The National, Thursday 10th November 2011
THE New Ireland provincial administration will be taking action against local level governments that have not been holding mandatory quarterly meetings as required under the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments (OLPLLG).
Administrator Simeon Malai highlighted this when rebutting claims by some LLG presidents and their officials that operations and projects were not moving at LLG levels because the provincial government was withholding funds.
He said those claims were unfounded and malicious because three-quarters of LLG operational grants worth K849,000 for this year had been released in two separate warrants, “giving them the liberty to spend money and run their operations”.
Malai said 50% of LLG grants totalling K566,600 were released in March and another K282,400 was released last week, placing the onus squarely on LLGs to fund their administrations and projects.
He confirmed a directive given by the governor to ensure that at least 50% of the funding was released to enable LLGs to fund small projects.
He said that was being implemented subject to the government’s cash flow situation.
“Some LLGs have not held their mandatory quarterly meetings as required under OLPLLGs, prompting the administration to investigate and action will be taken against those who breach the laws,” he said.
Malai said lack of funding could not be valid reason for failure by LLGs.
The New Ireland provincial government holds monthly and often special PEC meetings.
There are already 14 meetings this year plus three provincial assembly meetings, with the fourth one on Dec 14 to deal with the provincial budget.
“The provincial government has to constantly adjust because of the failure by the national government to make timely release of funds and all LLGs must meet regularly to make necessary adjustments and stop blaming anyone.”