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Corruption costs billions, trashes economy

Eddie Tanago (2)
Eddie Tanago - Act Now has identified 19 measures the government should use to attack corruption

| Campaign Manager | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - International research shows that corruption is costing Papua New Guinea billions of kina every year. It is ruining our economy and impoverishing the nation.

If the government is serious about making PNG ‘the richest black nation on earth’ then it must introduce a raft of reforms to ensure we have open and transparent government.

We welcome the government’s commitment to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption, but corruption is now so entrenched a single institution cannot bring it under control.

What is needed is a set of reforms that empower the entire nation to be actively involved in ensuring good governance.

Ordinary citizens, the business community, churches and the institutions of government all need to be given the tools to enable them to play an active oversight role.

PNG is the most corrupt country in our region and one of the most corrupt countries in the world according the annual Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International.

In 2018, PNG’s score was just 28. In contrast, New Zealand had the second best score in the world at 87, Singapore was equal third with 85, Australia scored 77, Malaysia 47, Solomon Islands 44, Indonesia 38 and Philippines 36.

International accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper estimates that just a one point improvement in PNG’s corruption score could boost the economy by K10 billion, equivalent to a 14% increase in our gross domestic product or K1,200 for every man women and child in the country.

If PNG could improve its corruption score by 8 points to match the Philippines, the next worse country in our region, our economy could more than double in size to $45 billion.

Corruption places extra costs on business and makes the economy inefficient. It suppresses competition, increases prices, makes workers unproductive and leads to poor infrastructure and services.

The easiest way for the government to grow the economy and improve people’s livelihoods is to tackle corruption head-on.

Act Now! has used extensive research, benchmarked international best practice and consulted widely to identify 19 measures that it says the government should adopt to begin to attack corruption.

If the measures it outlines are implemented, PNG could even challenge New Zealand as one of the most open and fair societies in the world.

Read this research report and all of Act Now’s reports here


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