NEFC: New financing system better

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, December 22, 2010

By TROY TAULE UPNG journalism student
The National Economic and Fiscal Commission (NEFC) said the new intergovernmental financing system will be more transparent and accountable in ensuring provinces receive adequate funding to deliver services to the people.
NEFC deputy director Hohora Suve, in his presentation at the Hela development seminar last Friday, said the current funding arrangements saw some provinces not being able to deliver many basic services.
He said this was because these provinces did not even have 50% of the necessary funds required for the delivery of services in the province.
He said even with their own internal revenues, provinces like Manus and Milne Bay were still not able to do it.
Suve explained that an extra K53 million would be made available across five years to ensure no province received less under the new intergovernmental financing system.
He said the new system was only concerned with the recurrent goods and services budgets of provincial and local level governments which would see increased certainty in annual funding arrangements, as recurrent goods and services funding was formula based.
He added that under the new system, an equalisation pool was created to fund grants to provinces and that these grants were not based on a kina per head formulation, but rather on need. 
Suve said the NEFC, along with treasury under the new system, would monitor performances through quarterly budget reviews and annual provincial expenditure reports to see better accountability and transparency.