Dear fellow Papua New Guineans,
Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violation of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crimes, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish.
This evil phenomenon is found in all countries – big and small, rich and poor – but it is in the developing countries that its effects are most destructive. Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a Governments ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign aid and investment. Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.
Corruption in PNG has become a way of life for some and both the Public and Private Sectors are suffering due to the greed of a relatively small number of individuals. Corruption is getting worse and the confidence of the public in its law enforcement and prosecutorial bodies is diminishing.
The PNG Government in its endeavor to stem corruption set up the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2010 – 2030, which was adopted by parliament in November 2011, which provides a comprehensive roadmap for the many actions that PNG will take to tackle corruption.
The National Anti-Corruption Plan of Action (NACPA) 2020-2025 was recently endorsed by the NEC, is designed to support the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2010 – 2030. The Plan of Action, indicates the Government’s commitment to revisiting the Draft ICAC legislation with a view to streamlining it and then establishing the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to tackle corruption.
In its wisdom, the Government appointed me as the Interim Chairman of ICAC in June 2018 with the mandate to establish an Interim ICAC Office and review the ICAC legislation, which was to be re-introduced in parliament for its deliberation and passing into law.
I am happy to say that since 2019, the Interim ICAC Office has been established and is situated on the first floor of the Muruk Haus at Waigani.
I am also very happy to say that the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption was passed on the 12th of November, 2020, with a resounding vote of 96 – 0, once again indicating the Government’s commitment to address corruption in Papua New Guinea.
At this juncture, may I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Marape/Basil Government and all Members of Parliament from both sides of the House for passing of the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption, a milestone achievement for our country.
May I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy Task Force and the National Anti-Corruption Technical Working Group for their tireless efforts in the initial stages to enable the drafting of the ICAC Bill. A job well done!
My fellow brothers and sisters, fighting corruption is very complex and requires a concerted effort from every citizen to have any chance of minimizing this epidemic.
Therefore, if you want a corruption free and safe tomorrow for you and for the future of PNG, I call on everyone now to assist ICAC in whatever way possible to try and eradicate corruption from society and save PNG from the clutches of corruption.
It’s now or never!
Let us rise up together and “Take Back PNG”! Stop Corruption!
May God bless our beautiful nation, Papua New Guinea!
Copyright@PNG ICAC 2021