25 Sep 2009

PNG businesses urged to join anti-corruption drive

3:25 pm on 25 September 2009

Business operators in Papua New Guinea are being called on to play a bigger role in ridding the country of corruption.

The latest Global Report on Corruption by Transparency International lists PNG as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

It was placed 151st out of 180 nations.

TI's spokesman in PNG, Richard Kassman, says corruption is now commonplace down to village level and within church organisations.

He says TI has been engaging with businesses over their unwillingness to blow the whistle on corrupt practices.

Mr Kassman says business people fear retaliation if they speak up, but he hopes a stepped up campaign involving the Ombudsman Commission, will change that.

"We have agree with the Chief Ombudsman to have a meeting with the business coalition. Business leaders will put some of their thoughts and their fears on the table. We are hoping that that initiative and the steps following this renewed interest from the Ombudsman Commission will send a clear message out to those who perpetrate corruption."

Richard Kassman of Transparency International in PNG