Author: Denyse Ealedona

DPM Creates Database

A database has been created to be used for all information of public servants who are intending to contest the 2022 General Elections.

A presentation on the database was made to Secretary Ms Taies Sansan by members of the Technical Working Group. The database will hold information about all public servants who resign to contest the 2022 General Elections to ensure Department of Personnel Management has the information of all public servants who will be resigning to contest the elections.

The database will be a system to monitor and keep track of public servants and government agency heads who intends to contest the  upcoming General Elections. The NGECD system keeps personal files of all candidates who have resigned to participate in the General Elections.

All records are treated with confidentiality and stored in the system’s database for data reference in terms of reporting to Secretary Department of Personnel Management and for other relevant stakeholders. The database will be administered and managed by the DPM 2022 National General Elections

Technical Working Group. The TWG is being headed by the Acting Deputy Secretary Policy Mr Elison Kalimet. The TWG also  includes representatives from the Electoral Commission, Finance & Treasury and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates.

DPM Acknowledge BPNG GESI Efforts

The Executive Manager GESI Whole of Government Mr. Emmanuel Ginis has acknowledged the efforts taken by the Bank of Papua New Guinea to hold its Gender Equity & Social Inclusion Forum.

Mr Ginis made these comments when  he rose to comment during discussion sessions at the BPNG Forum held at APEC haus on the 1st of September.

Mr Ginis congratulated BPNG for the step that they have taken to ensure that they have their GESI desk and Focal points in the organisation. He said, it is not an easy task and comes with its challenges but to have taken the steps to have GESI as part of the organisation is worth acknowledging.

The BPNG GESI forum themed “Pathway To Safety” had various stakeholder partners from non- government organisations, civil society and government agencies who participated in the forum.

All partners were given the opportunity to share their experiences during the forum. DPM as custodians of the GESI policy has been in close consultation with BPNG since 2019 assisting them to deliver GESI sensitization and mainstreaming training in 2020.

Secretary Mulls Over Performance

Secretary Ms. Taies Sansan has stressed the need for training for public servants as a way forward for the future cadre of public servants. Speaking at the launch of the Pacific Institute of Leadership & Governance Public Sector Training Policy in her capacity as the interim chair of the board, she highlighted that the changes that have evolved over time in the public service had to be addressed hence the training policy. 

Secretary Sansan said, serving in the public service is a well-regarded and privileged role. She said, individuals were paid to carry out services for and on behalf of the general public.  Secretary Sansan expressed concerns over what she described as a decline in the performance of public servants.

“As custodians, it is expected that we display commitment, dedication and ethics in our conduct. Some 40-plus years since independence, it is unfortunate that many public servants can no longer conform to what is expected of them in terms of performance.  For those of us who can still recall seeing the type of commitment and dedication that public servants displayed in the years after independence, it should make us wonder where all those qualities disappeared to.  Public servants in offices observed and obeyed the lines of authority. They did not chew betel nut or smoke in offices.  Primary school teachers and rural health workers even in rural areas were well-dressed and stayed in their work areas during the official hours. What has happened to such commitments?”

The type of work ethics, adherence to authority and feeling of responsibility that were prevalent in the 70s, 80s & 90s gradually evaporated over the last two to three decades. 

There are many reasons that could adequately explain the reasons why such changes happened.  Successive National Governments over time were aware of these changes and attempts were made to address some of the challenges and problems, while positive developments at the same time were encouraged.

Ms. Sansan said, it was for these reasons that the Department of Personnel Management with the leadership of Minister, Hon. Joe Sungi and former Ministers of Public Service, developed a 30-Year Long term Public Service Human Resource Development Strategic Plan 2020-2050, which was launched by the Prime Minister in June, which aims to address some of these public service issues, and to lift the level of professionalism across the entire Public Service. 

Ms. Sansan  in her remarks also highlighted the changes  the institution has undergone from its beginnings and name change to where it is at present. She said, when the process of state building seemed an impossible task the institution was already established as a unique place in the history of Papua New Guinea and was established as one of the cornerstones to shape the future of the country.

