Author: Martha Dege


“Generations of underprivileged Papua New Guineans who look to public servants and politicians for positive influence in the country leave without fulfilling dreams, hopes and aspirations because you and me are underperforming in the designations we occupy from the chair of the Prime Minister down to all designations in our public service structure,” said Prime Minister James Marape when he officially launched the Human Resource Development Strategic Plan 2020-2050.

This 30-year policy framework will involve building a new cadre of public servants. Entry into the public service will require graduates to undergo compulsory training which will be conducted at the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance before being inducted into the public service.

In her welcome remarks, Secretary for Department of Personnel Management Taies Sansan, said that this policy framework will go down in history as the first ever long term roadmap for the public service in the country since the launch of the PNG Vision 2050 in 2009.

“Public Service was the missing link (in PNG Vision 2050) and we have realized that public service was mainly operating on adhoc plans and policies based on the government of the day’s directions through accords and communiqués.

This has made it difficult to really implement the restructuring of the public service to meet government’s expectations and our people’s expectations,” said Secretary Sansan.

Minister for Public Service Hon. Joe Sungi said that most politicians and senior public servants are more focused on Finance Managers in their respective organizations and most times they forget the Human Resource Managers.

Minister Sungi emphasized that those graduates who decide to join the public service must do so as a career of choice and not as second option employment.

Prime Minister Marape added that public service is a place to deliver to our country, however, the present systems, procedures and processes are obsolete after 46 years on. They require reformation and innovation.

“This plan is now focused on how we can ensure we empower our human resources so that they become agents of change in our society,” said PM Marape.

Chair of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reforms and Governor for Oro Hon. Gary Juffa challenged the government to be a competitive employer so that public servants can, not only be employed in the private sector, but abroad as well because we are global citizen.

This long term plan will demand for a well-trained, responsive workforce capable of meeting tomorrow’s challenges; improving the quality of work for delivery of effective and efficient services. It is for this reason that the need to build capacity is paramount as it sets the parameters within which the new intake of public servants will be guided towards being inducted into the public service.

Whole of Government Retirement Info Session

Department of Personnel Management in conjunction with the Department of Treasury are conducting a 2 day Information session for all line government agencies.

The 2 day workshop which attracted over three hundred participants was opened today (22nd June) by the Secretary for Department of Personnel Management Ms Taies Sansan.

The 2021 Whole of Government Retirement Briefing session commenced today attracting over three hundred participants from national agencies and from provincial administrations and other agencies from throughout the country.

There were various speakers from DPM, Treasury and Nambawan Super who made presentations on the various topics relating to retirement.

DPM working in collaboration with the Treasury team under the Organizational Staffing & Personnel Emoluments Audit Committee (OSPEAC) organized the 2 day Whole of Government Information Session for all national agencies.

In welcoming the participants, DPM Secretary Ms Sansan said, they have taken a different approach to hosting the Retirement Information sessions for this year.

Ms Sansan said, previously the information sessions were hosted for retirees, however this year a different approach has been taken.

‘This we believe will go a long way to help respective agencies to put together their own exit strategies for their respective officers’.

‘The retirement exercise is a key government directive which dates back to 2016 when NEC made a decision to carry out the retirement exercise but due to lack of commitment by government to meet its obligation to provide funding – the retirement exercise was not honored until 2019’.

Department of Personnel Management was directed to coordinate the Public Sector retirement program following an NEC decision in 2017. In 2019, NEC then directed the development of a Whole of Government Retirement Policy.

Under the Public Service Management Act and the General Orders, heads of agencies are required to manage annual staff retirement plans. This includes identifying those who have either reached the compulsory retirement age of 65years or those who opt to be retired on medical grounds. Respective agencies are supposed to have the cost of retiring these officers included in their respective Personnel Emolument Budgets. Agencies must plan ahead for their staff who will be reaching the retirement age to ensure it is captured in their respective budgets prior to the retirement year.

Last year, there were 2,150 identified retirees to be retired at a cost of K430 million. However due to funding allocation of only K28million, only 467 retirees were retired and paid out. So those who have missed out in 2020 will be added to the 2021 retirement list and we have communicated with Department of Treasury to assist with this exercise.

With the new approach to implement the retirement strategy – the onus is now on respective line agencies to take on the responsibility of having in place their own respective exit strategies to cater for those within your respective agencies who have reached the compulsory retirement age.

The need to have respective agencies deal with their own retirement staffing matters is made easier if this responsibility is being undertaken internally.

’I hope you will all learn as much as you can during this information session to grasp the process and procedures to administer and implement retirement exercise, the retirement payment methods and the exit plans for public servants.This will enable you to go back and conduct your own assessments on retirement for your respective organizations on retirement.

Following the circular instruction issued by my department last week – I hope you have all come prepared with copies of your respective exit plans/strategy including names of officers who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years and over.

I wish you all the best throughout the 2 days of this information session and hope that you will go away and be able to confidently conduct your internal exit strategies that will contribute towards the whole of government’s retirement strategy’.

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