Freeze on Public Servants Recruitment: Kapavore


THERE will be a freeze in the recruitment of public servants given the global downturn of commodity prices, says Public Service Minister Elias Kapavore.

But there will be recruitment only for professional and technical staff in the priority sectors of health services, teaching services, disciplined services and revenue-generating agencies.

Kapavore in a statement with Secretary John Kali said a circular would be sent out regarding the restriction on recruitment.

They will be strictly monitoring the attendance of public servants to ensure they perform professionally to deserve their pay.

“We wish to state that the people deserve value for money and that public servants are contracted to give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay,” the statement said.

“Therefore, the Government will soon be installing payroll-linked electronic time-keeping and attendance systems across the country. This will improve productivity and service delivery. In order to make this work for all our public servants, the Alesco Payroll System is being upgraded and progressively rolled out to the districts.

“This will enable the Government to provide payroll services in the districts and at the same time apply greater audit and control over provincial payrolls.”

NFA Pays K60mil Again in Dividends

By : The National


THE National Fisheries Authority (NFA) paid another K60 million in dividends to the Government in Port Moresby on Friday.

It paid K60 million earlier this year.

Fisheries Minister Patrick Basa handed the cheque to Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari who stood in for Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel.

Basa said the K60 million was the second batch of dividends which NFA was paying in the 2017 fiscal year.

“Similar to other State-owned enterprises (SOEs), NFA is required to pay dividends to the Government.

“Since the restructure and reorganisation of NFA in 2001, the authority has paid K396,250,000 as dividends to the Government.”

Basa said the National Fisheries Authority has ceased paying dividends in 2008, 2010 and 2011 as per the Government directions for the surplus funds to be invested in impact fisheries projects to grow the industry and develop coastal as well as aquaculture fisheries. “In 2012, NFA resumed paying dividends to the Government. In 2017 fiscal year, NFA, will be paying K150 million in dividends,” he said.

“NFA has already paid K60 million to the Government. We are now paying K60 million and the remaining K30 million will be paid before the end of the year.”

Managing director John Kasu said NFA was a self-financing government authority that generated its funding through statutory and access fees from the fishing industry.

“These fees form the bulk of our revenue which the authority funds and maintains its operations as well as funds impact fisheries projects such as the coastal fisheries development agencies, inland fish farming, funding fisheries colleges, funding and building jetties, fish markets and other projects to meet the Government’s goals and objectives,” Kasu said.
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DPM Briefs World Bank

Press Release : Office of the Prime Minister


Deputy Prime Minister Briefs World Bank and IMF on Next Moves to Advance PNG Economy
Submarine Internet Cable and Concessional Funding for Restructuring Debt Discussed

Engagement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, that will stimulate positive economic development in the face of global challenges, has been advanced at meetings in Washington D.C. by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon. Charles Abel MP.

Deputy Prime Minister Abel said the new submarine fibre optic communications cable project, that will deliver cheaper and faster Internet, and the provision of concessional financing for the restructuring of existing debt, will deliver positive economy stimulus for the economy.

“Papua New Guinea has a close working relationship with the World Bank and IMF, and the benefits of this engagement will become even more obvious to our people with the delivery of cheaper and faster Internet.

“Working with the World Bank, and also our partners in Australia, the new submarine communications cable will deliver greater Internet access for Papua New Guineans.

“The new communications cable will make the Internet we received on our computers and smart phones much faster, and with the increased supply we will see Internet data prices fall.

“Increased access to the Internet is essential if we are to advance Papua New Guinea’s economy and improve service delivery.

“The submarine cable has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and now we are moving ahead so that it will be in place ahead of the APEC Summit.

“The time given to our country by the World Bank and IMF executive for meetings in Washington was tremendous.

“I took the opportunity to remind them of the particular circumstances of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific small island states.

“I said PNG has globally significant natural assets to build a new, responsible, sustainable economy that brings inclusive development to its people but also can support climate change mitigation globally.

“We are confronted with our immediate development challenges and are also on the frontline of the effects of climate change.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said discussions with the World Bank on restructuring existing debt with concessional funding will further simplify debt that has been established over recent decades, and reduce servicing costs.

“Papua New Guinea has never defaulted on a debt payment, and this is respected by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“We are in talks with the World Bank and IMF so that we can bring together a number of scattered debts and consolidate these under a single debt facility at a much more favourable interest rate.

