Effective action against corruption is essential for economic growth and it should be the number one priority for the new Marape government.
Recent findings published by the National Research Institute has reaffirmed the importance of good governance and the rule of law in attracting new investment, increasing employment opportunities and boosting government revenues.[i]
The findings reinforce earlier research published by ACT NOW that showed how just a one-point improvement in PNG’s corruption score could boost the economy by K10 billion a year or 14%. That would be equivalent to over K1,200 for every woman, man and child in PNG.[ii]
The new NRI findings are contained in a paper titled “Comparative Analysis of Governance and Economic Growth in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu”.
It discusses good Governance based on the indicators of Political Stability, Rule of Law, Control of Corruption and Government Effectiveness for the three countries.
The paper highlights that Governance plays an important role in providing a conducive environment for investment, human development, opportunities for employment and economic growth.
Vanuatu was applauded for “best performances in political stability and rule of law” and Fiji for “best performances in the control of corruption and government effectiveness”.
The country’s leading research organization recommended the following for Papua New Guinea, in order to achieve good Governance;
- Provide adequate funding to all economic and political institutions and promote secure and safe communities.
- Strengthen the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to conduct their duties without fear or favour.
- Provide effective governance institutions and tougher penalties against people who engage in corruption practices.
- Improve effectiveness in service delivery and streamline responsibilities of the public sector and private sector.
Along the same lines, ACT NOW! has also published its own Policy Proposals for Open and Accountable Government which contain a comprehensive plan to improve governance and public oversight.
Corruption is a huge problem in PNG and it has a huge economic cost.
In our region, PNG is ranked on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) as one of the most corrupt countries.
If these measures recommended by NRI and ACT NOW! are taken onboard this will greatly improve PNG’s CPI score.
Just a one-point improvement, could be worth over K1200 for every man, woman and child in PNG and that is K10 billion in total, which is equal to a whopping 14% boost to our annual economy.
The new Marape Government should solemnly take on board the recommendations from NRI and ACT NOW!
Below are the links to the full reports by Act Now and the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI).