Question: Why has the PNG Government implemented a new Regulation to cover NCTAs?
Answer: The Government has adopted the new Regulation so that it can protect PNGs sovereignty by better managing expatriate technical advisers who work in Government Agencies (the National Public Service). The Regulation ensures that these non-citizens are accountable to their PNG Agency Heads for their day-to-day direction and work priorities. The Regulation also establishes behavioural standards and ensures NCTAs build the capacity of their PNG counterparts.
Question: What law is the Regulation made under?
Answer: The Regulation is made under the Public Employment (Non-Citizens) Act 1978.
Question: Which NCTAs does the Regulation cover?
Answer: The Regulation does not apply to all NCTAs in PNG. Specifically, the Regulation applies to NCTAs who are employed by Accredited Aid Agencies to provide advisory support within the National Public Service (including the Provincial and Local Government).
Question: Which Non-citizen Technical Advisers are not covered by the new Regulation?
Answer: NCTAs who work within Statutory Authorities, NGOs, Constitutional Offices, Universities and the private sector are not covered by the Regulation. NCTAs who are engaged directly by the PNG Government are also not covered by the Regulation.
Question: What about NCTAs in Bougainville?
Answer: At present, NCTAs engaged in the Autonomous Bougainville Region are not covered by the Regulation.
Question: The Regulation applies to NCTAs who are employed by an Accredited Aid Agency. What is an Accredited Aid Agency?
Answer: An Accredited Aid Agency means an organisation that has been authorised by the PNG Government to employ a NCTA for the purposes of providing support with a Government Agency. An Accredited Aid Agency will usually be an organisation that has been recognised under the Aid Status (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1977.
Question: Are NCTAs who work for an Accredited Aid Agency in their PNG Headquarters or Program Office covered?
Answer: No. To be covered by the Regulation the NCTAs must be providing advisory support within a Government Agency. In some instances, it may not be clear whether the NCTA is covered by the Regulation because they may be based in an Aid Agency’s head office but also work within a PNG Government Agency (or Agencies). Advice in these circumstances should be sought from DPM.
Question: When does the new Regulation take effect?
Answer: 1 September 2016. All NCTAs who are covered by the Regulation must comply with its requirements from 1 September 2016.
Question: What about Non-citizen Technical Advisers who are already in PNG on 1 September 2016?
Answer: The Regulation provides that NCTAs who are already in the country on 1 September 2016 have 3 months to comply. DPM is aware that some flexibility will be required for those NCTAs whose recruitment has not been finalised by 1 September.
Question: I’m a NCTA but will only be in PNG for 3 weeks, am I included?
Answer: Yes, the Regulation applies to all NCTAs arriving in PNG, regardless of the duration of the placement.
Question: What is the Performance and Conduct Agreement?
Answer: The Performance and Conduct Agreement (PCA) creates the legal ‘link’ between the NCTA and their PNG Agency Head. The PCA forms part of the NCTAs employment contract.
Question: Who signs the Performance and Conduct Agreement? When is it signed?
Answer: The Performance and Conduct Agreement (PCA) is first signed by the PNG Agency Head following the recruitment process. The PCA must then be endorsed by the DPM Secretary. Finally, the NCTA will sign the PCA as part of their employment contact with the Aid Agency. The PCA (and the employment contract) must be signed before the NCTA can be issued a visa to enter PNG. Please refer to the flow-chart for more information on the process of engaging a NCTA.
Question: I’m a NCTA but will be in PNG periodically over the next year - will I need to sign the PCA for each visit?
Answer: No. You only need to sign it once (unless your employer changes).
Question: I’m a NCTA and will have two separate short-term contracts running concurrently. Is this against the Regulations?
Answer: It is not against the Regulations. You will however, need to sign two PCAs, one for each Agency Head.
Question: I’m a NCTA with one engagement but I will moving between different agencies. Which Head of Agency should sign my PCA?
Answer: Your employer must make a judgement about which agency you will spend most of your time with, and that Agency Head should sign the PCA. You should consult DPM if you are unsure about your circumstances.
Question: I’m a NCTA based in a Program Office, providing support periodically to a National Public Service Agency. Am I covered by the Regulation?
Answer: Not if your primary location is the Program Office. If your primary location is the National Public Service Agency, you are covered by the Regulation. You should consult DPM if you are unsure about your circumstances.
Question: Do Non-citizen Advisers have to take the PNG Oath of Loyalty?
Question: Are NCTAs covered by the PNG Public Service Code of Conduct?
Answer: No. NCTAs will be required to comply with a specific Code of Conduct for Non-citizen Technical Advisers which forms part of the Performance and Conduct Agreement.
Question: The PCA says I’m accountable to the Agency Secretary for my work performance. Where does this mean for my employer?
Answer: Your recruitment will have been requested by the PNG Agency who will have approved your Terms of Reference and your work performance in collaboration with the Aid Agency. Your performance should be assessed against the ToRs jointly with your Agency Head and employer.
Question: Can NCTAs perform in-line functions or in-line roles?
Answer: NCTAs can be delegated the powers to perform certain in-line functions that would ordinarily be performed by a PNG public servant. However, it is not contemplated that NCTAs will fully occupy a position within the National Public Service. Non-citizens can still be engaged directly by the PNG Government to occupy in-line positions under the Public Employment (Non-citizens) Act 1978 and General Order 11.
Question: What is the Register of Non-citizen Technical Advisers?
Answer: The DPM Secretary is required to keep a Register of all NCTAs who are covered by the Regulation. The Register must contain the CV of the NCTA, the signed Performance and Conduct Agreement, the NCTAs Terms of Reference and a performance assessment of each NCTA. The DPM Secretary will consult the Register before endorsing any Performance and Conduct Agreements.
Question: Can foreign government employees be engaged as NCTAs under the Regulation?
Answer: No, unless they are engaged under an Institutional Partnership Agreement.
Question: What is an Institutional Partnerships Agreement (IPA)?
Answer: An IPA is a formal agreement (usually an MOU) between a PNG Government Agency and a similar Agency from another Government aimed at building capacity and sharing expertise. NCTAs, including employees of a foreign government, may be engaged under an IPA to perform specified activities which are set out in Section 3 of the Regulation. NCTAs who perform activities under an IPA generally do so on a short to medium term basis.
Question: We are an Accredited Aid Agency, what do we need to do?
Answer: See Process Map
Question: How much longer will the process for getting a fully signed PCA take?
Answer: The process may add up to one more week to the NCTA recruitment process
Question: How do we provide the documentation for the PCA, TORs etc?
Answer: These documents should be hand delivered to the appropriate trays in the Department of Personnel Management, located on the 3rd Floor, Central Government Building, Waigani.
Question: Why do we need to provide a copy of the NCTA performance report from the Agency Head at the end of the placement?
Answer: The NCTA performance report will be kept for future reference against any new recruitment for the same NCTA.
Question: Doesn’t the signing of the PCA conflict with the NCTA’s employment agreement?
Answer: The Regulation makes it clear that the AAA is the employer the NCTA, however, the performance and conduct agreement establishes a legal link between the PNG Agency Head and the NCTA. This allows the PNG Agency Head to manage the NCTA’s performance and behaviour.
Question: Can someone else, other than the Agency Secretary, sign the PCA?
Answer: Yes, if the appropriate delegations are in place.
Question: Where can I get more information?