Police Reform: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (B)(10)(c):

210. The Bougainville Police will be subject only to the control of the autonomous Bougainville Government through a Minister (or equivalent) of that Government.

211. The Bougainville Police will not be subject to command except in accordance with Bougainville law.

212. (a) The Head of the Bougainville Police will be appointed and subject to removal for just cause by an independent commission established under the Bougainville Constitution, which will include two representatives of the National Government, one of whom will be the Commissioner of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) or his nominee.

(b) The head of the Bougainville Police will have a title other than Commissioner, and hold a rank below that of Commissioner of the RPNGC.

213. The Bougainville Police will be responsible for preserving peace and good order and maintaining and, as necessary, enforcing both National and Bougainville laws in an impartial and objective manner, and with full regard for human rights.

214. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will agree to arrangements for maintaining and enforcing National laws.

215. The National Government (working, where appropriate, through the RPNGC) will inspect and audit compliance of the Bougainville Police in respect of maintaining and enforcing National laws.

216. The autonomous Bougainville Government will facilitate these inspections and audits.

217. Any differences about agreed arrangements will be resolved through the agreed dispute resolution procedures.

218. The RPNGC may itself exercise its functions in Bougainville.

219. The autonomous Bougainville Government and the Bougainville Police, and the National Government and the RPNGC, will develop appropriate agreed arrangements to facilitate the exercise of those functions.

220. The autonomous Bougainville Government and the Bougainville Police will provide all reasonable assistance to the RPNGC in the exercise of those functions.

221. The parties accept that the National Government has no immediate plans to redeploy Police Mobile Units or similar units to Bougainville after they have been withdrawn in accordance with the agreed weapons disposal plan.

222. After phased withdrawal, RPNGC Police Mobile Units or similar units will be deployed to Bougainville only after consultation (through procedures appropriate to the urgency of the particular situation) and consensus is reached between the National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government in support of that deployment.

223. The Bougainville Police will not develop the equivalent of an armed Police Mobile Unit.

224. Bougainville law for the Bougainville Police will provide for the following:

(a) core training and personnel development arrangements consistent with those of the RPNGC; and

(b) rank structure, and terms and conditions of employment consistent with those of the RPNGC.

225. The uniforms, vehicles, premises and stationery of the Bougainville Police will include the National Emblem or name.

226. The co-operative arrangements for the Bougainville Police will include:

(a) mutual assistance in law enforcement;

(b) compatible policing standards, procedures and equipment, including co-operative procurement arrangements.

227. The Bougainville Police and the RPNGC will develop agreed arrangements for continuing access by the Bougainville Police to specialist services (for example, forensic, criminal investigation, etc.) and other support from the RPNGC.

228. The parties recognize that these agreed policing arrangements will require a balance between the following needs:

(a) for the fundamentals of criminal law to be consistent and capable of consistent enforcement throughout Papua New Guinea; and

(b) for Bougainville to be able to develop its own approaches to criminal law.

229. (a) The National Government will provide the autonomous Bougainville Government with funding by way of guaranteed annual conditional grants for the specific purpose of meeting the recurrent costs of policing in Bougainville.

(b) The minimum grant will be sufficient to support existing levels of police activities in Bougainville.

(c) The grant will be adjusted annually on the same basis as the adjustment of the recurrent grant.

230. The National Government will provide the autonomous Bougainville Government with guaranteed conditional grants intended to:

(a) restore civilian peacetime policing in Bougainville, one measure to be the reaching of normal levels of policing elsewhere in Papua New Guinea, such funding to be taken into account in the calculation of the amount of the grant for recurrent costs of policing in subsequent years;

(b) provide for further development of policing services in Bougainville.

231. Grants to the autonomous Bougainville Government in relation to policing will be taken into account when determining progress towards fiscal self-reliance by the autonomous Bougainville Government.

232. The additional costs of establishing and maintaining the Bougainville Police outside the RPNGC will be equitably shared between the National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government.

233. The Bougainville Police and the autonomous Bougainville Government will maintain order and enforce the law on behalf of Bougainville and the State as a whole and shall seek support and assistance from other appropriate state agencies to deal with threats or situations in which that support or assistance is required.

234. On the request of the autonomous Bougainville Government, the RPNGC may deploy additional police to assist the Bougainville Police.

235. (a) Until such time as the autonomous Bougainville Government establishes the Bougainville Police under the Bougainville Constitution, the National Government will facilitate progress towards greater autonomy in the policing arrangements in Bougainville through delegations by the Police Commissioner of administrative and operational powers and functions to the Provincial Police Commander in Bougainville.

