Public institutions need to be more open and transparent about their work
Papua New Guinea ranks “highly corrupt” on the Corruption Perceptions Index
Papua New Guinea is still perceived to be “highly corrupt” according to the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index released in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday (3/12/13). The 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has ranked Papua New Guinea at 144 amongst 177 countries surveyed.
Chairman of Transparency International PNG (TIPNG), Lawrence Stephens says, “PNG’s ranking in the 2013 CPI does not reflect the resource-rich country we are. When we have so much why are we so consistently ranked so poorly? Until serious widespread commitment is made to improved governance systems, to upholding and enforcing anti-corruption efforts, our communities continue to suffer the often fatal lack of basic services and PNG will continue to be listed amongst the most corrupt countries in the world.” He added that greater and immediate political will is needed from each and every citizen and Government to combat corruption.
“This year we have again been awarded only 25 points, out of a total possible score of 100. Unfortunately we are not seen to be improving. We still hold a low position. Once again countries like Denmark and New Zealand lead the world with the highest scores, 91 each because of their strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of public officials. Countries like Australia and France score lower but still do well. And once again countries like Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the lowest, with only 8 each due to lack of accountability by leaders and ineffective public institutions. Meanwhile PNG finds itself in the company of Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria and Ukraine. Of 175 countries surveyed, despite our huge resources wealth and a comparatively small population, we are placed 29th from the bottom of the list. We know we can do better”.
“Here in PNG we can in fact see some changes occurring and some promising developments taking place. The long awaited establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is an important move. Signs that we are accepting freedom of information regulations give encouragement. Our engagement with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative are signs that progress is ahead of us. It is clear however that much more needs to be done to strengthen existing integrity institutions (courts, police, auditors and the Ombudsman Commission) to help them enforce best practice, reduce corruption and promote internationally accepted standards of good governance.” said Mr Stephens.
“As corruption remains notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute, public institutions including the Government need to open up and be more transparent about their work. The recent adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) by the PNG Government is one step in the right direction,” said Mr Stephens.
“TIPNG believes PNG will begin to score better with serious efforts to create a level playing field for business, to restore investor confidence by adhering to proper procedures in awarding contracts and the other business dealings of government. We believe that PNG has some of the best rules and laws in the world, but the biggest problem continues to be the lack of enforcement of the law. This drags us back. There is little or no accountability for those who fail to follow the rule of law. The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption. There needs to be a more intensified effort to combat the impunity enjoyed by corrupt individuals and organisations, otherwise PNG will continue to be classed as “highly corrupt” and ranked amongst the most corrupt countries in the world.
The CPI is a combination of data collected by a variety of reputable organizations and reflects the views of observers from around the world including experts living and working in the countries evaluated. The information on PNG was sourced from five surveys: Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index, Political Risk Services International Country Risk Guide, World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment 2012, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Ratings, and Global Insight Country Risk Ratings.
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