By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Disagreements on the position of Provincial Administrators continue, and this time in Western Province.
Western Province Governor Taboi Yoto is disappointed in the National Executive Council (NEC) decision to select a Provincial Administrator (PA) who was not recommended by the Provincial Executive Council (PEC). The appointment has not been gazetted as yet, due to a petition by the Western Province PEC.
At a media conference, the Governor was flanked by North Fly MP, James Donald, and South Fly MP Sekie Agisa. Governor Toboi Awi Yoto expressed his disappointment in the NEC’s choice of Provincial Administrator for Western Province.
According to the elected Members from the province, their candidate of choice is Robert Alphonse, currently the Acting PA for Western Province; someone who they say is well qualified for the job. They say “He has spent most of his life in the province and worked his way up from a junior officer to the position he is in now.
“Over the last 6 months since he took office as Acting PA, he has shown that he is able to work with the members, LLG presidents and other public servants in the province.
“…the public service machinery in the province was in chaos. Robert managed to put the public service machinery back in order and restore confidence in our development partners.”
Governor Yoto said he has not received a formal letter from the Minister for Public Service on the appointment and was surprised to read a report from one of the Dailies stating that a permanent appointment had been made for the Province. To his knowledge, the PA position has not been gazetted and the PEC has already petitioned NEC to reconsider the decision.
Governor Yoto said the province is ranked the least developed because Provincial Administrators are not willing to work with the government arm of the province. He said “the former PA did not want to work with the Governor’s office or members of the district; they themselves acted like governors and ran the province how they wished.
“We need a PA that will work with the provincial government,” the Governor said.
North Fly MP James Donald weighed in, saying the province needs development and decisions should not be made based on the fact that the three MPs are part of the opposition. The Governor is aware the NEC is meeting this week, and is appealing to NEC and the Minister for Public Service, to consider the recommendation put forward by Western Provincial Executive Council.