The National Executive Council has recently approved the establishment of a Major Projects Co-ordination Unit (MPCU) within the Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure.
The Unit will be responsible for coordinating the management and, where necessary, securing of funding for infrastructure projects selected by NEC as being of national economic & social importance and for which completion is a high priority.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said Cabinet endorsed its establishment and further added that there were significant numbers of impact projects of great importance to the State with deadlines and priority must be given for approval and implementation.
Prime Minister O’Neill said there were three committees currently overseeing technical, contractual and completion aspects of major projects in Papua New Guinea and they include:
- High Impact Project Office (HIPO), a technical committee that operates within the Department for Works & Implementation;
- Project Steering Committee (PSC), which was established specifically for the Jacksons and Nadzab airports and;
- Project Oversight Committee (POC).
The Prime Minister said the committees only played an advisory role on various projects facilitated by participating departments. Further, the departments concerned do not have overall ownership of the projects.
“The participating departments also operate within a bureaucracy and structure that is not conducive to best achieve commercial and timely outcome for the projects that are of national importance and with sensitive deadlines,” he said.
“MPCU will have overall ownership of projects selected by NEC with clear responsibility to deliver on time and the best commercial & national interest terms.”
NEC has also approved the appointment of Garry Hersey as Interim Director heading the MPCU with a small staff including technical specialists and administration team, he said.
The team will include permanent on-going representation from the departments supporting the relevant ministries involved in the projects being undertaken by the Unit at any point in time, including:
- Civil Aviation;
- National Planning;
- Transport & Infrastructure;
- Treasury and;
- Works and Implementation
Further, NEC has approved the allocation of K5 million for the Unit’s establishment and has directed the Department of Treasury to source funding immediately, he said.
“Cabinet also directed the Unit to take responsibility for the Highlands highway rehabilitation, the Jacksons International airport upgrade and the Baiyer-Madang highway,” Mr O’Neill said.
The Prime Minister said NEC also directed that for the projects placed under the responsibility of the Unit the participating ministries and departments comply with tendering, contractual & operational matter essential for the delivery of the projects within the time frame specified by NEC after consultation with the Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure.