CS was given the directive by the government in 2014 to conduct a legislative review on the CS legislation. And so, the consultation on the legislative review started in November 2017 with the purpose of reviewing the CS legislation in order to reorganise and restructure the organisation.
With the assistance from the Constitutional & Law Reform Commission (CLRC), the CS Legislative Review Committee, headed by CS Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, David Suagu, conducted consultations in eight Correctional Institutions, and has now ended the consultation in NCD.
Suagu said: “We are trying to change the laws so that it suits the current needs of CS and the current management trend that is evolving.”
About four provisions of the legislation are being reviewed and the major shift is the arrangement from the prison industries, which has been reorganised, and calls for a shift in the organisation in CS.
“Legislation demands structural changes and these structural changes demand for resourcing, and that is what we are currently telling our stakeholders and partners that we are changing how we are doing things,” clarified Suagu.
“In the past, our major focus was on security, but this time we would like to balance it by looking at security and rehabilitation because these are our core functions.”
A major amendment to the legislation is on pensions.
Suagu added: “With the changes to the legislation, more emphasis is being placed on expanding the prison industries programs.
“Also, the laws have to be changed, and especially in the part of rehabilitation, it has to be in the legislation so that it can capture the attention of the government, and that there should be a consistent and coherent way in doing things.”
According to Suagu, a consensus was reached by most of the Correctional Institutions that were consulted regarding the amendments made to the legislation.
“It is exciting to see how we can focus on the government’s greater call of taking back PNG and to see how we can realign ourselves so that we can redirect our programs internally and administratively, so that we can be self-sustainable, if we have our prison industries and rehabilitation programs running right.”
With the conclusion of the legislative review, the draft Bill will be sent to relevant authorities for approval, then will go through another process before it is presented by the CS Minister on the floor of parliament in 2020.