COMMENTS by Bulolo MP and Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil on the National Procurement Committee (NPC) representation as a stumbling block cannot go unchallenged.
For the sake of transparency and accountability, these laws are prudent in that NPC comprises representatives from the Office of the State Solicitor and the Works Department, which would add credibility to the due process of selecting contractors.
Under the current NPC Act, the following clauses, in my view, are necessary to promote the constitutional principle of equal distribution of wealth and participation in development at all levels of society.
By now, the Government should have major national functions delegated to all provincial centres; some of which already exist, including the Office of the State Solicitor to attend to NPC functions in all districts.
This delegated legal function is not only confined to this issue, but broad functions representing the Solicitor-General as chief adviser to the Government.
These provincial offices can handle cases against the State at source of occurrence to effectively attend to court proceedings.
Everything cannot to be centralised in Waigani.
Powers and functions should be delegated to provinces and districts.
Projects at the districts should be given priority to locally-owned and resident companies, to allow cash flow in respect districts.
We cannot have a local “boomerang” type giveaway projects where cash meant to flow in the local community is diverted to urban centres, creating unfair and unequal distribution of wealth.
Provincial internal audit units established under the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments should be engaged to audit the projects because every provincial administration has an internal audit unit.
How can the Department of Implementation and Rural Development go around the country collecting acquittals for services improvement programme funds for provinces, districts and local level governments?
These delegated functions should be adequately filled by competent manpower adequately resourced to achieve targeted objectives.
Accountability and Transparency