BARNEY ORERE PONDROS
ACTING chief secretary to Government Manasupe Zurenouc is concerned that district treasuries are not fully functional because the funds are limited and because of the dire state of services, such as electricity, in remote areas.
“We have information that district treasuries are not operating and not functioning and so .I am making it my business to ensure this is changed,” he said last Thursday.
He said this after long-time public servant Paul Songo, who is attached with the Public Sector Reform Management Unit, released findings that almost all districts in the remote Sandaun province did not have an environment that allow service delivery.
Apart from other findings such as lack of proper water and sanitation, the report by Mr Songo sadly noted that district treasuries “were not operational because of limited funds and no power supply”.
Based on this news, Mr Zurenouc has urged districts to apply for funds from the EU-funded “District and local level government strengthening project” to beef up funds in district treasuries.
The idea is, when project funds are approved by Treasury, they will be disbursed directly to district treasuries.
“This will ensure sufficient funds (float) are in the districts for project use,” he said.
Nine districts have already been given the green-light to receive funds.
They are Kabwum (K105,014), Kandrian-Gloucester (K242,424), Wosera-Gawi (K245,000), Yangoru-Sausia (K166,000), Markham (K280,000), Tambul-Nebliyer (K340,000), Maprik (K245,000), Ambunti-Dreikikir (K245,000) and Wewak (K245,000).
Four focus areas of the projects are grants to strengthen capacity and development initiatives, support training and capacity building, management and Government initiative support.
“This project will help to foster and create an environment conducive to providing opportunities to participate meaningfully in development processes,” he added.
The financing agreement for this project, aimed at supporting service delivery and broad based socio-economic growth was done in October 2007.
The first call for proposals for this EU funded project, worth K2.28 million, was done last May.
Mr Zurenouc, who is also Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Department secretary, said through this project, “we could put in sufficient funds to rekindle the systems and make it work”.