Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) will benefit from a refresher session on protocol which is expected to assist them in performing their daily duties.
The refresher was conducted by the Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) with support from former Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG, Mr Bernard Bata’anisia who is now a senior advisor at the OPMC.
The half-day session covered protocol areas including the international norm of protocol, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the role of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, the importance of Protocol in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Protocol Standards for Government Officials.
The session also provided opportunity for staff to seek clarification and make comments on areas that needs improvement to make OPMC a vibrant and respected office.
Prior to the sessions, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Public Service, Mr. Nego Sisiolo reminded staff of the Public Service General Orders which is the overarching guideline for all public servants which needs to be applied in a similar way to government protocols.
He said these two sets of guidelines are important for the image and performance of the government not only for our guests and visitors but also for the general public.
Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. Jimmie Rodgers said the refresher course is valuable to sharpen staffs’ knowledge on protocol matters that will be helpful to support the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers as well as bringing a positive image to the OPMC.
“Image is the key to the impression of visitors and VIPs visiting the Prime Minister so the Office needs to be well protected and respected in all circumstances,” Dr. Rodgers said.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr. Collin Beck said protocol is about treating everyone with respect and dignity and it is important for public officials to understand State protocol and standards.
These standards, according to Mr Beck includes procedures and processes, dress codes, appropriate language and communication, courtesy, punctuality and others which are important in the daily conduct of public officials.
A similar refresher will be conducted for specific departments, divisions and units in OPMC in coming weeks.