WITH Bougainville’s referendum on independence now less than three years away, the Autonomous Bougainville Government is working diligently to secure a successful outcome of this important political decision.
ABG chief secretary Joseph Nobetau said his priority is to build the capacity of the public service so that it can deliver on the expectations of the government and the people.
“My aim is to show leadership in reforming our institutions and structures so we can make Bougainville stronger and lay the foundation for our future, whatever state that may end up being,” Mr Nobetau said.
“Since taking on this important role, I have been meeting with department heads to discuss some of the key challenges we face.”
The discussions included how to improve government finances, build on development initiatives, increase investment, construct and improve enabling infrastructure and develop more information and communication channels.
A key topic of the discussions was education to ensure the ABG lays foundations for building better leaders.
“By working together and ensuring we align resources to deliver effective development outcomes we will be better placed to meet the president’s clear expectations and deliver on the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” Mr Nobetau said.
He said that this was essential as the outcomes of the peace agreement will form the basis of Bougainville’s future.
He also recognised the need for financial and budget autonomy and continuing negotiations with the national government on fiscal and grant based arrangements and reforms.
“We must recognise that our current financial position means we must do more with less,” Mr Nobetau said.
“We have to enhance our capacity to build a sustainable revenue stream so we can fund future services.”
He said the government had made efforts to ensure it maintains the effort to give effect to weapons disposal.
It is also enhancing opportunities for sustainable long term economic development, institutional leadership and corporate reform and public sector accountability.