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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.

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.

DPM Transfers Final HR Powers To ABG Public Service

Department of Personnel Management today (4th August) transferred full HR powers & functions to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville’s Public Service. The transfer of full powers by the Department of Personnel Management to the ABG Public Service was done during a momentous ceremony held in Buka.

Public Service Minister Hon. Joe Sungi and DPM Secretary Ms Taies Sansan were in Buka to do the formal handover over the final HR powers to the ABG Public Service at a small but very significant ceremony.

Public Service Minister Hon. Joe Sungi in his keynote address acknowledged the tremendous work by his predecessor leaders (PS Ministers & Secretaries) who began the process and brought it this far.

The Public Service Ministry began its support to the Bougainville Government since 2012, assisting the Bougainville Public Service from its transitional stages to the creation of the Public Service proper.

“I am pleased that through our cooperative working relationship as mandated under the Bougainville Peace Agreement 2001, we have achieved a lot beginning with the creation of the Bougainville Public Service Structure and key human resource management policies, guidelines and processes.

 There remains more work to be done in improving our human resource management practices in both the Bougainville Public Service & the National Public Service and my ministry through DPM is keen in assisting the Bougainville Public Service and the Autonomous Government as a whole”. I acknowledge the key achievements resulting in the establishment of the Bougainville Public Service by the Ministry and my department, which includes:

1. Successful transfer of Public Service Functions & Powers to the ABG & Enactment of the Bougainville Public Service Management & Administration Act-2014. This resulted in the absorption of the Public Service Powers and functions to the ABG Public Service.

2. Development of ABG Leaders Pay & Salary Grade structure for the Bougainville Public Service.

3. The Design, documentation, costing and implementation of the ABG Public Service Organization Structures for 14 Departments.

4. The launch and operationalization of the Bougainville Ascender Payroll.

5. Development of the ABG Public Service Management & Administrative Act 2014.

6. Provision of General Technical Advice to the ABG Department of Personnel Management & Administrative Services through DPM’s ABG Desk.

7. Development and Signing of the Unified Overarching Memorandum of Understanding by the Minister for Public Service.

8. The Overarching Memorandum of Understanding on the Drawdown of Powers & Functions 2017

9. Creation of the Bougainville Referendum Commission and Implementation of the BRC Structure and Remuneration for BRC Commissioners.

10. Appointment of National Government Nominee to the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee.

11. Reviewed Pay & Salary Grades structure for 2017 – 2019 for the Bougainville Public Service and Implementation of the Flow on of the 3% CPI Salary increase for 2017 – 2019.

12. The Implementation of the Sharp Agreement 2021 resulting in the full transfer of powers and functions to ABG, which we witness today.

“On this occasion, which we witness today, the full transfer of powers and functions to the Bougainville Public Service is a another milestone achieved for Bougainville Public Service. However, it comes with its own responsibilities which we must take heed of”.

DPM Secretary Ms Sansan prior to handing over the Instrument of transfer of powers with the remaining powers also echoed the Ministers statements and said, DPM will be available to share knowledge and experience with the ABG Public Service.

Secretary Sansan said, the Instrument of Transfer of Powers was signed off in 2012 when 7 powers were transferred then. They were; creation of offices, Contract of employment, salaries & allowances, recruitment, in-country training, resignations and miscellaneous.

The final remaining powers which were handed over to mark the full powers being handed over are; issuance of file numbers, compliance of offline payments, retirement & retrenchment and overseas training & scholarship.

“We are also looking to assist in helping you to create enabling laws and to support other activities that will come on board. We are here ready to support you”.

Ms Sansan highlighted the need for the ABG Public Service to look at the creation of a similar institution like the Public Service Commission.

LJS Launch Work Place Sexual Harassment Brochure & Poster

The Law and Justice (LJ) Gender Equity, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Community of Practice have launched its Workplace Sexual Harassment Brochure and Poster to build awareness and bring more attention to the issue of workplace sexual harassment (WSH) and the impacts it has on staff and respective agencies as a whole.

Before launching the brochure and poster Attorney General and Secretary for Department of Justice and Attorney General Dr Eric Kwa challenged the audience about how they can deal with workplace sexual harassment perpetrators in their respective homes where it matters the most.

Dr Kwa added that according to Papua New Guinean Law, Sexual Harassment is an offence & a criminal behavior.

“Sexual Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue in PNG, my country Australia and across the world,” said Counsel Michael McKenzie of the Australian High Commission

Sexual harassment can have very serious consequences on the victim and the broader workplace because it impacts the victims’ mental health which can create a hostile and unpleasant workplace and it can eventually impact on the productivity of an organization.

