Concern over delay in 2016 acquittals


ON Oct 13, a newspaper report featured an article on the delays by district administrators (DAs) nationwide in their acquittals of 2016 district services improvement programme (DSIP) fund appropriations.
Acting Secretary for the Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) Aihi Vaki revealed the exact number of 2016 acquittals his department received so far.
It wasn’t 111, not 50, not 25, not 10, not five, but only four.
Only four acquittals were received.
Obviously, if this is the level of performance from the DAs nationwide, we have a problem.
Then we have the 2017 acquittals to be done and submitted.
The DIRD, or whoever responsible, might want to crack the whip on those underperforming DAs.
The country cannot continue to employ officers who won’t perform key roles to expectation.
The accountability issues must be raised and corrective measures taken.
This is people’s money management and performance issue.
A total of K50 million in DSIP funds are spent in full five-year parliamentary term in the districts.
The money is in multi-millions and as such, wisdom demands efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in spending and reporting.
There has to be proper scrutiny and timely reporting of how and where the money is spent.
I hold the notion that the country needs young and energetic professionals to fill DA positions.
You need not wait until the years draw to a close and you start working on your acquittals.
Do periodic expenditure updates on projects and service delivery operation costs, preferably on a quarterly basis.
When the year ends, you simply finalise and incorporate the fourth-quarter report, and there you have it – a full acquittal report for the year ready for endorsement and submission.

MM Ondassa
East Sepik

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