A RECENT announcement by Acting Secretary for Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) Aihi Vaki must be adhered to and supported by respective District Authorities and Provincial Governments.
A directional call coming from the departments responsible that disburse funds and execute programmes/projects must be honoured to effectively deliver services and bring tangible developments to the least recognised and marginalised rural communities of our nation.
The concern I would like to discuss here is the 5-year development plan.
The due date for submitting 5-year development plans were announced twice, firstly at the end of November 2018, and was further extended to March 30, 2019, after most of the districts and provinces failed to submit theirs.
During those announcements, the former Minister for Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), Richard Maru under the O’Neill government ordered that the plans must reach the relevant government departments.
Now that Maru is reappointed to the same ministry, I presume the whip is ready to be executed.
The two dates set by DNPM for submission of five-year district plan and 5-year provincial development plan had already lapsed as stated above, and some districts have not delivered on time and still remain outstanding, then what would be the penalty for not doing so?
Is it going to affect the DSIP and PSIP disbursement (funds withheld)?
Would it affect DDA employees?
Does the DDA Act 2014 or another legislation has the teeth to bite on the irregularities and inconsistencies involved?
DNPM/DIRD must inform the nation what actions they would take to deal with such cases?
On another note, a call by South Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu must be given thorough consideration as these so-called experts/consultants are milking the DDA without any tangible benefits happening at the district level.
The employees and committees of the secretariat roles within DDA have become the consultant’s, and this is a wastage of public funds intended to deliver impact projects at wards/LLGs in the district.
An example from a district I know is provided here to set some light on what is discussed above.
A senior officer from the DNPM was engaged as a consultant by the DDA/MP to develop a 5-year development plan.
From reliable sources, a draft plan was prepared towards the end of 2017 calendar year.
Furthermore, the DDA had already made some payment to the consultant without the person delivering the task, a 5-year development plan.
A courtesy call to the relevant government departments/agencies (DNPM and DIRD) to seriously consider addressing this issue for the benefit of the people and the entire nation as a whole.