THE Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has been engaging consultants to attend to some of its programme activities since beginning of the year.
Thus, it is not surprising that it continues to advertise for more consultants to attend to its key programme activities.
However, one wonders why the DEC constantly requires these consultants and raises the question whether the DEC has the capacity and technical expertise to undertake the technical nature of the work required under its mandate.
The 2008 restructure of DEC was in line with the NEC decision 147/2008 for transformation of the department and the imperative for new performance management standards to achieve the Government’s policy directives and goals.
Has that been accomplished in the 2008 restructuring and the appointments made by DEC?
Why advertise for legal consultants to assist in the design of legislation to create an environment protection authority to manage environment regulation in PNG when there are already two legal officers recruited under the 2008 structure?
The advertisements for consultants to conduct environment performance auditing (EPA) of the mining activities in the country is also another concern.
The DEC lacks that technical expertise, hence, the related mining environmental issues in the country.
But what about the mine monitoring PIP grant that DEC receives annually since 2005?
Why is it now calling for consultants to conduct EPA on mining activities in the country on an ad hoc basis?
The joint interim REDD strategy by DEC and OCCES, which comprises at least six main activities in preparation for upcoming Copenhagen meeting, will cost around K1 million to engage consultants to prepare the report between September and November.
Does this sound realistic in terms of the nature of the activities, the amount of money involved and the time frame?
I call on the relevant authorities to investigate the heavy engagement of consultants by DEC and to ascertain the department’s capacity and leadership in environmental technicalities and management in the country given the increased environmental development activities in PNG.