70 reinstated after told to finish work

National

ACTING national statistician John Igitoi says the termination of casual staff at his office was done to take stock of their engagements and cut down on unnecessary costs.
Igitoi told a media conference in Port Moresby on Friday that he had reversed his decision and reinstated the staff – about 70 of them.
He said the decision to terminate the casual staff was due to the fact that most of the funds allocated for national census update were already being used up.
“My circular notice was to put a stop to all the casuals because when I was appointed acting by the National Planning minister, I realised that all the funds allocated for the census were being used up,” he said.
“We need to do an audit and take a stock-take on the recruitment of casuals, their tasks and what they have done and the money they are paid.
“Because from the records and briefings that I received, around K11.5 million of the K15 million allocated for the census preparation in the 2019 budget were being spent already.
“We got only K3.5 million remaining and that’s where I am coming from,” Igitoi said.
Meanwhile, assistant national statistician Bernard Kiele said census updates involved two major components and the greater part of it was the internal preparations which were around 90 per cent complete.
“The next stage is conducting workshop in the provinces for provincial census teams, doing the launching and then the actual census update next year,” Kiela said.
Igitoi on 10 July 2019 issued a circular terminating all the casual staff but the next day after a protest by the staff, he rescinded his decision and reinstated them.

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