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Tuesday 17 November 2015 | Published in Regional

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PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea has passed regulations banning foreign advisers, who are mainly Australian, from working for government departments.

The new rules force department heads to remove employees of foreign governments from their “technical adviser” roles.

The government said it still wants the help of foreign advisers, but they will be recruited by the PNG government.

John Kali, the secretary of the department of personnel management, said the advisers would “definitely not” be allowed to remain employees of a foreign government.

“Basically what we are trying to do is protect the sovereignty and security of our country by making sure that all those people now sign contracts, performance agreements with the state of PNG and their recruiting agencies, to ensure they now work to protect the interest of our country,” he said.

Kali said the PNG government is still waiting to find out how many people will be affected by the change, which comes into force on January 1.

“We are only dealing with the sectors which are covered by the Public Sector Management Act, which includes the health sector, infrastructure, department of treasury, department of finance and department of justice and attorney-general,” he said.

“I have not received any indication at this stage how many will agree to stay and how
many will agree to move on but that comes back to discussions with different aid donors.”

Advisers to the Royal PNG Constabulary, PNG Defence Force, correctional services, the judiciary, state-owned entities and universities will be exempt from the ban.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, first flagged the ban in July, saying foreign advisers were making PNG workers lazy and were potentially spying.

- ABC