Australian public service knowhow for PNG governance

By The Mandarin

February 16, 2015

The initial stage of an Australian governance program, involving 27 public servants, has been completed in Papua New Guinea.

The program is part of the expanding Pacific Leadership and Governance project created to support public sector education and training following an agreement signed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the PNG government in December, reports The Australian. The memorandum will see the establishment of a Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct in Waigani, a suburb of Port Moresby.

The first step in the creation of the precinct is an executive course, run by the universities of Queensland and PNG, completed by the 27 senior bureaucrats.

A range of Australian and PNG organisations are involved in the project, including the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, the Australian Public Service Commission, the Canberra Institute of Technology Solutions and the Australian National University.

Among the university, certificate and diploma-level qualifications to be offered will be diplomas in public administration and accounting, human resource management and local level government management. Eventually the program will offer education and training to public officials from across the Pacific region.

The new precinct will facilitate the delivery of a range of education and training programs. It will include a new School of Business and Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea and the Institute of Public Administration, which will in time be formalised as PNG’s School of Government.

The program joins a range of other governance projects run by the Australian government in PNG.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has had a twinning program with the Ombudsman Commission of PNG since 2006 to assist in training investigators and finance officers. The Australian Ombudsman also provides support to equivalent bodies around the region through the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, to assist ombudsmans “to perform their roles in sometimes quite difficult circumstances”, in the words of Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave.

The Australian Public Service Commission has an ongoing twinning program with PNG’s Department of Personnel Management and Public Services Commission. This has involved assistance in the release of an ethics- and values-based leadership and management capability framework.

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