WHY MANNING INDEED - A CASE OF DISGUISED CORRUPTION

by PAUL AMATIO

I thank Minister Kramer for mentioning me by name in his post “WHY MANNING”.
I’ve taken some time to read through this and my response is this.


1. At no time did I say anything against the office of the Commissioner of Police. The Minister’s assertions that I was accusing the person in the Commissioner’s chair are baseless. I am accusing Police Minister Bryan Kramer of corruption.


2. His claim that I was causing disaffection is fallacious. I don’t recall saying anything to this effect. However I ask the Minister if he may be causing some concern about this. I grew up in the RPNGC and care for it more than he ever will. On the other hand, one really must question if it is not his own actions that are causing any disaffection in the Constabulary.


3. Stop repeating the selection process story already! It doesn’t take 6 months to make an appointment as we all know. That’s detracting from the issue at hand.


4. The regulations are just one part of the selection criteria. The others were openly advertised. And YES, tertiary qualifications was mentioned, not as a DESIRABLE but as a prerequisite meaning a MUST HAVE.


5. Kramer stated that “educational qualifications” has never been a factor in the appointment of previous commissioners. He also states that the regulations (which regulations?) do not state that educational qualifications is a requirement. With respect, that is nonsense and misdirection. He cleverly sidesteps the point that educational qualification was an advertised PREREQUISITE (not a DESIRABLE) for eligibility to be appointed or considered.


6. He says no former commissioner had to have tertiary level qualifications. Hello Minister, we’re in the 21st Century please.


7. Mr Manning is a career police officer. He has the same qualifications others have and scored probably the same as them. For example ACP Anton Billie was dropped because of tertiary qualifications. CSPs Damaru and Dr. Mitna were dropped because of rank. Then ACP (and acting COP) Manning should have gone out with ACP Billie. How did he survive? Minister Kramer’s handpicked choice.


8. Kramer have not responded directly to the statement that he and Manning have a long friendship since childhood. This amounts to cronyism and nepotism in any HR selection process as the Minister should have excused himself.


9. The question of whether COP Manning and Minister Kramer are in-laws (or not) has been denied by the Minister. Nevertheless I remind the minister that by PNG customary law and in the eyes of the law, a de-facto relationship is viewed as akin to a formal marriage. The question now is. Does Kramer have any kind of relationship with the lady? I’m sure those in Madang know.


Kramer’s actions in the days leading up to the appointment of the incumbent Police Commissioner of the RPNGC has been insidious, deceitful and corrupt. Similar to former PM Peter O’Neil’s actions, his actions have brought the offices of both the Minster for Police and the Commissioner for Police into disrepute. I have nothing against either man…just Kramer’s actions…which in my view were premeditated to procure a certain outcome while appearing to meet all the standards and were in fact designed and /or planned to circumvent or undermine set procedures and processes.
The tradition and accepted practise in the RPNGC is the officer who will act as commissioner in the COP’s absence is always the DCP/Ops. In this case, the State could have easily appointed the outgoing DCP/Ops to act in the capacity. Given that they did not, the next logical choice was DCP Tokura as the only serving DCP left. He was but then Kramer removed Tokura for reasons best known to himself, so the next in line would have been the most senior serving ACP. The ACPs are Mondiai, Billie, Kalaut, Guiness and others. They were all overlooked in preference of Manning.
I therefore maintain that this appointment was both corrupt and politically motivated because:

(1) The selected candidate was placed last ahead of other candidates by DPM although he did not score the highest merits for the position; and
(2) He lacked progressive policing command experience on the front line of policing duties; and
(3) His support to O’Neil in the 2011-2012 political impasse was not considered; and
(4) His close and personal relationship with the Minister responsible played a huge part.

The justification according to Kramer is that: “With the police force facing major discipline, command and control issues I felt he was best placed to address these issues” because he:

(1) Had served as acting commissioner for 6 months (at Kramer’s insistence and in line with a predetermined plan?), and
(2) Had served for 22 years (others had served more),and
(3) Possessed extensive special operational and project experience (what has that to do with frontline policing, discipline or command and control?).

