Members of parliament query use of DSIP funds

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, June 16, 2011

MEMBERS of parliament have raised concerns over the use of district services improvement programme (DSIP) grants by district administrators without the approval of the joint district planning and budget priority committee (JDP&BPC).
Wewak MP Dr Moses Manwau raised the matter in parliament on Tuesday and was backed by other MPs.
They claimed district administrators were signatories and were using the funds at their discretion without the approval of the JDP&BPC, whose chairman is the local MP.
Many said because they did not know how the funds were used and, therefore, they had difficulties signing the acquittals and other forms for new DSIP funds to be released.
Sources said the matter was discussed during the government caucus.
Minister for Planning and Rural Development Paul Tiensten said the Office of Rural Development should be separated from his department.
He said once officers were based in the district, “all monitoring and assessments can be done and the reports are compiled quickly and sent to headquarters where a handful of officers can handle the reports”.
He said setting up offices in the districts “will greatly assist the members of parliament and the districts with all their reports in the use of DSIP funds”.
Tiensten said internal audit officers should be based in the districts so audits could be done on the funds in the district.