PAPAU NEW GUINEA NEWS
ICAC Funding 'Missing' in 2021 PNG Budget
PORT MORSEBY, Dec 18, 2020:: I am looking to find the funding for the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in the 2021 Budget.
Under my watch, the ICAC Bill was passed. Prime Minister Marape assured the Department of Justice and Attorney General Department (DJAG) to fund the establishment of ICAC in 2021. I may be mistaken, but perusing the 2021 Budget books, I can't see any allocation to fund the establishment of ICAC.
What is clear to me is a decrease in the budget figures to DJAG for next year. The passage of ICAC Bill is the beginning. Establishing and getting it up and running is the biggest challenge. There is no need for hypocrisy in our fight against corruption. We must continue the efforts of successive governments to stop the decay and destruction of our nation as a result of corruption culture now rampant and uncontrolled.
I didn't have the chance to raise this and other important national issues in Parliament. The Speaker and Marape government have denied my people the right to debate this and other important issues following the presentation of budget 2021. The Honorable Treasurer wants to be applauded for his speeches but I ask for substance and call on The Treasurer to clearly tell us where the fund for ICAC is in the 2021 budget.
Why is it not allocated to DJAG?
I am getting more concerned as I look at the 2021 Budget and note that it has neglected the Government's approved strategies on good governance and rule of law.
Our MTDP goal of improving on our SDG compliance rating and other indicators like our Corruption Perception Index Rating will remain unchanged without commitment in funding starting in 2021.
In simple terms, without action now, we will continue to be amongst the worst corrupt countries in the world, with poor socio-economic indicators in health, education, law and order and investor confidence badly needed to build our economy post-Covid 19. We can't build a new Papua New Guinea on the rotten foundations inherited from past governments and leaders.