Following the suspension of the Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force by the National Executive Council (NEC), Transparency International has expressed grave concern over inconsistency in the Government’s handling of investigations of breaches and apparent wrong doings by public office holders.
The suspension of CDF Major General Mark Goina over delays in conducting investigations into those that were harmed in the deadly exercise at Kupiano, which left 3 PNGDF personnel killed.
TIPNG Board Chair, Peter Aitsi stated that the country has a right to know the reasons as to why the Government has suspended other holders of public officers while others do not.
“Citizens are right to wonder how the Government of the day has not seen fit to suspend or indeed remove other public office holders and even some cabinet ministers over allegations of corrupt conduct, and breaches of public service codes,” said Mr. Aitsi.
He added that in TIPNG’s 2021 National Integrity System Assessment of 14 sectoral pillars of national integrity, the main finding was that across the board the legislation to promote integrity was adequate and in place, however the implementation and enforcement of those laws by office holders, including the NEC was grossly inadequate.
“Public confidence in national integrity institutions is reliant on the effective enforcement of the law and consistency of decisions such as the suspension of office holders, so as to not prejudice internal investigations. Also concerning to the public is the use of processes such as Leadership tribunals to attack political opponents or those who do not side with the Government of the day.”
The National Integrity System Assessment was funded by the European Union through TIPNG’s Promoting Anti-Corruption and Integrity Strategies (PAIS) Project. The PAIS project was developed to assess and bridge gaps in PNG’s national integrity system.