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Communiqué – 2017 Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference

2017 Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference

22 to 25 May 2017
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

1. The 2017 Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference (PPSCC) was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from Monday 22 May to Thursday, 25 May 2017. A total of 24 participants from 14 Pacific Nations, the Pacific Islands Centre of Public Administration and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat attended. The list of countries represented and their representatives is at Attachment A.

2. The theme for the conference was “Ethical and Values-based Leadership and Governance in the Pacific

3. Funding for the conference was provided by the Government of Australia through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, and the Government of Papua New Guinea.

4. Commissioners expressed their deep gratitude to the Honourable Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, staff of the PNG Department of Personnel Management, other public servants and people of PNG for the organisation and hosting of the conference, as well as the warm hospitality extended to them during their stay in PNG.


1. Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct

The Conference expressed their appreciation for the tour of University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration (PNGIPA). The Conference also expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the leaders of these organisations as well as the Precinct Advisory Board and engineers.

Several members of the Conference identified that they wanted to be part of the Precinct or to send their staff or students for training through the Precinct.

2. Jurisdictional reports

Each Pacific Island nation provided their jurisdictional report. This report covered the challenges and opportunities in the public sector in their respective countries. All members appreciated the updates and agreed to share with other members.

3. Ethical and values based leadership

PNG through Secretary Kali outlined the development of the PNG Ethics and Values Based Capability Framework. This was well received by all members.

The Conference agreed that the six (6) Values in the Framework are shared across the Pacific and can go across the public and private sectors. The Conference identified that there is a conflict between some of the Customary values, Christian values and Organisational values. As public servants, it was agreed that the public interest should be put first.

4. Future of the PPSCC

The Conference agreed on the importance of the ongoing continuation of the conference. Commissioners fulfil a dual role in providing strategic advice to political leaders in the region, as well as responding to implementing decisions of these political leaders.

It was agreed that the rationale for the Conference can be strengthened through a strong, evidence based business case, which would be important in seeking donor funding. One method for this could be a mapping exercise on capability and capacity across the Pacific region which will provide a benchmark.

The governance structure and arrangements for future conferences was agreed by the Conference with the amendment of adding linkages to domestic and regional bodies, as well as clarifying the scope of a Governing Board.

The Conference agreed to strengthen relationships with key leadership fora such as the Pacific Islands Forum and Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.

It was further agreed that the paper on the future of the Conference be populated with indicative costs to support discussions for each jurisdiction with their Government.

For future conferences, the Conference agreed to the following themes:

  • Theme 2018: Open and Transparent Government and Leadership (e.g. ICT, Social media policies, citizen-centric policy development, citizen/public perception of the public service)
  • Theme 2019: Leaders adding public value (including inclusiveness, success stories, gender, domestic and workplace violence, disability, migrants, seasonal workers, workplace bullying and harassment).

5. Membership of the PPSCC

The Conference agreed to welcome New Caledonia and French Polynesia as members of the PPSCC. It was also agreed that membership of the Conference should mirror the membership of the Pacific Islands Forum. Timor Leste will remain as an observer to the Conference.

6. Acknowledgement

The Conference acknowledged the contributions made by PICPA over the years in organising and coordinating previous conferences.

The Conference also acknowledged the high level support and contributions from Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

7. Way forward

The Conference agreed for the Working Group to revise the paper as soon as possible on the future of the conference, taking into account the comments made throughout the conference. The Conference will provide prompt support to the Working Group.

Once finalised, the paper will be distributed to all PPSCC members to support discussions with their Governments.

The Conference has accepted New Caledonia’s offer to host the 2018 Conference in Noumea around May/June 2018 and New Caledonia will join the Working Group. The other members of the Working Group are PNG, Palau, Samoa, and Australia with support from the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.