1501 Commissioner outlines activities for next three months

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has clearly outlined what he expects from his staff in the next three months prior to the issue of writs for the 2017 elections. He strongly urged staff from both the headquarters in Port Moresby and in the provinces to be more vigilant in performing their duties to deliver a good election to the people of PNG.

​Commissioner Gamato told staff in a general meeting last week not to be absent from duty without valid reasons and be punctual, dress appropriately, maintain discipline and always uphold PNGEC’s code of ethics in conducting themselves and their respective duties.

He outlined the program for the next three months as follows:

  • January – entry of enrolment data from field work
  • February – objection of the preliminary rolls
  • March – finalization, certification and printing of the final rolls

Mr. Gamato has instructed all provincial election managers to draw up their respective day-to-day election programs from issue of writs to return of writs so that they know exactly what to do to successfully deliver the elections in their provinces.

On the appointment of returning officers, the Commissioner will be issuing a revised instrument for their appointment which he will sign off this week and send it to the Government Printer to print and gazette. The appointment returning officers and assistant returning officers ceased on December 31, 2016.

In terms of election logistics, National Logistics & Procurement Plan has already been approved for implementation.

Mr. Gamato said it will be used as the master plan to deliver the 2017 elections and copies of the plan will be circulated to all PNGEC branches, election managers, government, foreign missions and other stakeholders.

He said the National Logistics Plan will be used to procure big ticket items such as:

  • ballot boxes
  • ballot papers
  • indelible ink
  • plastic security seals
  • §voting compartments
  • polling kits
  • medical kits
  • T-shirts for polling officials
  • §vests for counting officials polling
  • hire of helicopters, boats, ships, 300 outboard motors and 3000 vehicles.

For ballot boxes, a total of 30,000 plastic transparent ballot boxes were ordered from China and used in the 2012 elections replacing the traditional metal ballot boxes. In 2017 only 20,000 mostly metal ballot papers will be ordered from local manufacturer Barlow Industries.

In 2017 elections, PNGEC has decided to revert back to the metal ballot boxes which will be used in the Highlands provinces while the plastic ballot boxes will be for the coastal provinces.

“In total, PNGEC is looking at distributing two million general and sensitive election materials nationwide and are estimated to weigh up to 55 tones within 14 days prior to commencement of polling on June 24.”

“PNGEC is better placed in 2017 than in 2012 in terms of planning and arranging election logistics with some improvements.”

Mr. Gamato said he will be meeting with the Australian High Commission this week to see how the Australian Defence Force could be used in the 2017 elections.

In the meantime, all the training manuals for polling officials, counting officials and scrutineers have been finalized for print.

The next big task in the next three months is the recruitment of temporary electoral workers (TEWs) which the Commission is looking at engaging some 45,000 people of whom 90% would be public servants.

Once recruitment of TEWs is completed, dates would be set for training of polling officials, scrutineers and counting officials to be conducted.

Media Consultant

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