Passage of PNG associations legislation to improve governance, transparency—PSDI
PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (17 January 2023)—The enactment of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Associations Incorporation Act 2023 will help bring the country into line with modern anti-money laundering (AML) standards while improving the governance and transparency of incorporated associations, the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) says.
The Associations Incorporation Act 2023, passed by PNG Parliament on 11 January 2023, replaces the PNG Associations Incorporation Act 1966—the law which enables incorporated associations, a common legal entity in PNG for collective economic action, charities, and other not-for-profit activities.
“The new Associations Incorporation Act will ensure associations in PNG function in the best interests of their members and abide by their intended purposes,” PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) Managing Director Clarence Hoot said. “The IPA is pleased to see the Act passed, and thanks PSDI for its support to date.”
The Act helps bring PNG into line with its international obligations regarding AML/combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), capitalizes on the implementation of PNG’s newly-upgraded online registry, and enhances incorporated association governance requirements.
This includes clearer internal rules on accounting records, financial and statutory reporting, and the responsibilities of committee members and public officers.
The Act also establishes two association categories to better capture the reasons for incorporation: 1) Public Benefit Associations, such as charitable or faith-based bodies; and 2) Mutual Benefit Associations, such as community groups.
The Associations Incorporation Act 2023 was passed with significant PSDI legal and technical support to IPA. PSDI is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.
PSDI’s support included review of the former Act and the drafting of the new Act, which will be implemented using IPA’s new online registry.
“ADB welcomes the passage of the Associations Incorporation Act 2023, which demonstrates the Government of PNG’s support for good governance and accountability across all sectors,” ADB Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office Officer in Charge Matt Hodge said.
The new Act requires all incorporated associations in PNG to re-register with IPA within 12 months of commencement, allowing for the collection of updated information. PSDI will continue to work with IPA on the Act’s implementation.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.