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Despite the National Research Institute (NRI) structure approved in 2000 having 82 positions, many positions were not funded by Treasury with only 43 positions on strength and with underfunding over the last 20 years.

This was expressed by NRI Chairman, Wilson Thompson following the handing over of the Organizational Restructure Plan to the Salaries and Conditions Monitoring Committee (SCMC) by the NRI Council last week.

This was inline with Public Service Management Act and General Orders 2 and the SCMC Act.

The Organizational Restructure is seeking SCMC to approve the existing 82 positions plus 25 new positions that should all be funded to implement the NRI Corporate Plan and NRI Strategic Plan 2021-2030.

“The National Research Institutes’ continued growth and development is underpinned by a strong commitment to its legislated mandate to inquire, to better understand PNG’s problems, issues and challenges and to inform and helping others understand those problems and finally to influence and advocate for effective public policies based on research and evidence.” Thompson said.

NRI made note of having only 7 researchers trying to cover 8 Research Divisions as of recent.

To address the current shortage of researchers at NRI, the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) has endorsed for NRI to seek specialist research staff on work attachment and secondment from within the public service and disciplinary forces to NRI until such time there are fully funded and established manpower strength.

While presenting the proposed structure to SCMC, the Chairman thanked the Department of Personnel Management for their technical advice and support to NRI and acknowledged the leadership of the Secretary in ensuring NRI retrenchment and retirement benefits are paid by State, stressing that it can be a huge chunk of NRI operational budget.

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