Civil Administration Reform: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (B)(10):

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

194. (a) Bougainville law will provide for standards for management and control of public servants, work value criteria and standards for pay determination, as well as classification and grade structure compatible with those of the National Public Service.

(b) Bougainville laws on the above will be made following consultations with the National Government.

195. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government, through their respective Ministers and responsible Public Service Heads, will consult with a view to reaching agreement before general pay increases which will impact on the National and Bougainville budgets.

196. The autonomous Bougainville Government will consult the National Government before making or amending the Bougainville Public Service General Orders (or their equivalent).

197. The autonomous Bougainville Government will consult the Head of the National Government Department responsible for National Public Service personnel matters before appointing the most senior Public Servant responsible for Public Service matters in Bougainville.

198. (a) The National Government will monitor developments in the Bougainville Public Service.

(b) The autonomous Bougainville Government will keep the National Government informed about developments in the Bougainville Public Service, including proposed changes of policy and budgetary allocations for personnel, and facilitate monitoring by the National Government.

199. (a) The Bougainville Constitution will make provision for an independent body which will be responsible for reviewing decisions on personnel matters in relation to the Bougainville Public Service.

(b) The autonomous Bougainville Government will meet the costs of this body.

200. The National Public Service will continue to establish positions and transfer personnel to Bougainville to carry out National powers and functions.

201. The autonomous Bougainville Government will co-operate with the National Government to ensure that such positions and personnel can be filled and operate efficiently and effectively.

202. Until such time as the autonomous Bougainville Government establishes the Bougainville Public Service, the National Government will facilitate progress towards greater autonomy in the management of the Public Service in Bougainville through delegations by the Departmental Head responsible for Personnel Management matters in the National Public Service, to the Bougainville Administrator under current legislation.

203. These transitional arrangements will be implemented on receipt of a request from the Bougainville Interim Provincial Government or the autonomous Bougainville Government.

204. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will develop a recruitment and training plan for building Public Service capacity in Bougainville.

205. On the coming into force of the law establishing the Bougainville Public Service, a mutually agreed transitional period will be effected by the Act, during which period serving public servants will remain as members of the National Public Service. On conclusion of the transitional period, all of those public servants will become members of the Bougainville Public Service, other than any who choose not to leave the National Public Service. The National Government will be responsible for the accrued rights and entitlements of transferred public servants to the point of transfer. Those rights and entitlements will be fully portable.

206. During the transitional period, the National Public Service and the Bougainville Public Service will give proper consideration to the transfer of public servants in Bougainville who may wish to serve elsewhere in Papua New Guinea and the integration or secondment into the Bougainville Public Service of those members of the National Public Service who wish to continue to serve in the Bougainville Public Service.

207. (a) During the transitional period, the Bougainville Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management, will plan for implementation of the Bougainville Public Service, including determination of:

(i) organization structures;

(ii) terms and conditions;

(iii) General Orders; and

(iv) manpower budgets.

(b) The transitional arrangements will include the development and publication of Bougainville General Orders to be executed by the Bougainville Administrator under powers of delegation granted under the Public Services (Management) Act.

208. The plan will be subject to the authority of the autonomous Bougainville Government.

209. The National Public Services (Management) Act, together with Bougainville General Orders, will apply in Bougainville until the autonomous Bougainville Government makes and implements equivalent legislation or General Orders of its own.

Implementation History


Intermediate Implementation

The autonomy provision in the peace agreement gave the proposed Autonomous Bougainville Government every power, including the power to establish its own public service and civil administration. The implementation of this provision, however, cannot be ascertained without the implementation of the autonomy provision in the agreement. 


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 power over its own police, courts, public service, and taxation as of January 2002.2

There remained much needed reforms and the delegation of power from the PNG Government. On November 13, 2002, the Bougainville Governor, John Momis, warned the Papua New Guinea Government that a continuing decline in public services on Bougainville was jeopardizing the peace process. The peace agreement promised improvements in services such as power and health, but the administration only received a fraction of what it needed to implement improvements.3 PNG inter-government minister, Sir Peter Barter, said that the decline in services on Bougainville was in part due to a public service that was too big.4

  • 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.
  • 3. "Bougainville governor warns poor services threaten peace process," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 13, 2002.
  • 4. "PNG minister says Bougainville public service needs to be cut," United News of Bangladesh, November 19, 2002.

Intermediate Implementation

The status of public services remained a very important issue among Bougainville leaders. Bougainville leaders asked the relevant authorities to immediately deal with the “shattered state of the public service on the island” before the formation of Autonomous Bougainville Government. North Bougainville MP James Togel said, “only a minority of employees in the public sector were dedicated to their jobs; others were not and that was unfair to public servants in other provinces."5 Bougainville reportedly had more than 300 public servants; most of them were ghost names. However, shortly thereafter, the Bougainville Interim Government approved a reduction in the size of Bougainville public services.6

  • 5. "Buka's laid-back public service is annoying," PNG Post-Courier, January 22, 2003.
  • 6. "B'ville cuts back on cost, public servants to be retrenched," PNG Post-Courier, January 24, 2003.

Intermediate Implementation

On 14 January 2004, the National Government handed over the Constitution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Arawa.7 The new Autonomous Bougainville Constitution includes the establishment and functioning of a public services commission. As part of the public service reform initiative, administrator Peter Tsiamalili, “said the size of the Bougainville public service will be slashed from the present 600 to 300 before the end of the year, adding that out of that one third will be based at the provincial headquarters and two thirds in the districts."8 

  • 7. "Papua New Guinea government hands over Bougainville constitution," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 17, 2005.
  • 8. "B’ville workforce to be downsized," PNG Post-Courier, September 13, 2004.

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.