PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s parliament passed historic whistleblower protection legislation on Tuesday following a commitment made by prime minister James Marape last month.
The passing of the Whistle Blower Act coincided with the tabling of enabling legislation for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Commenting following the vote, Mr Marape thanked both sides of parliament for supporting the bill.
“I thank the MPs. Many time our citizens complain of their lack of action, but they are working here,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Parliamentarians are doing our job by passing relevant laws, it is now up to those of you with evidence of corruption to rise above fear, wantok system, nepotism, bribery, hearsay, politics etc and report corruption and assist prosecuting corruption.”
Mr Marape said he looked forward to the operationalisation of ICAC.
“We will appoint credible non Papua New Guineans and known corruption fighters in PNG into ICAC to make it work,” he said.
“I know I will not be PM for ever but my colleagues and I in parliament want to leave behind a safer political and public service system for our country going forward.
“That’s the least we can do.”
Papua New Guinea has been ranked by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt nations in the world with its most recent rating being 137 out of 180 countries with a score of 28 out of 100.
Meanwhile the enabling legislation for the creation of ICAC has been passed on to the permanent parliamentary committee on constitutional laws and acts and subordinate legislation for vetting before being tabled in parliament.