Public service audit underway

An audit is being conducted on government agencies and departments to ensure no one role or job is being carried out by no more than one person.

Minister for Public Service Westley Nukundj made this response after Member for Nuku, Joe Sungi, asked him what plans he had in place in identifying relevant public service positions and ensure people were being paid for actually doing work.

Sungi said: “Almost half of the budget, some five hundred billion Kina, is going to the public service. Does your department or ministry have any plans in place, by way of conducting an organisational diagnosis into all government agencies, to identify relevant positions that are supposed to be there, and those that are not? Given that the computer age has replaced jobs that normally three people do, which can now be done by one person.”

While defending the K4 billion allocated to the public service, Minister Nukundj said he will ensure that the PPP policy is adhered to.

“The matter being raised now is being attended to right now. Four billion Kina is a lot of money but it’s the public service who will deliver or implement government policies. I did say we will reform the public service according to the PPP policy which is ‘One Person, one Position, one Pay’.”

The Minister said the personnel audit is being carried out by the Department of Personnel Management in Western Highlands Province.

“The department is doing a lot of cost-cutting measures. We’ve started the audit with four government agencies.

“We started with the Department of Works, and now we are at the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority.

“Next we will go to the National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority, and then the Hela Provincial Government. The audit will eradicate those doubling up under one position. I will present a report of what the department is doing in parliament.”

Salome Vincent