DO NOT POLITICISE PUBLIC SERVICE: PM TOLD MPs
Prime Minister, James Marape says politics has been allowed to erode the functionality of the public service over the last 46 years.
PM Marape said this had allowed for “complacency and corruption to become a ‘cancer’ within the public service over time”.
He made this blunt statement at the one-day Joint Ministers-Governors Conference on Public Service Matters in Port Moresby today.
“Over the last 46 years, if I may say this, we have allowed politics to erode the functionality of our public service,” PM Marape told ministers, governors and senior public servants.
“We must admit this right from up front.
“The first to admit this must be politicians.
“Our elected public servants (politicians) seem to think that we are masters of our appointed public service.
“Lest we forget, we (politicians) are not masters (of the public service) but custodians of our people’s constitutional rights.”
PM Marape proposed to the meeting that:
• There be minimal impact by politicians on the public service, including access to use of public funds;
• There be merit-based appointment of public servants with a performance-based contract;
• All public service programmes must be policy-based and geared towards achieving national outcomes. No Budget allocation must be made without a policy;
• Accountability for performance, including management of financial and human resources, must be a key benchmark of all Government departments. Contracts of all department heads, including provincial administrators, must be reviewed on an annual basis, and if financial and human resource management was below expectations, that particular person must be terminated. No ministers or governments should stand in the way of benchmark assessments of department heads;
• Integrity of Government institutions be strengthened. Ombudsman, Public Service Commission and Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) must deal with cases of corruption within the public service.
The Prime Minister also proposed an Undisclosed Wealth Act to be passed before this Parliament rises for the term.
“Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, borders on insanity,” PM Marape paraphrased the famous quote by Albert Einstein.
“Let’s find a platform to do better.”