21 Sep 2005

PNG minister calls for Bougainville public service cuts

8:10 pm on 21 September 2005

The Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville has been told it needs to cut back the size of its public service.

The autonomous government has now been in power for 100 days and is working out how to generate more of its own income.

The vast majority of its revenue comes from the national government and aid donors, but the government wants to reduce this level of dependency.

PNG's inter-government minister, Sir Peter Barter, says at last week's meeting of the joint supervisory body Bougainville's ability to pay for its public service was raised.

"We had a memorandum of understanding signed between the national government and the autonomous government of Bougainville, and there are a number of areas where we agreed to help them. One was with the right sizing of their public service; another was to provide them with an additional grant to be able to help them out of this four or five months until the end of this year and help out with the budget in 2006."