PNG anti- corruption watch dog, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is demanding greater accountability and proper detailed disclosure of financials from the government and leaders, as allegations of financial impropriety relating to the use of funds allocated to the COVID- 19 State of Emergency response come under scrutiny.
In a Statement released by TIPNG; there is a distinct lack of objective financial data and this absence of information creates suspicions and undermines the public’s confidence in the Government and our Political leaders.
“The exact sum of funding for the Covid-19 emergency currently at the PNG Government’s disposal is still unverified,” says Chairman of TIPNG, Peter Aitsi.
Aitsi also called on the Government, state of emergency authorities & SOE Parliamentary Committee to be proactive with information and ensure good governance is upheld during these times.
“The best way to combat disinformation during this time is to let independent media do their job and to grant media access to Government’s information related to Covid-19 SOE funding and spendings,” adds Aitsi.
Aitsi also supported the Media Council of PNG’s call for Government to issue official information through officials channels and via authorized sources to engender public confidence and peace of mind.
TIPNG has also called on citizens,churches, like-minded organizations and the media to demand accountability from the Covid-19 SOE authorities on funds as this is their right.
“In the absence of decisive action to prevent corruption, PNG could be hit hard by Covid-19, and the number of lives lost would not solely be due to the illness but also as a result of mismanagement of Covid-19 funds,” says TIPNG.