Closure of Govt accounts won’t affect 2017 poll preparations

The close of Government accounts for the festive season will not affect the 2017 National Election preparations.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said the National Government with the support of Inter-Department Election Committee (IDEC) has established a 2017 election trust account which will facilitate funds coming into PNGEC.

He said in the past PNGEC used the integrated financial management system (IFMS) to manage funds but what normally happens is that after all government accounts are closed, unused funds are returned to the Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF).

“With the trust account, PNGEC funds will be held back and used during the shut-down period.”

“This is a very good initiative by the government so we can still work up to December 2016 and January 2017 even if government accounts are still closed in the first and second months of 2017,” Gamato said.

Apart from the trust account, IDEC has also facilitated the establishment of a Specialised Supply and Tenders Board which has a threshold of K1 million.

This gives PNGEC some leverage to get expenditures above K500,000 threshold approved so that work can be done effectively and efficiently to deliver the election.

Meanwhile, Gamato said his expectations for the 2017 National Election include:

             Successful conduct and return of writs for the national election within the given time period;

             Management of election funds with the K297 million budget;

             Minimise election costs by 40 per cent (K117 million);

             Less outstanding service providers’ bills recorded in all provinces;

             Less number of election petitions filed after the election;

             Access for women and girls to polling stations to vote; and

             Access for people with disabilities and other marginalized groups of people to polling stations to cast their votes.

The National Government allocated K400 million in next years budget to fund the election operations.



Charles Yapumi