Anti-corruption and the 2019 PNG budget
Papua New Guinea’s law and justice sector is set to receive a 22 per cent increase in the country’s 2019 budget. Treasurer Charles Abel says this demonstrates the government’s commitment to the sector, and to addressing crime and corruption (see this PDF). Look beyond this headline figure, however, and the rise is not so impressive. Indeed, it doesn’t even make up for recent years of budget cuts: economist Paul Flanagan shows that with the recent increase, the sector will still have suffered a funding cut of 17 per cent relative to 2015.
Focusing on the law and justice sector also overlooks organisations specifically tasked with addressing corruption. Most of the 13 organisations making up the sector – including the Department of Justice and Attorney General, Royal PNG Constabulary, Department of Defence, National Judiciary Services and Correctional Institute Services – are not primarily anti-corruption agencies, although they do help address corruption. In this blog, we home in on what the 2019 budget means for dedicated anti-corruption agencies. We follow up our previous analysis (see here and here) by examining the 2019 allocations for the Ombudsman Commission, the National Fraud and Anti-corruption Directorate, Taskforce Sweep (and its replacement: the proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption), the Auditor-General’s Office, and the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (previously known as the Financial Intelligence Unit). We also include funding for PNG’s relatively new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
This blog draws from analysis that tracks budget allocations and spending for each of these organisations since 2008 (available here).
First, the good news. The government allocated the one anti-corruption organisation included in the 13 agencies that make up the law and justice sector, the Ombudsman Commission, an additional 23 …read more