Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
This was the message from PNG’s planning minister, Charles Abel, as he welcomed a team of Pacific planning, budgeting and aid delivery experts in Port Moresby to review development coordination.
Mr Abel highlighted political stability as extremely important in building a sustainable economy, noting the recently concluded PNG election.
“We are trying to improve our development efforts through the translation of our planning processes and policies into more effective budgets and delivery of development to our people, particularly in the rural areas,” he said.
“The 2013 budget, currently being developed, is expected to reflect that sort of consciousness.”
Mr Abel added that the development challenges faced by PNG relate to delivery mechanisms.
“Development is just not translating the way we would like,” he said. “One of the approaches we’re supporting is pushing the funding to lower levels of government – local and provincial - to move the funding back to the people.
“We want to meaningfully support this decentralisation theme that we’ve been talking about for some time.
“This will involve the national government’s role shifting to support that process through monitoring and evaluation and capacity building rather than trying to manage funds up here in Port Moresby.
“We’re trying very hard through various means, such as anticorruption measures, to stop the leakages from the system. How we improve that mechanism and how we improve the financial guidelines and procurement processes will be very important as we empower the districts and provinces.”