Baki must resign over recruitment of US mercenaries: Sir Mek
Peter Halliman and the ‘cannibal’ fund-raising tour of 1991

Baki had many choices other than mercenaries for APEC security

Facebook mastheadCHRIS OVERLAND

IT IS astounding that Gary Baki has hired Lawrence Aviation and Security Group (LASG) - a private, United States-based provider of security services - to train the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) on how to provide adequate security for next year’s APEC forum in Port Moresby.

Literally every state in Australia, plus the AFP, have Special Tasks and Resources Squads or their equivalent who could do this at least as competently and probably at a lower cost.

Indeed, Australia is contributing about $100 million in cash and kind for APEC, which includes security and 73 Australian Federal Police officers will remain in PNG until after APEC in November 2018.

Baki could also have contacted Britain's Metropolitan Police, which has huge resources and much direct experience in counter terrorism, crowd control, VIP security and so on.

Basically, a decision to hire any private firm to provide this training raises many questions about the process involved and the judgement of those instrumental in making the decision.

What is even more amazing is that PNG currently lacks a high skill, rapid response capacity. What on earth have the RPNGC been doing for the last 40 years?

It seems that Commissioner Baki chose the Lawrence Aviation and Security Group because its principal grew up in PNG and so knew something about PNG. It is doubtful, however, that any of the group's employees have similar knowledge.

On the upside, the contractors evidently have already identified serious and obvious deficiencies in the RPNGC that need correction.

The problem is that such deficiencies reflect an entrenched culture of poor training, incompetence, bad tactical judgement and heavy handedness.

I would therefore be surprised if the 140 days of training apparently being allocated is going to be remotely close to enough to produce an efficient, well-resourced and well led rapid response and anti-terrorism capacity in the RPNGC.

Whatever the outcome of all this, it is painfully apparent that the decision to hire Lawrence Aviation and Security, even if soundly based, has the appearance of being an example of patronage and failure to follow due process, combined with a significant lack of insight.

In this context I have been unable to find any information (beyond marketing blurb) as to the background, experience and bona fides of the contractors. This material may exist, but it does not appear to be in the public domain.

Even being charitable, this remarkable decision suggests that the RPNGC leadership still don't get how to be a properly organised and functioning police force.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Paul Oates

It has been reported that CoP Baki has claimed he is accountable to no one. Even Commissioner Baki has to come out and deny that outrageous claim?

Still, in the current political climate of caretaker government, 'Who will watch the watchers' seems to ring true just as much as it did 2,000 years ago in ancient Rome.

Menasi Mendi Peaposit

This is a national security issue. Ensuring quality assurances and compliance to our laws on very important engagements should be the way to go. When are we going to create certainty and credibility in the course of managing our affairs?

Will Self

Astounding? A poor police commissioner must provide for his retirement the same as everyone else. Pity he does not apply that high powered intellect to the rabble he "leads" and deal with police murders, rapes, theft and scamming.

A bigger pity that he does not support and encourage the well performing elements of the force who are brave and dedicated. As Mekere said, Baki is totally unfit for his position.

Are these hired thugs or their employer certified ISO, registered as a security provider, recognised by APEC security providers and their governments, certified as a foreign company, tax registered or anything else?


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)