MPs want govt to deal directly with districts

National, Normal

The National, Friday 17th May 2013

 THE Government has been advised to plan properly, improve expenditure and deal directly with districts in an effort to lift service delivery.

This was the general view of MPs during debate on improved national planning and service delivery in Parliament. 

MPs urged Minister for National Planning and Alotau MP Charles Abel to consider these in the implementation of government plans and policies.

Advising MPs included Deputy Opposition Leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil, Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa, Labour Minister and Kikori MP Mark Maipakai and Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape.

They urged the government to put time into intensive planning in a “bottom-up” structure, open an effective dialogue channel such as a district authority from where funds could be channelled directly to districts, making implementation and monitoring more effective  for the province and the government. 

Basil said an example in his district in Morobe where basic services such as health and education were directed by the provincial government and they lacked proper implementation process. 

“I find it hard to work with that as there are problems of the provincial government having its own agendas,” he said. 

“The District Authority Act must be brought before Parliament to get support so if the DSIP funds for these basic services are released, then it is implemented straight at the district level where I can work directly to implement these services. 

“There is a lack of district empowerment in the country,” Basil said.

He said the government could look at stripping some functions that deal with district issues from the provincial government so that resources and funds were utilised directly at the district and local level.