Commissioner of Police David Manning signed a MoU between the Joint Security Task Force and the PNG Electoral Commission on Wednesday July 6 which effect Police coordination of logistic air support for the 2022 National General Election.
The MOU, which was signed in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province, was witnessed by the Chair of the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC) Mr. Ivan Pomaleu, who is also Secretary for the Department of Prime Minister and NEC.
Mr. Pomaleu said this is in recognition of the limitation of air assets available for contracting to the PNG Electoral Commission.
“The contractors engaged by the PNGEC for air support do not have adequate capacity to deliver logistics for the elections.
So after having reviewed and evaluated the air support arrangements with Hela, and the first couple of days of polling, it became necessary to reconfigure the coordination and leadership arrangement for insertion and extraction of polling teams and the required security oversight.
“This MOU recognizes the critical air assets capacities with contractors procured for the movement of polling teams and ballot papers, and sets out to achieve a more coordinated approach, and to ensure that all available air assets are coordinated through a lead point,” Mr. Pomaleu said.
He added that there will be a need to reassign resources to fill the gaps as part of this MoU, with the key outcome being the achievement of operational efficiency as the teams move into the Enga and other provinces for polling.
Chairman Pomaleu said the MoU may be reviewed depending on the evaluation of the operating environment after covering the upper highlands region and moving on to Simbu and Eastern Highlands provinces.
The MoU was a result of discussions between the Police Commissioner Manning, Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai and Secretary Pomaleu.
“Under this agreement, the RPNGC Air Wing hereby takes over the coordination and the delivery of air support,” Chairman Pomaleu said.
The RPNGC Air Wing will command, control, manage and coordinate air support for this 2022 National General Election