Sacking advisors detrimental for PNG, says opposition

4:43 pm on 6 January 2016

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader says the prime minister Peter O'Neill had ulterior motives for terminating foreign advisors within the public service.

According to the PNG Post Courier, the services of about 33 foreign advisors have officially been terminated.

Last September, Mr O'Neill said advisors had made local workers lazy and in some cases, decisions were being made not in the interest of PNG.

But Don Polye says advisors bring important expertise and experience to PNG and help to build up the capacity of local public servants.

He says their termination is highly suspicious and will be detrimental for the country.

"I see the prime minister is doing this to get rid of people who have been giving sincere and candid, frank, competent and professional advice to this government. Because he wants to have a good time doing what he wants to do without anybody competent telling him what to do in order to save the future of this country."

Port Moresby CBD.

Port Moresby CBD. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Australian consultants and advisors had been attached to the Internal Revenue Commission, PNG Customs Service, Attorney-General Department, Office of the Auditor-General, Ombudsman Commission, and Treasury and Finance departments.

They had been part of a long-term "Strongim Gavman Program" which aims to improve the quality of public administration in PNG, Australia's largest aid recipient.

Mr Kali says those who want to stay will have to sign an agreement to join the PNG public service, be subject to local pay and leave their employment with the foreign government.

But Mr Polye says this is paying lip service to try and justify the terminations when the reality is that the PNG government cannot match the conditions given to these advisors by Australia.