Bougainville Education News :An educated population is key to a strong and progressive Bougainville

 

 

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Bougainville right now needs a lot of educated people to manage and guide the region as we prepare ourselves for referendum.In three years time, the people of Bougainville will be voting for their own political future and it important that people are educated about this issue.It is a must that the human capital resource must be highly educated in order for Bougainville to prosper”

ABG Minister for Community Development, Josephine Getsi

A total of 224 Early Childhood Teachers graduated from a two weeks training workshop at Morou Village in the Baubake Constituency area at the weekend.

The ceremony was witnessed by three ABG Members, the Minister for Community Government, Hon. Jacob Tooke, and Minister for Community Development, Josephine Getsi and Minister Assisting the President, Hon. Robert Tsika.

The three members told the graduation ceremony that the government fully supports the initiative by those wanting to promote education as the number one priority.

They also said their presence at the ceremony is testimony of the government’s commitment to provide education to the whole population of Bougainville.

The emphasis is on providing quality education as against general education.

An educated population is key to a strong and progressive government or country.

The ABG Minister for Community Development, Josephine Getsi says education is the backbone of any country adding that it is through education a person can bring change to the environment.

 You can support Bougainville education thru James Tanis  project http://www.bookgainville.com

Bookgainville Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainville Education News : Australia provides books for Torokina schools

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Australia has provided 5000 books for primary schools in the remote Torokina District in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to help improve literacy in the area.

The books were delivered to the libraries of 12 schools in the district, including Torokina, Kawai, Atsinima and Tsitovi Primary Schools.

The assistance from Australia’s Direct Aid Program responds to a request from the Torokina District for school resources.

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Australia’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ms Deborah Stokes, said: “I am delighted to partner with the district administration to provide these resources for hard working teachers to help improve literacy,” Ms Stokes said.

Primary Schools Standards Officer Luke Pamsi said: “These library books are a much needed resource. They will definitely improve literacy levels in primary schools, creating a good foundation for further studies.”

The books were purchased from Buk Bilong Pikinini, a charity which works to establish children’s libraries in PNG and foster a love of reading and learning.

Improving access to and the quality of basic education is a focus of Australia’s development partnership with PNG. Australia is assisting the PNG Government to build more than 1000 classrooms in rural and remote areas across PNG, including in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

DONATIONS

You can support Buk bilong Pikinini Here

Or Bougainville based

You can support the Bougainville Education Revolution by donating HERE

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Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

Bougainville Elections 2015: Simon Pentanu new ABG speaker full acceptance speech

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“Just as you feel politically responsible in serving your constituency, as Speaker my role and responsibility is to equip and serve you to perform your principle roles as legislators and decision makers in your role as service providers. In other words, our primary interest is the same and that is to serve our people.

As Members of the House this can be best done in four main ways.

One, by strengthening the institution of Parliament. This will take all of us from the President down to the Members to first recognise that in the system of democracy and governance we have chosen the Parliament is the epitome of our democracy as provided for in the Constitution. The Parliament as a body comprising the Peoples representatives is the highest accountable as well oversight body of people domiciled and functioning in a single place. We need to appreciate and add value to this.”

Simon Pentanu Speaker, Autonomous Bougainville Government 2015-2020

See full speech below or Download a copy here

 Acceptance and acknowledgment by Speaker Simon Pentanu AROB 2015

BY SEBASTIAN HAKALITS

THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has a new speaker.

He is former Ombudsman Commissioner and former National Parliament clerk, Simon Pentanu.

Mr Pentanu, from Pokpok Island in Central Bougainville, was voted in by the members of the 3rd ABG house after the swearing in of the new member’s yesterday (Monday) morning at the parliament chamber.

A speaker of the parliament is voted in by the members and must be from outside of parliament whereas the deputy speaker must be a member of the House.

Only two candidates were nominated by the parliament members and Mr Pentanu was nominated by parliament members from the Central regional committee while Andrew Miriki, former ABG parliament speaker, was nominated by the South regional committee.

A secret ballot voting was conducted by the 40 members of the house and Mr Pentanu was declared the Speaker after surpassing the absolute majority of 20+1, scoring 23 votes while Mr Miriki scored only 17 votes.

Mr Pentanu thanked the former speaker and the members for making the decision to elect him as the new speaker and said he does not represent any constituency but represents the members who represent the people.

“The parliament is my constituency and my role a responsibility is to serve you the members in decision making and the parliament is a highest body for the people and is an institution to uphold democracy, laws and tradition of the people…,” he said.

After taking his seat front of the chamber Mr Pentanu then proceeded to conduct the secret ballot voting for the deputy speaker that was won by Francisca Semoso, who is the North Bougainville Women’s member, against Christopher Kenna, who is member for Lato constituency in South Bougainville with 28 votes to 12.

ACCEPTANCE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Simon Gregory Pentanu

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Kubu

15 June 2015

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Honourable Members,

I am going to break from convention and tradition that new Speakers often follow to script when they are elected to assume the Speaker’s Chair as I am doing today.

To start with let me begin, on your behalf and on my own behalf, by acknowledging and paying respect to all the local clans on Buka, the traditional custodians of this Island – especially  here in Tsitalato constituency – where we are meeting today and where this House, the highest decision making body, is situated at this time.

