Time to get to work

Editorial

IT is now work time for the Members of Parliament (MPs) who have now won their seats in their respective offices.
Some months back, they were out marketing themselves to the people about what they will do for them if they were voted into parliament.
A few openly shed tears when they told their people of the pain they feel so see and hear about the daily struggles they face in order to get basic services.
Whether it was a campaign gimmick, that’s not for us to judge, they have been given the mandate and it’s time for them to deliver on their promises.
Their promises can be fulfilled if they work with fellow MPs from the province and to keep their feet firmly on the group in their respective electorates.
Voters want to see their MPs based in the provinces and provide the necessary support to their respective district development authority and provincial assembly.
They must be there to administer, meaning to manage and direct the affairs of the districts and electorates.
If an MP is not around, an administrator should represent him who should be a non-political one because these individuals are supposed to be appointed on merit.
Political office and other positions which require the people’s mandate to occupy can be said to have other priorities outside the day-to-day running of the districts.
Regardless of which side of the house the MP is, the voters focus should now be about the MPs accountability and the delivery of goods and services.
All open MPs received K10 million as provincial service improvement programme (PSIP) funding each over five years.
For governors, depending on the number of districts each province hosts receives K5 million for each district.
Across a parliamentary term of five years the nation spends K7.5 billion down this channel and each Open MP gets to spend upwards of K50 million.
So there you go, keep a look out for your MPs acquittal.
As chairman of the district development authority, the open MP is the final authority on how the money is spent.
If it is misapplied, he has to be responsible and must take the blame.
Likewise, if the money is applied correctly then he gets to take the credit.
If there is mismanagement of funds, then ask your MPs and governors for they are responsible for the DSIP and PSIP grants.
Rather than just accepting the acquittal report, officers from the DIRD and the National Planning and Monitoring department should actually visit the district to tick off on the report.
Unfortunately, though has not been forthcoming to those respective officers to carry out the task to physically visiting projects to tick off what’s stated in the report.
Since funds are being distributed right down to the district level, the accountability process must be strident so auditing must also be done at the district level.
Just receiving annual reports in Waigani will not tell you the real story.
Apart from guidelines that spell out how the SIPs are to be spent and where and the final submission by each district of the acquittals to, there is no check on how the money is expended.
Everyone should be taking stock of the developments taking place in terms of social advancement and economic prosperity.
The voters have a right to check with your MPs and the public servants working at your district development authorities (DDAs) and provincial governments.
These are the people responsible for delivering goods and services to you.

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