Central Islands Province (CIP) has lost 60% of its capital PCDF funding from the government after the resignation of the Non Executive Members of its Provincial Public Account Committee (PPAC) in the 11th hour, which the premier describes as appalling.
“As Premier, I respect their resignation option on the 11th or Zero hour with stated grounds in their Letters addressed to Speaker. However, my office is appalled by the outcome by not having the Appropriation Budget Estimates for 2022/2023 financial year thru PPAC for reasons as stated on their resignation letters ONLY,” said Premier Stanley Manetiva in his press statement to SBMOnline today.
By law, the PPAC must hold its hearing or scrutiny into the budget before it is sent to the provincial assembly by the 31st of March. The non executive members’ resignation at the last minute meant that they were unable to meet the deadline and CIP, which is the top ranked province in the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) now loses 60% funding of PCDF. Also, the province now operates on a contingent warrant until June.
The premier said unlike other provinces, his government has a clear majority of 7 MPAs’ and he was appalled by the action of the four MPAs of the PPAC and as a result their budget is delayed, affecting services to his people.
“As the Premier of Central Province I wish to inform the good people of Central Province from the Russells, Savo and Gela group of Islands of the above matter,” said Manetiva.
Below is the full Press Release Premier Manetiva
PCDF Ranking and Value of Capital Funding earned by Central Province Administration
CP being a small Province is ranked no. position (1st )t after the PCDF Assessment for the previous years earned $5 million Solomon Dollars plus for its Capital Budget for the time being under SIG funding. Other Funding agents are yet to factor in their funding’s to be captured during the revised budget for 2022/2023 financial year.
He said more than $5 million of Capital funding to the region of more than $10million is anticipated for this financial year.
Consequences of Refusal, Resigning and Non Sitting of Committee – by PPAC Members
PPAC scrutiny of the Appropriation Budget Estimates for 2022/2023 is a pre-condition to the Minister of MPGIS signing off the Provincial Budgets and budgets to be passed prior to or by 31st of March prior to the beginning of the new financial year being April 1st. Under the PGSP and PCDF operations manual – it is a Minimum Condition and a Trigger Issue if PPAC does not securitize the Budget estimates and a PPAC Report not presented to Executive (for response in the Assembly) and Assembly for deliberations.
Standing of PPAC Reports
As Premier, I wish to highlight here that the PPAC Reports are very important Reports to be considered by the Executive and Recommendations Noted and where applicable to be taken on board for further improvements. As above in their powers and functions PPA Committee has the Power to summon the Premier, Provincial Ministers, Provincial Secretaries and Treasurers or Provincial Advisors and Specialists to assist the members in the write up of the report. The Report will then be tabled in the Assembly.
The assertion by the PPA Committee that their recommendations are not taken onboard is an assumption that does not hold water as most of their recommendations when deliberating the Audit Reports are repeated on the PPAC Reports hence to say the Executive and Administration does not take on board PPA Committee Reports at all is not true. When the Province addresses the Audit Report Management Issues – effectively it addresses the PPAC Report.
Numerous Attempts by Provincial Administration to convince PPAC to Convene
Despite the Provincial Secretary and Treasurer attempts to meet with the PPAC in trying to explain to them that Capital Funds under PCDF of 60% will be lost if PPAC does not convene will be a major loss for our people in the Provincial Wards.
PPAC & Non-Executive Members PCDF/Gov/Resilience Projects 2022/2023 FY
Whilst negotiating with PPAC members, my Executive Government agreed with PPAC members on the following projects for non- Executive members for amendment in the Committee of Supply – their assurance was not lived up to to convene the PPAC as required.
Ward 1 – Ravu Clinic is included as priority approved by the Executive $300,000-00 407 popn
Ward 2 – Kino (Haleta) Footwork Bridge is approved by the Executive $400,222-00 373 popn
Ward 10 – Point Six (Pepesala) Clinic is approved by the Executive $728,649-11 101 popn
Ward 8 – Boromole Water Supply has been approved by the Executive $300,000-00 399 popn
A total Value of $1, 1728,871.11 for non-executive PPAC members projects benefitting the minimum of 1,280 people of the above 4 wards with an estimated population as per Ward Profile Data 2017.
With the exception of Ward 11 Lavukal and Ward 3 CEG (Rove), the non-executive PPAC members refusal and resignation from PPAC on the 11th hour when it supposed to meet is a question that begs the people and the ruling 7 Provincial Executive Government of Central Province and their MPA’s leadership integrity as required by SO 246 and 247 in that the public interest and needs should be the overriding interest as leaders.
Resign PPAC Members sees it fit to resign
As Premier, I respect their resignation option on the 11th or Zero hour with stated grounds in their Letters addressed to Speaker. However, my office is appalled by the outcome by NOT having the Appropriation Budget Estimates for 2022/2023 FY thru PPAC for reasons as stated on their resignation letters ONLY. It is illogical and contradictory to leadership, honorableness and integrity as expected by SO 246 and 247. They opted to resign just days prior to the set date despite the ongoing negotiations and moving the Assembly Meeting dates to accommodate the PPAC meeting. The right to resign knowing very well the consequences has to be exercised in a manner as expected by a public leader. There is loss suffered by the Province in costs and people of the Wards have suffered loss in projects to their villages as stated above.
Standing of the Provincial Public Accounts Committee – Financial Oversight & Watch Dog Role
SO (Standing Order) 199 – PPAC is a mandatory committee under Provincial Assembly
SO 201 PPAC Members should be from the Non-Executive MPA’s not more than 7 or no less than 4 members
SO 200 PCDF Assessment Manual requires PPAC to meet at least 4 times a Provincial FY –a quorum of 3
SO 202 The Tenure in Office is life of the Assembly 4 years
SO 207. In addition to powers of all committees the Provincial Public Accounts Committee has specific power to call and examine public officers, Provincial Ministers, and any other person on any financial matter relating to the finances of the Provincial Government and the Province’s jurisdiction.
SO….. (See Annexure 1 to Press Release 01/22)
All grievances and issues should be addressed/raised using formal recognized committees and official Lines of Communications. To all non-executive members SO mandates that 4 of you should be in the PPAC for the upcoming Final Audit Report for previous FY and the upcoming 60% cut in Capital Budget session in June 2022. My Government will be working closely with MPGIS on the way forward to avoid such events being repeated not only for Central Province but for other Provinces may be in the future. I wish to assure my people that normal Services will continue and ongoing roll over projects will continue for completion. The 60% cut in PCDF funds will affect the new projects listed for this year 2022/2023 FY.
As a result, the Provincial Budget cannot be table on the floor of Assembly hence as Provided for by FMO Ordinance, the Province is currently operating under a Contingency Warrant for the next 3 months until a new budget is tabled in June 2022. I sincerely hope that such events are not repeated in June Assembly Sitting.