New boss vows NCC reforms

The National,Friday June 17th, 2016

THE National Cultural Commission (NCC) is set for a major overhaul as part of an effort to reform the organisation, new acting director Casper Damien says.
He said this after taking office yesterday following his appointment by the Department of Personnel Management last month.
Damien replaced Dr Jacob Simet who had served in the position for 23 years.
He said his appointment would run for the next three months after which he would be made permanent.
“The Government has directed that during my tenure, I would have to do an audit on the missing K15 million, put a new board in place to restructure the organisation and recruit qualified people,” he said.
Damien said the missing K15 million in public funds were earmarked for the Pacific Festival of Arts hosted by the country in 2014.
He claimed the funds were not accounted for by the previous management.
“I want to put policy structures in place so we know what the functions of the organisation are because the NCC represents the seven million people of PNG for whom we need to promote and expose our diverse cultures to the world,” he said.
“The Government has its own reasons for appointing me because in the past 22 years it saw that the NCC remained stagnant despite annual government funding.”
Damien said many people did not know the functions of the NCC and that the only time it made itself known was at cultural festivities.
The 38-year-old Chimbu native, who is an anthropologist, is not new to the functions of NCC after spending the past two years as a researcher with the Institute of PNG Studies (IPNGS).
Damien said he was delighted with his appointment and looked forward to bringing his experience into the organisation.
He said similar structured reforms would be made to IPNGS, National Film Institute and National Performing Arts Troupe which came under NCC.