Tok Piksa – Episode 22, 2014

In this episode:


In August 2011, the National Executive Council in the then O’Neill-Namah government, established the Investigation Task Force Sweep.

Their main order of business was to investigate allegations on the massive misapplication of funds in the Department of National Planning.

What they found, was that between 2009 and 2011, billions of development funds were parked at National Planning Department, instead of the Departments of Finance and Treasury, or other implementing agencies.

Their investigations, conducted over two years, brought to light instances of fraud by those in senior positions of financial authority.

Three convictions on, and pushing the message of anti-corruption, ITFS has achieved more than they have expected.

Chairman Sam Koim, acknowledges that through all the red tape and death threats, successful convictions have sent a strong message to public, and that is, if you do something wrong, the law, will, inevitably, catch up with you.

A relevant message, seeing that with the influx of LNG revenue, we could soon be facing stronger, more integrated forms of corruption.

It’s something Chairman Koim is paying close attention to.

Investigation Task Force Sweep, has not only had to deal with instances of corruption, and financial fraud domestically.

Their investigations have led them off-shore.

And despite a deafening silence at the start of ITFS’s inquiries with authorities in our closest trading partner, it seems other countries are regaining confidence in our public servants to stand up to the wave of corruption that PNG has become renowned for.

This is actually motivating more and more of our international friends, to come on board with advice and experience, in the fight against corruption.

In PNG, people have become accustomed to seeing large amounts of money being flashed around by many of our leaders.

And while our leaders go around handing out cheques and developmental funding to show that funds they have control over, are being put to good use, there is still a lot that goes on behind closed doors of public offices that we know little about.

If there is one thing that Chairman Sam Koim acknowledges, it is that Corruption, can never be totally eradicated.

What we hope, is that as we grow, we will learn to deal with the different types of corruption, the best way PNG knows how.

A continuation of this interview, will be aired on this Wednesday’s edition of Tok Piksa.

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