In saying this I thank all Members, including the President, for exercising your individual choices to arrive at a collective decision in appointing me to assume the role of Speaker. What we just witnessed with the Clerk chairing the first business of the House was a very democratic process in which the Speaker was elected through a secret ballot.

In thanking you and acknowledging your decision I wish to say what is important to recognise is, regardless of how or where a Member voted in making their decision during the ballot, the appointment of the  Speaker is the choice of the House.

As Speaker my allegiance is to the House and to all Members irrespective of what region, constituencies, special interest or gender you represent.

I may be from Central Bougainville, I may have been nominated by the Central regional committee. Yes, making a choice to reflect a fair regional representation is important in fostering the spirit of unity. Yes, unity of purpose and united approach has been the hallmark of peace building and reconciliation efforts all along in getting to where we are today. We all well know this. And yes, we should also remind ourselves on occasions like today the Bougainville Constitutional Commission gave a lot of thought, consideration and credence to a fair and equitable representation in the spoils of office during its arduous task in drafting  the Bougainville Constitution.

I feel humbled and honoured and at the same time proud to be the one saying this. On the other hand, or should I say by the same token, I would also rather like to think – and I am sure many honourable Members  also share this view – that any Bougainvillean that is appointed by the House as its Speaker is done largely on the candidate’s merits.

The Speaker does not represent a geographical or electoral constituency. But it is important to point out that he or she is appointed by the people through their representatives in this House.

In a very real way then, the Parliament is my constituency. The Members are my constituents.

Just as you feel politically responsible in serving your constituency, as Speaker my role and responsibility is to equip and serve you to perform your principle roles as legislators and decision makers in your role as service providers. In other words, our primary interest is the same and that is to serve our people.

As Members of the House this can be best done in four main ways.

One, by strengthening the institution of Parliament. This will take all of us from the President down to the Members to first recognise that in the system of democracy and governance we have chosen the Parliament is the epitome of our democracy as provided for in the Constitution. The Parliament as a body comprising the Peoples representatives is the highest accountable as well oversight body of people domiciled and functioning in a single place. We need to appreciate and add value to this.

Two, the Parliament is an institution that will best function and deliver the values that we aspire to in our democracy only when its constituent parts are well resourced, well served and well articulated and assisted to perform your political roles. This includes meaningful participation in decision-making in Parliament through debates, through parliamentary committees which are an extension of the Parliament and through your direct engagement with the people.

Three, in building and strengthening the Parliament through you as members, the Speaker’s role in the Bougainville Parliament is not one of just a Presiding Officer or Chairman of meetings of the House. I will call on all my previous experience as a parliamentary officer and Clerk of a the Parliament of a successful sovereign nation, an experience that extends over 25 years.  With this experience and background I am confident this places in a position to ensure that the management and administration of the parliamentary service is above board and that everything we do is transparent.

Four, it is important there are close and meaningful consultations with the Speaker and the Clerk with the Executive in planning and appropriating sufficient resources to allow better and more proactive roles by members in serving their constituents and in maintaining an effective and efficient functioning Parliament.

Might I also add that the House as well as the Executive needs to start paying more attention to the Members representing Women and Former Combatants who have been elected to their respective reserved seats. The Bougainville Constitutional Commission was very deliberate in including this provision of reserved seats in the Parliament. The Parliament and the Government must give practical effect to enhance the participatory and decision-making roles that women continue to play and that former combatants can bring to bear in resolving and bringing to closure many issues that remain to be addressed and attended to.

Honourable Members,

Today, June 15 2015 marks the third anniversary of ABG. How and where we start in performing our roles in this Third House of Representatives will determine how much we improve and achieve at the end of the next 5 year term starting today.

Let me take this opportunity to thank my immediate predecessor, former Speaker Hon Andrew Miriki for his services in providing leadership in this role in the last two Houses. It is a service to duty to the Parliament and to the People that is worth mentioning and putting on record. I have followed Speaker Miriki and he can be well proud of his leadership and chairmanship that saw the passage of a number important legislations which are further steps towards implementing both  political and financial autonomy. This includes the passage through Parliament of the various stages of the mining legislation.

Similarly, I wish to put on record our thanks and appreciation to the pioneer Speaker of the House Mr Nick Peniai. Mr Peniai who took on the task as first Speaker of the first House with great optimism and enthusiasm. I can say this because after assuming office he sought advice and consulted with a number of us quite extensively. The most important achievement during Speaker Peniai’s tenure was the admission of the Bougainville House of Representatives as a full member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Honourable Members,

As Speaker, I give you my assurance that as head of the legislative arm and as Presiding Officer I will perform to the best of my ability in upholding and protecting the values of this institution.

In saying so, I  also stress my conviction that this is only possible if we all work together. I will be a working Speaker. However, I must repeat that we can only achieve any goals and objectives by working for each other but more importantly by working with each other.

We will do this with decorum, integrity, dignity, transparency, accountability, honesty and hopefully with an acute sense of purpose. While the Speaker is expected to maintain independence in office this independence should not be confused with isolation. I will keep my lines of communication open to allow for meaningful consultations and discussions with all Members.

Finally, I congratulate the President, members elected to the open constituencies, members elected to the reserved seats for women and former combatants for winning your respective seats. Among us today we have for the first time a woman who has won her seat in an open constituency seat.