Now “discipline”, as Kramer knows full well is a HR issue. Manning has no HR background at all – both Kalaut and Yakasa have served years in the RPNGC HRD and are better placed to address this.
Whereas “command and control issues” are management issues that affects the entire RPNGC, especially at the stations and provinces, not in SSD. So Manning’s experience in SSD and Special Projects really has no bearing here. Both Kalaut and Yakasa have a better grasp of station and province policing issues than Manning has ever had.

Readers will note, if they are open-minded, that at no time did Kramer address any of the above in his post on WHY MANNING? Yet these are pertinent and relevant questions that must be asked.
Remember that Mr Kramer said “I FELT “…not the NEC felt or DPM felt but…Kramer felt.

While these may appear credible grounds a closer look will reveal that:
1. The acting appointment period was at Kramer’s insistence.
2. The COPs 22 years’ experience are less than the others, and
3. Of these 22 years, not one was as a PSC or PPC or Division Commander; and
4. The “extensive special operations and project experience” were in support functions at SSD and PHQ, not frontline policing.

He neglects to point out that every single commissioner from the time of Bill Tiden had been a PSC and PPC. Not one came directly from SSD. This is logical because SSD is not frontline policing. It is the paramilitary support arm of the RPNGC that serves in specific special capacity roles needing specialised training and skills that are used to support frontline police officers. Officers from SSD who have been moved to frontline policing have gained an appreciation of how and where best to utilise the SSD resource and many moved on to become commissioner (examples are Gari Baki, Geoffrey Vaki, David Tasion, Paul Tohian and others).

His statement that it was an NEC decision is correct up to a point. It was not a full NEC decision as many ministers were out. By his own admission, the words “I FELT” denote that in effect, he had already determined that Manning was to become commissioner.

Furthermore it is established HR recruitment protocol that where a close personal relationship exists between a selector and a candidate, that selector asks to be excused from the selection process. So did Kramer at any time ask the Chairman of the NEC to be excused? If not, then his presence on the final NEC selection meeting created a clearly biased situation which placed the other two contenders at a decided disadvantage. In my view, that is sufficient grounds for a judicial review and investigation by the Ombudsman Commission. (The case of later Peter Peipul comes to mind where he appointed a relative to a senior position in Foreign Affairs when he was the Minister).

So with the crime situation in this country spiralling out of control, do we need a Minister who thinks he is police commissioner? I refer to Kramer’s intended 2020 police actions in Madang which is highly improper as by law, the power and authority to commit or use police resources of any kind for any purpose is at the complete and utter discretion and direction of the police commissioner only. NOT THE MINISTER. So Kramer is now dictating police operations? I can only say…Wow!
In addition to these, the question of if I did have a preferred candidate has been brought up by various supporters of Kramer. The truth is yes I did. I would have accepted the decision if he had been beaten to the post by another equal or better candidate. The fact is he was not. He was defeated by nepotism and cronyism which are the hallmarks of corruption. Isn’t CORRUPTION what we are talking about and against?

I am ready to defend my position in any Court. Only there will the whole truth come out. As we all know, anything said in court will become a matter of public record. Whichever way we twist and turn the truth will always come out.

I had predicted that the removal of DCP Tokura and installment of Manning was a prelude to Manning eventually becoming Commissioner. I was right. When the acting appointment was extended further, I again predicted that this was to justify Kramer eventually using this period to justify Manning’s appointment. Again I was correct. And now, I say here that Manning’s appointment was secured corruptly. I believe I am correct here too.

To apologise would be an admission of error or guilt on my part. It would also be an admission of the accusations the Minister has leveled against me of smearing the COP’s office and causing disaffection in the RPNGC- neither of which holds any truth. So NO.

For those who are blindly commenting, I have this to say. God blessed us all with eyes to see, ears to hear, mouths to speak and a powerful brain to digest, analyse, rationalise, discuss, and decide. Use these wisely to benefit yourself and your country. Facts are one thing. Interpretation is another. Take the facts, use you brain and interpret them correctly.
Blessed and prosperous 202 to all.

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