DEPUTY Prime Minister Charles Abel recently raised concerns about National Statistical Office (NSO) and its inability to perform its function in producing development statistics to measure our progress.
Abel had five years to fix NSO but did little, especially to the level of corruption and mismanagement at NSO.
To date, the Government seems very reluctant to seriously address the fraud and capacity issues underscoring NSO.
They need to quickly appoint a permanent person with suitable technical capacity to lead National Statistical Office and address the myriad of dysfunctional issues.
Towards the end of 2018, they began to instill some confidence with the appointment of Michael Kumung, who quickly instituted measures for staff discipline and strengthen the capacity to rebuild a functional NSO.
Unfortunately, his appointment has been cut short with another acting appointment.
The Government has announced its plans towards early preparations for the upcoming National Census after the failed 2011 National Census.
Unless management is improved with suitable technical capacity, it is unlikely that PNG will have any improved results for the census again.
NSO is a technical agency that provides important data and statistics for our national development narrative.
NSO has let PNG down on numerous occasions, apart from the failed 2011 Census.
PNG had very little data to report on many of its international development obligations, including the millennium development goals (MDGs).
PNG also failed to report on any of our last medium-term development plans (MTDPs), or Development Strategic Plan 2030.
National Statistical Office is the mandated agency to produce and disseminate development statistics for PNG.
Richard Maru, as minister responsible, we ask that NSO is cleaned up properly.
The minister should then table for NEC to appoint a technically-suitable person to head NSO and begin the clean-up to rebuild it.