Stop waste of public funds, says PNG candidate

8:37 am on 2 June 2017

Waste of Papua New Guinea public money through duplication of funding processes needs to be stopped, according to an election candidate.

PNG's Chris Haiveta

PNG's Chris Haiveta Photo: Peter Kinjap

A former deputy prime minster, Chris Haiveta was looking to re-enter parliament after two terms outside the house, as the leader of PNG's Kantri Party, which was fielding 40 candidates in this month's election.

Mr Haiveta, who was contesting the Gulf Regional seat, said his party wants to prioritise rural development.

According to him, this area had been sorely lacking because of how district and provincial support improvement programme funds are disbursed.

"All these funds are being... especially in the case of the open members... are being channelled through the district development authorities where there is basically a duplication of the structures of the provincial departments and so a lot has been wasted on administration."

Chris Haiveta said there had also been a lot of waste on setting up new processes and procedures which need to be reviewed so that resources can be freed up for projects which help people.

According to the Finance Minister, James Marape, over the past four years his government had spent 409 million US dollars for provincial service funds.

This was part of an overall allocation of government spending on development across the country of 1.5 billion US dollars, also including district funds.

He said more than 80 percent of this funding has gone to help people in rural areas.

However the Post Courier this week reported that all but five of PNG's 111 districts had failed to acquit for the public funding they received.

In the past five years, the People's National Congress party-led government has centred its development outreach for grassroots people on its free education and health policies.

But Mr Haiveta said implementation of those policies left a lot to be desired, especially given the duplication of funding processes.

"The system that they've basically set up has hindered rather than progressed effective implementation of its own policies. So all these things need to be reviewed," he said.