18 Feb 2008

PNG Government called on to immediately set up committee to begin anti corruption fight

9:45 am on 18 February 2008

The Papua New Guinea chapter of the anti-corruption group, Transparency International, believes attitudes are slowly changing on corruption.

Two Government Ministers have recently spoken out about the extent of corruption in the country, while last week an official in the Ministry of Finance was charged with fraud offences.

The secretary of Transparency, Richard Kassman, says there has also now been an acceptance by MPs that corruption is systemic in the public sector as detailed by the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee.

He says what is needed now is a concerted effort by Parliament to deal with corruption.

Mr Kassman says in the long term this should involve an Independent Commission Against Corruption, but there's an immediate need for a well empowered government committee to begin the anti-corruption fight.

"There needs to be a strong co-ordination committee to do that and I think if that was given high priority a message would come out that the Government of the day is strongly opposed to corruption."