Public sector challenged

National, Normal

The National, Monday, June 6th 2011

THE cultural norms of Papua New Guineans need to be shifted into the workplace for greater efficiency, Divine Word University president Fr Jan Czuba said last week.
In a powerpoint presentation to the bureaucracy at the public service retreat in Madang, Czuba stressed the importance of ethics in all facets of leadership.
He said leadership through action contributed to the goal and purpose of every government so that all employees provi­ded services.
He said public confidence in most go­vernment institutions had dropped be­cause management records proved that ethical practices had slipped as proven by publication of sections of the report by the Public Accounts Committee.
“The performance of the public service is not on par with the private sector,” Czuba said.
“The private sector’s greater contribution has weakened the public sector.”
He said the public service system had not collapsed as portrayed daily by government departments but that the system “is in the hands of the people” and that a paradigm shift in people’s mindsets was the only way forward.
“Adopting a Western style of leadership in PNG is not practical.
“We have to view each organisation as in a clan system where the cultural norms, are integrated, can be used by leaders,” he said.
Prof David Kavanamur from the University of Papua New Guinea, in supporting Czuba’s comments, said given  more than 800 languages, there had to be a common value and belief system that would characterise an emerging values framework.
Some issues raised were:
.   The public service machinery was incompetent of handling the economic pressure brought about by investors;
.   the public service was too cumbersome with appointment processes too slow for both permanent and acting positions; and
.  That there will be legislative amendments on time limits of documentation and processing.