Only seven of Papua New Guinea’s 65 government agencies have reported how they have spent billions of public funds provided to them in the budget since 2016
NOOSA - The delivery of a peaceful election is a shared responsibility that requires broad-based leadership, says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG).
It says a free and fair election will require a concerted effort by the police, defence force, correctional service and some government agencies working alongside the electoral commission.
TIPNG said election-related violence was growing around our country, especially in the Highlands region.
It called on citizens to shun any candidate instigating violence and to give support to the work of law enforcement agencies.
There must be peace and good order during this critical time for our country,” said TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi.
“It is the duty of respective agencies and the civil service at large to operate independently of politics at this time,” he said. “Their actions will assist reaffirm public confidence in the electoral process.
“The PNGEC needs to ensure it is communicating regularly with the public, providing consistent and accurate information so that citizens can be reassured that the elections are being effectively managed and properly conducted.
“These communications should also outline the processes for reporting complaints or issues of concern identified by citizens during the election.
“This will go a long way towards addressing misinformation during the election period, which if left unaddressed exacerbates the risk of election-related violence,” Aitsi said.
Meanwhile, in its Annual Report for 2021, TIPNG has put pressure on the government to improve its financial management.
“The majority of public bodies have failed to submit annual financial statements, as required under the Public Finance Act,” the report revealed. “Many have failed to provide reports for multiple years.
“Shockingly, only seven agencies have demonstrated some level of accountability since 2016.
“The rest of the 65 agencies have failed to report how they have spent billions of public funds provided to them via the budgetary process.
“This reflects a serious breakdown in financial management and represents a direct violation of the law.”