Spotlight on funding issues


AGRICULTURE and Livestock Department acting secretary Dr Nelson Simbiken says he will discuss with department deputy secretaries to ensure that the commodity boards get funding to implement their programmes.
Simbiken said the Rubber Board, PNG Spice Industry and Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) got their funding through the department which was constraining their operations.
“Within the next 100 days, I will ensure that we bring stability in the department and manage our funding. We have not receive our PIP (Public Investment Programme) and still sitting in the department’s IFMS (Integrated Financial Management System), especially for Spice, and LDC.
“The department gets the money and gives to the board who depend entirely on us to transfer the money to them.
“Unlike Opic (Oil Palm Industry Corporation), Coffee Industry Corporation and Cocoa Board who have their agency pool in the IFMS system. As soon as the warrants are released, funding goes straight into the business operating accounts (BSP and Westpac) but for LDC, rubber and spice, it has to come into the department system.
“There are some outstanding work, like the sector plans are currently being worked on, but most importantly to set up a proper accountability, compliance and vetting process of the finance department. At the moment, it is totally chaotic.”