Accountability has no substitute

Editorial

ACCOUNTABILITY in the workplace is something every manager wants to have. Accountability has a clear link to higher work performance, and experts say that it also results in improved competency and commitment to work, increased employee morale, and work satisfaction.
And that is the challenge to all Members of Parliament to get into the habit of acquitting for public funds.
The government has in the past five years disbursed a huge amount of money to the provinces and districts.
Every year over K890 million is transferred from Waigani to sub-national governments.
Unfortunately, there has been inadequate capacity at the district level to manage large amounts of public funds allocated to the districts. Department of Implementation and Rural Development acting secretary Aihi Vaki earlier this year said that the districts did not have the capacity to deal with the large amount of money being dished out by the government.
And that is the biggest problem on the ground – building the capacity of the districts to implement the public funds allocated to them successfully.
And at the end of the day, it is important that all the funds allocated are properly acquitted.
Under the District Development Authority structure, that responsibility lies with the district administration to provide those acquittals. It is not the responsibility of the MPs.
The MPs are not responsible for compiling reports; that is the responsibility of district administration.
They keep the paperwork and make decisions and it reflects badly on the leaders when that work is not done properly.
And that is why the district and provincial treasury staff must perform their responsibilities as committed and honest public servants.
They must know their role and not mix it with politics.
Hence it is important to hire public servants who are educated to a level where they are competent.
The reports are important as it will enable the department to check whether the public money is spent in the right areas as provided for under the guidelines.
It is important to tell the government how the money is spent and a lot of our people need to get into the habit of auditing funds, particularly public funds.
If public servants can take responsibility for your own actions, then they can show accountability.
Public servants need to take ownership and lead in service delivery and the District Development Authority is the best possible opportunity to build our villages and deliver services.
Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure those activities incurred.
Grant reports – providing artistic and financial information – are required at the completion of the project.
Acquittal is a formal condition of funding.
If public servants do not provide a satisfactory and timely grants report in the manner detailed in their funding agreement, the government will not make any further payments that may be due to them, and they will therefore not be ineligible to apply for further grants.
A government is accountable for decisions and laws affecting its citizens; an individual has accountability for acts and behaviors.

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