May 31, 2017
BY MICHAEL ARNOLD
A total of 106 provinces and districts have failed to acquit for the funding that they received from the disbursement of SIP funding last year.
Reports from the Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) have shown that out of the 22 provinces and 89 districts in PNG, only five have submitted their acquittals and annual reports for the K1.11 billion released for the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) and Provincial Services Improvement Program (PSIP) last year.
Only 5 out of 106 have acquitted for SIP funds
According to DIRD acting deputy secretary, Aihi Vaki, there has been a steep decline in the submission of annual reports and acquittals for DSIP and PSIP funding over the past four years.
“In 2013, we had 92 acquittals submitted and 19 not submitted. In 2014, we had 75 submitted and 36 not submitted. In 2015 we had 36 submitted and 75 not submitted and this year we have only received five so far. So you can now see the trend is that over this period, the acquittals and the level of reporting is dropping,” said Mr Vaki
“Although we have seen some development since the DSIP program was first implemented in the 2008 National Budget, irregular payments, and the non-submission of annual reports and acquittals have made both the DSIP and PSIP increasingly difficult to manage.
“It is not the sitting members fault. This is supposed to be the district administrators’ responsibility. But as the chairpersons of their respective District Development Authority (DDA) boards, they need to push for submission of acquittals because we need those reports,” Mr Vaki said.
It has become readily apparent that more stringent and transparent measures need to be taken in order to account for the sheer mass of funding that is being drawn down for DSIP and PSIP funding every year.
Tax payers deserve to know where their money is going and whether or not they are directly benefitting from it.