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This week's local news - July 18 - 21, 2013.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

PEA proposes efficiency, accountability measures

DESPITE numerous attempts to address problems of public service efficiency, there is nothing to show if there were any improvements made at all.

This is the view of the Public Employees Association, the union which champions the cause of the thousands of public servants throughout PNG.

Complaints about the inefficiency of the Public Service are not new and have circulated for some time. For the most part the slackness of the Public Service has been blamed on the lack of incentives, low morale as a result of corruption at the leadership levels and insufficient funds to implement programs.

PEA President Michael Malabag  saidwhile there are obviously committed public servants, the valiant efforts of the few committed public servants are being thwarted by the lackadaisical performance of the vast majority in particular non-union members.

"Every two years the Public Employees Association secures wages increase for public servants. We do this out of altruism but out of the need to provide an incentive for improved productivity as well as to provide a buffer cost of living increases.

"It is apparent that many public servants especially non-union members or free riders have taken it for granted that they can drag their carcasses around and be rewarded for their slackness."

Mr Malabag said as the President of the PEA, he would not tolerate slackness in the public service.
"The union movement stands against injustice. Public Servants must realize however that slackness in the public service amounts to injustice to the rural majority who are denied services."

He said the union movement does not condone this and it will not tolerate slackness, inefficiency, corruption and abuse of office and public trust. The union has therefore proposed the following measures:
  • Tightening of disciplinary code to penalize workers for inefficiency and other excesses.
  • Tightening up of accountable measures to make public servants more accountable for their actions/inaction.
  • The performance of Secretary's of Departments must be measured against the performance of the entire department. Should the entire department not measure up to performance indicators the Secretary's contact be terminated forthwith.
  • In terms of performance indicators, every department sections must be set clear targets to achieve within each quarter/year. Failure to achieve the targets should immediately warrant the removal of the person in charge.
  • Review of performance of the public service cannot be left to the whims of public servants. Senior public servants are generally self serving and will protect their cronies. For this reason we would propose the establishment of an independent Committee to comprise two representatives of the committee shall be acted up on by the Minister responsible. The public service is owned by the people of PNG. It is proper that they have a say in how it conducts its business. We would hold that the Independent Committee fairly represents the interest of the majority.
  • The Chief Secretary must be given more powers to make Secretary's more accountable.
"Much of the above will not eventuate without a thorough review of the Public Service Orders. This is necessary component of the review excise which must be undertaken both by the Government and PEA," said Mr Malabag.

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