Public Service Minister Hon. Joe Sungi launches PILAG Public Sector Training Policy

The Minister for Public Service Hon. Joe Sungi launched the PILAG Public Sector Training Policy on Friday 27th August. The Public Sector Training Policy was endorsed by the National Executive Council early this year.

Minister Sungi in launching the policy reiterated that the policy is aligned to the Public Service long term plan launched in June this year, which requires public servants to be inducted into the public service by undergoing compulsory training at PILAG.

“This policy is intended to advance the government’s plans and desire to make the entire public service machinery appropriately functional through systematic training and recruitment that ensures merit-based appointments to public service positions”.

Minister Sungi said, the policy is consistent and compliments the Human Resource Development Strategic Plan 2020-2050. One of the important aspects of the policy is that the process for training for recruitment into the civil service becomes mandatory.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are a graduate lawyer or a graduate medical doctor, you must undergo this training. You must know the public service system before you get into a public service position”. In turn the effect of this will see merit-based appointments, thus instilling efficiency and confidence throughout the entire spectrum of the public service delivery.

The policy aims to fulfil a number of key policy objectives; It will enable consistency in public service workforce development. It will enable effectiveness and efficiency of PILAG functions. Fosters wider PILAG reach and presence in all tiers of the government, enhances systematic grooming of ethical and value based, strong, future ready public service leaders. promotes whole of government arrangement for cost performance and concerted investment in practical training as the pillar of the future economy, jobs and skills.

Encourages long term qualifications under the precinct arrangement, for example, UPNG PILAG Bachelor of Business Management (HR Business Process) It is therefore incumbent upon every state agency to take up the challenge in expediting this policy through close cooperation and collaboration with the 2 primary implementing organs – DPM & PILAG – with strict adherence to the policy requirements reflected in the NEC decision that endorsed this very policy.

In the first instance, appropriate provisions of the public service general orders must be revisited to accommodate and reflect the policy requirements.

That onus lies with the Department of Personnel Management. I would like to reiterate that the Marape/Basil government has placed greater emphasis towards making sure that Public Sector reforms are amongst its priorities.

This acknowledgement is evident from the NEC endorsement of this training policy for public sector performance and a heightened sense of commitment towards reforming the public service. Let me assure you all that as the Public Service Minister, I will continue to provide you with the support required to ensure the objectives of this policy is achieved.

“I urge all line agencies, provincial administrations, provincial health authorities and district authorities to ensure that the policy requirements are complied with as part of the government’s desire to improve the public sector performance through the implementation of this policy. I hope that this training policy will go a long way to guide the Institute to provide the training and guidance that public servants will need to create future cadre of public servants”.

Parliament Pass Amendments To PSMA Act

Parliament has passed amendments to section 55 of the Public Service (Management Act) 1995 that will now see changes to the time period required for public servants wishing to contest the General Elections to tender their resignation and the time period for unsuccessful candidates to re-apply and re-enter the public service.

Public Service Minister Hon. Joe Sungi in presenting the bill to parliament contended that the amendments were part of reforms in the administrative sector to review the public service Act.

“The Government believes that we needed to draw the line so that the public service can operate on its own without the interference of those public servants who wish to contest the General Elections noting from past experiences that those who contested the elections and were unsuccessful and returned to the public service have always caused instability”.

The Public Service Minister stated that because of these issues, the National Executive Council approved the amendment to the Public Service (Management) Act on this particular issue. Minister Sungi told parliament that the amendments will clearly identify and set the course of our public servants in their line of duty and that is to serve the state with full commitment.

Parliament passed the amendment with an overwhelming 81 MP’s voting in favour of the bill. Previously, public servants had to resign 6 months prior to the date of issue  of writs.

There were no restrictions to re-engagement into the Public Service except to follow the normal recruitment process. The amendments will now see public servants who wish to contest the General Elections resign 12 months prior to the date of issue of writs.

The amendments will also see public servants who were unsuccessful not allowed back into the Public Service until after a period of 5 years from the General Elections they contested in.

The amendments relating to resignation will take effect prior to the 2027 General Elections while the amendments relating to unsuccessful candidates who wish to re—enter the public service will take effect immediately after the 2022 General Elections.

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