I am proud to lead the Department of Finance. There is scarcely an area anywhere else in the public sector more central to ensuring the successful delivery of some of the Government’s biggest and most far-reaching reform agendas.
Approximately 400 staff in Head Office and 900 staff in 22 Provinces and 89 Districts serve the people of Papua New Guinea with the mission ‘To promote the efficient, effective and ethical use of public money in Papua New Guinea’
In the past two years the Department has already achieved much. This includes legal reforms and the increased use of technology to support effective financial management. These milestones have been reached through the efforts of our staff which I want to acknowledge. There remains much work to be done but we have a strong foundation and a clear direction.
This Annual Management Report for 2017 provides an opportunity to pause, to take stock and review what progress has been made and where we need to concentrate our efforts going forward. By any measure, the Department made substantial progress in 2017 in taking forward the Government’s PFM reform agenda, as captured in the PEFA Road Map 2015-2018.
Major milestone reforms set out in the Road Map that have been completed include a major update and reform of the PFMA and the bringing up to date of the Public Accounts. Continuing progress with the rollout of the IFMS is also particularly pleasing; after the project had been stalled for many years the momentum started in earnest in 2016 and continued strongly in 2017. As at end 2017, the IFMS has been rolled-out to all national departments, to 43 Government agencies in all, and to six (6) statutory authorities.
A successful pilot in East New Britain Province has been completed and the rollout will be extended to all provincial and district finance offices in the year ahead, with provincial and local-level governments to follow. 2017 also saw stronger partnering with key central agencies, particularly Treasury, to pursue whole-of-government PFM reforms. A comprehensive review of procurement forged ahead, and a review of all trust accounts and public and statutory body’s non-tax revenue collection systems and practices progressed, culminating in the presentation of the Public Money Management Regularisation Bill to Parliament.
ICT following a move to a managed services arrangement for all aspects of our IT operations will continue to underpin broader efficiencies as well as greater transparency and accountability in financial management.
Performance improvements, greater efficiencies and growing capacity to push through and sustain reform will be greatly assisted by the new structure for the Department. As well as providing additional resources to key operational areas, the restructure significantly expands the department’s capacity to invest in and promote the human capital of the Department, its staff. New opportunities for training and career development, improved processes for recruitment and performance management and more effective communication and reporting will all support improved performance going forward.
I continue to greatly value and appreciate the support and loyalty of the Department of Finance staff as reform momentum continues to build. Reform milestones have been reached through the efforts of our staff, which I want to acknowledge. With 400 staff in Head Office and 900 staff in the provinces and districts, the Department is well placed to continue to serve the people of Papua New Guinea and to meet our mission to promote the efficient, effective and ethical use of public money in Papua New Guinea.