Commissioner: PNG Police Modernization Plan ‘A Mess’

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Management challenges experienced in first 2 years of 5 year program

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 18, 2016) – Police Commissioner Gari Baki has admitted that they made a mess of the K276 million [US$89 million] five-year police modernisation programme during its first 24 months.

"This is because police officers are not trained to be project managers but to combat crime," he said.

He said police officers were not trained to carry out project management delivery and reporting on project expenditure and because of that, "we make a mess of it".

"This is the experience in the first 24 months of implementation of the modernisation programme. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, police should have contracted and outsourced the project management responsibilities."

Baki said that in 2012, the Government demonstrated its commitment to the police force in approving K276 million funding for the programme.

He said in the absence of any Government approved plans or project selection, it was left to the police management to manage the fund.

Police identified the needs in its corporate plan and spent some money to train recruits.

"Over the last three years, we have graduated 1407 recruits. The recruitment aspect of the programme will continue until we meet the target strength of 10,000 in 2018."

Baki said the other priority was the Bomana School of Excellence and infrastructure development.

"Sadly to say, the police force is an operation organisation and the men and women are trained accordingly."

Baki said apart from the spending of funds, some of their projects were yet to be approved by the Central Supplies and Tenders Board.

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