By Lorraine Gabina, Vasinatta Yama & Jarred Sferruzi – EMTV News, Port Moresby
International Anti-Corruption Day was commemorated today with Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) holding a conference at Ela Beach.
With the local theme of ‘Raise the Volume on Corruption’, TIPNG Chairman Lawrence Stephens says corruption is an issue that impacts everyone.
“We actually hope that the problems of corruption are everybody’s problems and not just the problems of a group of people who happen to be part of an organisation.
“The issues are huge, and the issues are issues that need to be taken on board by all of us,” Lawrence said.
Through its Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), TIPNG provides free support to victims or witnesses of corruption and aims to advocate and educate the public about their rights and responsibilities to fight corruption.
The ALAC program works by structuring complaints, referring complainants to appropriate authorities and connecting with state agencies to minimise corruption.
Program Manager, Leilani Ose, says that since March 2015, overall reports received have increased from 450 to 524, with the majority of those coming from individuals.
Lack of transparency, conflict of interest, mismanagement of public funds, bribery and misuse of public position, made up over 50 percent of all reports received by the ALAC.
Corrupt practices were registered against a wide range of sectors; the top five being Public Administration, Lands and Property, Natural Resources, Education and Banking and Policy.
While reporting has increased, Director of TIPNG, Father John Glynn, says one of the biggest issues with corruption in PNG is accountability.
“Refusing to be accountable is an appalling problem in Papua New Guinea.
“Lack of accountability is an appalling example of how corruption actually works.
“We allow people to get away with being completely not accountable for their responsibilities,” Father John said.
Fighting corruption is recognised in the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, alongside reducing illicit financial flows and recovery of stolen assets.
The Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre’s Complaints Toll Free Hotline can be reached by calling 7030 5882 or 7601 4636.
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