The signing ceremony, which took place at the National Police Headquarters at Konedobu in the National Capital District, was witnessed by senior officials from the PNG Defence Force, the National Fisheries Authority, the PNG Australia Policing Partnership and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.
Speaking at the vent, Manning said: “In a climate of economic uncertainties and in the spirit of the Marape Government’s vision of reducing costs across all areas of Government core functions throughout Papua New Guinea I am today signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Maritime Safety Authority, Mr Paul Unas, to enhance maritime safety and the security of those that use the vast waterways of Papua New Guinea.
“The Memorandum of Understanding documents the operational arrangements and understandings between the National Maritime Safety Authority and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, through its maritime arm, the Water Police Directorate, in relation to aspects of maritime safety and law enforcement in Papua New Guinea.
“The MOU aims to improve maritime safety and enforcement through a cooperative approach to maritime enforcement and safety education. It will build upon the RPNGC and NMSA’s ability for search and rescue response and coordination in an effort to save lives. It also enhances both agencies’ abilities in investigations, and the implementation of crime prevention and water safety strategies.
“I remain committed to give Papua New Guinea the best operational and productive Police Force that PNG can afford. In these hard economic times consultation and partnership with other agencies of government with mutual interest is important as it is through such partnerships that cost savings can occur ensuring improved delivery of policing services,” continued Manning.
“Through Service Level Agreements (SLA), both organisations will now work closely and share resources such as vessels, buildings and boat facilities.
“The first SLA to be signed will see trained Water Police Officers and assets assigned to Milne Bay Province. NMSA and Water Police officers will form interoperable teams to assist each agency in their specific duties and provide an enhanced combined search and rescue response as well as enforcing maritime legislation.
“The Water Police deployment will also look to provide security for the region in combating maritime crimes, acts of piracy and deliver community policing initiatives to all the island communities of the Milne Bay Province.
“This is just the beginning of further developing the capacity of the RPNGC Water Police throughout PNG.
“In an effort to combat offshore crime and strengthen border security and secure port facilities, my team and I are also looking towards working closer with other Government agencies such as the PNG Customs, National Fisheries Authority and the PNG Ports Corporations to enter into similar MOUs.”