Tuesday 25 October 2022

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has reiterated his call for the public service to perform to its fullest potential, adding, “this starts with good systems of governance.’

 When addressing the PNG Update forum at the University of Papua New Guinea on 20 October 2022, Mr Marape said, “For too long, we have been saying that our Public Service must be leaner, our Public Sector payroll consumes a quarter of our National Budget, our delivery systems must become more effective and efficient.”

Mr Marape has urged the bureaucracy to sustain and build on the work that the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform has started to achieve these reforms.

The SPC on Public Sector Reform has embarked on reviewing payroll integrity and human resource management in the public service.

Mr Marape however said in order to achieve reforms in public service, appointments of heads of government departments and other government entities must be based on merit.

“We must promote those with leadership skills and undertake merit-based appointments to ensure that only the most capable and qualified are appointed to senior roles and this may require reform to our existing selection and appointment processes,” he said.

While commenting on the provincial government system in the country, Mr Marape said, Papua New Guinea has a unique system of Government.

“As a National Government, we must work with our provinces to build the potential they have to invest and grow and the fact is that the more we take back from our resources, the more that we can fairly and equitably distribute to our people.”

He urged the provincial governors  to take the  lead and  demonstrate their ability to generate revenue and sustain services, and in this way the government  can  help them develop and grow the local economy.

Mr Marape further stated that one of the most-significant issues that will face the Government during the term of the 11th Parliament is the long-term future of Bougainville, and finding a lasting solution to maintain peace. 

“As we all know, the Referendum which was conducted in 2019 resulted in a 97.7 per cent vote for independence and we must respect the Referendum and the result as it was mandated by our National Constitution.” 

He however added  that the Referendum was non-binding, and the final decision-making authority on any future arrangements – whether that be independence, continued autonomy or any other arrangement – is vested in the National Parliament.

“I have said we must continue to consult – both with the Bougainville Government and the people of our nation and we will consult on a nationwide basis, whilst continuing to engage in meaningful political dialogue and honouring the commitments we have made through the Era Kone Covenant on the Finalisation of the Bougainville Referendum.

“This includes ensuring that the Referendum results are tabled in the 11th Parliament, that the two Governments jointly brief the House on the role that it must play, and that a decision on a final political settlement takes place by no later than 2025.”