I thank you all for placing your trust and confidence in appointing me as Speaker for this third House of Representatives  2015 – 2020.

May God bless this House and bless all of us to be worthy servants of and for our people.

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Bougainville Education News: Fundraising sports day in Panguna raises education funds for kindles

 

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“There are strong indications that the benefits of mobile reading like kindles are long-lasting and far-reaching, with the potential to improve literacy, increase education opportunities and change people’s lives for the better.

A revolution in reading is upon us…”

For now BookGainVille cannot afford to buy a kindle for every child but what we do afford to give every child here and now is the dream to have access to one

 James Tanis co-founder Bookgainville Education Revolution

The BookGainVille Cup Children’s Soccer kicked off last week at Kamex Children’s Field, Okangsira VA, Panguna District in Bougainville PNG

No uniforms, no boots and one soccer ball for both boys and girls.

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A humble beginning to a big dream to self-raise funds to buy kindles for every child in Bougainville schools.

Using e-readers (like the Amazon Kindle) and potentially recycled phones the BookGainVille project wants to provide Bougainville children and families access to hundreds of thousands of books, giving them an opportunity to change their lives.

In May 2014 the Kindle project was launched in Bougainville and 11 schools now have donated kindles ,the latest this month being the Guava School near Panguna (see picture below)

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The increasing ubiquity and diminishing costs of digital technology enabled BookGainville  to solve these problems in a simple and straight-forward way. Wherever possible, they will be building on digital platforms and mobile connectivity to make our books available to children and families who need them the most. To date they have been providing e-readers to schools in need through both sponsorships and sales.

In the first stage BookGainville has utilized Amazon Kindles that cost originally Aus$99.00 and can hold up to 1,400 books each. If you consider 1 hard copy of a book could cost say 35 Kina , that’s potentially 50,000 kina worth of books potentially on just one Kindle. Each school 250,000 kina of books

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BookGainVille will be actively curate books by Bougainville authors for our library. The more relevant and engaging a student’s first reads are, the more likely they are to continue learning and reading throughout their life

James Tanis continues to negotiate to ensure ABG adopts the kindle project for all Bougainville Schools . Recently Minister Michael Oni committed to funding kindles

The Bookgainville Cup and Kindles were donated by Colin Cowell, Simon Pentanu, Zhon Bosco and donors from PNG, Bougainville and International

Background to Bookgainville Education Project

In 2013 James Tanis the ex-President of Bougainville was studying at the Australian National  University and teamed up with Canberra based Colin Cowell a communications consultant (who had a 44 year  association with Bougainville)  to find a solution to the problem “that most Bougainville school children not have any books to read.”

James from the Nariana community (via Panguna) and his friend Simon Pentanu from Pokpok Island believed there were strong indications that the benefits of mobile reading technology could be long-lasting and far-reaching, with the potential to improve literacy, increase education opportunities  and change Bougainville students lives for the better

The need to improve literacy in Bougainville schools

According to UNESCO “Literacy is transformative: it increases earning potential, decreases inequality, improves health outcomes and breaks the cycle of poverty “.Yet there are still 740 million illiterate  people in this world and  in Bougainville there are many children of primary school age who lack basic reading and writing skills.

Books are necessary for the development of these skills, and still many schools in Bougainville have few or no books at all.

 The BookGainville education vision

BookGainVille Education project Leadership group will be the voice for

1.Students to do their best and achieve their best;

2.Parents to make education the first priority in the family;

3.Demand those in possession of arms to replace their guns with pens and papers;

4.Tell landowners to negotiate for educational scholarships instead of cash payouts as  compensation;

5.The political leaders to allocate the highest budget to education;

6.Reserve some resources now and leave some to our own children so that they will harvest when they acquire the technology,

7.Donors to advocate that education must form the highest portion of aid to   Papua New Guinea (Bougainville) and

8.Advocate for all groups that contribute to education and knowledge.

How can you donate a few dollars or kina ?

DONATE HERE

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

Bougainville Education News: NRL League Bilong Laif program commences in Bougainville

NRL

Education is also a key priority for the people and government of Bougainville. The League Bilong Laif program will highlight the importance of education to the children of Bougainville so that they can strive to reach professions that will build a better future for Bougainville.”

NRL PNG In-Country General Manager, Mark Mom.

The League Bilong Laif program is expanding into a fourth region of Papua New Guinea, commencing its school-based rugby league activities in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville this month.

League Bilong Laif uses rugby league as a tool to support education outcomes. It is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the National Rugby League (Australia) in partnership with the PNG National Department of Education and Bougainville’s Department of Education.

Photo : Children at Malasang Primary School at the launch of League Bilong Laif. Copyright: NRL Photos.

This month the program kicked off in Buka, where NRL development officers are working with around 950 students across two schools – Lonahan Primary School and Masalang Primary School

Each participating class receives five sessions of rugby league-related on-field and in-classroom activities that are non-contact and non-competitive and designed for girls and boys of all abilities.

Australian High Commissioner Ms Deborah Stokes said, “This program supports Australia’s strong youth focus in Bougainville. Empowering young boys and girls through sport is a powerful way to strengthen skills and community cohesion.”

