PNG's Office of Tourism, Arts And Culture To Be Merged With Promotion Authority

Minister welcomes money saving move; tight budget provides opportunity to restructure

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 3, 2016) – The Office of Tourism, Arts and Culture (OTAC) has been abolished, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang says.

He welcomed Cabinet’s decision to abolish OTAC as part of the down-sizing exercise in the 2017 budget and said it would be merged with the Tourism Promotion Authority.

Kulang also welcomed Government support for tourism in the budget.

“OTAC has been abolished technically,” he told The National.

“The remnants of the programmes and activities will be merged into TPA.

“I endorsed that after a couple of months in the ministry.

“I think that OTAC has failed to deliver on its primary mandate, as an overseeing and monitoring agency.”

Kulang said his ministry would provide this overseeing of TPA, National Cultural Commission and National Museum and Art Gallery.

“This has come as a wake-up call and is also an opportunity for us to restructure ourselves,” he said.

“That office (OTAC) is overly staffed and is duplicating roles that can be easily performed by TPA and National Cultural Commission.

“It was an agency that was set up to provide oversight, monitoring and policies.

“It’s good that it has been axed, so if we are to reestablish the overseeing structure, its functions must be clearly defined.”

Kulang, meantime, gave the thumbs-up to Government’s support for tourism in the 2017 budget.

He said tourism was allocated K50 million [US$15.5 million] in the 2016 budget but this was taken back in the supplementary budget because of the country’s cash flow situation.

The National
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