The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
By MALUM NALU
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday admitted the existence of a bureaucratic bottleneck in the public service and that it would be hard to get rid of it.
He made the frank admission on the FM 100 Talkback Show hosted by Roger Hau’ofa and Reg Renagi.
“It’s a bureaucracy that has been operating like this for almost 40 years,” O’Neill said.
“The culture has already settled in. Changing the culture and work practices are not easy.”
On how the government would get rid of the problem, O’Neill said: “We are reforming the public service and we are demanding more from them (public servants).
“Of course, along the way, we’re upsetting a few of them, but it’s about the country, it’s about serving our people.
“I think most of the public servants are starting to appreciate that and starting to work with the government and leaders, in making sure that we make a difference.”
O’Neill said heads of departments were being brought into line, as was evident recently when he put a ban on certain globe-trotting senior public servants who had racked up millions of kina in travel expenses and allowances this year.
“We are very patient, but sometimes, we have to release our frustrations to get our point across,” he said.
“It’s not that we’re trying to offend anyone.
“We’re trying to do it with a level of understanding, so that we can bring them together with us, in making sure that we deliver the programmes we have already committed to.”