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DEPUTIES SIGN CONTRACTS

Four senior executives from the Department of Personnel Management signed their contracts last week.

Deputy Secretary Executive Resourcing Services Mr Vele Ravugamini has been confirmed to his position after being in the position in an Acting capacity since 2018. He signed his contract for 3 years. 

Director Corporate Affairs & Capacity Building Mr Michael Moke also signed his contract for 3 years.

Two senior officers Mr Elison Kalimet and Ms Roselyn Rakuavia have been elevated as Acting Deputy Secretaries respectively whilst the two positions will be re-advertised.

Mr Kalimet takes on the role of Acting Deputy Secretary Policy & Reforms while Ms Rakuavia is the Acting Deputy HR Advisory & Compliance. Both deputies will act in their respective positions for a duration of 3 months and their performance will be assessed accordingly. 

Department Secretary Taies Sansan says she looks forward to working with the deputies following the signing of their contracts and Key Result Areas.

“Your contracts are performance based and now that you have signed them – please work towards achieving the Key Result Areas in your contracts” Ms Sansan urged them to provide the leadership and guidance required in their respective wings to ensure there is a cascading effect of their respective KRA’s to all officers within their respective divisions and branches.

“This year has been a challenging year with the covid-19 pandemic but as the country slowly finds ways to deal with the pandemic under the new normal – it is incumbent on you all as senior executives of this department to embrace the changes and work towards executing them. Importantly, let’s all work together to ensure we implement the major Public Sector reforms of the Department and the Government. That is critical and it is important that we achieve this under the Departments Corporate Plan”.

GOVERNMENT HONORS COMITTMENT TO PAY OUT PUBLIC SERVANTS

The Government has honored its commitment to pay out a total of 481 Public Servants through the Public Service retirement exercise.

Public Service Minister Soroi Eoe confirmed that the government through Treasury has released K28.4 million in October to retire these Public Servants who have reached compulsory retirement age and others who being retired on medical grounds. The Public Service Minister said as a result of the retirement exercise the government will be saving K14m when it retires the 481 Public Servants by the end of this year.

Minister Eoe says, K430m was allocated in the 2020 Budget to retire 2,150 compulsory retirees who are over the age of 65 years. From this a total of 481 Public Servants from 10 agencies were confirmed and validated for payout.

Mr. Eoe explained that from the K28.4m, K16.5 has been paid to the Department of Personnel Management who will facilitate payments for the identified line agencies with K11.9 million transferred to Police for the constabulary to facilitate paying out its 132 retirees.

Department of Personnel Management is now working on batch 2 for 2020 and have validated a further 138 requests which will cost K7.6m. This has been submitted to Treasury. The balance of K401.6 million is being looked at for re-appropriation in the 2021 Budget. The 481 Public Servants to be retired include an outstanding of 80 Public Servants from 11 agencies for 2019 and 401 from 10 agencies for 2020.

The break-up of this is as per the table below:

                          AGENCY (2020)TOTAL RETIREES
1Department of Transport6
2Department of Works179
3Hela Provincial Health Authority2
4Morobe Provincial Administration12
5National Cultural Commission15
6National Museum & Art Gallery3
7New Ireland Provincial Health Authority24
8Western Highlands Provincial Administration1
9Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority27
10Department of Police132
                                 
                          AGENCY (2019) 
1Department of Community Development6
2Department of Transport2
3Department of Health 9
4National  Cultural Commission5
5Port Moresby General Hospital27
6Eastern Highlands Provincial Administration1
7Western Provincial Administration1
8Western Provincial Administration3
9Southern Highlands Provincial Administration20
10West New Britain Provincial Administration4
11West New Britain Provincial Health Authority2
 Total 481

“The payout of retirees has been a long outstanding issue but I am pleased that the government is able to pay them out to free up the Governments Ascender Payroll system which will enable saving about K14m in 2021 once the deed of release is signed off by retirees and they are taken off the Payroll and to reprioritize these vacancies for essential services”.

Minister Eoe said, as part of the Public Sector Reforms and the need to control costs in the Public Service Payroll, DPM is doing all it can to clear the Ascender Payroll through the payout of Public Servants who have reached retirement age but have remained on the payroll over the years. “This is a great achievement for the Marape government in its efforts to cut the Public Service wage bill and the commitment this government has made to the Public Sector Reforms on improving and modernizing the public service by honoring this commitment”.

RESHAPING THE PUBLIC SERVICE

“The input we make today must be the correct input that will reshape the course of our country so that in the next 10 years when we look back, our generation has made the greatest impact in reshaping the future of our country. The reshaping of our country starts with reshaping the Public Service”. 

These were the words of Prime Minister James Marape when he opened the 2-day Public Sector Reforms and Cost Control workshop at APEC Haus on the 19th of October. Mr. Marape who has taken an interest in the reforms the Department of Personnel Management has undertaken, spoke of the many challenges the government faces regarding the Public Service and the need for reforms to modernize the public service taking into consideration cost controls.

The Prime Minister in addressing the workshop which had an overwhelming turnout from heads of line agencies, spoke at length about cost control and one of the main issues he stressed is the need for all public servants to be on contract. 

Mr. Marape outlined that the Public Service consumes about 70 percent of the governments cash revenue and called for discussions during the workshop to be around measures that could address costs. 

“Public Servants have a serious responsibility to the nation as we consume 70 percent of the total revenue collected”. He highlighted a number of the challenges that the workshop should deliberate on to stop unnecessary growth and to make the Public Service leaner and flatter.  One of the suggestions he made was for the utilization of the Public Private Partnership and advise how well this can be used. Mr. Marape made the call that after 45 years we need to have a better vision for the Public Service. “Let’s reward performance and discipline lack of performance. 

“I want a Public Service that’s performing”. The Prime Minister said the workshop was timely and that he was glad the conversations are taking place. Among other issues Prime Minister Mr. Marape highlighted redeployment of agency heads into other departments and the independence of the Public Service when it comes to Executive Appointments. 

Public Service Minister Soroi Eoe in his remarks told the workshop that one of the governments priorities is to reform the Public Service to make it efficient, responsive and cost effective. Minister Eoe also highlighted the 6 priority areas of his Ministry and among them is for the creation of a smarter, leaner organization structure removing duplication and inefficiency.  Secretary Taies Sansan in welcoming all line agencies to the workshop told them that the department needed to share with them all the challenges of the Public Service. Ms. Sansan said the objective of the workshop is to share what the Department as the key lead agency in HR matters is doing on the progress of legislative reforms especially in the areas of governance, policy and capacity building.

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.

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.

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