The program uses a range of rugby league-themed educational and reading materials that the NRL has developed with Macmillan Education Australia that encourage healthy lifestyles and boost students’ physical, social, literacy and maths skills.

“Bougainville has been a nursery for many great rugby league players, including Kumuls representatives Bernard Wakatsi, Joe Katsi, Lauta Atoi (now the Honourable Member for North Bougainville), and Chris Siriosi (former Chief Secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government),” said NRL PNG In-Country General Manager, Mark Mom.

“Education is also a key priority for the people and government of Bougainville. The League Bilong Laif program will highlight the importance of education to the children of Bougainville so that they can strive to reach professions that will build a better future for Bougainville.”

Newly appointed Buka-based NRL PNG Development Officer, Stephanie Garea, said she is honoured to join the League Bilong Laif program, which employs female development officers in all its regions.

“I’m so happy to represent Buka as a woman in helping to establish this program and see female students running around with us during the sessions. I will make sure I do as much as I can as a female development officer to help my community and my region.”

The League Bilong Laif program will roll out into additional schools in Bougainville in term two.

How can you support Bougainville education ? Donate ebooks

More info and donations here BOOKGAINVILLE

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainville Autonomy Arrangements Joint Review : Download the 116 page report here

Review

 

The attached 116 page review contains a significant level of background material. The Review will be read by people who may not have access to essential information about Bougainville. We hope that this information will contribute to greater understanding of the broader context for the Joint Resolutions

It is now a public document having been tabled in the ABG House in March 2014 and the National Parliament in February 2015.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Joint Review of Autonomy Arrangements (JSB and RC approved Joint Resolutions)

This is a joint review by both governments of Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements as required under the constitutional laws. The review was due in 2010 and was not initiated until 2013.

This report, the Review, is the joint report of both governments. It is informed by six separate reports prepared by independent experts appointed by both governments. Their reports are contained in a supplementary volume. The views expressed in those reports are the views and opinions of those experts and they do not necessarily represent the views of either or both governments.

Both governments have decided to be forward looking and practical in accepting this joint report. Establishing Bougainville’s autonomy is a new journey for all parties to the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It was to be expected that there would be blockages, stumbles and some disagreements. Nonetheless, considerable progress has been made since the signing of the Peace Agreement.

The Review sets us on a joint path to remedy some of the major weaknesses while at the same time preparing for the Referendum which is due in the period May 2015 to May 2020.

The Review contains Joint Resolutions – actions by both governments at the JSB held at Kokopo on 18 October 2013 and refined at the Referendum Committee 26 October 2013. The governments will agree an implementation plan against which we will monitor progress and report to the JSB, and the respective parliaments.

The Review contains a significant level of background material. The Review will be read by people who may not have access to essential information about Bougainville. We hope that this information will contribute to greater understanding of the broader context for the Joint Resolutions.

As required by the constitutional laws the Review will be tabled in both parliaments through the National Executive Council and the Bougainville Executive Council respectively.

Below are the first few pages FYI

The Referendum Committee directed that these Joint Resolution be referred immediately to the respective Cabinets for endorsement and tabling in the respective Parliaments with the Joint Review and the Reports of the Independent experts as provided under Section 337 of the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

Planning for 2015 Autonomy Review

1.1 Joint planning for the next review of the autonomy arrangements will commence in late 2014 with the review to be conducted in the first quarter of 2015.

Review of Bougainville Constitution

2.1 The Bougainville Constitution will be reviewed by the ABG in 2014.

2.2 The recommendations from the constitutional review will be made available to the independent experts who conduct the analysis that contributes to the 2015 joint review by the National Government and ABG of Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements.

Greater awareness of Bougainville’s vision and autonomy

3.1 The ABG needs to articulate in a brief accessible document the kind of society Bougainville desires to be in the long term (not just political independence) and formulate a long term higher level strategic vision and plan for realizing the espoused vision based around the aspirations of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the people. All other planning and service delivery functions should take their cues and direction from the strategic vision.

3.2 The Bougainville Awareness Framework will be the basis for a comprehensive (region-wide, multimedia and direct face-to-face dialogue) awareness campaign be undertaken to inform the people and leaders of the strategic vision, the meaning of autonomy, how it is being implemented and its benefits, and the context and process for the impending referendum.

3.3 The ABG will take responsibility, with the National Government, for initiating a regular series of briefings with local and key national political and public service leaders to seek to significantly increase their awareness and understanding of Bougainville’s vision and entitlements.

Draw down of functions and powers to be consolidated

4.1 The governments will:

  1. jointly review the current Framework for the Draw Down of Functions and Powers;
  2. jointly take stock of and review the progress of the draw-down of functions and powers by all sectors operating in Bougainville. In 2014 the focus will be on completing and consolidating the transfer of the functions listed in Table 2 of the Joint Review;
  3. provide guidance to ensure that all future requests for the draw down of powers and functions, commencing with environment and health, comply with Sections 3 and 4 of the Organic Law and where applicable Section 43 of the Bougainville Constitution.

4.2 The drawdown of powers and functions process will be coordinated by the Chief Secretary and Chief Administrator respectively to expedite the evolutionary and smooth drawdown of functions and powers through the preparation of legislation for consideration by the Bougainville House of Representatives.

