Government must release draft ICAC law

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 has totally failed to live up to its promises in both the 2012 and 2017 Alotau Accords that it would establish an ICAC” says ACT NOW! Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.

“We have also seen this government starve the Ombudsman Commission, the Fraud Squad, the Auditor General and the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit of vital funds so their capacity to tackle corruption has been undermined”.  

“Such a government cannot be trusted to deliver a fully empowered and independent ICAC”.

ACT NOW! is says the ICAC Bill must be publicly released so there can be proper community scrutiny. 

“There have been many rumours the draft ICAC law has been watered down and some of the key powers of the proposed Commission have been removed”, says Eddie Tanago.

“It is vital an ICAC is an independent constitutional body with powers to investigate complaints, arrest suspects and prosecute cases of corruption in both the public and private sector, while working alongside existing law enforcement agencies”.

ACT NOW! says the government’s failure to deliver on its promise of an ICAC has been devastating for our economic well-being and the quality of life for ordinary people.

“Corruption drives up costs for business, inhibits development and is a serious impediment to economic growth” says Eddie Tanago. 

“Corruption reduces business profits, lowers employment and limits investment. It also takes money from vital services like health and education”.