Monday, February 4, 2008

Papua New Guinea Minister for Environment and Conservation Benny Allen MP Speaks Against Bribery

I read this article today [Monday February 4, 2008] from one of Papua New Guinea's Newspaper [The National] and found it quite interesting. Taking a stand against bribery is very courageous and I would like to commend Benny Allen MP, the Minister for Environment and Conservation for his stand against bribery.

Allen speaks against bribery

A GOVERNMENT Minister has revealed that he had been offered three bribes in his first five months in office by three different foreign companies of which he refused.
“If multinational companies can make inroads to the highest office to solicit their interest, others down the rank should be very careful,” Minister for Environment and Conservation Benny Allen said when calling on the newly sworn in members of the Environment Council to be wary of such unscrupulous approaches.
Mr Allen was using his experience to point out to the newly appointed members of the council for the need of transparency and for the members to practice professionalism and maintain a high degree of independence.
He called on the council members to help him build up the department together.
“I would not accept the bribes offered because I did not apply to be a minister of Parliament and a minister subsequently,” Mr Allen said.
“I did not have the qualification, however, the people have the trust in me and put me there. I made the decision for the good of the people, the children of this land and the country.”
When pressed about the bribe, Mr Allen without disclosing much detail, said the three firms were investors who wanted to go into business through shortcuts.
“Sorry, I will not accept what you are offering,” was what he told the investors.
He said he wanted to operate with principle.
“I am appealing to all staff of the department to do the same,” he urged.
The Department of Environment and Conservation issues environmental permit licences to developers engaged in developmental projects on both the land and sea. [The National Newspaper, February 4, 2008]