Submit plans, let’s get to work

Editorial

ALL provinces and districts have until the end of next month to submit their five-year development plans.
The plan is the roadmap for the delivery of services and development to the respective district.
That plan can be used to achieve sustainable development and it provides the basis for land use management and affects everyone.
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru said the plans must be aligned with the medium-term plan launched last September.
Last week, Ijivitari in Northern launched its five-year plan.
It appears to be the five-year development plan put together and submitted to the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
Maru’s message to those who have not produced these documents: “You cannot expect Planning to look at your projects, if you do not have time to work with us to align your plans with our national plans.”
These documents take a lot of time and skill to put together.
Papua New Guinea has progressed and is now at the crossroads of economic development.
Many challenges lie ahead for our young and vibrant democracy.
These challenges are increasing domestically, regionally and globally.
However, these opportunities and the challenges that face us cannot be harnessed and appropriately addressed in future, without a long-term strategic action plan to guide our development pathways.
An important ingredient to making any development plan successful is effective governance – which is part of the necessary infrastructure needed to achieve the goals and objectives contained in any development plan.
The World Bank defines good governance as the “manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”.
The same principle should apply down at the district level.
In PNG, there’s so much complaining about the public service getting a lot of funds from Government and not giving the results that are required.
The Government then came up with Vision 2050, the medium-term development plan and so forth.
One aspect of the change which should be commended is the district development authority (DDA) as part of the public service reform.
We then witnessed what the Government said was delegation of powers to districts with the creation of DDAs.
The Organic Law on Provincial Government and Local level Government has been amended for the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDSP & BPC), to be abolished and replaced with a statutory authority ‘District Development Authority’ with the act coming into effect in 2014.
The main policy objectives were to make to make service delivery local, accountable and accessible, strengthen project implementation and service delivery at the district level. It is not a government.
All public servants in the district are responsible to the district administrator (who will be the CEO of the authority) and convert the JDPBC into a legal entity that can sue and be sued and enter contracts.
Those are entrusted to be serving the people through the various roles must do so professionally.
The foundation has been set and our public service can achieve well into the future.
It does not matter who is in Government.
The main thing is that the public service must be resolute in its own stand and that is service must be delivered.
The challenge now, for not only Ijivitari but all 89 districts, is the need for the plans to be implemented in the correct order over the next five years, for the achievement of Vision 2050 to become a reality.

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