Saturday 26 June 2021, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) held its Annual General Meeting today to present its annual report for the year 2020 to its members.
As part of the business of the AGM, the financial members of TIPNG elected Mr Peter Aitsi as chair, Ms Michelle Hau’ofa as secretary and Mrs Akae Beach as treasurer to serve for the coming year. A further 11 individuals were also elected to serve on the board and they were; Jerome Sesega, Brian Alois, Belinda Kanau, Philip Samar, Paul Barker, Mary Udu, Richard Kassman, Christopher Elphick and Michael McWalter, Seini Fisi’ihoi and a new member to the Board, Mr. Bill Neill.
In welcoming the 2021 TIPNG board directors, Chairman Peter Aitsi said, he looked forward to their active participation and contribution on the board. An important responsibility for the Board will be to oversight the governance of the organisation along with deepening the association’s long-standing relationship with the private and public sector. This relationship is even more important now in the face of the shrinking space for civil society voices and where the apparent impunity for the corrupt is becoming more blatant.
“The new Board will seek to advance a number of key priorities including lending support to the establishment of a strong Independent Commission Against Corruption. Another immediate priority will be the rolling out voter education and increasing our advocacy for the proper management and conduct of the 2021 elections integrity. Our focus remains on empowering citizens to act against corruption and reduce the current level of public apathy,” said Mr Aitsi.
“TIPNG has set a new course in our Strategic Plan 2019-2023 and that is to build stronger and more active partnerships. The cornerstone of sustainable change will always be in collective effort. We have sought engagement from like-minded organizations and individuals to widen the anti-corruption network across the country and with these organisations lend our combined support to the mandated watchdog agencies,” he added.
The role of director of TIPNG is voluntary and directors receive no payment. The Board is responsible for setting of the organisation’s vision, articulating its purpose, managing its financial performance, statutory compliance and overall performance of TIPNG.
Tuesday 11th May 2021, Port Moresby – Community trust is essential for effective policing in Papua New Guinea. Allegations of police brutality, improper conduct by some sections of police and lack of progress on several high-profile cases, can cause mistrust and perceptions of a lack of accountability within the force says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).
TIPNG in responding to recent allegations of mistreatment of an employee of a media outlet, who was detained for recording uniformed officers dispersing “table market” vendors at Gordons suburb within the National Capital District.
While appreciating the measures to address the spread of COVID-19, comments made by the victims suggest that the actions by police may have gone beyond what is considered reasonable force.
“The country has seen a steady increase in violence in the last 12 months, this incident along with others such as the alleged shooting and killing of two young man in Central Province with allegations of police involvement creates fear within the community toward its Police Force and adds further to the breakdown of trust”, said Peter Aitsi, Board Chair of TIPNG.
“Earlier this month there was an international media coverage of the issue, with Al Jazeera releasing damning footage of policing in Port Moresby. The detaining of a media employee so soon after these events does not bode well for the reputation of our Country,” added Mr Aitsi.
“The public expects our leaders to do more than make politically convenient decisions, a good place to start is to revisit the recommendations from the Report of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Administrative Review Committee 2004 and consider implementing actions that can bring immediate improvement to our law and order situation. Another way to restore public trust, is to ensure reports of Police misconduct and incidents of abuse of power are properly investigated and outcomes of the investigations publicly communicated. Clear and firm support needs to be given to the office and officers of the Police Internal Affairs Directorate from the highest leadership of the Police Department and from our Executive Arm of Government. We must all remember that a more effective police force will ensure a safer environment for our communities, which will go a long way to improving our law and order situation and in turn create more conducive conditions to retain and attract investors,” said Mr. Aitsi.
