Demand for Contract Transparency Grows in PNG's Extractive Sector

By: PNG Business News April 20, 2023

Photo credit: Post Courier

The demand for greater contract transparency in the resources sector is growing as Papua New Guinea prepares to release its 8th and 9th PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) reports. These reports cover the fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and they offer valuable insights into the operations of the PNG extractive sector, its contributions to the domestic economy, and, most importantly, the accountability of revenues received by the government.

Lucas Alkan, head of the PNGEITI National Secretariat, explained that COVID-19-related disruptions delayed the publication of the reports. However, their eventual release will be critical in ensuring transparency and accountability in the country's extractive sector.

Paul Barker, executive director of the Institute of National Affairs and a member of the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) committee, emphasized the need for more openness and transparency in the negotiation of projects. According to him, "The whole process of negotiating projects should be much more open and transparent to the citizens of the country and the landowners who are stakeholders in the whole process. We got a long way to go on contract transparency and sub-national transfers, this is another area we got more work to do."

Arianne Kassman, CEO of Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG), also raised concerns about the lack of technical capacity required to evaluate the content of the report from the PNGEITI process, including the annual reports. She called on the government to engage meaningfully with the EITI process through the implementation of recommendations contained within the report.

"Beyond the publication of the report, meaningful actions still need to be taken to progress recommendations in the report, notably to contract transparency and recruiting by State-owned enterprises," Ms. Kassman said. "Citizens have the right to know what is being done to resources on our land by our government and licensed commercial operators."

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