THE people of the Highlands region must practice accountability in order to experience true development in their resource-rich region.
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Paul Tiensten said this during the launching of Highlands region Planning and Policy office in Kundiawa town last Wednesday.
Mr Tiensten said the new regional office would monitor the use of Government’s funds in the region and also enable communities to access information about developments taking place in their area.
He said in most cases, reports and pictures of completed projects were taken and used for other project reports, while funding for these particular projects were diverted to other areas, leaving them incomplete.
He said the office would make sure that development funds go straight into projects and not diverted to other areas.
Mr Tiensten told the people that the government had decided to decentralise its functions of the office of rural development, finance and treasury, planning and policy all in one package after receiving people’s complaints of projects not being funded or contractors leaving without completing their projects.
He said the office would also make it easier for the provinces to liaise for information and procedures on project planning before submitting to his office.
The minister also called on the compliance, good management and monitoring of resources from the Government, public servants, people and stake holders.
Meanwhile, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas, who was also present at the launch, described the office as the “eyes and ears” of the Government.
He said that those who would be working in the new office to be fair and accountable as the office would cater for the whole region.
“Officers must not bring in Waigani disease or bribery in the Highlands regional office, there must be accountability,” Mr Ipatas said.
He also encouraged that there be more of the public-private partnership in order to bring in development.
Simbu Governor Fr John Garia thanked the Somare-Temu Government for choosing his province as a service centre for the region and pledged on behalf of the people to look after and utilise the resources.