4.3 Greater attention will be given to calculating, negotiating and agreeing the on-going funding arrangements for each function and power to be drawn down by the ABG according to the provisions of the Organic Law.

4.4 The governments will work together to seek additional expert resources (including from development partners) to strengthen the ABG to manage the orderly draw down of powers and functions, and their subsequent implementation, particularly to contribute to analysis and policy development in legal, staffing, planning, financial and organisational aspects.

Social and Economic Development

5.1 Law and order – that priority be given to strengthening law and order (weapons, police and community justice) and resolving key existing conflicts that continue to hinder return to normalcy, peace and development in parts of Bougainville (e.g. Konnou and Siuwai crises).

5.2 Economy – a broad based and integrated economic strategy be designed and implemented that would include:

  1. high impact projects, down-stream processing of coca and copra and small to medium enterprises; and
  2. Support be extended to strengthening economic institutions for growth of private enterprise. A specific initiative in exploration of impact projects needs to be investigated with a view to creating much needed employment.

5.3 Infrastructure investments be coordinated through the Joint Project Management Unit such that all of the Region is connected via transportation and communications links in the shortest possible time.

5.4 Education and Health –ABG continue to expand the delivery of education and health services, especially to inland areas of North, Central and South Bougainville and at the same time orientate education and health service delivery to be in line with the strategic visioning above. Specific attention will be given to:

  1. Lost generation – that Education Division (in collaboration with relevant divisions such as Community Development, Veterans Affairs, development partners and NGOs) design and implement a specific education program targeting the lost generation.
  2. Certification and Accreditation of artisans – that ABG through a relevant division, design and implement a Trade Testing, Certification and Accreditation program for skilled village artisans in anticipation for the vocational employment when mining and other economic opportunities commence.
  3. Opportunities for the provision of vocational and technical education must be explored as a matter of urgency with reforms to entry requirements into vocational and technical schools to be started.

5.5 Strategy for Less Developed Areas – all three regions in Bougainville have pockets of isolated communities facing severe under-development. Examples include Visai in the Buin district, Rataiku in Siuwai district; Marau in Bana; Torokina; Kunua; Rotokas; and West Coast of Buka. The ABG will formulate a strategy for progressively linking and opening up these areas to social and economic development.

5.6 The governments will contribute to the immediate expansion of the reach of radio throughout the Region by ensuring current projects are implemented expeditiously.

Grants

4.5 The governments agree to discuss and negotiate a solution to the payment of outstanding Restoration and Development Grant calculated according to law and to ensure that it is then properly calculated, appropriated and paid annually to the ABG in a timely manner.

4.6 The ABG will prepare detailed budget submissions for each new function and power delegated or transferred to the ABG detailing staffing and goods and services budgetary requirements for the first and subsequent three years of implementation in Bougainville of that function or power. These submissions will be endorsed by the BEC, and where required by the Bougainville Constitution, the House of Representatives.

Audit Functions in Bougainville

7.1 The ABG will establish an internal audit function within the Administration before 1 January 2015 to be funded under the Recurrent Grant arrangements.

7.2 The PNG Auditor General will establish an office in Buka before 31 March 2014 with ABG assistance for housing and office space.

ABG Budget

8.1 The ABG will, with National Government assistance, seek to develop and implement a four-year rolling program budget for development and recurrent expenditure with the intention of giving greater certainty to the planning, budgeting and financing of all government plans and service delivery activities. This will be closely linked to the estimates prepared under Joint Resolution 4.3 (Budgets for powers and functions to be drawn down.)

8.2 The ABG will seek to capture in PGAS greater detail on the geographical spend for all development activities.

8.3 The ABG will seek partner support to undertake detailed annual expenditure analysis to contribute to the development of future budgets and assist in the prioritisation of expenditure for service delivery and enhancing autonomy.

8.4 The ABG will work with all development partners to seek to have their contributions recorded in the ABG annual budget.

Medium term economic and fiscal analysis

9.1 The ABG will commission expert assistance to undertake economic and financial analysis on the cost of various options to implement the BEC’s vision for Bougainville taking into account various development scenarios over the next five to ten years.

Financial Reporting and Capacity Improvements

10.1 The ABG will significantly improve the level of reporting on financial matters and projects to the BEC, indivicual ministers, the Bougainville House of Representatives, the National Government, development partners and the community.

10.2 The ABG will develop and then implement a comprehensive capacity development strategy to build the competencies and capabilities of the new ABG Finance and Treasury Department from January 2014.

Taxation

11.1 The ABG will host a Taxation and Revenue Summit in early 2014 to educate the political leadership and the public service of both governments about the tax and revenue arrangements and issues available to Bougainville under the existing Organic Law. Its objective will be (a) to achieve a consensus on a broad strategy, and priorities, to secure improved efficiency and effectiveness in administering the taxation and other revenue entitlements and (b) to contribute to future revenue policy development being properly informed particularly when it seeks to improve the ABG’s ability to achieve the fiscal objectives of the Peace Agreement.

11.2 Based upon the outcome of the Revenue Summit ABG will review its Office of the Chief Bougainville Collector of Taxes to assess future staffing and capacity needs.

11.3 The ABG will activate arrangements to establish the audit function provided in the Organic Law to monitor the collection of revenues by the IRC.