“Debt consolidation will save public funds and retire outstanding loans quicker than had previously been possible.”

Deputy Prime Minister Abel was accompanied by Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, and the Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Loi Bakani.

As well as the main Plenary Sessions of the World Bank Meeting, the DPM participated on 3 panels, including a panel with the World Bank CEO, and the Finance Ministers for Indonesia and Serbia, on Asia and the Growing Middle Class and Inclusive Development.

The DPM also had 15 meetings including separate meetings with CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Gregorieva, Asia Pacific Director, Victoria Kwakwa, and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

Southern Governors Unite for Growth

By LUKE KAMA The National

GOVERNORS from the Southern region have agreed to work together and forge new partnerships to grow provincial economies and improve basic services to their people and the region.

Five governors from the region – Gulf’s Chris Haiveta, Northern’s Gary Juffa, Central’s Robert Agarobe, Western’s Toboi Awi Yoto, and acting Milne Bay Governor Tom Cameron and chairman of Motu-Koitabu Assembly Opao Udia met in Milne Bay this week and discussed issues and challenges affecting their provinces and the region.

Chairman of the Southern Regional Governors Conference and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta told a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday that they were pleased to have such a meeting for the first and had fruitful discussions relating to growing provincial economies and improvement of services to the people.

“Our specific areas of concerns included provincial involvement in licensing and registration powers, public service management and provincial and local level government boundaries.

“We desire to have greater involvement in the process of licensing and registration of companies and activities which includes review of Tax Credit Schemes, Goods and Service Tax, dividends and other tax powers, including gaming and booking taxes,” Haiveta said.

He said the governors wanted to improve compliance by extending Tax Identification Numbers to other major transactions such as licensing.

“We all have agreed to increase provincial revenues because they are key to enhance delivery of basic services.

“We don’t want to depend on the national government because lack of internal revenue is the main reason why many of our people are unable to have good access to basic services because the provincial government needs money to do so,” Haiveta said.

Agarobe expressed satisfaction and reiterated that the Southern governors conference was “a very fruitful discussion” which the governor could collectively work on together to address shortfall in provincial revenues and enhance service delivery and developments.

Raids In City

The National


A MAJOR government operation led by the Immigration Department has uncovered illegal activities conducted by some foreign-owned businesses in Port Moresby.

A team comprising officers from the PNG Customs, Labour Department, Investments Promotion Authority, National Capital District Commission, Bank of PNG and police inspected some businesses and questioned foreign workers yesterday.

The team confiscated two vehicles allegedly smuggled into the country in a container.
The officers also questioned 30 foreign workers for allegedly breaching their visa conditions and work permits.
Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, compliance and border division Dino Mas, who invited The National to accompany the officers yesterday, said each government agency was to check to see if the foreign-owned businesses and workers were complying with  PNG laws.

During a debriefing session after yesterday’s inspection, officers exchanged information and discussed what they had discovered.

PNG Customs Officers said they discovered two brand new vehicles, yet to be introduced to the country, hidden in a container.

“These model vehicles have not been introduced yet into PNG. Yet they are already here. We checked the payment documents and discovered that the owner paid only K8000 for each vehicle,” an officer said.
“We will check our overseas counterpart where the vehicle came from, how these vehicles were shipped out of their country.

“We also discovered large quality of undeclared cigarettes in a container in the same premises. These cigarettes were brought in without paying custom taxes.”
Bank of PNG officers, who requested anonymity, said some of these foreign companies had been avoiding paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Commission.

“Some of these companies are making up to K2 million profit annually. But they were declaring around K500 in tax return. So they are avoid paying taxes,” one officer said.
“Seeing their business operations from outside, it is very big. But when they provide business reports, they make it a very small operation.”
The officers said there were many smaller companies but linked to only three or four big companies.

“And they transfer all the money to one parent company and from there, they bank it in an overseas account.
“This is money laundering. We discovered large amount of cash in their premises and discovered that they don’t bank their money in our commercial banks.

“We encourage them to bank the money for security reasons.”
Labour officers requesting anonymity said they discovered that some companies were not paying superannuation for local staff. They also do not pay the minimum K3 an hour rate.
“Some of these foreign employees are doing jobs that locals can do like operating cash registers. But on their work permit they are managers.

“We also found out that there are too many managers for one job. Some of them come on dependent or tourist visas.  But they end up doing business.”
The Labour officers also discovered that some foreign workers were paid in cash so that their employer would avoid paying tax.

