Over K200m disbursed for provinces, districts

The Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) is currently disbursing K222 million in the form of service improvement program (SIP) funds to provinces and districts.

These funds must be expended on impact projects that are economical and sustainable for effective basic service delivery to improve the livelihood of the rural villages and communities.

DIRD acting Secretary, Aihi Vaki, stressed that SIP funds must be spent based on the five year development plans and projected budget estimates, as approved by the Joint Provincial Planning and Budget Priorities Committee (JPP & BPC) and District Development Authority (DDA).   

Projects such as roads, education and health infrastructure, and other sustainable programs in partnership with local communities that empower people, are ideal for funds to be spent on.

Vaki said beginning next year, DIRD will visit each province and district to monitor and evaluate projects and programs actually implemented on the ground, and merge with SIP acquittal and disbursement reports based on the grants released this year.

This is aimed at maintaining accountability, transparency and good governance of the funds.

So far the department has released K4 million each to 111 constituencies this year, and this is the fourth batch of balance payments up to K6 million.

In total, K666 million has been paid to provinces and districts in the form of SIP.  

Meanwhile, Vaki has called on the Joint Provincial Planning and Budget Priorities Committee and DDA committee members to be honest in the use of public money to purchase assets such as boats, vehicles, machinery and equipment.  

He warned leaders not to use the term ‘donation’ accredited to individuals for the delivery of basic goods and services instead, projects and programs must be verified through public funds.   

Vaki said any asset purchased or project delivered through the use of public money is NOT a donation, it rightfully belongs to the people; leaders are only custodians.

(Lae Town bus stop, Morobe Province)

Sally Pokiton