11.4 The IRC will be provided with additional resources in Port Moresby, the regional office and in Buka to undertake its role including an increased awareness program across the region.

Public Administration

12.1 An immediate joint review be carried out on NCOBA to determine its continued relevance and its future roles and responsibilities. The ABG and the National Government should give serious consideration setting up the ABG to manage coordination with the National Government on its own with current NCOBA resources shared between an ABG representative office and the ministry.

12.2 The ABG with the assistance of the National Government will take immediate steps to put in place a weapons disposal plan and set a concrete time to implement weapons disposal prior to 2015. It then should move quickly to implement this plan.

12.3 The ABG take immediate steps to put in place a peace and reconciliation plan and that this plan be immediately implemented before 2015.

12.4 The new structure and operations of the Bougainville Public Service will strengthen and enhance reporting and accountability arrangements including enhancing the roles of ministers and the BEC in setting policy and monitoring the performance of the Administration.

12.5 The ABG will develop and implement a capacity building programme, based around the White Paper on Councils of Elders to resuscitate the capacity of Councils of Elders and Village Assemblies to ensure that they are operational and remain sustainable as the second tier of government in Bougainville.

Good governance

13.1 The governments note the expert’s view that when all the reports are read together and a number of indicators are looked at it is doubtful if it could be said that the ABG was achieving the required standard of good governance in public administration as at mid-2013.

13.2 The governments agree that for future joint reviews greater clarity is needed on the set of indicators (having reference to the constitutional definition) against which good governance is to be assessed taking into account the available sources of quality data.

13.3 In early 2014, with Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs’ assistance, the ABG will complete a joint organisational assessment using an agreed set of Key Result Areas and indicators based upon the Provincial Performance Improvement Initiative, to be repeated in early 2015 to feed into the 2015 joint review of the autonomy arrangements. ABG and Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs will seek to involve a representative from East New Britain Province (and/or Milne Bay Province) in the assessments given those provinces’ above average performance in service delivery.

13.4 The ABG will complete its 2014-2016 Corporate Plan by 31 March 2014.

Capacity Development

14.1 The governments agree that they will apply significant resources, with the support of development partners, to implement the BEC approved Capacity Development Strategy for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (November 2012).

House of Representatives and Principal Legal Officer

15.1 The governments will engage, when appropriate, in collaborative efforts to consider the issues of construction of a permanent Parliament building for the House. [This is dependent upon the ABG and its people determining the location of the seat of government.]

15.2 The ABG will undertake a review to assess the required level of resources for the House for the next five years, including recruitment of its necessary administrative support staff, build office capacity and fund resources necessary.

15.3 The ABG will expand programs for induction (after 2015 elections) and ongoing training of Members of the House of Representatives so they understand their roles and the parliamentary procedures and processes. [This should be alongside the AusAID funded mentoring of the House by the NSW Parliament.]

15.4 The ABG will immediately recruit the Bougainville Principal Legal Officer, the principal adviser to the BEC, through an open and transparent process and support the office with lawyers, support staff and resources.

Law and Justice

16.1 Recognising that improving law and order is the people’s highest priority, the governments agree that there is a need to develop and implement, as soon as possible, a clear implementation plan for the transfer of police and correction services functions and powers to the ABG based upon the specific constitutional provisions

16.2 As part of and under the recently launched police modernisation program, GoPNG will give special attention to infrastructure capacity development, funding of resources and police manpower in Bougainville to bring police service to at least pre-crisis level.

16.3 The Police Service, Correctional Service, the Courts and the other law and justice constitutional offices are an integral part of law enforcement, maintaining peace and order and for public security. Both governments will give attention to building the capacity of all aspects of the law and justice system in order to prepare the ABG to be able to enact its own laws to transfer of related powers and functions when appropriate and affordable.

16.4 Given the importance of establishing and maintaining law and order in Bougainville both governments will support the police and correctional services special working groups to analyse and develop appropriate short and medium term funding proposals for the police and correctional services in Bougainville based upon an optimal configuration of staff and facilities.

Mining

17.1 The governments will review the 15-step strategy and seek to implement it in full consultation with each other.

17.2 The governments will as a matter of urgency meet in the Joint Consultative Coordinating Committee on Panguna Negotiations and agree the budget and potential sources of support for a comprehensive program of consultation, analysis and information-sharing so that the ABG, the landowners and the National Government are fully prepared to advocate and negotiate among each other and with BCL the new terms and conditions for mining and exploration leases associated with Panguna Mine.

17.3 Both governments will continue to support building staff capacity of the ABG Mining Department and other departments in order for them to be fully prepared to administer, implement and monitor mining (including issuing, managing and monitoring of mining tenements) and other legislation associated with the possible re-opening Panguna Mine, other mining operations (if any).

17.4 The ABG will continue to consult the National Government through the Department of Mining Policy and the Mineral Resources Authority on the ABG’s proposed transitional law in accordance with the Alotau Agreement, prior to the House enacting the law. The ABG to continue wider consultation of all stakeholders in the ARB in formulating its mining legislation and the Panguna negotiations.

The Referendum

18.1 The governments will meet quarterly in the Referendum Committee, and then at the Joint Supervisory Board, to monitor and discuss the preparations for the Referendum.

