Morobe public servants determined to lead with ethics and values

Morobe’s public sector leaders believe that ethics and values are crucial for more effective delivery of vital local services, including health care and education. More than 50 public servants participated in the recent Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct short courses on Ethical Leadership for Decision Making, including 29 who took part in Lae. Siwan Patiuwatu, Senior Local Government Officer in the Morobe Provincial Administration, said ethical leadership is important for the public service because the office they hold is for the people of Papua New Guinea. “We are their servants,” he said, “The positions we hold are not our birthrights.” “We must be accountable, honest and transparent, and it must try to hold value in what we are doing for the people.” Mr Patiuwatu said the course provided insights on how to ensure local leaders are ethical, capable and have the tools to navigate Papua New Guinea’s cultural complexity. He said, “PNG has value systems; we have family values, Christian values, and now we are a member of the global community which has its own values – so we try to adopt those global values as well and see where in our family, community and society these global values will be best incorporated.” “My hope is to encourage our leaders to practice good values, have good thoughts and good planning. I think I am doing the right thing to serve my people when I encourage leaders at Ward or LLG level to be accountable for their decisions,” he said. More than 1,000 public servants have participated in Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct short courses, with over a third from subnational agencies. All Precinct activities are underpinned by the PNG Government’s Ethics and Values-Based Executive Leadership and Management Capability Framework and the core public service values – honesty, integrity, accountability, respect, wisdom and responsibility. Kaumu Laga, Education Manager for Lae District, said the training demonstrated that he can be a role model for other public servants and contribute to the development of emerging leaders. “I am inspired by the six values I learnt – honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, respect and wisdom,” he said, “I didn’t realise it before, but they are part of my life.” “They are really relevant, useful and meaningful, and I can adopt these so people can see me as an example and I can lead others as well. Ethical leadership is the right way forward – we need to apply it in our lives to prosper and improve so that services can be delivered effectively,” he said. The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia that is supporting the development of ethical, capable public sector leaders.