Works dept gets tough on senior officers

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013

 THE Works Department is taking a tough stance to improve management accountability and performance, acting secretary David Wereh says.

The initiative would target senior staff at headquarters and provincial works managers who are responsible for maintenance and upgrading works on land transport infrastructure. 

Wereh made the statement during the opening of a three-day second quarter budget review for the Southern and the Highlands regions on Monday. 

He addressed senior staff and provincial works managers in Port Moresby for the meeting, saying that their professional and personal conduct was an important part of the overall implementation of transport infrastructure assets. 

He stressed the overall performance of the department depended on the performance and efforts of the individuals tasked with roles and responsibilities along the delivery structure of the organisation.

“Our mandate to upkeep our networks has a direct link to promoting economic growth, empowering the people, creating wealth, transporting the sick to better health services and connecting our local communities to better marketing opportunities,” he said. 

“It generally deals with lives and activities of the people of this country and we need to put our best effort in whatever we do. We operate under a very challenging and demanding environment. 

“It is challenging because of the many issues and risks that limit our operation to match the full scope of maintenance requirements presented on the road networks.

“It is demanding because of the growing traffic volume on our road networks induced by the growing economic activity in the country and the public expectation and perception for better improved access.

“In light of such competing demands and challenges, we have committed ourselves to focus on six important priorities aligned with the Government’s development goal to “achieve 75% of the national road network to good condition by 2017”.

Wereh said the department’s objectives were to recapitalise, reinvest and reconstruct 1,000km of poor roads, preserve and conserve 4,000km of national roads in good condition and complete ongoing projects worth K454 million.

Others include opening the economic corridors from Gulf to Southern Highways, Morobe to Gulf and East to West New Britain. The revitalisation of the plant and transport division’s maintenance mechanism for rural roads and the establishment of the Infrastructure Development Authority were also important, Wereh said.