If the PNG government and parliament are really serious about combating corruption at all levels, then an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) must be set up immediately.
Setting up an ICAC entity has been mooted many times before in various public forums, but nothing substantive has resulted.
The main reason for inaction is that successive PNG governments have always lacked the political will to stamp out corruption.
An ICAC should be a principal agency with a statutory charter to investigate and prevent corruption. It must be totally independent of the executive branch of government.
Its principal objectives should be:
To vigilantly enforce anti-corruption laws and to make corruption a high-risk crime.
To identify and eliminate opportunities for corruption in government departments and public bodies by reviewing their procedures and practices.
To promote corruption prevention in private sector business.
To educate the community about the evils of corruption and enlist their support in the war against corruption.
The anti-corruption agency needs a simple plan of action before employing more complex strategies to combat corruption.
It should conduct investigation, prevention and education through operations, corruption prevention and community relations divisions.
The agency must implement effective strategies - such as employing proactive investigation techniques - to identify and prosecute instances of corruption which might otherwise go unreported.
It should use undercover operations and intelligence and information technology if it needs to.
In addition, its investigators must be given continuous professional training to keep pace with the changing commercial environment, technological advances and developments in criminal investigation techniques.
The training should embrace a wide range of topics, including financial investigation, IT applications, computer forensics, video interview techniques, case management and court proceedings.
Joint operations groups must be established comprising retired senior officers, dedicated agents and the disciplined services. Regular meetings should be held to ensure operational liaison, address common concerns, and develop anti-corruption strategies within the respective disciplined services.
ICAC's main strategic tasks should be focused on reducing opportunities for corruption in government departments and other public bodies.
It should include advising private sector bodies on corruption prevention. The agency must conduct detailed studies of public sector practices and procedures and help them to effectively implement corruption prevention measures.
Establishing ICAC in PNG will help other state agencies develop their corruption prevention capability by producing best practice on ways to prevent, minimise or curb corruption-related opportunities in corruption prone areas like procurement, staff administration, information system security, contract letting and administration.
A good community relations strategy is required to educate the public and enlist their support in the fight against corruption.