The total budget requested is K402.6 million inclusive of both recurrent K381.4 million and development K21.2 million. While the first budget submission for Manning for 2020 was completed during his acting tenure, the 2021 budget submission is his first in his substantive tenure, indicating that there is robust confidence in his leadership.
Manning said the fact that the Police Minister also signed off both years’ budget submissions is evidence of the effective bi-partisan working relationship between the Commissioner and the Police Minister.
Manning noted that the 2021 Budget will be a very important one for PNG, given the substantial impacts on PNG’s economy and fiscal position of the unprecedented events of 2020.
“I had to balance the funding needs of the RPNGC with those of PNG more generally, knowing that in 2021, the Government would find it considerably more difficult to grant funding increases, whilst achieving its fiscal responsibility targets,” Manning stated.
Excluding funds requested to prepare the RPNGC for the 2022 National Elections, the RPNGC requested for less funding in its 2021 Recurrent Budget (K381.4 million) than it expects to spend during 2020 (K397.7 million). This is made possible by the projected outcome in 2020 of circa 500 staff retirements, saving an amount of K24.5 million in salary and allowances costs during 2021; and the raising of an additional K4 million in revenues.
The Police Commissioner said: “The RPNGC is definitely doing its part to absorb some of the financial impact of the COVID-19 situation. The 2021 Budget was built on a principled approach that ensures the maximum beneficial impact for every Kina.
“Not only have we tied every Kina to an output via the use of Activity Management Plans, but we resolved not to ask for additional funds to support business areas that lack credible governance.
“Furthermore, we have seen time and again that more money doesn’t fix structural problems, it makes them more expensive problems.”
Manning added that in line with the Government’s consolidation approach, the RPNGC would resolve such issues through its reform program before requesting additional funds that would then be used effectively.
In February, the Independent True Costs of Policing Study was completed. Its findings indicate the reform first approach that is encapsulated in the 2021 Budget with a proposal for Performance Related Budgeting that makes K12.4 million contingent on successful reforms.
The Commissioner stated: “To my knowledge this initiative was not tried with a line agency before, I imagine because it places the emphasis on the agency head to achieve certain reform targets before funds for reform enhancing activities would be released – my performance in terms of ability to change the agency for the better will be under the microscope – that is how it should be for all agency heads.
“The basis for everything that is done by the RPNGC is the people that work here. Their welfare is paramount so they feel valued and incentivised to perform.
“Since 2010, many police personnel did not feel valued because they were not paid their full take home pay until 2019.
“I have requested amounts in the 2021 Budget that would enable me to make retrospective payments of entitlements that are still outstanding for the period 2010 to 2015.
“I’ve also asked for an administration change that would lead to all police personnel receiving an additional K33 in their fortnightly pay in 2021, which would be deducted at source and used to pay for life and medical insurance premium. This would have zero net cost to the Government and zero impact on take home pays. Its value would be in securing a timely cash-flow for the provider and therefore no interruptions to services in members’ and their families’ times of need.”
The Commissioner said compared to its 2020 Revised Budget, the RPNGC’s 2021 Recurrent Budget requests for an additional K2.4 million for goods and services funding. He said this pales into insignificance when compared to the expenditure savings of K24.5 million from the retirement exercise and the additional revenue inflows of K4 million from fees such as for firearms licensing.
In concluding his interview on the 2021 Budget Submission, the Police Commissioner said: “The RPNGC will lead the Government sector in its reform program. Where there is something positive happening in the public sector, expect to see the RPNGC at the forefront, leading the way, just as it has demonstrated during 2020.”