The National, Friday 24th August 2012
AUSAID has approved a grant for the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission to be used for advice and training of its staff.
The K3.1 million grant was approved by AusAID through the Papua New Guinea Economic and Public Sector Programme (PNG EPSP) and was finalised by the signing of the commission’s capacity development agreement at Morauta Haus in Port Moresby last Monday.
The grant was part of K3.5 million approved by the project management group, which is chaired by Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc, for two government bodies and a professional body.
Commissioner Dr Billy Manoka signed the agreement witnessed by general manager Elastus Geroro in front of representatives from the commission, the Finance Department, AusAID and the PNG Association for Professional Evaluators (PNGAoPE).
The other two recipients were the Department of Finance for its non-tax revenue section and the PNGAoPE.
The grant will be used for research and training as well as technical advice for the staff of the commission.
Manoka said he was tired of seeing of Papua New Guineans playing second fiddle to foreign consultants and wanted empowerment for the staff of the commission through training and education.
He said he wanted to see degree holders in PNG being on par with the rest of the world and that would only come about through enhancing their capacity.
“ICCC values it people as its most important asset. Without its people, the commission will be not able to tick off its progress and achievements over the past decade. We need to enhance capacity,” Manoka said.
The PNG EPSP is an initiative by the Australian and PNG government to enhance the capabilities of public sector agencies to deliver services to the people of PNG while enabling the environment for broad-based economic development.
Manoka commended AusAID for the initiative to help the cxommission realise its vision as Papua New Guinea’s chief economic regulator and consumer protector.
Last year was the first full year of the programme, and since then it has given out more than K40m in grants.