Carving Restoration Daunting, says Pomat

BY FRANKLIN KOLMA ( Post Courier )


Pre-independence artifacts destroyed in 2013 by the previous speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenuoc, will now be replaced says the new speaker.

Speaker Job Pomat said on Wednesday when starting the restoration of the iconic carvings that the effort was long overdue which his predecessor was ordered on May 30, 2013 by Justice David Cannings to restore them within six months.

“This of course has not happened and that is why after finding out last week, parliament will now ensure the carvings are restored,” said the Speaker.

Mr Pomat said he would abide by the court order which dictates that parliament is responsible for the repair or replacement of the adornments.

The speaker’s office confirmed yesterday that most of the artifacts seized during the 2013 removal operation were irreversibly damaged and that the hard task now would be to ensure that replacement carvings or the repair of the former entities, are reinstated in such a way that is reflective of the ornaments’ former glory.

Back in 2013, former speaker Mr Zurenuoc shocked the nation when he ordered the carvings pulled down and destroyed as part of his campaign to restore, reform and modernise parliament.

During Mr Zurenuoc’s controversial purge, he said that the carvings had an occult link to the bad state of affairs of the country and that their removal was pivotal to positive change. The totem pole that stood in the main chamber of parliament and a 19 carved face lintel above the main door into parliament were removed pending destruction.

Objections from the public saw Prime Minister Peter O’Neill intervene to halt the destructive process, but not before the masks were destroyed and totem cut up into small blocks rendering them unusable.

As it is, Mr Pomat has hinted that it will be a substantially costly endeavor to either repair or replace the artifacts but that it is an exercise that parliament will carry out with haste.

It was reported yesterday that Parliament Counsel Richard Whitchurch said that the restoration project will not be easy because many of the master carvers who made the pieces have died.

Mr Whitchurch said that the search is now on for master carvers potentially from East Sepik or Milne Bay to take up the crucial task of restoring the culturally symbolic carvings.

Mr Pomat while assuring the public of his prominent stand to restore the artifacts, did not mention just how much of the taxpayers money would go into the parliamentary exercise adding that this was a question that parliament would consider and reveal at a later date.

On another note, the speaker said he is still examining Mr Zurenuoc’s plan to install what he called a “Pillar of Unity” in the Grand Hall which would arch over the chamber with the words ‘Word of God’ inscribed at its pinnacle.

Women Encouraged to Enlist in Navy

BY JERRY SEFE ( Post Courier )


Papua New Guinea needs more women to join the Navy despite it being regarded as a male dominated profession.

The maritime element in the country is the naval branch of the PNGDF, being mainly a light patrol force responsible for defending local waters of the country.

Speaking at a workshop in Port Moresby on Wednesday, Warrant officer of Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Wayne Dyke said this year’s focus is on empowering women in the maritime element in PNG and around the world.

“By doing so we identify the opportunities and challenges of all women in the Navy and the Maritime Element to achieve their dream and choices while serving in the force,” Mr Dyke said.

“But our aim now is to make sure there are right documents and strategies developed and set in place to help PNG encourage more women to join navy and maritime element.”

The RNZN team of male and female officers also outlined in their presentation that the key challenges that women today face are; retention, recruitment, work-life balance and the kind of development and trade imbalance in navy.

However, the opportunities include the flexible working of 8-hours for women, positive family support, effective parental leave of 18-weeks working and 12-months leave with a new breast feeding policy established to support RNZN women in navy.

The most important opportunity for RNZN women in navy is the significance of RNZN women’s development forum and steering committee responsible for providing support and advice for women in navy.

The workshop also identified that RNZN has a current record of 501 female officers out of 2173 naval officers with different ranks working in various departments. The youngest is 17 year olds to oldest 61 year olds.

RNZN’s longest serving females range from 35 years of service while out of the 501 females, RNZN has a parental record of 127 children including step children with range of ethnicities compared to PNG.

However for PNG only men were given the opportunity to undergo trainings to serve in the Navy and PNGDF Maritime Element in the past.

Today females are also given the opportunity to join Navy as Midshipman or Seaman while inheriting other male dominated carriers within three primary roles; support for military operations, EEZ protection, and heavy logistic support for the army and civil society.

Representatives from the other countries also pledged to work in partnership to help develop PNG Navy and the Maritime Element forces while providing support for each other.

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