Bougainville Government News: Presidential Address to Bougainville Public Servants

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“I am reminded of the old saying, “to whom much is given, much is required”. This means that a leader becomes the servant of the many. This is a partnership between the people, and we the elected leaders. We promised to do all in our power to honor this sacred trust to serve them. My role is make the necessary laws and policies to direct our young nation achieve it vision, your role is to turn our policies into programs aligned to our dreams and vision and implement. Our roles compliment and fulfill our people and nations aspirations.”

Grand Chief Momis :Presidential Address to Bougainville Public Servants

JM 103

Download full speech in PDF File Here

President Momis’ Address to Bougainville Public Servants_24 June 2015

24th June 2015

Bougainville President bai bungim ol wokman

Dr John Momis bai holim miting wantem ol gavman wokman-meri blong en long Buka tumora

Listen Audio HERE

Good afternoon to you all, as this is the first time for me as head of this Government to address you all it is vitally important that I make myself very clear about where my Government wants to take our people.

But first let me make a couple of declarations very clearly to dispel any ambiguity about my mandate.

  • The people have spoken resoundingly through the ballot to retain me as their President elect and to lead the government and its people over the next five years.
  • They gave me their hand in trust.

I am reminded of the old saying, “to whom much is given, much is required”. This means that a leader becomes the servant of the many. This is a partnership between the people, and we the elected leaders. We promised to do all in our power to honor this sacred trust to serve them. My role is make the necessary laws and policies to direct our young nation achieve it vision, your role is to turn our policies into programs aligned to our dreams and vision and implement. Our roles compliment and fulfill our people and nations aspirations.

On the campaign trail I was often asked about the last five years – “han mak bilong yu we?” I had nothing to show because the public service was not working with my government to deliver our priorities. In fact, certain public servants and their cohorts were behaving like mini governments operating under their own agenda and depriving our rural communities of vital basic services due to them. I am not going to stand by and watch this few continue to squander time and resources for selfish appetites.

I am equally conveying this to those on consultancy contracts and advisor roles. Some of you think you can dictate the affairs of my government and its programs. Your days of dictating and arrogance are over, I am instructing the Chief Secretary to investigate and review all contracts of engagements. He will use all powers vested in his office as the Head of the Public Service to clean and weed out the bad apples to prevent further decay of the public workforce.

There are a good number of us that have worked together for the last five years to improve things in Bougainville. We made progress! We have improved the roads and bridges. We have improved access of farmers to markets to markets for their produce. But what we have done is not enough. The masses are still waiting to be gien the opportunity to taste some of this progress and participate to some extent. Time is our worst enemy as we have less than five years under this autonomous

arrangement to develop the capacity, formulate the appropriate policies, pass the necessary legislations and draw down on the powers to administer services to our people under this new environment.

I call on all of you to stand to attention and take of my directive to serve the Government and the people diligently, professional and whole-heartedly. We do not need flower pots!

There will be no more stealing from the people!!

  • You steal when you turn up to start work and still get full pay!
  • You steal when you knock off early and still get a full days pay!
  • You steal when you are unproductive during normal hours and claiming more overtime hours to do what you were supposed to do during normal working hours!
  • You steal when you use government assets for your private purposes!
  • You steal when you run around in government vehicles doing nothing at odd hours of the night on end!
  • You steal when you give contracts to your friends so that you can pick up your 10%!

Enough is enough!

Before I go on I want to make one thing clear. There are some among you who do your work the way it should be done. There are some among you – not many but some – who go the extra mile, give every bit of your effort for the good of the people. There are a precious few that should the responsibility for most of the public service who come to work early, work late into the night, work weekends to try to make the public service work even though most public servants are not working. All of you know who these people are.

And I will be brutally honest with you. Some of the hardest working people in the public service are the very people that some of you are chastising and even threatening with harm.

Most of you – if you look at yourself honestly – have to admit that you are not doing the work you are being paid for, but it is even worse than that. Many are actually being paid for doing no work at all. This situation did not happen overnight but over the last 10 – 15 years.

This is terrible! This cheating, demoralizing and pulling down the public service, it needs to be fixed, and it must be fixed now. As I speak you should be looking for another job.

I have given instructions in the last five years, to shape up or ship out but they got stuck in the system. Chief Secretary I call on your senior management team and Administration to immediately repair and service the system to remove all these rusted non-performing servants of the public service.

Let me tell you what I expect of the Public Service.

First I expect the Public Service to work. Very Simple. Work. That means being on the job.

There are some among you who feel you have a right to a job, you do not. A position in the Public Service is a privilege. Those of you who are willing to work will find a place in the public service over the next five years. Those of you who expect to carry on as “business as usual”, who expect to show up late for work, disappear for two hours at lunch and then leave early in the afternoon, who expect to abandon their government station for weeks on end should make my government’s work easier by tendering your resignation today. There is no place for lazy, corrupt or negligent government workers in Bougainville.

For those not willing I say goodbye. Do not burden us with your presence any longer. We have work to do, and if you are not willing to join us the please do.

For those willing to work I say welcome. Welcome to a five years that will be difficult, testing and strenuous. But welcome to a five years when we all – together – will create a region/nation we can all be proud of.

In my inauguration speech on Monday 15th June, I reminded all of us that the Bougainville Peace Agreement is our development roadmap. In addition I outline the last five years major tasks and our performance against the targets set. These tasks will continue to be pursued and the include;

  1. Unification – although Bougainville is more unified that in 2010, much needs to be done. Unification continues to be essential as we prepare for the referendum.
  2. Improving the welfare of all Bougainvilleans by promoting appropriate economic development – we need more broad based and inclusive development to bring improvements in people’s lives.
  3. Securing Bougainville’s political future by the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement – I want to see increased speed of transfer of powers, my priorities include; and, environment, mining, health and safety, fisheries, incorporation of associations, police, revenue raising powers, foreign affairs powers in proposing names to be place on PNG visa warning list, work permit application for Bougainville and so on. Weapons disposal will also be a priority for this term.
  4. Promoting good governance and the rule of law and ending corruption – we need to continue with public service reforms and resume efforts to establish office of the Ombudsman and Auditor General.
  5. Public awareness – although a costly exercise it will continue to be a major priority as the referendum approaches.

We are going to continue to work the five tasks with new targets and milestones established and for this terms, I have added a sixth task which is – to improve basic services. Development depends on our population being both healthy and well educated. We must find service and development partners to work with us to improve charter of services as servants of our people.

I charge you to participate fully. As I said, it is simple. Chief Secretary, you will together with each departmental head set out clear target to be pursued and achieved, we will insist you report on whether those targets are met. We will reward those who are successful. We will get rid of those who are not.

The choice is yours, the future awaits. But the future belongs not to those who wait for it to come, it belongs to those who create it.

For those willing to work I invite you to roll up your sleeves and join me in creating the future, I am calling on you good will to take on this challenge and rare opportunity to build a renewed society from the ashes of the fallen and refreshed by the tears of our beautiful people for our common agenda – a liberated Bougainville!

The black pearl of the pacific.

Thank you all.

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