By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE national government will continue funding the district service improvement programme (DSIP) in next year’s budget, which will be handed down next month.
Planning Minister Paul Tiensten said the DSIP and the district and provincial support grants and other development initiatives complemented the medium-term development plan (MTDP).
“The DSIP is a major rural intervention policy which was established in 2007 and represents a significant increase in funds going to the 89 districts where more than K1.6 billion has been appropriated to date,” Tiensten said.
“DSIP will be funded as long as this government is in office, including next year.”
The minister attributed difficulties faced during implementation to unavailability of data which resulted in poor planning and execution of projects.
He was speaking at the launch of the Office of Rural Development (ORD) corporate plan 2011-15, last year’s DSIP implementation report and the establishment of the district information management system (Dims).
The European Union funded Dims at a cost of K4 million. AusAID provided the technical assistance.
Dims will provide a database of district profiles, assets and records of training and supervision activities.
He said ORD would set up offices in each region to implement government interventions and bring services closer to the rural people and localise the millennium development goals at the district level.
“To our development partners, I make it clear that there will be no parallel programmes.
“I urge you to use the systems, processes, procedures and programmes of government, especially the rural intervention programmes.”
EU acting head in PNG Roberto Cecutti said the union and other development partners welcomed the adoption of the MTDP.
He said dialogue between the government and donors was necessary to better understand the capacity building undertaken by EU at the sub-national level.
“You cannot translate funds into service delivery if sub-national administrations are not functioning
properly,” Cecutti said.
He said EU had allocated K56 million on good governance and capacity building programmes in the districts and local level governments to help get functioning systems of procurement, audit, accounting and internal control systems in place.