Take accountability seriously


ACCOUNTABILITY in the workplace is something every manager wants to have.
Accountability has a clear link to higher work performance, but experts indicate that it results in improved competency and commitment to work, increased employee morale and work satisfaction as well.
This is now the challenge to all provincial health authorities (PHAs).
All PHAs are expected to provide acquittals for their campaign against the Covid-19 before additional funds are disbursed.
This follows allegations of PHAs abusing funds allocated to fight the pandemic.
At least three allegations of fund abuse have been brought to the attention of National Pandemic Response Controller and Police Commissioner David Manning.
Documents, whether authentic or not, have surfaced alleging that some K500,000 had been paid to a catering company to provide services at the Rita Flynn isolation centre in Port Moresby.
Manning is said to be aware of another two allegations of cases of Covid-19 fund abuse.
“I am looking into and monitoring the use of the funds,” he said.
“Since Covid-19 operations started last year, I made a personal commitment to disburse public funds responsibly and transparently as much as possible and we have not deviated from that”.
The Covid-19 funds or monies belong to the people.
The Health Department and National Covid-19 Centre are the custodian of the governing process and going through the funds of Papua New Guinea’s development partners and the Government.
The funds from the Government and development partners were disbursed to PHAs and district development authorities (DDAs) nationwide thus far.
Whether the funds reached the DDAs is another story.
Over the years, the Department of Implementation and Rural Development has always pointed that despite the Government’s huge amount of money to the districts, the capacity of the districts was not enough to cater for them.
That is the biggest problem on the ground – building the capacity of the districts to implement the public funds allocated to them successfully.
At the end of the day, it is important that all the funds allocated are properly acquitted.
All district and provincial treasury staff should perform their responsibility as committed and honest public servants.
They should know their role and not mix it with politics.
Hence, it is important to hire public servants who are educated to a level where they are competent.
The reports are important as it will enable the department to check whether the public money is spent on the right areas as provided for under the guidelines.
It is important to tell the Government how the money is spent and a lot of our people need to get into the habit of auditing of funds, particularly public funds. If you take responsibility for your own actions, you show accountability.
Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of funding.
Acquittal is a formal condition of funding.
If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Government will not make any further payments that may be due to you and you will be ineligible to apply for further grants.
A government is accountable for decisions and laws affecting its citizens; while an individual is accountable for their acts and behaviours.
The message is straight forward to the PHAs – acquit before the next lot of funds are released.