Executive Branch Reform: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (B)(4):

29. The Bougainville Constitution will provide for the autonomous Bougainville Government to include an accountable executive body.

30. There will be a head of the executive whose title, method of appointment, and powers and functions will be specified in the Bougainville Constitution.

43. The bodies established by or under the Bougainville Constitution to make appointments of Bougainville judges, other constitutional office-holders, and heads of the Bougainville Police and any body equivalent to the Correctional Institutional Services shall include two nominees of the National Government.

50. Consistent with national sovereignty, the National Government will exercise powers and functions on the National Government list in relation to Papua New Guinea as a whole, including Bougainville.

51. The agreed National Government list is as follows:

• Defense;

• Foreign relations;

• Immigration;

• Highly migratory and straddling fish stocks;

• Central Banking;

• Currency;

• International civil aviation;

• International shipping

• International trade;

• Posts;

• Telecommunications;

• Powers required for direct implementation of the National Constitution, as amended in implementation of this Agreement (for example, citizenship, national elections);

• All other powers for which the National Government is responsible under other provisions of this Agreement.

Bougainville List of Powers and Functions

52. The list of powers and functions of the autonomous Bougainville Government
will:

(a) include all known or identifiable powers not on the National Government list, beginning with the powers that have been available to provincial governments under the National
Constitution;

(b) be developed during the drafting of the Constitutional Laws implementing this Agreement.

53. The Bougainville list will include the power to decide on foreign investment applications for Bougainville, and the autonomous Bougainville Government may establish its own administrative mechanism in relation to foreign investment matters for Bougainville.

Implementation History

2001

Minimum Implementation

The Executive Branch reform provision is envisaged in terms of reforms that took place in order to implement the autonomy provision of the peace agreement. The majority of the reforms related to the executive branch are related to how the PNG Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government managed to draw a line of executive power.

After signing the peace agreement in August 2001, the PNG Government worked toward establishing an Autonomous Bougainville Government. According to a BBC news report, Bougainville Affairs Minister, Moi Avei, was said to be working with other government agencies to develop plans for the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, as well as planning for reconstruction and development. Funding for such plans came from the 2002 budget.1

  • 1. "Papua New Guinea minister urges Bougainville press ahead on arms disposal," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, October 15, 2001.
2002

Intermediate Implementation

On January 23, 2002, the PNG Parliament unanimously passed the Constitutional amendments related to Bougainville. Both sides of the House were united to ensure that the proposed legislation, giving more autonomy to the Bougainville Government, remained on track for the final reading in March. The amendment also allowed for a referendum on independence to be held within 10 to 15 years.2

On March 27, 2002, the PNG Parliament voted unanimously in favor of proposed constitutional amendment and organic law on peacebuilding in Bougainville. On that occasion, the Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, said that the government would continue to play its part in planning and preparing for the establishment of the autonomous Bougainville government.3

On September 3, 2002, Bougainville Governor, John Momis, officially announced the appointment of the Bougainville Constitutional Commission (BCC).4 The new constitution would bring substantial reform to the executive powers of the PNG government. 

  • 2. "Papua New Guinea: Bougainville bill clears first hurdle," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 24, 2002.
  • 3. "Papua New Guinea premier says "no turning back" on Bougainville autonomy," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 28, 2002.
  • 4. "Papua New Guinea: Bougainville Constitutional Commission announced," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 3, 2002.
2003

Intermediate Implementation

No information available. Constitution committee was formed in September 2002. 

2004

Full Implementation

On January 14, 2004, the National Government handed over the Bougainville Autonomous Region’s constitution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Arawa.5 The constitution brings executive branch reform by specifying executive powers of the PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government. According to Article 3 of the Bougainville Constitution, “The Autonomous Bougainville Government has jurisdiction only over the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in accordance with this Constitution and the Bougainville Peace Agreement as implemented in Part XIV (Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum) of the National Constitution."

  • 5. "Papua New Guinea government hands over Bougainville constitution," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 17, 2005.
2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.