By ISAAC NICHOLAS
The Department of National Planning will start monitoring Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) projects in both Southern Highlands and Gulf provinces.
National Planning and District Development Minister Paul Tiensten has directed secretary Joseph Lelang to institute a monitoring and evaluation team to conduct an independent inspection of all MoA projects for both Gulf and Southern Highlands.
“This will verify the compliance aspect of the projects and identify whether or not projects are being implemented per the original project documentation,” Mr Tiensten said.
He said this monitoring and evaluation process was yet to begin as most of the projects have recently been funded and it would take time for the implementation to take place.
Mr Tiensten made this remark when clarifying allegations of fraud by Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations Mark Maipakai involving MoA funds for the Kikori district.
Mr Maipakai alleged that K220 million for 10 major projects in Kikori approved by NEC Decision No.199/2008 had been illegally paid to four landowner associations.
Mr Tiensten said the NEC meeting in Wabag in NEC Decision No. 20/2009 Cabinet rescinded the previous Expenditure Implementation Committee (EIC) guidelines and established new guidelines providing processes of which MoA projects are to be approved and funded.
“It clearly states that “project proposals for MoA funding shall only be made by an umbrella association, umbrella company or special purpose authority (SPA) in a project area.”