As the government proceeds with preparation for negotiating the Wafi Golpu project, the Woodlark and Kainantu Gold Mines MOA reviews and other projects in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see how these negotiations take place and how agreements are entered into.

Head of National Secretariat Lucas Alkan made the remarks following the government’s recent announcement in the media about the upcoming project MOA reviews.

“In these project development process, transparency mechanisms must be considered and built into these project agreements and the MOA reviews,” Alkan said.

Alkan said that the Government’s commitment to implementing EITI will not increase transparency overnight, however, it will assist the government to manage the extractive sector in a more inclusive and transparent manner.

He added that highlighting transparency will also assist in minimising public speculations and distrust towards the government.

“The EITI framework works to assist in bringing various sectors of the economy together and builds trust amongst them and creates a platform for these issues to be discussed so that solutions could be found together for better management of the sector.

Now that PNG is an EITI implementing country, the Government should not lose traction on EITI implementation. It stands to gain from implementing EITI because of the potential governance gains associated with it.

Alkan said that PNG still has a lot of work to do when it comes to citizen engagement.

“According to the World Bank’s World Governance Index 2018 edition, PNG scored very low on the “voice and accountability” indicator which indicates weak performance,” he said.

“As an EITI implementing country, mining and petroleum impacted communities and civil societies have a platform to access information and constructively engage with companies and the government on resource governance issues,” Alkan said.

File photo: Members of the PNGEITI and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) with (centre) Huon Gulf Open MP Hon. Ross Seymour, in 2018. After an outreach information session conducted for the stakeholders of the Wafi-Golpu project. The outreach was conducted by PNGEITI in preparation for MRA Mining Development Forum which was held later in the same year.

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