- The mandate of the Department of Provincial and Local-level Government Affairs (DPLGA) comes from the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments, 1995, its enabling legislations and other legislations assigned to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations by the NEC.
DPLGA as a Key Stakeholder in Conducting Elections
- DPLGA is an integral member of several key committees including; Central Agencies Coordination Committee; Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) on National and LLG Elections; Electoral Boundaries Commission; Inter-Departmental Committee on Reforms; Electoral Commission Steering Committee; and Inter-Department Census Committee.
- DPLGA will ensure electoral reforms happen with the aim to establish an accountable voting system by improving electoral rolls, reviewing polling periods, conduct electoral boundaries review and also work closely with PNGEC to develop a feasible electronic voting system in the long term.
- Activities DPLGA is currently undertaking in consultation with PNGEC include: reviewing of electoral boundaries, receiving and assessing expression of interests from Provinces to create new LLGs and Wards before the Elections; and, establishment of the Ward Record Book system to collect and record names of all persons living in a particular LLG Ward in all the Provinces, Districts and LLGs.
Establishment of new Wards and LLGs
- Sections 26, 27, and 28 of the OLPGLLG mandates the Department to establish new Wards and LLGS. In each Open Electorate there should be three Rural LLGs and one Urban LLG. However, additional LLG can be established where special circumstances exist.
- When making submissions to the Minister and Department, every Provinces must ensure processes are strictly followed (see separate document for the process).
- There are currently 6,375 Wards and 331 LLGs in the country (as at 2019 LLG Elections). The numbers will increase with new and soon to be established Wards and LLGs.
Ward Record Book
- The Ward Record Book system is a legal requirement under Section 106 of the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments, 1995 and Section 57 of the Local-level Governments Administration Act, 1997. It will capture all important socio-economic and demographic information within a Ward boundary.
- The Marape Government has approved for Ward Record Book to be used for updating the PNG Electoral Roll and also the National Population & Housing Census through NEC Decisions No 134/2021 and 174/ 2021.
Total number of Wards covered so far: 1, 800.
- The Department will continue to establish the system in all Provinces, Districts and LLGs and aims to fully establish the system in all Wards (6,375) of the country before the 2027 National Elections.
Whole of Government approach
- DPLGA as a member of the National Election Steering Committee, coordinate with all other stakeholders both through PLSSMA and PCMCs to mobilise resources as a whole of government approach to conduct important national events like the Census and Elections.
- DPLGA will work closely with all Provincial Administrations, District Development Authorities and City Authorities to ensure the 2022 National Elections is conducted successfully.
- In a special PLLSMA Meeting held at the APEC HAUS on 3rd August 2021, all Provincial Administrators agreed unanimously to fully support the PNGEC to update the Electoral Roll in preparation for the 2022 National Elections.
- Department will issue Circular Instructions to advise the Provincial Administrations to mobilise resources to support the conduct of the 2022 NGE.
Specific roles/activities for DPLGA to support the 2022 NGE
- Gazette New Wards and finalise Consolidated LLG Gazette by first week of October 2021;
- Issue Circular Instructions to Provincial Administrations, District Development Authorities and Local-level Governments on: roles of Public Servants, Ward Recorders and Ward Members in the Electoral Roll Update exercise; allocation and Mobilisation of Resources to support the election preparation work and actual conduct of elections; and, resignation of LLG Leaders intending to contest the 2022 NGE by end of October 2021.
- DPLGA will ensure the Ward Record Book system is established in all LLG Wards before the 2027 National Elections.
Authorised for release by:
Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director