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The abolition of the provincial government parliamentary systems in PNG in 1995 aimed to enhance the LLGs so they could function effectively but the evidence from people's complaints and frustrations indicates that not been much improvement was achieved in the current provincial and local level government reform.
This article argues that non involvement of indigenous leadership systems in the current Local Level Government (LLG) reformed structure is a barrier to development in the rural sector in PNG and suggests a structure to incorporate indigenous leadership systems in the LLG administrative functions.
Key words: Indigenous leadership, influential leadership, local level government (LLG), provincial and local government reform.
In an article titled 'redefining the role of tribal leadership in the contemporary governance systems in PNG' Ambang (2007), suggested that there is a need to re-think the appropriate structure of the current Local Level Government (LLG) systems in PNG.
Election of LLG councillors in the current governance systems displacing the indigenous leadership systems
Because of the presence of councillors, indigenous leadership systems (tribal leaders) are often overlooked and the government's administrative responsibilities at the village level are carried out by LLG councillors and those in the provincial political leadership and public service authorities.
The current situation with the LLG leadership structure links to the changes during decolonisation in PNG when Westminster system was considered as an alternative governance system for the local level.
Leadership in the current LLG administrative structure only involve leaders elected through the election process (political leadership) and those appointed by the government in the public service (public service leadership).
Ineffectiveness of the LLG in service delivery in the development process
Therefore in PNG there is a need to re-think the appropriate LLG leadership systems.
The main reason is that in many areas, traditional leadership has disintegrated and power and authority has been taken over by leaders at the national, provincial and LLG level due to the lack of recognition and involvement of traditional leaders.
The existing provincial and local government system does devolve more political and administrative power to the local level governments, so it is timely to consider aspects of indigenous leadership and incorporate these into current governance systems at the village and LLG level.
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