CORRUPTION and maladministration has held back both the country’s public and private sectors stifling economic development, a researcher says.
Visiting economics lecturer from Australia National University, Andrew Mako, says there is a “toxic mix of bad governance” and the “Melanesian” way of doing things around allocation of resources, especially through the “big men” system in politics, public administration and in business which were among the main causes of Papua New Guinea’s lackluster and even development.
He added that the rural majority were hardest hit by such corruption and mismanagement in state departments, provincial governments and agencies.
Mako said Members of Parliament had concentrated powers to themselves, especially through development funding allocations such the district services improvement programme (DSIP), which diluted their primary role as legislators in parliament.
He said although the country started well after independence, corruption and mismanagement of public funds was contributing to a deteriorating social and economic environment in PNG.
“Our leaders continue to devolve funding without demand for transparency and accountability,” he said. This is a crucial going forward because now the Government plans to allocate K2 billion annually for the next five years to the provinces and districts, and that money would be controlled by MPs.
“Building the human capital is an important requirement for development,” Mako said.
“Smart investments talked about in forums and summits will not go far, if we do not have smart population.”