IN a pointed reference to failures in service delivery in Papua New Guinea, the Australian High Commission has revealed the establishment of what it calls “a new and innovative public information program”.
The High Commission claims the program is “empowering communities to closely monitor government spending and ensure funds are delivering local services”.
Rod Hilton of the High Commission marked International Anti-Corruption Day yesterday by saying the so-called ‘Service and Budget Charters’ program was developed over the last year and works with communities to look at budgets as allocated by the government and compare them against the actual delivery of services.
“Publishing a series of service and budget charters has helped communities become better informed and engaged in monitoring public spending and holding public officials to account,” Mr Hilton said.
“This helps to ensure communities receive the services they deserve, to the standards to which they are entitled.”
The charters were developed following community consultations which included senior officials of national government agencies and provincial administrations.
They reflect legislative and regulatory obligations and entitlements and outline services, standards and allocated budgets and were produced by the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) in partnership with the Australian Government.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Pupaka said all Papua New Guineans are entitled to transparent information about government spending.
“It is a good checklist for those who are responsible for implementing the charter and at the same time it gives an indication of what to expect.
“It will keep officers focused in their respective roles and keep people honest and accountable,” Mr Pupaka said.
“It is an important tool for compliance and monitoring and we hope it will thrive.”