Sexual harassment is not only rape or sexual assault, it includes indecent exposure, wolf whistling and any other unwanted behavior that makes someone feel uncomfortable, intimidated or humiliated.

Mr. McKenzie added that the WSH Brochure and posters had been developed by the LJS GEDSI COP following the workplace sexual harassment training delivered to the COP in 2018. Since this training, a number of COP members have been working on developing WSH policies within their organization.

The LJS has recognized the support of the Department of Personnel Management who is also the custodian of the National GESI Policy and the Australian Government for their support as well.

PM MARAPE LAUNCHES HR DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN 2020-2050

“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.

PILAG Course To Be Mandatory

Public Service Minister Hon. Joe Sungi said, it will now become mandatory for graduates to have a certificate of public service management from the Pacific Institute of Leadership & Governance as an entry requirement into the public service.

Speaking during PILAG’s 3rd graduation on the 2nd of July Minister Sungi told the graduates that under the newly launched long term plan – the Human Resource Development Plan 2020-2050 will now guide the entry into and exit from the public service.

The Public Service Minister announced that it will now become mandatory that public servants must undergo a certificate course at PILAG to gain employment in the public service. He further stated that executive appointments of Departmental heads, CEO’s, MD’s of line government agencies must now attain a Diploma in Management from PILAG to be eligible for appointment to an executive position. “We will modernise the public service so graduates must put the public service as their employer of choice.

Others will be convinced by seeing you. If you can shine out when you return to your respective organisations, others will be attracted to take up a career in the public service”. 

Minister Sungi encouraged the graduates to be the agents of change when they return to their respective organisations. Addressing the graduation Minister Sungi said, the public Service desperately needs public servants who are competent and committed.

The Public Service Minister told the graduate that he was adopting the two C’s from Prime Minister Hon. James Marape when he delivered the keynote address at the launch of the long term plan for the public service – the HRDSP 2020-2050. The Minister said, the two C’s that he wanted to share with the graduates is to be competent and committed.

“You are now going to be graduating from these courses and building your competency level which is skill enhancement. So when you go out you have all the credentials, knowledge and skills to be able to rise up and perform better. You are now competent. Competency is everything – punctuality, responsibility and being proactive. You should not wait for your boss to tell you what to do. You do it yourself by taking responsibility”.

The Public Service Minister also reiterated that commitment is one of the biggest issues in the public service. “We have a real big problem in this country and that is we are not committed. You have to be committed to the call to become a public servant”.

Minister Sungi in his encouragement message to the graduates told them that they need to show that commitment to others. Minister Sungi also took time to thank donors and SP Brewery Foundation for the support they have accorded to the institution over the years.

Secretary Ms Taies Sansan who addressed the graduation in her capacity as the interim chair of the PILAG board also congratulated the graduates and acknowledged the contributions of donors such as the Australian government. Ms Sansan also acknowledged former DPM Secretary’s and Ministers who had a hand in contributing towards PILAG’s achievements.

PILAG CEO Michael Barobe in addressing the graduation also acknowledged the contributions of the Australian government towards infrastructure support for the institution. Mr Barobe thanked the graduates for being role models and abiding by the institutions rules and principles.

Mr Barobe said, future students to the institute will abide by the institutions rules as the example has been set by the current graduates. The 3rd PILAG graduation after its change of name saw 247 students graduating from 10 different courses ranging from certificate and diploma courses. 90 percent of the graduates are public servants while the rest were from the private sector.

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’.

DPM goes virtual

Department of Personnel Management will now be using an online application as a new working tool that will enable working remotely and working under the new normal protocols in light of covid-19.

The Management Information Service team of the Department created the app called Google Teams – as the Department endeavors to find innovative practices of conducting business internally and with other government agencies under the new normal.

DPM Secretary Ms. Taies Sansan said, in light of the challenges faced by Public Servants during this covid-19 period the need to be innovative and find new ways of working that can help prevent the spread of the virus is critical.

“As a lead government agency – I have insisted on the use of such working tools by my Department and I am glad this app can be used by DPM staff for meetings and workshops that requires more than 10 people to be in one room especially in communicating with the provinces”.

The Department held its Executive Management meeting via this Microsoft Google Application as part of efforts to commence using the application.

“Despite a few technical issues – the executive management meeting was conducted via the use of this app with success”.

Secretary Sansan said, such innovations can be applied by line agencies to ensure the Public Service is adhering to the covid-19 protocols under the government’s National Isolation strategy.

“All that DPM has undertaken is in line with covid-19 protocols and the recent joint Circular Instruction issued by the Department and the office of the Controller which highlighted the need for government business to continue to function and services to continue to be performed by public servants”.

Policies and guidelines for the use of the app by the department are being finalised to guide the use of the app.

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