Recent Work in the Southwestern Pacific

Budget Management Training

For two weeks in October Queensland OCM Principal Cathy Blunt and Wayne Gorrie were privileged to work with Ministers and Officials from the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Government of PNG (GoPNG).

Partnered with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), OCM delivered budget management training to two cohorts over two weeks, and facilitated discussions between the ABG and GoPNG Ministers and Officials over budget issues.

Cathy and Wayne were also privileged to assist the Program’s facilitator who led discussions on key projects identified during week 1 including improving relations between the governments, Bougainville’s upcoming referendum on independence, anti-corruption, and revenue development.

Cathy and Wayne were understandably very nervous on the first Monday morning in the face of such an influential and inspiring group. Many of the Ministers were their people’s leaders in the Bougainville Civil War so we wanted the training to be well received!

With the budget management training being incorporated into a long-term capacity development project, the course began with a facilitated session on learnings from the previous module. From there, Cathy and Wayne led group discussions on the budget cycle, roles and responsibilities, good practices and challenges in the budget processes and opportunities for improvement.

Forays into medium term budget management and risk management theory were assisted by a number of serious and “not so serious” videos featuring dogs chasing tails, 2-year old’s discussing Mummy’s budget, Hitler lecturing his generals on risk assessment and Steve Jobs saying “no”!

Qld Treasury and Office of State Revenue staff also took time out from their mid-year budget review activities to explain Qld Government’s budget and taxation processes, giving the groups something to aspire to.

At the end of two exhausting weeks, our wonderful Bougainville friends were delighted with their new knowledge on budget management, the relationships they formed, and the frank and open discussions with their GoPNG counterparts.

OCM Staff will continue to support the Bougainville Ministers and Officials with coaching and support over the coming weeks.