By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
This week, Heads of the Department of Personnel Management and National Coordinating Office of Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA) appeared before the Parliamentary Bi-Partisan Committee on Bougainville Matters. The hearing, the first following a recent visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville by members of this parliamentary committee.
The Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee on Bougainville Matters conducted a public hearing on Monday, with the Department of Personnel Management and National Coordinating Office of Bougainville Affairs appearing before the committee. Committee Member and Bougainville Regional MP, Joe Lera, in his remarks, acknowledged the relative difficulties faced by the Autonomous Region – mostly due to a lack of attention from the National level.
Acting Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management, Taies Sansan, was the first to appear before the committee. Ms Sansan was asked about DPM’s views on reforms carried out within the Bougainville Public service, especially in this critical time of preparing for the upcoming referendum. She was also asked about her opinion on the role and conduct of the National Coordinating Office of Bougainville Affairs.
Acting Director of NCOBA, John Anuma, also appeared before the Bipartisan Committee. When asked to explain the progress of work done by his organisation in coordinating the efforts between both governments, Mr Anuma revealed funding to be major hindrance. However, given the recent commitments made by the National Government to the Autonomous Region in the lead up to the referendum, there was optimism that NCOBA’s efforts would improve.
However, Committee Member, Isi Henry Leonard, ripped into NCOBA, claiming this Government agency had not done enough up until now, with concerns that time was running out for NCOBA to adequately assist in preparing the people of Bougainville for the upcoming referendum.