Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is cautiously welcoming the government's announcement it is going to investigate public servants who are living extravagant lifestyles beyond what they should be able to afford on the salaries they are paid, but warns the Prime Minister he will be judged on the results rather than his promises.
The passage of the law allowing for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption has been hailed as an important step forward by community advocacy group ACT NOW! but the group is warning that it is too early for any celebrations.
"An independent commission is urgently needed to tackle the rampant corruption that is holding back our economy and stopping the delivery of vital health and other services to the people”, says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
With the release of a new report today, ACT NOW!, Jubilee Australia, and the Oakland Institute, call for an urgent change of course from political leaders in Papua New Guinea. The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses the country’s economic and development performance since its independence in 1975.
The proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption will not be free from possible political interference under the terms of the draft Bill to be debated in the next session of Parliament, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
The Prime Minister will Chair and the Leader of the Opposition will be a member of the committee that appoints both the ICAC Commissioners and the members of the Oversight Committee that will constantly review the operations, functions and powers of the ICAC.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still expanding across the globe, the PNG government is being urged to drop its plans to put customary land into the hands of commercial banks.
“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated once again that customary land is a vital and irreplaceable resource for our families and communities”, says Campaign Manger, Eddie Tanago.
"It should be inconceivable that the government would put customary land at risk by allowing commercial banks to hold the title as security for financial loans".
The latest corruption scandal involving a government Minister and a foreign oil company emphasises once again the need for the government to legislate on hidden or ‘beneficial’ company ownerships says ACT NOW.
“Allowing people to register a company without revealing who are the real owners or beneficiaries creates a massive information vacuum that enables corruption and tax evasion to happen right under our noses” says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
The Land Minister’s announcement of a new pilot project that will further disenfranchise customary landowners is part of a misguided promotion of private sector greed over people’s need for customary land for income generation, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago says "the government should be focused on empowering rural people to build resilient communities on their own land rather than serving the greed of foreign owned banks and big corporations".
The best way for Papua New Guinea to increase economic growth and boost the size of the economy is for the government to implement a comprehensive plan to tackle corruption.
This is the message from community advocacy group ACT NOW! which has published an analysis of the economic costs of corruption and the measures needed to defeat it.
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Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is again calling on the government to publicly release the draft ICAC law that it has promised will shortly be debated by Parliament.
ACT NOW! says there have been so many delays over the establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption that the government cannot be trusted not to have watered down the Commission’s powers and that it may end up as just another toothless tiger.
The Government is plotting to grab more customary land and hand it to multi-national companies and the commercial banks, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“The government has been forced to stop issuing illegal SABL leases but now wants to use the National Land Summit as a cover to find new ways to ‘facilitate access to customary land’ for big business and the banks”, says campaign manger, Eddie Tanago.