Feature Articles

Welcome to this week's feature stories. The stories are from various Papua New Guinean writers. The main highlight this week is the story on .....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Defence step up to restore pride

By ALEXANDER NARA
Defence Media Unit

PNGDF Soldiers participating in the Wantok Warrior exercise. Both the PNGDF and the Department of Defence (Defence Organziation) is working closely to make sure all capability development potential of the Defence Organization is fully realized and developed to meet the requirement of the Government and its people. Picture Courtesy of PNGDF Archives
It is of Papua New Guinea’s national interest that the Defence Organization is well administrated both financially and administratively to meet the government and the peoples’ requirements and expectations by building the organizations capacity to deal with the current global/regional security challenges as well as nation building.

Despite many years of being crippled by heavy criticisms of mal-management, Defence has successfully turned yet another stone this week in its continuous progress to restore back the long lost dignity and integrity of the Organization.

The Organization Activity Managers both within the PNGDF and the Department of Defence gathered since Monday last week in a closed door yet very noteworthy Defence Organization Mid-Year Budget Review week where they were all tasked to present specific and detailed reports on their expenditure according to their initial Expenditure Plans put together in January 2013.

Last week’s Mid-Year Expenditure Review held at the Non Commission Officers (NCOs) Mess at Murray Barracks has set the platform for Activity Managers and the Organization as a whole to confirm that all expenditures are accordingly spent on the activities that were planned for and outlined within the 2013 expenditure plans.
Troups in Tari during the 2012 National Elections. Defence is working towards creating a new look PNGDF that would capable of dealing with the current global/regional security challenges of the 21st century as well as nation building. Picture by Alexander Nara

As the Organizational Heads, Commander PNGDF – Brigadier General Francis Agwi and Secretary for Defence John Sini Porti both strongly highlighted that the organization’s budget is the key element to successful progress and achievement of the organization goals and developments and all managers must be administratively focused to drive and achieve the expected outcomes.

Defence has also taken a largest cut of 2013 Government budget apart from Education and health and this require sharp administrators to prove that Defence can meet the demand of the Government and provide necessary output for the people of Papua New Guinea.

The review workshop also established the underlying challenge to all managers to be administratively focussed and to identify the remaining appropriate planned activities indicated in the expenditure plans within the last remaining months of 2013 and to implement them accordingly before 2014.

The one week workshop also allow an indirect audit of all expenditures in the past six months and enable the organization to focus on the last remaining months of 2013, which would establish the platform for the end of the year Budget Review as well as it would create the framework to put together the Defence Annual Report at the end of the year.

Defence is effectively resourced by the Government this year 2013 to carry out its core function of service delivery and to protect the people of Papua New Guinea from unnecessary threats to its national security, which ignite the need to be accountable in the way the peoples’ money is budgeted and used within the organization.

Over many years, expenditures have not been spent according to expenditure plans, which have always develop serious allegations of misappropriation, mal-practices and misuse within the organization.

The offices hold by the officers belong to the state and the people of Papua New Guinea and the significant move to tightened all expenditure and review plans according to the set development and progress plans all year around is a unique turn around by the Defence Organization to monitor and make sure the allocated budget is spent extremely well for the benefit of PNG Government and its people.

This week, all Activity Managers reconvened again for an intensive 2014 budget workshop.

The organization believe it is essential for an early start to prepare the 2014 budget to allow enough time for all Branch Heads and Activity Managers to critically identify and capture every possible activities throughout the organization.

The Heads also strongly pointed out that there are two different structures, which are financial structure and the Organizational structure that must be very well understood before all visions and plan would be achieved within Organization.

Brigadier Agwi and Secretary Porti highlighted that there are lot of work within the Department that is yet to be accomplished and all appropriate branch heads and the Organization as a whole are set to support and work together.

All participants are now putting their heads together to cautiously visualize, point out appropriate activities, analyse on possible avenues of capability developments and create a budget that would carry the Defence into a more effective organization that can protect the people of PNG from both internal and external threats as well as Nation Building.

Meanwhile, allegations of misappropriation, mal-administration and fraud has been levelled against the Secretary for Defence John Sini Porti and staff of the Department of Defence over the last few months which Secretary Porti said are serious in nature and required attention.

The Secretary confirmed his office has instituted measures to address these allegations and that involves requesting Auditor General’s Office to audit all books of accounts plus systems in the Defence Organization. The Auditor General’s Office had already commenced work since last week.

The Defence Internal Audit has also being instructed to carry out its own internal investigation.

We have also requested Audit Support from Department of Finance, Treasury, Planning and Department of Personal Management to assist our internal audit team.

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