(b) These arrangements will be implemented on receipt of a request from the Bougainville Interim Provincial Government.

236. The Bougainville Police will initially be made up of RPNGC personnel who will serve on a basis to be agreed.

237. (a) The RPNGC Commissioner will consult the executive of the autonomous Bougainville Government on the appointment of the Police Commander in Bougainville and appoint their nominee.

(b) The National Government will make the delegations of administrative and operational powers and functions in such a way that the Commander is, in practice, responsible (through a Minister or equivalent)
to the Bougainville Interim Provincial Government, and, when it is established, the autonomous Bougainville Government.

238. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will develop a recruitment and training plan for building Bougainville Police capacity.

239. The RPNGC and the Bougainville Police will give reasonable consideration to the transfer of RPNGC personnel in Bougainville who wish to serve elsewhere in Papua New Guinea and the integration or secondment into the Bougainville Police of those members of the RPNGC who wish to serve in the Bougainville Police.

240. The National Police Act will continue to apply in Bougainville, subject to necessary modifications, until the autonomous Bougainville Government passes its own legislation concerning police.

Implementation History

2001

No Implementation

The police reform provision in the peace agreement gave the proposed Autonomous Bougainville Government every power, including the Office of the Chief of Bougainville Police. The implementation of this provision, however, cannot be ascertained without the implementation of the autonomy provision in the agreement. 

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.1 Bougainville effectively had powers over its own police, courts, public service, and taxation as of January 2002.2

  • 1. "Papua New Guinea: Bougainville bill clears first hurdle," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 24, 2002.
  • 2. "Papua New Guinea to Grant Autonomy," Associated Press Online, January 23, 2002.
2003

Intermediate Implementation

The draft Bougainville constitution under consideration had provisions for constitutional offices including the Chief of Bougainville Police.3

Police reform in Bougainville gradually progressed. The PNG government proposed that, “the Bougainville police commander would be promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner in the PNG force but in practice would be responsible to the Bougainville provincial government”. It was also reported that, “up to 30 Bougainvillean police currently serving elsewhere in PNG will be progressively redeployed to their home province, to assist with training up to 100 new officers over the next two years."4 

Internal Security Minister Bire Kimisopa and Inter-Government Relations Minister Sir Peter Barter jointly announced that, “the national executive council (NEC) cabinet has formally delegated its control over the administrative and operational powers and functions of the police in Bougainville to the Bougainville Interim Provincial Executive Council (BIPEC).” "The police commissioner has drawn up the instruments raising the rank of the police commander in Bougainville to assistant commissioner. This increases the authority delegated to him under the Police Act, as well as the Public Finances Management Act and Public Service Management Act." The ministers said that the “police commissioner would be consulting the Bougainville political leadership about the special insignia Bougainville police will wear on their chests."5 “The National Executive Council decided to delegate police powers and functions to the Bougainville interim provincial government, with the formal handover scheduled for 16 or 17 December. Meanwhile, arrangements were being finalized for further strengthening Bougainville’s law and justice capacity through the deployment of 30 Bougainville police from the mainland and the recruitment of the first 50 to 100 Bougainvillean cadets for training."6 

  • 3. "Papua New Guinea: Draft Bougainville constitution under consideration," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 16, 2003.
  • 4. "New police regime planned for Papua New Guinea's Bougainville," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 26, 2003.
  • 5. "Papua New Guinea's Bougainville to have its own police," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 27, 2003.
  • 6. "Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002," United Nations, 2005, p. 395.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

On January 14, 2004, the National Government handed over the Constitution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Arawa.7 The new Autonomous Bougainville constitution has a specific provision on the Bougainville Police Service. “[S]ection 148(2) of the Constitution for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville adopted by the Bougainville Constituent Assembly in November 2004 provides for a Bougainville Police Service, not a police force – the term ‘force’ in relation to police was rejected quite explicitly. The Constitution also calls for the Bougainville police to ‘develop rehabilitatory and reconciliatory concepts of policing’, and to ‘work in harmony with communities and encourage community participation in its activities’, and ‘support and work with traditional chiefs and other traditional leaders to resolve disputes and maintain law and order in communities.'"8

  • 7. "Papua New Guinea government hands over Bougainville constitution," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 17, 2005.
  • 8. Anthony J. Regan, “Clever People Solving Difficult Problems – Perspectives on Weakness of State and Nation in Papua New Guinea,” SSGM Working Paper, 2002, http://dspace-prod1.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/43224/1/05_02wp_Regan.pdf accessed June 3, 2010.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.