Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has thanked all Members of Parliament for their overwhelming support towards the Organic Law on the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).
He said this after Parliament voted 98-0 in favour of ICAC on Wednesday, with one more vote in the August session of Parliament before it becomes law.
|Parliament voting for ICAC on Wednesday|
Prime Minister Marape said he had promised the Nation on May 30, 2019, after taking office, that his Government would change laws for the betterment of the country going forward.
He said ICAC had been talked about since 1997 with little to no progress in making it become law.
“Things do not happen overnight without political will,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“The last Peter O’Neill-led Government progressed it to some level, but had no courage to put the finishing touches and carry it into Parliament.
“I thank all leaders and Attorney-Generals of the past, and public servants, of trying to progress ICAC but to no avail until today.
“Today, I thank all MPs including Hon. Dr Allan Marat and Hon. Joseph Lelang on the Opposition, the 15 People’s National Congress MPs, and 81 of us on the Government side who voted in support of the ICAC Bill.
“We have just two more months to go before this Bill is passed as Law.”
Prime Minister Marape stressed that corruption ate away scarce resources meant for development of the country.
“Corruption exists in a sinful world because none of us are perfect,” he said.
“This ICAC institution we are building will be a one-stop shop dealing with all matters pertaining to corruption.
“When operated with our recently-passed Whistle Blowers’ Act, Proceeds of Crime Act, Criminal Code Act and others we have, ICAC will become a beacon of hope in a nation so swamped with real and perceived corruption.
“Once set up, we will fill ICAC with qualified commissioners mostly recruited from overseas, so that we avoid local bias at the leadership level of this institution.”
Prime Minister Marape said the overwhelming support of ICAC should prove to his critics that “I don’t just talk, I can deliver too”.
“The life of our Government is not just about building infrastructure, but also putting in place policies and laws for the good of our country,” he said.
“Keep watching – my Government will be passing game-changing laws for our country such as this.
“ICAC law will save huge resources squandered and wasted through corruption.”