Ensure funds are applied as intended

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday February 24th, 2014

 IN reference to “Soso to visit 264 wards, distribute funds” (The National, Feb 3), I very much appreciate our governor for coming up  with  good plans and bottom-up approach programmes, which will have the potential to deliver to rural  communities as long as action plans are effectively implemented. 

However, there are some areas where Julie Soso  and  her  advisers  need to get their strategic plans adjusted in delivering that K10,000  to the 264 wards in Eastern Highlands. 

My concern is will the ward councillors and committees use this money to fund needed projects in the villages? 

What is the guarantee that this huge sum of money given directly to the wards will be used for its intended purposes? 

From previous experiences, I have seen a lot of ward councillors misusing and mismanaging public funds  and  have  not properly acquitted their spending, nor have they been charged for misappropriation. 

I  am  afraid  that  the funds may end up in endless  pockets, with little  or no projects on the ground. 

If the governor is genuine with her bottom-up approach and wants measurable results, she should consider the following:

  • Tell the ward committee to open a trust account, with either the council manager or president as the signatory;
  • Deposit the K10,000 in the trust account, more cost effective than going around  handing  the money to each ward;
  • Tell ward councillors to present their five-year ward development plans and proposed projects, along with quotations from recognised suppliers; and,
  • Tell ward councillors to provide pictures of completed projects before they pay their service providers and have LLG project officers physically inspect project sites and authorise payments. 

This may seem like a long process, but it enhances transparency and accountability. 

This will make the dream  of Kirapim hauslain come true. 

I  suggest the governor and her team not work harder, but smarter to reach the unreachable areas. 

One effective tool she can use is by applying the ‘smart’ principle, where her  plans  or  goals should be simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. 

Without giving much attention to these things, much will be said but little will be achieved. 

Ameke Hongenare