26 Mar 2013

PNG call for public service overhaul

4:07 pm on 26 March 2013

A member of parliament in Papua New Guinea says the bureaucracy needs a radical makover to make it more responsive, relevant and efficient.

A parliamentary committee is now considering concerns raised by the governor of Oro Province, Gary Juffa, who says the public service machinery has not been updated since independence 38 years ago.

He says he wants a public service where advancement is based on merit and incompetent people are shown the door.

And Mr Juffa says the government has to pay them more and improve allowances.

He says public servants get just seven kina, or three US dollars, a week to cover housing costs, which is what they got in the 1970s.

"You can't even buy a newspaper for seven kina in a week. And many of the public servants are living in villages, in settlements, in ghettoes, on streets. They are living with relatives and these are middle management or executive management even - how can they be able to perform? Because we are unable to give them the best possible benefits then we are not able to attract the best possible people."

The governor of PNG's Oro Province, Gary Juffa