More government agencies join fight against corruption

Apr 4, 2018

Ms Tracy Vienings (centre), UNDP Deputy Resident Representative speaking of UNDPs support during the expansion of the Phones Against Corruption project. With her is Dr Ken Ngangan (L), Secretary for Finance and Tess Wingi (R), Office of PM & NEC. © Serahpina Aupong/UNDP

Port Moresby, 4 April 2018The award winning anti-corruption initiative by the Department of Finance and United Nations Development Programme, ‘Phones Against Corruption’, is expanding to include 44 government agencies.

While the abuse of public trust for individual benefit is generally seen as inappropriate, most citizens in PNG do not know where and how to denounce corruption and often fear violent retribution.  In line with the Government’s commitment to address corruption, a safe, effective and anonymous system to report concerns relating to acts and incidents amounting to corruption is an important step forward to supporting the bigger interventions through machanisims such as the proposed Independent Commission Againt Corruption.

In 2014, the Department of Finance and UNDP trialed the ‘Phones Against Corruption’ initiative,  an SMS based reporting mechanism that allowed users to anonymously report corrupt activities

So far it has helped uncover over 500 cases:

  • Over 70 are in various stages of investigation
  • 10 have been completed
  • 5 are before the courts
  • 2 resulted in convictions

The ‘Phones Against Corruption’ concept uses free-of-charge text messages to the Digicel number ‘16321’. The identity of the user is protected as the mobile numbers are encrypted and only the report is sent to the Department of Finance, therefore guaranteeing full anonymity to concerned people reporting cases.

The project has won international and national recognition as an innovative and inspiring anti-corruption mechanism. In 2016 it won the global ‘Best Citizen Engagement’ award by GovInsider Innovation Awards and last year it was recognized by Transparency International PNG an “Intergrity Initiaitve of Excellence.”

Today (Wednesday 4 April) the Department of Finance launched the rollout of the project to include 14 provincial governments and 30 national government agencies.

Secretary of the Department of Finance, Dr. Ken Ngangan, said: “The Phones Against Corruption is an initiative of my Department as we are serious about curbing corruption within the finance management sector and we will take strict action in compliance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The expansion to include 44 State agencies is a considerable undertaking by my department but we are determined to continue upholding good finance management practices and good governance as per the PFMA. I am pleased that these deparments share our commitement to do this by joing this initiative”.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Tracy Vienings said: “UNDP is proud to be involved with this bold and innovative approach to ensure vital services reach the people. Promoting good governance, upholding the rule of law and combating corrupton are key features of the work of UNDP. We will continue to support Government partners on this and support their efforts to deliver projects that contribute to real improvements in people’s lives and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The ‘Phones Against Corruption’ is an initiative under trhe the Department of Finance and UNDP Provincial Capacity Building and Enhancement Programme (PCaB). It is supported through the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Anti Corruption for Peaceful and Inclusive Societies (ACPIS).

Contact information

Serahphina Aupong, UNDP Communications Officer, serahphina.aupong@undp.org, +675 7324 8724

Tom Tiki, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Internal Audit & Compliance Division, Department of Finance, Email : tom_tiki@finance.gov.pg, +675 7185 6569

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Papua New Guinea 
Go to UNDP Global