Friday November 13 2020
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Bill was passed by Parliament yesterday, 12 November) with 96 votes – 0.
Sixteen Members of the Opposition joined 80 of Government side to vote in unison to pass this important law.
Prime Minister, James Marape in welcoming the passing of the law, said he had the privilege of meeting the Shadow Attorney -General, the Hon. Dr Allan Marat and Opposition Whip the Honourable of Petrus Thomas, to ensure that Parliament had a bipartisan approach.
“Today, 16 Honourable leaders from the Opposition joined hands with 80 Honourable leaders from the Government side, who voted to pass this important law that should signal that our country is not totally corrupt but we are working towards fixing the corruption pandemic in our midst.
“Corruption is not only unique to PNG, nonetheless, PNG must rise in safeguarding waste and squander of our resources through corruption that is entrenched in our country.
“This law is part of my generation of leaders’ contribution to make our country better going into the future,” Prime Minister said.
Parliament recently passed the Whistle Blowers’ Act, and the government is looking into strengthening laws on undisclosed wealth.
“We have put into law proceeds of crime and now, with ICAC, the effort to institutionalise corruption fighting is truly on its way to full operation.”
Mr Marape paid tribute to the Somare and O’Neill Governments for starting the process.
“Today, after 20 years, we have arrived at this juncture of passing this historic law.”
Mr Marape said this Constitutional Office would be independent from the executive arm of Government, and commissioners would be recruited from abroad through an independent process.
The ICAC institution will be empowered to fight corruption without fear or favour working, with all agencies of State that are also there to assist like Police, Ombudsman, Public Prosecutor and so forth.
Prime Minister also appealed to business houses and the general public to report any corruption conduct or who witness corruption, to report it to this Institution.
“I thank the leaders again who rose to this momentous occasion in passing this historic bill.”