and gave answers freely. The TIPNG Observers were comprised of TIPNG Staff & Directors, and volunteers from partners institutions such as the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), PNG National Research Institute (NRI), Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC).

TIPNG thanks the people of Bougainville and the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) Polling Officials for their unanimous support in answering survey questions over the week of polling.

The TIPNG BRO Project was funded by the European Union (EU) and it is hoped that the report by TIPNG will be of use to the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government in their deliberation on the outcome of the Referendum.

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Thursday, February 06, 2020, Port Moresby – As the PNG chapter of Transparency International Incorporated (TIPNG) celebrated their twenty-third anniversary last month, the anti-corruption agency has now honored four local companies who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to TIPNG and the fight against corruption in PNG.

Founding members of the TIPNG board, Richard Kassman and Dame Meg Taylor were on hand at the short ceremony, in an event which was co-hosted by TIPNG and NASFUND PNG Limited, to commemorate over two decades of the anti-corruption movement in PNG.

The awardees on the night were Johnston’s Pharmacy, Kenmore Limited, ExxonMobil PNG, and, the Bank of PNG who were honored in two categories for, dedicated commitment and exceptional contribution respectively.

In her remarks during the presentation of the awards, TIPNG Executive Director Arianne Kassman congratulated Johnston’s Pharmacy and the Kenmore Group for over thirteen consecutive years of dedicated financial support to the work of TIPNG.

Ms Kassman also congratulated recipients of the exceptional contribution award, Bank of PNG which has contributed over K139,000 to TIPNG programs since 2007 and ExxonMobil PNG Limited whose contributions have amounted to over K106,000 over the past decade. ExxonMobil PNG’s contribution towards the annual Mike Manning Youth Democracy Camp, which has become a trademark project of TIPNG for over a decade.

Lady Mina Siaguru, spouse of the founding Chairman of TIPNG, late Sir Anthony Siaguru, was also present during the ceremony last week which gave corporate supporters of the anti-corruption organisation the opportunity to learn more about TIPNG and their work.

Now positioning themselves to take on the challenges of the new year 2020, TIPNG is looking to build on a number of ongoing and new initiatives, including their flagship Mike Manning Youth Democracy Camp, the Open Government Program, the Promoting Anti-Corruption and Integrity Strategies (PAIS) program and the push to have civic educations materials included in the national curriculum to name a few.

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Prime Minister Marape Vows to Pass ICAC in 2020

Tuesday, January 28, 2020, Port Moresby – In a welcomed response to a stagnant 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score presented at the official Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) launch last Thursday, PNG Prime Minister James Marape has now vowed to have a fully Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) established before the end of this year.

In his official government response to the CPI findings last Thursday, Mr Marape acknowledged that corruption was a long-standing issue in PNG, which demanded greater cooperation between the government and citizens. He added that his current government is now committed to passing major legislative reforms in the shape of the ICAC enabling legislation, as well as the Whistle-Blowers Act, within the 2020 parliament year.

Mr Marape during the launch, said that the ICAC enabling legislation and the Whistle-Blowers Act would be key vessels in reforming PNG and that these legislations are only two of what Papua New Guineans can expect to be a year filled with reform legislations that the current government plans to introduce.

Although no official study into the costs of corruption has ever been commissioned in PNG, former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta in a press statement in 2017, stated that the PNG Fraud Squad had estimated the cost of corruption to the PNG government at approximately K1.5 billion in 2016 alone (this means approximately K28 million was lost to corruption every week!).

In officially launching of the 2019 CPI last Thursday (which was themed: “Let’s Clean Up our Act, Set Up The ICAC”), TIPNG Chairman Peter Aitsi stressed the importance of establishing strong and independent anti-corruption enforcement tools to minimizing leakages in the national budget.

The push by TIPNG for government to establish the ICAC reflected similar trends identified in a recent report (PwC Global Economy Watch_May 2016) by multinational finance firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), which cross-referenced CPI scores against International Monetary Fund records of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.

The report highlighted a trend where higher CPI scores correlated with higher GDP per capita; adding that, “Our (PwC) analysis shows that a one-notch increase in perceived corruption levels is associated with a $380 decrease in GDP per-capita and lower standards of living.”

If this formula was applied to our current PNG population of 8.251 million, it would mean a one-point increase in our CPI score would be equal to an estimated K10.857 billion boost to the national economy.

Papua New Guinea’s score in the 2019 CPI results showed no improvement or decline from the previous year; scoring 28 out of 100 on the index and ranking 137 out of a total of 180 participating countries.

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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.

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