Whistleblower protection is an important action and is integral in safeguarding public interest and increasing accountability in the public sector.
This was highlighted at the opening of a three-day training event on Whistleblower Protection for Public Officials on Monday October 3rd in Port Moresby.
The United Nations Development Programme, through the European Union funded Preventing and Countering Corruption in Papua New Guinea Project delivered the event in partnership with National Government’s Department of Justice and Attorney General.
Having finished on Wednesday October 5th, it saw over 45 public officials from various Government departments participate, all of whom have a mandate to implement the Whistleblower Act.
“As Papua New Guineans we must think seriously about where we stand on the global stage, and of the negative impact of corruption to our society,” said Mr Thomas Eluh, Chairman of the Interim Independent Commission Against Corruption.
The key objective of the three-day training was to build capacity.
It did this drawing on international expertise, global experience, knowledge tools and practical skills on whistleblower protection.
Participants discussed the Whistleblower Act 2020, draft regulations and policies and the practical approaches for the effective implementation of a Whistleblower protection system in public sector organisations.
“This training is largely focused on the implementation of the Whistleblower Act, which is another step toward increasing accountability in the public sector. The reason the Whistleblower Act is so important is that it provides protection, for citizens to call corruption out,” said Mr. Edward Vrkic, UNDP’s Officer in Charge.
The Whistleblower Act of Papua New Guinea passed in 2020. However, the implementation has not yet commenced. UNDP is providing assistance to key partners to develop regulations, guidelines, and procedures to implement this Act by building capacity and confidence among those responsible for its implementation.
‘’Whistleblower protection is an important action, and it is essential not only for detecting fraud, corruption and misconduct but also for safeguarding the public interest, for promoting a culture of accountability and integrity in both public and private institutions,’’ said Mr. Davide Messina, Programme Manager, European Union Delegation to Papua New Guinea.
The Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Papua New Guinea and United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), aims to strengthen the Government’s commitment and capacities to address corruption to effectively progress the Sustainable Development Goals for the benefit of all Papua New Guineans.