Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD)

Kapavore hails ‘Bilum Digital Platform’

He said unlike in the past, where the DIRD allocates the Service Improvement Program (SIP) funds to districts and provinces, and awaits acquittals from the recipients annually, the Bilum platform allows proof of projects constructed through the SIP funds.

“They stay in Waigani and look at their records to know that these SIP funds went to the districts and provinces, and just wait for the acquittals. But they don’t know if these funds are actually spent on the stated projects or programs in the acquittal reports that they received,” he said.

Improving public fund acquittals

This is happening after 16 years of allocating funds to districts in the country, under the government’s policy on Services Improvement Program (SIP).

The responsible department, DIRD, is conducting the last leg of its nationwide consultations on the recently introduced Bilum Digital Platform, which is part of the government’s reform in digitalising reporting systems in the country.

DSIP & PSIP reporting goes digital

This follows Nuku in West Sepik and Wabag in Enga province respectively. These districts have tested the digital platform, a cloud-based user-friendly system to implement at the sub-national level.

Member for Wau Waria Marsh Narewec said he accepted the government’s digital platform system that will greatly help his district to upload both financial and physical status implementation reports.

Pomio welcomes pilot digital initiative

Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) Secretary, Aihi Vaki, made the announcement, which has been described by Kapavore as a vote of confidence on the district’s effort towards strengthening good governance.

The platform has already been piloted in both the Nuku District of West Sepik Province and the Wabag District of Enga Province, and so far, it has proven to be a success.

Central Province collects constitutional grant

The cheques are constitutional grant cheques from 2021. One cheque is for discretionary funds and the other is for non-discretionary funds that may go stale and are reissued if the funds are not used by next month.

Last week, DIRD Secretary Aihi Vaki revealed that in 2021 there were K6,250,000 Provincial and District Support Grants (PSG & DSG) of which 12 discretionary and 13 non-discretionary cheques had been reissued, however, it will go stale again in September 2023 if not collected by the provinces.

Policy Focus On Farmers

He made these remarks when presenting the district’s 2021 acquittals at the Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) recently.

Mr Kuli said such policies encouraged farmers to earn income and improve their social and economic wellbeing that will help create employment opportunities and promote economic growth.

“The landmass and huge population supplemented by greed, nepotism, tribalism, lack of vision and voter-based traditional systems in service delivery at the political helm over the years had prevented the electorate from seeing tangible developments.

Electorate Presents Acquittal

The soft copies of the fiscal reports were saved in a flash drive with a brief summary reports attached and furnished to DIRD officials in a low ceremony witnessed by district officials.

He highlighted that he had implemented 80-90 percent of many impact projects for his people to benefit.

Kipefa said he had not received K10 million DSIP grants as he was on the other side of the house that does not mean Government has to reduce its intended grants for basic services, but must be fair to all provinces and districts regardless.

DDAs Must Strategically Plan Projects: DIRD

However, the onus rests entirely on the leadership role played at the sub-national administration in the management of these development grants. 
Department of Implementation and Rural Development Secretary, Aihi Vaki made these remarks to clarify the disbursement of Provincial and District Services Improvement Programme funds.

DIRD Clarifies Funds

Secretary for DIRD, Aihi Vaki stressed this following a news article published in the Post-Courier last Friday on “Yu Tok” section of the paper entitled “Acquittal and technical capacity should be a factor for development funds to be released”.

DIRD is mandated to coordinate, supervise, monitor and manage programs and grants under the SIP ensuring their effective integration and synergy with activities under public investment program (PIP), is no longer responsible for disbursing SIP funds.

Sohe Presents Acquittals

The reports were furnished with both financial and physical expenditures on projects and programs implemented in the district. 

The report captured all their achievements, constraints and recommendation, which was analyzed and prioritized from most urgent to the least under each sector.