18.2 The governments agree that the Referendum will be conducted by an independent agency established for that purpose under Section 58 of the Organic Law on Peace -Building in Bougainville-Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum 2002.

18.3 The governments agree that by 31 March 2014 the work plan for establishing the arrangements to conduct the Referendum will be completed including specifics on the roles, responsibilities and resources needed for:

  1. the administrative arrangements including establishing the independent agency to conduct a free and fair Referendum in Bougainville;
  2. engaging with international partners to obtain support for the independent agency and the conduct of the Referendum;c. seeking secure sources of funding for the agency to conduct a free and fair Referendum;d. maintaining and supporting regular fora for officials (Referendum Committee) and political leaders;

    e. establishing a Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee of the National Parliament on Bougainville Affairs and a similar committee of the Bougainville House of Representatives so as to provide oversight, direction and monitoring of progress towards the Referendum;

    f. establishing a process of consultation with Bougainvilleans, and others, determine the link or links a person has to have to Bougainville, including those of non-residents, to vote in the Referendum [See Peace Agreement Article 315 and Organic Law Section 55];

    g. reviewing the legal and administrative Rules for the Conduct of the Referendum as contained in the First Schedule to the Organic Law taking into account issues and experiences arising from two Bougainville elections and any other relevant matter.

    h. establishing a process of consultation with Bougainvilleans and others, to seek agreement on the options to be voted on in the Referendum, including independence [PNG Constitution Section 338];

    i. developing and implementing a generalised awareness campaign within Bougainville on the process and arrangements for Referendum. [Awareness on the Referendum itself will be conducted impartially by the independent agency established to conduct the Referendum.]; and

    j. complying with the Bougainville Constitution’s general and specific provisions for consultation within the Region including with traditional leaders and others.

    Feedback to the People

    19.1 The government will support the independent experts to meet with the people of Bougainville through a series of public consultations to close the consultation loop through feedback and deliver the Joint Review to the communities. These sessions will include representatives of both governments.

    .

Australia investing AU$14 million over 5 years for Bougainville gender equality programs

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The Australian Government is providing PGK 3.5m to support the work of the Bougainville Women’s Human Rights Defenders and to develop advocacy programs aimed at changing behaviours around gender-based violence.
The Nazareth Centre for Healing will deliver the new program of support, ‘From Gender Based Violence to Gender Justice and Healing’, with the assistance of the International Women’s Development Agency. The support package was announced at the International Women’s Day breakfast hosted by the Bougainville Women’s Federation in Buka on 12 March.
In partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Australia is investing AU$14 million over five years for more programs to improve gender equality in Bougainville.

Bougainville Education News : Bougainville schools can win Laptop and Kindle in essay competition

Bougainville Education News :Essay competition is an opportunity for students to have their say about the Bougainville’s future

Please share with your schools and networks

2014-05-26 12.56.40

A new essay competition for secondary and high school students in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will provide youth with an opportunity to have their say about the future of the region.

Revised Closing date Friday 13 March 2015

The topic

“Is having a vote enough? What are citizens’ responsibilities in promoting and upholding democracy?”

aims to engage youth in discussion and what they see for their own future as Bougainvilleans.

Sponsored by the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea, the competition offers a laptop computer as a first prize.

The secondary and high school that the winning student attends will receive a Kindle (Can hold up to 1,400 books) from the Arawa based Bougainville E-reader Education Revolution Project that currently has 55 Kindles being distributed to 11 schools throughout Bougainville. SEE WEBSITE

Entries are open now and close on Friday 13 March 2015

The essay competition is open to all high school and secondary school students in Bougainville. Essays are to be 600 – 1000 words.

Entries can be mailed or submitted in person to the Australian High Commission Buka Office, Tsirin Motors Building, Haku Street, Buka or emailed to Public-Affairs-PortMoresby@dfat.gov.au

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Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainville Development News: Download Australian Govt report on Bougainville assistance 2012-14

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The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has released a report “Highlights of Australia’s development assistance to Bougainville 2012-2014 ” in the following essential areas: Photo above Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently in Arawa

DOWNLOAD Report HERE

report Australian Govt Assistance to Bougainville 2012-2014

Health,

Education,

Law and Justice,

Transport infrastructure,

and Governance.

Australia has been increasing its assistance to Bougainville in support of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), to which Australia is a witness.

In 2013-14, Australia provided nearly PGK100 million in assistance.

The bulk of Australia’s assistance to Bougainville has been provided through our national programs in health, education, transport infrastructure, and law and justice.

Support in these sectors is aimed at improving service delivery across Bougainville.

Australia also gives Bougainville special consideration due to its post-conflict status, providing additional advisory support through the Provincial and Local level Governments Program and targeted assistance through the Governance and Implementation Fund, to help implement autonomy and public sector reform, support economic development and improve governance.

Australia is also keen to increase its support in the area of economic development, expanding on the work already underway through the aid program.

