SEMINAR - Reporting Corruption in PNG's Public Financial Management System

Amanda H A Watson, Colin Wiltshire

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    For Papua New Guinea (PNG) to achieve its development aspirations, effective utilisation of public expenditure is essential. However, significant weaknesses exist in PNGs decentralised political, fiscal and administrative arrangements, from national to sub-national levels, which open up spaces for corruption. Public officials responsible for administering funds intended for basic service delivery have lacked anonymous and accessible ways to report corrupt practices. In a context of limited reach of most media and communication technologies, with the exception of widespread mobile phone coverage, this presentation reports on the expansion of corruption reporting mechanisms through an innovative new approach. The Department of Finance, with support from the Australian Government and the United Nations Development Program, has established a way for public officials working in PNGs public financial management system to anonymously report cases of corruption through a mobile phone text messaging service. All reported cases are referred to the Internal Audit and Compliance Division in the Department of Finance for further investigation, in collaboration with relevant state authorities. The presentation will outline the experiences of public officials with this new corruption reporting mechanism. Overall, findings show that the service has been utilised well, with hundreds of ongoing investigations and several arrests. However, it needs to be promoted more amongst public officials at all levels, in particular at district treasuries where significant funding increases have been directed in recent years. The presentation will be of interest to those seeking to understand issues related to public expenditure, corruption and its reporting. The talk will also explore how mobile phone technology can be utilised for strategic purposes in PNG.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherState, Society and Governance in Melanesia
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia.
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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