Former Papua New Guinea Treasurer, Bart Philemon, says the government must act urgently to eliminate corruption before the earnings from the huge resource developments start flowing in.
He says in the past ten years the country has spent half of the money it has earned in the 37 years since independence, yet has little to show for it.
Mr Philemon, who lost his seat in the recent general election, says the poor performance of the country's bureaucracy reflects the quality of leadership provided by politicians.
He says if the country can't manage its current income how can it cope with three or four times more.
"That is my greatest concern because the foundation of management in Papua New Guinea is rotting away and we need to focus on that and fix that up in the hope that we can within a medium term put Papua New Guinea back on the right track."