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Papua New Guinea's Corruption index shows improvement

The launching of the Transparency International 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index yesterday has revealed a four point increment in PNGs’ score since last year.

In spite of this slight increment however, PNG still ranks among the top 25th percentile of the most corrupt countries in the world, placing 135 out of 180 countries ranked in the index, with a score of 29 out of 100.

Out of the 180 countries surveyed, New Zealand has snatched the top spot from Denmark this year, although both countries registered lower scores than in last years’ index, with Somalia retaining its position at the bottom of the index.

TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens acknowledged that the increment showed some signs of improvement for PNG. However, he stressed that more consistent efforts needed to be made to combat the global scourge of corruption, which for PNG means greater participation of citizens in public affairs.

“2018 is the year of APEC for Papua New Guinea and the eyes of the world are already shining a spotlight on us. This is not just a government matter. All sectors; churches, businesses, civil society and citizens must make it their business to improve PNGs’ ranking,” said Mr Stephens.

“We call on the government to enable greater participation of citizens in public affairs and we encourage relevant legislative changes to make this work. Equally important is that citizens need to demand accountability from public officials and speak up and report corrupt dealings in the public and private sector,” he said.

However, Mr Stephens said 69 per cent of all countries surveyed in the index scored less than 50 out of a hundred. This is telling us that 69 per cent couldn’t get halfway and that these countries are “perceived to be corrupt.”

Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel said he accepted PNG’s ranking on the index and acknowledged that much more needed to be done to improve the country’s standing in the global community.

However, he also said in the absence of a definite and objective measure to quantify the level of corruption in a country, many of the perceptions of corruption in PNG are generalised.

He drew attention to the fact that PNG now shares the 135th placing on this year’s index with eight other countries including Russia and Mexico; two countries where journalists have been killed for reporting. In comparison to these, PNG still enjoyed a relatively free media.
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