PNG PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS UNDER SCRUTINY

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National government wants restructure

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 3) - The Government wants to chop the legislative powers of provincial governments.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Puka Temu announced this during his keynote address to the 2008 National Development Summit at the PNGIPA (PNG Institute of Public Administration) yesterday.

"Cabinet is not proposing to do away with the entire provincial government system but to do a review and restructure of the current system. We want to make it leaner and more effective," Temu explained to the Post-Courier after his address yesterday.

Temu said Cabinet spent more than four hours on Monday discussing the proposed restructure and development of the National Strategic Framework. The Government wants a restructure of the current political system, he said.

Temu said that department heads and the ministers had to work out the type of political structure that would bring effective service to the people. He said it was obvious from most reports that the current three-tier system was not working.

"There’s too much writing on the wall that the current delivery mechanisms are not reaching the rural people," Temu said.

He urged department heads to demonstrate passion and commitment towards developing a long term strategic plan. Temu said NEC also approved the establishment of a task force which was allocated PGK5 million [US$2 million] and will be the steering committee of the National Planning Committee (NPC).

The task force will visit all districts in the next six months to gauge the views of the people on the proposed changes.

The forum continues tomorrow, with the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare penned in to chair a session to be attended by provincial governors and ministers discussing the proposal.

But Sir Michael is also set to lead a high powered delegation to visit a promising oil well in Western Province. The team flies out today and returns in the afternoon.

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