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.