Gov’t confident to deliver over 80 percent of development budget by end of fiscal year

THE Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government is confident to spend more than 80 percent of its development budget by the end of this financial year.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced his confidence in a statement delivered at the opening of the 3rd Meeting of Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to earlier concerns raised by certain groups and individuals that the Government may not have the capacity to deliver on this year’s SB$4.1billion budget in view of time constraints Government is facing.

The Prime Minister said these groups and individuals have all the right to question their Government on the delivery of budget intentions but there is a lot of misunderstanding and deliberate efforts by people with ulterior motives to misrepresent the genuine efforts of the government.

After the passage of the national Budget in April this year, the Government wasted no time in getting itself organized to deliver on the budget, amidst mountains of criticisms and highly politicized statements by certain groups and individuals.

Prime Minister Sogavare said these groups and individuals were simply careless about understanding pressures that the government had to endure given the timing of the passage of the budget and the need to satisfy statutory requirements under the Financial Management Act to formally spend the budget.

The statutory requirements referred to include the formulation of work programs by Ministries, the approval of those programs and delivery plans by the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination followed by tender and procurement requirements all of which take weeks or even months.

The need to comply with these processes took the Government to around June to really start to implement the Budget. This month (October) would take the Government to 5 full months of the implementation of the Budget.

“Given the time constraints, the Government through the Ministers is performing extremely well in the implementation of the budget and we are confident that by the end of this fiscal year we will deliver more than 80% and even up to 90% of the development Budget. This is an achievement that will not be equaled by past budgets that have the benefit of the full fiscal year to be implemented which normally averaged at about 60% performance,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

Ministers during the course of this meeting will be making statements about the performance of their Ministries, and will also highlight issues that hindered the smooth implementation of their budgets.

Source: Government Communication Unit press