It is very disappointing this incident, the detaining of this young media personal happened within days of the marking of World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May. TIPNG stands in solidarity with the Media Council of PNG in calling for the protection of media practitioners and to ensure the important role of the media is recognized and supported. TIPNG in acknowledging the work of the media has launched the Investigative Journalism Award, the Award is open till December 31st 2021, for any journalist in Papua New Guinea to submit entries in one of three categories, further details are available on the TIPNG website. The Awards are part of TIPNG’s Promoting Anti-Corruption and Integrity Strategies (PAIS) Project, which is funded with support from the European Union.
We are excited to announce that the registration for the first National Integrity Summit, is now open. Six panel sessions will be held from May 13 – May 14 2021. Make sure to save your spot by registering for free!
DAY ONE – THURSDAY 14TH MAY 2021
SESSION OBJECTIVE: OPENING SESSION
Keynote Address: Hon. James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Welcome – Peter Aitsi, Chair, Transparency International PNG
Remarks – Dr Silviu Jora, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Papua New Guinea
Presentation of the National Integrity Systems Assessment (NISA) Report
REGISTER HERE for the Opening Session
SESSION OBJECTIVE: ENDING IMPUNITY
10:40am-12:00pm | Panel 1: Prosecuting Corruption
What are the challenges in prosecuting cases of corruption and how can they be overcome?
Pondros Kaluwin | Public Prosecutor, Office of the Public Prosecutor
Josephine Pitmur | Deputy Secretary, Depart of Justice & Attorney General
Matthew Damaru | Director, National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate
Yuambari Haihuie | Deputy Director – Partnerships & Policy, Transparency International PNG
1:00pm – 2:20pm | Panel 2: Compliance & Enforcement: The Role of Regulators
How can agencies be responsible for issuing licenses, leases and permits ensure that corrupt actors are penalized?
Clarence Hoot | Managing Director, Investment Promotions Authority
Brian Lillywhite | Position, PNG Customs Service
Douveri Henao | Executive Director, Business Council of Papua New Guinea
Yuambari Haihuie | Deputy Director _ Partnerships & Policy, Transparency International PNG
DAY TWO – FRIDAY 14TH MAY 2021
SESSION OBJECTIVE: PREVENTING CORRUPTION
9:10am – 10:30am | Panel 1: Follow the Money: Financial Sector and Corruption in PNG
What are the inter-agency approaches needed to stopping the ‘dribs and drabs’ of illicit financial flows in Papua New Guinea?
Benny Popoitai | Director, Financial Analysis & Supervision Unit (FASU), Bank of Papua New Guinea
Nuni Kulu | President, Business Council of Papua New Guinea
Fabrizio Fioroni | Adviser, Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
MODERATOR: Martin Brash
SESSION OBJECTIVE: EMPOWERING CITIZENS & JOURNALISTS
11.00am – 12.20pm | Panel 2: Empowering Citizens: Dangerous Information – Whistleblowing and Investigative Journalism
How can Papua New Guineans can learn about instances of corruption if it is considered dangerous to share information in the public interest?
Scott Waide | Journalist, EMTV
Peter Bosip | Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Law & Community Rights (CELCOR)
Steven Matainaho | Secretary, Department of Information & Communication Technology
MODERATOR: Martin Brash
1:20pm – 2:40pm | Panel 3: Passing the Torch: Generational Conversation on Integrity
What do experienced fighters of corruption want the next generation to know about the challenges and opportunities?
Dame Meg Taylor | Founding Director, Transparency International PNG
David Pepson | Officer, Office of the Public Solicitor
Peter Aitsi | Chair, Transparency International PNG
MODERATOR: Martin Brash
We look forward to having you join us online!
Monday 14th December 2020, Port Moresby – The Supreme Court has handed down a ruling by a panel of 5 judges determining the constitutionality of events in Parliament during November. The ruling is a clear reminder of the need to maintain higher standards of conduct within our institutions, this is more so important with regard to the conduct of Parliament. Papua New Guineans have every right to expect our elected leaders to lead by example in demonstrating proper conduct in carrying out their responsibilities.
