Census workers facing job lay-offs have protested this morning at Papua New Guinea's National Statistics Office in Port Moresby.
Following a recent change in management in the NSO, around a hundred people are to lose their jobs working on PNG's major Census Project.
A media officer with the project, Ben Mandea, said the newly appointed Acting National Statistician John Igitoi has been directed to end a group of casual contracts.
Mr Mandea said that notification of the lay-offs had come as a surprise for officers like him who had worked on the census project since February.
"We are working without pay for six months, since February. Now they put on notice that everyone, the Census Project officers, should be laid off until further notiece. I think it's not good, it's a disgrace."
The angry workers have been seeking an explanation from PNG's National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru, who some workers have linked the job lay-off directive to.
Mr Maru said that he had nothing to do with internal staff matters at the NSO."
Mr Mandea said the directives causing a shake-up in the NSO were all from the senior Planning department officers.
"The type of management and decisions that they make really affect us. So we really feel the pain. We haven't been paid too, at the same time. So this thing needs to be addressed quickly," he said.
According to Mr Mandea, the Acting National Statistician directed the termination of casual contracts initiated under his predecessor Roko Koloma.
Mr Koloma, who is being investigated for alleged misuse of millions of dollars in NSO funds, is reportedly on the run from fraud detectives
The protest caused a commotion at the NSO headquarters this morning with local media restricted by security from covering developments.