PNG Chief Secretary To Government Overloaded: Reform Committee

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Reviews finds too many responsibilities lead to ‘public service disarray’

By Franklin Kolma

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 28, 2014) – Chief Secretary to Government Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc has too many portfolios and functions, a parliamentary committee has found. Furthermore, it has recommended that the Office of the Chief Secretary to Government should be abolished together with the Central Agencies Consultative Committee.

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery said this in its report which was presented in Parliament last Thursday by its chairman Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa. Mr Kimisopa brought to attention the numerous additional functions that Sir Manasupe had, pointing out the current public service disarray as testament to the gross overload of responsibilities.

The chairman reminded the House that Sir Manasupe already had the onerous dual function of being Secretary to Government and the National Executive Council. This role, under the Prime Ministerial and NEC Act, requires him to advise both state entities, co-ordinate policies and initiatives, ensure policy implementation on the national level, oversee public sector reform and ensure National Public Service and public bodies perform effectively and accountably.

Mr Kimisopa said that the mentioned portfolio responsibilities were of the utmost importance and that undivided attention was necessary for the successful carrying out of the Chief Secretary’s roles.

Sir Manasupe has an extra 14 functions that included chairman of Central Agencies Consultative Committee, a state entity that was noted to still be in existence despite an NEC decision of abolition; chairman of National Security Advisory Committee; chairman of Project Management Group (Australian aid program); chairman of GoPNG; chairman of Inter-Departmental Electoral Committee; chairman of National Working Group on Improving Business and Investment Climate; and chairman of Inaugural National Anti-Corruption Strategic Task Force.

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