Department of Personnel Management Secretary John Kali issued the directive to the heads of the departments of Health, Education, Justice and Attorney-General, Finance, Prime Minister and National Executive Council, Provincial and Local Government Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Planning. It was also sent to provincial administrators and State agencies.
Kali said it would come into effect from January 1 next year, in line with the Government’s decision to change the way aid-funded technical advisers were engaged and contracted.
The regulations were gazetted on November 9 and approved by Cabinet under the Public Employment (Non-Citizens Act) and the Public Service (Management) Act.
The regulations provide that:
- Employees of foreign governments are not to be contracted as technical advisers in Government departments and current arrangements are to be reformed according to the new regulations;
- Technical advisers are to be employed by Government departments through a transparent process under the overall supervision of the Department of Personnel Management;
- Technical advisers must execute a “Work performance and conduct agreement” making them accountable to the State and reporting only to the department heads;
- Department heads will be able to engage technical advisers into line positions and/or delegate to them supervisory roles; and,
- Technical advisers will remain as employees of their departments which will retain responsibility for all employment and remuneration matter under aid arrangements.
But Kali said the new regulations did not cover the arrangements or the aid programmes in the police force, defence force, Correctional Services, judicial and magisterial services, universities and State-owned entities.
A spokesperson for the Australian High Commission said: “We are aware of the new regulations and look forward to continuing our discussions with the Government of PNG on this matter.
“All support provided under the Australian aid programme in PNG is agreed between our two Governments.”
Kali said currently, aid-funded technical advisers had no legal obligation to serve the State under the laws of the country as they were not contracted to the State.
“The new regulations will overcome functional problems that we’ve faced in the past which affected many of our programmes to the State,” Kali said.
“In future, all advisers will no longer be the staff of foreign governments.
“They will now be required to sign and execute contracts with the PNG Government.
“That means they will have lawful obligations to serve our State and they will be able to occupy line positions in the public service.”
Kali said the Government’s decision was to rationalise aid programmes in key areas such as health, education and infrastructure to ensure the best value for aid money.
The National/One PNG