In Education, Australia will construct further classrooms, teacher houses and ablution blocks across Bougainville. This will improve access to education and assist in growing school communities by providing houses for new teachers. 
In Law and Justice, Australia will continue to provide training support and mentoring to the BPS and other law and justice agencies. More funding for infrastructure will be given, building on the significant infrastructure support we have provided over the last two years. 
In Transport, Australia will continue to repair and maintain hundreds of kilometres of Bougainville’s main road network, and look to seal another section of road in Central Bougainville. We will also turn our attention more to South Bougainville, with additional funding earmarked for maintenance of the region’s roads. 
Australia will expand its efforts to help the ABG and PNG Government to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement. In doing so, we will be providing increased advisory support in a range of key areas including: planning and delivery of infrastructure; human resources; public financial management; organisational management and planning; policy making; legal advice and drafting; peace building; communications; law and justice; and health. 
The Governance and Implementation Fund will be expanded and pursue a number of high profile projects. Examples include the roll-out of shared email and internet access across the ABG, facilitating better communication and data storage; support to the Division of Human Resources to recruit new public servants to fill the many vacancies across the public service; expansion of the GIF’s adult literacy program; and delivery of key infrastructure projects, including Council of Elders facilities in Panguna, Tinputz and Kunua, a state house complex in Arawa and refurbishment of the Office of the Chief Secretary.

 

Past work Including

Health

In 2012 and 2013, Australia provided medical kits containing essential medical supplies from quality-assured organisations, improving the availability of medicines across the region.

Education

Between 2012 and 2014, Australia built a double classroom, teacher’s house, office and an ablution block in 20 primary schools across Bougainville.
This support has improved the learning environment in the selected schools, reduced class sizes and improved health and hygiene.
As a result of Australia’s investment in education infrastructure in Bougainville, up to 1,600 students have access to a better learning environment and improved health and hygiene facilities.
In 2012 and 2013, Australia supported the roll-out of the PNG Government’s Tuition Fee Free Education Policy, which directly benefited more than 50,000 Bougainvillean children and their families.
Australia has invested in restoring Bougainville’s law and justice sector.
In the last two years, Australia has provided significant support for infrastructure rehabilitation, including:
•              construction of dormitories at the Bougainville Police Service (BPS) Training Centre in Buka
•              construction of police accommodation in Buka, Wakunai, Tinputz, Arawa and Buin for more than 100 BPS officers;
•              refurbishment and additions to the Buka and Wakunai police stations, including the opening of Family and Sexual Violence Unit, police Q-Store and cell block;
•              construction of a law and justice sector training centre in Arawa;
•              construction of a court house in Buin;
•              construction of community justice centres in Tinputz, Wakunai and Torokina; and
•              construction of a family violence safe house for women in Buin, and a market upgrade in Buka.

Bougainville News: Radio Ples Lain’s (mobile community radio station) first broadcast.

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Radio for a referendum

By Jeremy Miller, Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) Communications Specialist, Bureau Media and Communications, Department of the President and BEC Autonomous Bougainville Government*

Turning up to any small community in a vehicle that can send a telescopic radio mast 20 metres into the sky is a pretty good way to advertise your arrival. If that community is in Bougainville and hasn’t had radio for more than 15 years since a decade-long conflict destroyed all infrastructure, nor had access to newspapers or TV – then you begin to understand the excitement of the growing crowd, observing our preparations for Radio Ples Lain’s (mobile community radio station) first broadcast.

We’re in Halia, the constituency of Patrick Nisira, Vice-President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and I’m training a small and enthusiastic team of young Papua New Guinean media professionals recruited and equipped with the assistance of Australia’s aid program.

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Officially launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop in Arawa in December 2014, the Radio Ples Lain communication project aims to enable the government to provide its people with information about the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and preparations for the upcoming referendum – a referendum that will determine the region’s political status. It’s heavy material, but in the Bougainville way, a school choir arrives unannounced and we welcome them onto the show to sing a few songs they’ve been practicing since they heard we were coming. As the broadband-like grapevine spins into overdrive, the local magistrate and then the district police officer turn up and deliver crime prevention messages aimed at a growing youth population succumbing to dangerously powerful local homebrew and marijuana.

Later into the five-hour program, we open the lines for SMS and talk back. I’m astounded at the positive response. People far beyond our anticipated 30kms radio footprint are texting in with messages of goodwill for the project, and more importantly calling in with questions for the Vice-President which he’s even more delighted to finally get the opportunity respond to live on air.

Before the show ends, with our temporary village studio feeling more like a crowded Turkish sauna, two former combatants from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army arrive. They want to go on air and tell their story. It’s a good one. The Bougainville war from 1989 to 1998 drew many into armed conflict and many others lost their lives. But in the subsequent peace, some ex-combatants, like these two, are leading grassroot reconciliation processes critical if Bougainville is to have a chance at a peaceful and fair referendum. Their story will hopefully spread peace amongst tonight’s listeners and maybe motivate more to play a cooperative role in continuing peace and stability in Bougainville.

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As they do, it will be Radio Ples Lain’s job to travel around the region to capture and broadcast these stories, and assist an important dialogue among people, communities and government in the lead up to the referendum which is to be held within the next five years.

*Jeremy Miller, is an ACC Communications Specialist, who was on assignment with the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Bureau of Media and Communications. The Radio Ples Lain project and other communication initiatives with the Bureau of Media and Communications were funded through the Governance and Implementation Fund, a partnership between the governments of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was part of Radio Ples Lain’s broadcast in the former capital of Arawa during her recent visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.