Half of 2023 gone and 84 Districts yet to provide their Development Plans

This year, a huge K1.8 billion has been allocated to 93 Districts through the District Service Improvement (DSIP) and District Infrastructure Programs (DIP) by the Marape-Rosso government.

Already though, more than half of the year is gone, yet there is no way to know how these monies are being spent, as most Districts have no road map in the form of a District Development Plan.

In November 2023 the government announced a K24.5 billion budget for 2024, with the largest slice allocated to the 93 Districts with each to receive K10 million in DSIP funding and another K10 million in DIP funds.

Currently, only 9 Districts have announced the publication of a District Plan. These are:

  1. Talesia
  2. Lufa
  3. Hiri Koiari
  4. Wapenamanda
  5. Kundiawa Gembolg
  6. Menyama
  7. Rigo
  8. Nawaeb
  9. Port Moresby South

With four years until the next national elections, there are 84 District Development Authorities who are yet to honour the compulsory constitutional requirement under Section 33A(3)(d) of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local level Government to publish a District Development Plan.

A development plan is the tool that will guide Districts and Provinces in achieving their goals in line with the government Medium Term Development Plan IV  for 2023-2027.

District Development Plans should clearly identify the programs and spending under the different priority sectors and present a realistic implementation schedule.

Failure to plan violates the DSIP Administrative Guidelines the District Development Authority Act and the law on Provincial and Local Level Government.

This was highlighted recently by the Department of Implementation & Rural Development (DIRD) Secretary Aihi Vaki. He was speaking at the Wau Waria District Development Forum hosted by the district and the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Committee (CIMC) in Wau, Morobe province earlier this month.

As part of Act Now’s program for greater transparency and better public access to information, and in-line with the government’s Open Government Partnership commitments to accountable government, a new website called DDA Watch (www.ddawatch.org) was launched last month to present information on each of the 93 District Development Authorities without bias, favour or discrimination.

On the website you can see the top five Districts, ranked on their transparency in making available key documents and information for their constituency and the wider public. Key documents are a current five-year development plan, annual budget, acquittal reports, DIRD inspection reports, and audit reports together with the DDA postal address, telephone number and email.

To stay updated and know more about your District and the latest news stories visit: www.ddawatch.org