MPs vowed funds

17 August 2017

Source: The National | By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK

FINANCE Minister James Marape has assured the 111 MPs that they will receive their provincial and district service improvement programme funding over the next five years – no matter where they sit in Parliament.

Marape, however, stressed that all MPs, whether in the Government or Opposition, must submit their acquittals by March 31 every year if they want the funding continued.

Governors – 22 of them – are paid the Provincial Service Improvement Programme funding of K15 million every year over the five years of their parliamentary terms.

District (open) MPs – 89 in total – are paid K10 million each year over the five years. It means each receives K50 million during a parliamentary term.

Marape said the O’Neill-led government would pay the amounts for the current year now. But next year’s funding will depend on the acquittals submitted by each of the 111 MPs by March 31, 2018.

“Under the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, on March 31 of every presetting fiscal year, acquittals must come in from all districts,” he said.

He said officers from Finance and the Department of Implementation and Rural Development would also be checking on the projects MPs claimed in their acquittals to have funded.

“Someone has to tell the nation that this money has been put to good use. And that is where the joint function of Finance and the DIRD comes in,” he said.

“We now only stay here to receive acquittal reports but go out to check the projects and to make sure that these acquittals are correct.”

Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan said he would suggest to the Central Agencies Coordination Committee to publish in the dailies every six months the funds given to all the districts and all the government departments “so that every ones sees what has been expended”.

“We have to make it mandatory for what the districts and departments received in details like cheque numbers, dates, payment details etc because too often people call us corrupt public servants, corrupt politicians.

“So the onus is on us to let them know what we are doing.”

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