by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
Awareness raising campaigns are on the rise in both local and international communities to address the global fight against government corruption.
For Papua New Guinea, investigations involving those practicing corruption, including amongst parliamentarians, are slowly being completed and appropriate penalties are soon to follow.
Corruption is a gross breach of public trust. It occurs when a person occupying a public office misuses resources entrusted to him or her, and benefits personally from the misuse.
In an interview today with Transparency International Chairman, Lawrence Stevens raised a number of national concerns regarding corruption and dishonest behaviour.
Stephens said the high infant mortality and illiteracy rates can be attributed to the high corruption rate in the country.
Corruption remains one of the biggest factors affecting the development of Papua New Guinea as a nation.
Since independence, a number of people alleged to have misused public funds or assets were not legally punished, while the legal beneficiaries to public funds continue to suffer.
In 2014, three Members of Parliament including Pomio MP, Paul Tiensten and Komo-Magarina MP, Francis Potape were convicted for misappropriation.
Stephens described their conduct as sad and said that over K13 million has gone to waste without the government achieving some of their goals.
The onus now remains on those carrying out investigations to remain focused and fight corruption where they can. But with the help of bodies fighting corruption, those who engage in corrupt practices will be dealt accordingly.
TIPNG is also working on other cases including the Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABL) projects in East Sepik, and the Finance Inquiry.