EIGHTEEN new staff from PNG National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT) were told to change the bad perception people have about public servants by applying professional behaviour and good conduct in the office, during a graduation ceremony hosted by the Somare Institute of Leadership and Governance (SILAG) last Friday (1st of Sept).

“The public does not hold us (public servants) in high regards, but you must grow thick skin, hold your head high and be committed to do your work,” Acting Director- General for NISIT Mr Victor Gabi told the graduating staff.

“As new public servants, ignore such critics and work to change such perception through applying things you learn from the training. The way you dress, talk, and address clients at the office or anywhere must be professional and ethical.

“The public offices have lost touch of such ethics over the years and that’s why there are many bad perceptions from the public. Put out ignorant comments, whatever you need to do, get it done. Help your management to move NISIT forward. That’s the kind of commitment we (management) expect from you.”

Mr Gabi said the journey for NISIT started 8 years ago when there was a re-structure of the organisation hence the increase from 28 staff to the currently 119 total staff ceiling.

“There will be more recruitment next year and more trainings for you all. In NISIT, we want to partner with SILAG, train more staff and set a new standard for public service,” he said.

“I would like to congratulate you all for this fundamental journey to be a public servant.”

The 18 staff underwent a week training that started from 28th of August and ended on 1st of September at the PNG NISIT office, Boroko.

The two trainers from SILAG were Mr Joseph Saleu and Ms Nellie Arabagali.

“The weeklong course was to educate participants about the government system, policies and regulations surrounding public service office and also about NISIT and its division,” Mr Saleu said.

“NISIT has an important role to play in the country, and it is important to educate the new staff about the role NISIT plays, learn about each division, learn about their job description, what is expected of them and how they can contribute to PNG’s nation building.”

The Public Servant Induction course had a mixture of lectures, exercise, and presentations that all participants actively took part in.

The participants were from six divisions of NISIT: Standards Development, Metrology, Certification, Accreditation (PNGLAS), Corporate and the Office of the Director General.  

During the graduation ceremony, SILAG Corporate Training Manager Nellie Hamura congratulated the participants and stated that: “We have now overqualified and overconfident staff in the public service sector, but people are still underperforming.

“SILAG is here to provide the required training that is needed to enhance progress, performance and competency with certain skill base to carry NISIT forward, and other departments forward, to eventually realise the country’s Vision 2050.”

As of last month, PILAG changed its name to SILAG and is on its way to becoming a university.

Representing the participants, Mr Nelson Tai from the Office of Director-General commended NISIT for organising the training and SILAG facilitating it.

“The last 5 days has collectively been a fruitful one for us (participants) as we learn about how public service sector, the different arms of government and about NISIT as an organisation and we are thankful to NISIT and SILAG for making this event possible.”

Manager, Leadership and Governance at SILAG, Mr Bill Samson, also a practising lawyer, went through with the staff in reading their oaths and signing agreements to serve as public servants.