The Supreme Court in its ruling has articulated and provided guidance on role and conduct of the office of the Speaker of Parliament, the Clerk of Parliament and of MP’s ensuring the constitutional functions of Parliament are properly maintained. These officials must conduct their duties for the public good and must always seek to maintain the integrity of the public office they hold. This is TIPNG’s view noting the Speaker of Parliament has followed the Supreme Court’s direction to reconvene Parliament on Monday (14/12/20).
“People in Papua New Guinea are right to wonder, who actually stands to benefit from all the court cases, in fact questions are being asked on how these cases are being funded and who is funding the political camps. Is it being funded from public funds, or private individuals or groups? Whatever the source, it should be extremely worrying given our current economic state and also the potential for external influence of our political leaders” said Peter Aitsi, Chair of TIPNG, in a media statement.
“Neither political side can claim the moral high ground, if both disregard the integrity of their public office and act against the public good for their own political self-interest. What the people of Papua New Guinea want to see is adherence to democratic principles in Parliament and compliance with legislative processes. TIPNG acknowledges the underlying strength of our democracy, and this is reflected in the conduct of our defense force, the police, the judiciary and our fellow Papua New Guineans for respecting the constitutional processes as they occur,” said Mr. Aitsi.
TIPNG encourages citizens to seek information from reliable sources, ensuring they read and share verified information. TIPNG encourages the PNG media to remain diligent and to be objective in their news gathering as this will be vital to ensure our public is kept informed by verified and non-partisan information.
Freedom of Information is vital to our democracy, and should not be squandered by sharing politically motivated falsehoods, which may in turn be used as a justification for state-censorship as we have seen in other jurisdictions within our region
On Thursday 12 November 2020, Parliament passed the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). While the Act is yet to be certified and published in the National Gazette, this vote signifies an important step in our nation’s anti-corruption efforts. Here are ten things you need to know about the ICAC.
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Tuesday 17 November, Port Moresby – Transparency International PNG congratulates the people of Papua New Guinea on the passing of the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
“The campaign against corruption must be placed at the top of the agendas of our societies. Unless corruption is checked, it will poison our ways of life and corrode standards. At TIPNG, we welcome this law and the eventual establishment of the ICAC in our country. It is our hope that this body will further empower people in PNG to take action against corruption and work to protect the integrity of the people, society and nation of Papua New Guinea, “said Chairman of TIPNG, Mr Peter Aitsi.
Once established, the primary functions of the ICAC will be to:
1. Prevent and reduce corrupt conduct, undertake research, recommend systems, strategies, practices and policies;
2. Investigate and prosecute corrupt conduct; and
3. Arrest a person of corrupt conduct.
“The real challenge will be to ensure that the regulations that guide the ICAC will implement the spirit of the Legislation,” added Mr Aitsi.
It is also important to note that the functions of ICAC will not overlap other existing constitutional offices:
• The ICAC will investigate complaints of public officials or any individuals with corrupt conduct, while the Ombudsman Commission investigates only Leaders specified under the Leadership Code;
• ICAC has the same duties and powers of Police to arrest. This is to aid delay or compromise of investigation in anticipation for the Police to exercise their powers and also the limitations of resources by Police;
• ICAC can prosecute offenses relating to corrupt conduct but with written consent from the Public Prosecutor, as they are the mandated Office to carry out the prosecution function of the State.
Enacting the OLICAC and establishing the ICAC will boost Papua New Guinea’s international reputation and demonstrate leadership on governance issues. The ICAC will help to maintain stability in the country and inspire confidence in financial arrangements and restore public confidence in civil service. It is also the hope of TIPNG that the ICAC will ensure a level playing field for private businesses.
For the people of Papua New Guinea, the ICAC paves the way to help maintain a way of life that is fair and decent. It is TIPNG’s hope that the ICAC will empower citizens to take action against corruption.
TIPNG now looks forward to the certifying and enactment of the ICAC.