PM Marape: Former Attorney-General delayed ICAC Bill
Approved for Release
Thursday January 21st 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says former Attorney-General and Deputy Prime Minister Steven Davis delayed the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Bill.
He said this in response to a statement by Davis that “several conflicting instructions for amendments from the PMJM nearly derailed the ICAC law and at one stage it was almost withdrawn”.
Prime Minister Marape said Papua New Guineans should also not forget that just a day after passage of the ICAC Bill, last November 12th, Davis jumped ship to the Opposition.
“Davis should know I am the driver of this ICAC and reforms on ICAC,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“He, as Attorney-General, delayed this bill because he could not spend quality time on this important matter until I put him on notice.
“We finally have it done and the new Justice Minister, Hon. Bryan Kramer, is tasked to get it operationalised as soon as possible.
“I asked Davis to do amendments to ensure commissioners are overseas-based people, and not local Papua New Guineans, which he failed to do and the new minister will do.
“Many prime ministers of the past just talked on ICAC, however, we delivered this into law and now we will set it up in our efforts to fight corruption.
“I want to be known as the Prime Minister who delivered and set up ICAC to fight corruption in our country.
“If Davis is serious about fighting corruption, perhaps he can explain to the people of PNG as to why he joined Opposition just one day after passage of ICAC Bill, than remain in my Government as Attorney-General and implement it.”
Prime Minister Marape said both ICAC and the Ombudsman Commission would be involved in the fight against corruption.
“Last week, I summoned both ICAC and Ombudsman in the presence of Justice Minister Kramer and Secretary Dr Eric Kwa to ensure both ICAC and Ombudsman are ‘twin towers’ in fighting corruption and ensuring good governance,” he said.
“I will amend further the ‘light work’ Steven did on the Whistle Blowers Act we passed last year to ensure it fully protects all witness who report and assist prosecute corruption.
“We will continue along this path to augment the Proceeds of Crime Act, as well as do an Undisclosed Wealth Act.”
Hon. JAMES MARAPE, MP