PM Marape Pledges Improved Security, Business Support, Payroll Reform, Urges Responsible Online Behavior after SOE

Thursday 25 January, 2024

Prime Minister and Treasurer Hon.  James Marape today, outlined the path to recovery whilst highlighting key government objectives, after two weeks under a State of Emergency (SOE).,triggered   by unrest and  damaging  and looting of shopping centres   on Wednesday 10 January 2024.

Mr Marape pledged government support to the business community affected in the unrest caused by protest by members of  Police over increased in income taxes, when addressing  a press conference at Manasupe Haus today..

 “We are looking at what level of financial assistance we can give” he stated, assuring businesses of government aid in restoring operations and losses incurred”

The Prime Minister announced reinstatement of Police Commissioner, David Manning and Secretary of the  Department of Personnel Management,  Mrs. Taies Sansan.

“We’ve uplifted the suspension of the Department of Personnel Management Secretary Mrs Taies Sansan, And she is tasked now to look at how best we can handle payroll better.“

“Department of Treasury Secretary and Department of Finance Secretary are still under suspension as we are looking deep into what actually happened.”

The Prime Minister added that there were indications that some people who were supposed to be at work were not at work.

“The Department of Information and Communications Technology has been asked to audit the ALESCO payroll system with the Finance Department.

They will update the system into something that is modern and better.”

Emphasizing the need for improved security measures, Marape announced plans to empower the Defence Forces to intervene when police are unable to maintain order.

 “We are looking at laws to empower our Defence Forces to step in when Police is not at work, this is to make sure that there is continued coverage of security and protection in our country, if one agent of law enforcement is not at work. That is the instruction that has been passed to the Attorney General.”

“Additionally, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Office (NIO) has been suspended due to their failure to provide actionable intelligence during the unrest.” stated Mr Marape.

Emphasizing the need to tackle online misinformation and harmful content, the Prime Minister stated that the Department ICT is also charged to ensure that responsible social media communications takes place in our country.

“We must not promote violence and hate speech in our country. Democracy comes with responsibility. Rights comes with responsibility. So I want to encourage those of us who are using social media, do so responsibly.”

Prime Minister stated that the Government has section 70 of the NICTA Act, and established a Social Media Management Desk that is now working to monitor social media on a 24hour basis on those who “spew fake news, hate news, pornography, and those who use social media as a tool to create anger, dissention, violence and riot in our society.”

“We will work to ensure that social media is a tool to grow our economy, and not to destroy it.”

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