Treasury still to release funds on time

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THE biggest challenge facing the Department of Treasury is releasing warrants or funding for goods and services to provinces and local level governments nationwide in a timely manner, secretary Simon Tosali said.
Speaking during the closing of the Inter-governmental Financing and Service Delivery Workshop for New Guinea Islands in Kokopo, East New Britain, last Friday, he said one of the things that were very challenging was that the department released warrants or funding to about 20 provinces which had more than 300 LLGs.
He said they were trying their best to release the warrants in a timely manner.
It is understood the department has released 50% of total funding – K250 million in this year’s budget – for goods and services to the provinces in the first quarter of this year.
This was to enable provinces to meet the cost of delivering basic servi­ces in health, education, transport infrastructure, primary production and village courts.
Tosali acknowledged chief executive officer Nao Badu of National Economic and Fiscal Commission and others for raising issues on the warrant releases, saying he would make sure his staff attended to it.
He told Badu that since the work the commission was doing was of priority, the department would release funding to enable provinces to deliver basic services to the people.
Tosali said this was the first meeting that people were not asking for money but showcasing how they were spending go­vernment funding and accounting for it and fixing problems.
“I note that provinces are trying to prioritise on the key systems and improving on the processes that will see basic ser­vice delivery improved in the provinces and down to the local level governments.”
He said from this result, he could demonstrate to cabinet how provinces were performing.
“Maybe we can look at rewarding provinces that perform well and encou­rage provinces to do the right thing by spending the right amounts of funding on basic services to the people.”