Community advocacy group ACT NOW! has launched a petition calling on newly elected MPs to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption within 100 days.
“Everyone knows corruption is a massive problem in Papua New Guinea" , says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago. "People are dying unnecessarily every day because of the rampant stealing and the mismanagement it causes.”
ACT NOW! says well resourced, permanent and politically independent, Commission Against Corruption [ICAC] is desperately needed.
"This new petition is urging our newly elected MPs to take responsibility and do something effective by immediately establishing an ICAC,” says Mr Tanago.
ACT NOW! says the 100 day timetable is achievable as all the legislation needed for an ICAC has already been drafted and the necessary Constitutional amendment was passed by Parliament in 2016.
It has been estimated as much as 50% of the government’s annual development budget is stolen every year and police have said K1.5 billion went missing in 2016 alone. PNG is ranked in the bottom 20% of all countries for corruption by Transparency International.
"The consequences of this corruption are dire. Vital health and education services starved of money and mismanagement and abuse further impede service delivery. Then there are all the illegal land deals that keep happening and illegal logging", says Mr Tanago.
"Existing anti-corruption mechanisms have proven to be ineffective and a new body with full powers of investigation and prosecution is urgently needed".
"In 2012, the incoming government promised to establish an ICAC as a major step in the fight against corruption. But over the next five-years it failed to fulfil that promise. Our new MPs must ensure they do better".