The Department has been operating without a Corporate Plan since 2018 and I must commend the Secretary for fast tracking the formulation of the Department’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024.
The Corporate Plan will now set the new strategic direction and actions that the Department intends to pursue over the next five years.
Interestingly, whilst the core mandate of the Department has been maintained throughout the Plan, with adoption by the National Government of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Roadmap in 2018, it charts a new pathway to embrace digital technology in the Public Service.
It is anticipated that the digital transformation would facilitate the Public Administration process, culture and customer experience as enabler for effective and improved delivery of services to our citizens, which has been lacking over the past decades.
Although I am mindful of PNG’s commitment under the APEC 2018 Summit to embrace the digital future, I am very much conscious of the depilating state of NBC radio stations, which is still the basic medium of communication to the rural population. Therefore, I am adamant that we need to re-build and upgrade these communication infrastructures in the provinces to allow them to continuously broadcast government information and enable ordinary people to voice their views on development issues affecting their communities.
The Corporate Plan 2020-2024 definitely represents a bold step by the Department to embark on the journey towards a digital economy.
Like other developing countries, Papua New Guinea over the past decade has adopted digital technology platforms to undertake communication and likewise use technology to conduct business on a daily basis.
There is no shying away from these technological innovations however, what is lacking is the absence of whole of Government approach through a consolidated policy and legal framework to govern the digital space in areas such as digital communication infrastructures, digital services standards and guidelines, digital skills, digital cyber and privacy related issues.
Therefore, to create an environment conducive to advance the digital transformation of our economy, it is paramount that unresolved issues as mentioned above must be adequately addressed through appropriate policy and legislation, which I believe has been put into place under the leadership of the Secretary of the Department. There is no doubt that the Department is faced with a mammoth task to deliver the digital transformation agenda and therefore, I urge relevant Departments, Agencies and the Provincial Administrations to work closely with the Ministry and my Department to ensure that through our partnership, we can collectively share the burden of transforming our country into a digital based economy.
In the meantime, I would like to call upon my colleagues, Minister for Public Service and Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management to allow the Department additional manpower as current staff limitation is restricting our efforts to deliver on our mandate.