Govt depts to move to the regions

National, Normal

FINANCE, Treasury and Planning will no longer be centralised in Waigani.
These central agency departments will have their presence in four regional centres in the country.
In the Highlands, Kundiawa in Simbu province has been chosen and the town was being referred to as of Wednesday as a “one-stop-shop” for the region.
This followed the launching of the Highlands region office of National Planning in Kundiawa by National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten.
It was announced that Finance and Treasury would be the next to be located in Kundiawa.
Mr Tiensten said the decentralisation of the central agency departments would ensure that the budget was felt and framed by all.
“At the moment the budget is not felt by the people of this country and that is why the country had not changed.
“Planning must be geared and seen to move the country and its people.
“However, after 34 years, this concept has yet to come full circle,” Mr Tiensten said of Waigani’s failure.
He said important offices must be brought to the door steps of the people and to ensure good monitoring and compliance .
He described the Highlands region as the backbone of the country in the area of economy.
Secretary Joseph Lelang invited people from all walks, including churches and non-governmental organisations in general to use the office to air their endeavours in development and service delivery to the people.
Simbu Governor Fr John Garia said Simbu could become the service centre for the Highlands, Madang, Morobe and eventually the Papuan region.
Enga Governor Peter Ipatas called on Mr Lelang to ensure officers of the new office did not bring bad Waigani sickness with them.
Mr Ipatas said this new facility was like a missing link finally being fitted to ensure efficiency, monitoring, cost saving and others but called on all in the region to take ownership of such important opportunities.