IN light of the recent political events, the sidelining of various senior police officers and more importantly the disbanding of anti-corruption Task Force Sweep, Papua New Guinea’s civic watchdog, ACT NOW PNG!, has drafted (below) an open letter to the prime minister and MPs.
This letter is one of many attempts already undertaken by PNG citizens and members of the international community to show support for the importance of the vital work of Task Force Sweep - and the need for this work to continue uninterrupted if the government is serious in addressing corruption in Papua New Guinea.
We're now inviting interested national and international organisations, as well as individual friends of PNG, to sign on before we attempt to get this letter published through various means with the aim of supporting the clean-up process by Sam Koim and team.
If you would like to support the open letter and sign on, please email your name, adding the name of your organisation if you are affiliated to one, to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday 30 June.
Open Letter to the Prime Minister and all MPs
Strong anti-corruption task force vital
Task Force Sweep has been performing a vital anti-corruption role and must not be disbanded or removed
We all know corruption is a curse that has been costing us billions of kina and depriving the government of funds to pay for vital health and education services and national infrastructure.
Numerous Commission of Inquiry and other official investigations have exposed widespread corruption in the Department of Finance, the Department of Lands, the Department of National Planning and many other government institutions.
But without an independent, multi-agency body to follow up on these investigations and bring the people responsible before the courts the corruption and the stealing will not only continue, it will get even worse.
While legislation for an Independent Commission Against Corruption has been passed by Parliament, the ICAC has not been given any funding in the budget and is not yet operational. Until the ICAC is fully established it is vital we have an interimbody to investigate corruption cases and prosecute those responsible.
Since it was established in 2012, Task Force Sweep has done an excellent job in investigating senior lawyers, public officials and politicians and it has demonstrated to all Papua New Guineans that no one is above the law.
If Papua New Guinea is to have any future and any international credibility it is vital Task Force Sweep is NOT disbanded and that Sam Koim and his team are allowed to continue their work.