by Neville Choi – EM TV, Port Moresby
A special parliamentary committee tasked to look at public sector reform and service delivery says there are so many things wrong with PNG’s public service today.
Committee Chairman and Goroka MP, Bire Kimisopa says their task is clear and that is to find out what problems exist in today’s public service, what it is costing the country and thus cut out wastage and duplication.
“The gulf between policy announcement and policy implementation is growing bigger and bigger and it has been the collective view of this parliament that we need to set up a special parliamentary committee and start asking the big questions. Why aren’t we delivering services down to our people?” asked Mr Kimisopa.
He says that after 39 years, our people are now realising that they are not receiving the services they deserve.
“Some people may ask why we are doing this when there are already so many committees and reports out there, but they are still being implemented by our public service.
“It’s a huge responsibility and an ambitious program by this parliament, which has been overwhelmingly supported by both sides of the house,” he said.
Fact finding tours have taken the committee to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa.
Examples they have taken away from these tours is that our parliament needs to be led by legislation that gives powers to parliamentary committees to enable them to take punitive measures against offending public servants.
“In this country, the only parliamentary committee that has substantial weight to hold the public service accountable is the Public Accounts Committee. But there has not been one conviction.
“If any parliamentary committee has the power to prosecute or refer people for prosecution or for maladministration, corruption, or misuse of public funds, I think we ought to have that,” Chairman Kimisopa said.