Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has stated that corruption within the public service will no longer be tolerated. The occasion took place today in Port Moresby, where the Prime Minister launched the groundbreaking Anti-Fraud Anti-Corruption and Whistleblower Protection Policy of the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council. This policy is set to establish a framework for other Government departments and agencies in their collective fight against the rampant issue of corruption.
In attendance were key figures including Chief Secretary Ivan Pomaleu, Police Commissioner David Manning, representatives from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and departmental staff.
Prime Minister Marape, highlighting the grave impact of corruption on Papua New Guinea’s development, asserted, “Corruption is not solely a social concern, but a significant economic issue as well.”
He expressed gratitude towards Chief Secretary Pomaleu for leading the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council in pioneering this critical anti-corruption initiative.
Prime Marape’s determination to safeguard the nation’s resources from exploitation is evident in his resolve: “Papua New Guinea must no longer tolerate corruption.”
Prime Minister Marape underscored the direct connection between corruption and the economy, stating, “Our relentless efforts to harness our resources effectively will remain futile if our financial integrity is compromised.”
He further illustrated that even a mere 10 percent loss due to corruption, equivalent to K2.4 billion from the K24 billion 2023 Budget, can yield staggering consequences.
“Losing K2.5 billion to corruption is a luxury our country cannot afford. This sum could fund provincial hospitals and infrastructural development that the nation direly needs.”
The Prime Minister traced the establishment of the ICAC back to his tenure, emphasising its significance: “ICAC’s enactment in November 2020 was a pivotal step towards shaping our nation’s future.” He urged collective responsibility, urging all citizens to uphold integrity and report corruption cases promptly.
“Those who perceive ICAC and the Anti-Fraud Anti-Corruption and Whistleblower Protection Policy as threats are those with hidden agendas,” Prime Minister Marape asserted.
He called upon the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council, along with all government bodies and the public, to engage proactively in exposing corruption.
Prime Minister Marape’s vision extends to the empowerment of judiciary bodies and law enforcement agencies, revealing a 40 percent increase in the 2023 Budget allocation to the Law and Justice Sector.
He affirms, “We are channeling our resources into initiatives that promote transparency and accountability.”
The Prime Minister’s unwavering commitment to eradicating corruption culminated with a resounding call to action: “Let us cultivate a stronger, more prosperous nation for future generations, free from the grip of corruption. The steps we take today shape the future we desire.”