Papua’s capital is Jayapura and the administration of the province is divided into 20 regencies and cities. Currently the central government has plans to create new regencies throughout Papua. The expansion of regencies began in 1999 with Law No 45/1999 The Formation of the Provinces of West Irian Jaya, East Irian Jaya, Central Irian Jaya, Puncak Jaya regency, Mimika regency, Paniai regency and the city of Sorong. The formation process was then delayed when Law No. 5/2000 Amendment to Law No. 45/1999 was issued in response to a lack of preparation in terms of governing the new regencies. The process was reinvigorated in 2003 with Presidential Instruction No. 1/2003 The Acceleration of Expansion of Regions in Papua and the formation of a number of new regencies under Law No. 26/2002 on the Formation of Sarmi regency, Keerom regency , Sorong Selatan regency , Raja Ampat regency, Pegunungan Bintang regency, Yahukimo regency, Tolikara regency, Waropen regency, Kaimana regency, Boven Digoel regency, Mappi regency, Asmat regency, Teluk Bintuni regency, Teluk Wondama regency in the Province of Papua. The regency/province expansion process is still underway and the new Province of West Irian Jaya is planned but remains controversial and faces political opposition and an unprepared regional apparatus. Administratively, the capital of the West Irian Jaya province will be in Manokwari and will be divided into nine regencies/cities.
Aside from problems surrounding the province expansion, the issuance of Law No 21/2001 regarding Special Autonomy for Papua allows the province to continually improve its ranking in terms of development. A variety of interventions by the government in Papua have been aimed at increasing government capacity and increasing the attention on high priority sectors like health, education and regional economic development.