Review process of department to commence

A major review process of the National Planning & Monitoring Department including line agencies – National Statistics Office (NSO) and Civil and Identity Registry (PNGCIR) – will commence this month.

This comes after a call was made by the Transparency International PNG, Lawrence Stephens, for the government to cease all funding to the NID rollout project, until such a time that the management of the project provides full acquittals of the K230 million that has been expanded on the project since its inception.

Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru said meantime, the National Identification (NID) project will continue as planned until all citizens are registered in the national database by 2021.

“Time is not a luxury in this project of national interest and we cannot agree to a call to cease the rollout of NID cards as planned,” says Minister Maru.

The Minister says that names for the committee who will undertake the department audit are still being finalised.

The audit committee will be chaired by an external independent chairman supported by an independent legal expert.

Meantime, PNGCIR acting registrar general, Michael Kumung also admitted that the report by TI PNG was correct.

Due to the fact that government invested a lot of money and not much has been acquitted for the outcome of the project itself.

“The actual outcome of getting Papua New Guineans to register has been slow because of issues surrounding the credibility of our people engaged in the project.”

“As a result, the amount of government investment equating that to the number of Papua new Guineans that are registered is an issue.”

However, sharing also similar sentiments with Minister Maru, Mr Kumung says his interest now is to move the project forward and that is to register all Papua New Guineans by 2021 in preparation for the 2022 elections.

The target now is to register 1.5 million citizens in 2018 alone.

Annette Kora