In 2018, one year ago, senior works engineer, Brian Alois was suspended from his job after making a presentation at a National Planning Summit in Lae.
Brian did his job as a senior government engineer. He highlighted what was wrong in the system and he pointed out how it could be fixed.
Brian is a highly qualified civil engineer. He could be working in the private sector, if he chose to. But he found his calling in the service of his country and his people.
Brian knew what was coming when he made that presentation in the presence of the Works Secretary, David Wereh. He spoke, not as a senior officer of the Works Department, but as President of the Institute of Engineers PNG, and as a professional, he had every right to do so.
In summary, this is what Brian Alois covered in his presentation:
- PNG’s road construction costs are inflated (for various reasons stated in his presentation)
- It currently costs up to K3million kina per kilometer of road
- Our education system isn’t producing skilled road builders anymore but focuses on producing engineers with degrees.
- The works department is not conducting prior investigations and assessment to establish the actual cost of new roads
- Contractors are charging more than what should be charged
- The Works Department is underfunded and unable to conduct its duties independently.
If we want to build a strong economy, we have to get our road building right. We cannot inflate costs and steal from the system and then preach about building an economy. Brian simply said the costs are too high and that the costs did not need to be that high.
In the following days, Brian received a letter of suspension. They charged him. But one year on, he still remains suspended without any actual penalty delivered. Nobody has had the guts to admit that the Works Department was wrong in suspending him.
Brian Alois represents the voice of the people. He stated the truth and he was punished for it.
I stand with Brian Alois and I call on the Papua New Guinea government and Prime Minister, James Marape, to reinstate him immediately!