Month: <span>August 2021</span>

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.

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