NEFC set to check provinces

National, Normal

The National, Monday 13th May 2013

 THE release of warrants to provinces to fund basic services on a timely manner will be a main agenda item during the forthcoming National Economical Fiscal Commission (NEFC), Treasury and Finance regional workshops.

NEFC chief executive officer Hohora Suve said that apart from the commission’s latest revelation on the expenditure trends on minimum priority activities and performance indicators, Treasury and Finance department would be tasked to address ongoing issues that were becoming common, including rollovers, supplementary budgets for unspent funds, bookmakers tax and retail sales tax.

“It is the fifth year the NEFC has been monitoring the implementation of the reform of inter-governmental financing arrangements,” Suve said in a statement yesterday.

“Our analysis showed that this is a major issue.

“Workshop discussions will see those of us in the business of supporting, funding and delivering basic services to reflect on what has happened, our success stories and be encouraged to use the lessons learned and move forward for greater progress.”

Suve said provinces would give presentations on their initiatives in improving the quality of minimum priority activities spending.

He added that all participants would be given copies of the resolutions from 2009 since the inception of the workshop with a check list to verify.  

“In this way, we get provinces and agencies to look back and see this is what has happened so as to hold people accountable and responsible to commit to ensuring basic services is realised in the provinces and rural areas of PNG,” he said.

“Service delivery is a long-run game and there are many hurdles along the way.  

“Not only will we grill you on how you spent the money intended to fund the core service delivery activities,  but there must be some small gains along the way such as schooling materials distributed on time to the children at rural schools, drugs distributed to the aid posts or medical patrols conducted to the villages and upgrading of jetties and roads and bridges.  

“These are the positive stories we want to hear from the provinces on how they’ve done it.”

Suve said the Highlands regional workshop scheduled for May 8-9 in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, had been deferred to June 11-12 due to the landslip at Kerowagi, Chimbu. 

The Southern region workshop had been scheduled for May 22-23, Mamose June 5-6 and the Islands on June 19-20.