K120m for church programs abused
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
A government funded program of K120 million for church state partnership program has been wasted through misapplication and abuse.
National Planning Minister Charles Abel will table a report on the Social Development Plan or Church State Partnership Program where K120 million has been spent with nothing to show on the ground.
He will present the Report when Parliament resumes next week Tuesday.
The abuse of public funded programs has been a major concern to the O’Neill-Dion government with Department of National Planning putting in place measures including reviewing of government programs.
Minister Abel did not give details of the disaster in the church state partnership program but will do so in his Report to Parliament.
“I have met with the Church partners under the Church Partnership Program last week after finalising the historical report on this program, and they will report back this week on propositions to re-engage with government after the disaster of the previous program.”
“We will be providing through this program funding to support health and education services through the churches in particular.”
Minister Abel said he had already started the reporting process on the government programs including the failure and misappropriation of K528 million under the National Agriculture Development program between 2007 and 2012.
He said a review of the NADP is funded with K3 million this year with a view to properly implementing it.
“The recently tabled report by me in Parliament highlights how the government has got it so wrong.
“It also demonstrates how public programs in general should not be applied.
He said the sectoral approach to the 2014 budget will deliver funding to the subsector programs and require Department of Agriculture and Livestock to return to a coordinating and monitoring role.
Minister Abel said the Department of National Planning is developing a monitoring and evaluation framework which will have an annual scorecard booklet for SDP scores and international index scores and sectoral program reporting.
The Minister said he had started this reporting with the Tax Credit Scheme and the National Agriculture Development Plan.
“I have the report on the Social Development Plan or Church State Partnership Program where K120 million had been spent, ready to be tabled in Parliament.”
“I am bringing to the budgetary process the principle that public money cannot be handed out through government programs to select private companies and individuals unless it is a wholesale program such as free education or crop price subsidies, or a solar light and water tank program as Alotau District has done to every household.”
“This has led to a feeding frenzy in some of our central agencies and huge wastage and theft of funds,” Minister Abel said