Money dished out but where is the product?

The National Government Goods and Services funding for Provincial and Local Level Government, for the 1st Quarter of 2010, has already been allocated and partially released.

It is interesting to note that the following types of grants exist and are expanded every quarter of each financial year.

Administration Grants that are used by each Provincial Governments for administrative overheads and not salaries or allowances.

Function Grants are meant to pay for operational and recurrent costs of goods and services delivery. Provincial governments are required to fund a core set of Minimum Priority Activities (MPA) towards the Medium Term Development Strategy.

Do you know what the core sets of MPA, your provincial government is required to fund for each sector, apart from the broader range of activities that they must consider?

Health Function Grant:


The MPA for health, which provincial governments are expected to pay for with this grant are:

  • Operation of rural health facilities;
  • Health Outreach patrols and Clinics; and
  • Drug Distribution. 

If your health centre is closed because there are no medicines, or that you are told to pay for the drugs or there are no health outreach patrols into your area, ask your provincial government why they have not funded their MPA when they have the money. 

Education Function Grant:


The MPA for the education program would be for provincial governments to fund operational costs of primary and secondary schools especially:

  • Distribution of school materials
  • Supervision of schools by district and provincial officers; and
  • Operation of district education offices 

The next time your children are sent home because there are no teachers, ask your provincial government where the money that pays for the expenses of supervising schools have gone to?  

And if you are told to pay for your children’s textbooks, ask the provincial department of education where the funds allocated for payment of distribution costs have gone. Parents and students should not bear the costs of material distribution. This isn’t fair! 

Transport Infrastructure Maintenance Function Grant


The MPA for this grants are maintenance costs of provincial roads and bridges, jetties and wharfs, and airstrips. This grant cannot be used for construction of new roads or maintenance of buildings, or for major reconstruction or rehabilitation of unusable existing roads.

Surely the Lae City roads should qualify as provincial roads, shouldn’t they? Why then is there a government grant called Transport Infrastructure Maintenance Function Grant, going into the provincial government coffers while nothing is being done to fix the portholes? 

A good question for Honorable Luther Wenge his fellow Morobean leaders

The Village Court Function Grant


The MPA for this grant is strictly for provision of operational materials and supervisional costs incurred in the operation of village courts. 

Are village courts functional and convened regularly in your village? If not, and if the reason is because there is no funds to pay for operational costs, you have to ask why this is the case, when there is a government grant for this purpose

The Village Court Allowance Grant


The MPA for this grant is exclusively to pay the allowance of village court officials.   

Do you know a village court official that has not been paid his allowance? Tell us his story.

Primary Production Function Grant.

The main MPA for this grant is extension services in fisheries, agriculture, forestry and livestock. It covers activities such as extension services in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and livestock, which includes farmers trainings, extensions services to farmers and the distribution of seeds and other technologies to farmers and fishermen. The aim is to develop primary and export commodities. 

There should not be any excuse for lack of training of local farmers, provision of extension services and other assistance to farmers because the costs of delivering these goods and services are catered for by this grant. 

Other Service Delivery function grants

This grants covers costs from other sectors not covered by the main function grants, including community development, natural resource management, and business development and lands administration.

Any community development initiatives in your area can have government support apart from aid assistance from donors through non-governmental agencies. Ask your provincial government to assist you. They have the money for this purpose. 


The Autonomous Region of Bougainville receives a different 3 sets of funding. The General recurrent goods and services grant, a police goods and services grant and a National powers and functions grant. Attempts to obtain clarification on the specifics and MPAs of grants given to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are currently being pursued. 


If you would like to know the precise amounts allocated and percentage released to each provincial and local level government for the first quarter of 2010, please click the pdf link below. 


Read and ACT NOW! - pursue your provincial and local government agencies if you don't see changes.




PDF icon Jan - March 2010 update.pdf1.62 MB


It would be very useful to read this article alongside the recent contribution by Peter Barter in the Post-Courier:

Barter's suggestions, some of which seem very interesting indeed, depend upon the public scrutinizing government accounts, demanding auditable spending of grants, and pushing for real service delivery.

This is Peter Barters article which Kris refers to:

Hospital for the rich.

At the risk of being accused of post-political interference, I cannot allow the development of the proposed so called “World Class Hospital” in the Central Province without challenging the absurdity of such a development when the entire health system throughout PNG is in dire straits, especially the existing provincial hospitals including the Port Moresby General Hospital.
As the former Minister, albeit for a very short period, I worked hard for the Government to release funds to maintain existing health infrastructure from the two Supplementary Budgets. Initially we expected to have a total of K300 million released. This was eroded down to K187 million and out of those funds only a fraction was released on scoped projects that included major maintenance of operating theatres, redevelopment and urgent maintenance of Angau, Port Moresby, Madang, Wewak, Goroka, Mt Hagen, Kerema, Wabag and Wapendamanda, Bruan, Etep, Gaubin plus scores of health centres, nurses housing and purchases of equipment that was required for our doctors to perform their functions. Had these funds been released and funds spent as intended we would have seen a marked improvement in both staff morale and health services to the people.
We also took several trips to Cuba in an effort to secure Cuban doctors, not to replace PNG doctors but to recruit “rural doctors” who were prepared to live in rural areas and improve the level of health services with minimal equipment and infastructure.
The offer by the Cuban Government was not only to provide doctors, but to also help us train doctors and nurses and at the same time we had intended to expand the medical faculty of the UPNG and develop a faculty at DWU in partnership with the churches to train “PNG Rural Doctors” which would ultimately replace the Cuban doctors.
I recognised that it would be difficult to bring in hundreds of Cubans, what we had in mind was to bring in say 50 and allow the Church Health Services to use the doctors as the churches remain the major health provider in rural areas and they had accommodation available and the willingness to improve their services.
The third element was to implement the Health Administration Act which was passed by Parliament to establish provincial health boards that would allow hospitals to expand their work into the rural areas, allow doctors to move out into the health centres, treat and train health staff, provide in-service training and to avoid the duplications that had wasted a lot of money, allowing maximum effort for the little funds available.
Another element which has not been implemented was the Church Health Act that was to replace the Church Medical Council, enabling the churches to be more independent to raise their own funds, develop and expand health facilities themselves rather than be totally subservient to the national and provincial governments.
Having said that, it was made quite clear that they would work in partnership with the Government.
This increased power would enable them to improve the delivery of health services but at the same time be required to work within the policies of the Department of Health. The pros and cons can be debated, but in the end, it is only right that the churches stand on their own two feet so they can sustain and expand the services they have provided so well in the past. The failure of the MVIL Hospital was largely related to the lack of workable health insurance in PNG and even now, there are not sufficient people formally applied that would make a super private hospital viable.
Even if a health insurance scheme was introduced now most people in PNG would not be covered, in other words, the hospital would serve the rich and leave the vulnerable poorer people at the mercy of the existing health system.
I fully support the establishment of good hospitals in Central and Kerema, I support the expansion of the Port Moresby General Hospital and other hospitals to provide more specialists and medical equipment so we can treat various medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, intervascular, urology, even brain surgery and to achieve this the Government will need to allocate hundreds of millions over a period of time and perhaps at the same time introduce a ‘bonding or contracting” scheme to keep trained doctors in the public health system.
Interesting comparisons can be made of the level of funding by the Australian and Queensland Government on Aborigines in North Queensland which exceeds the total cost of what our Government spends on our population of more than six million. Unless more money is invested into health in PNG the bulk of the population will continue to suffer and many people will die needlessly. Like education, health is equally important and before we consider building a hospital of “excellence” we should first begin by supporting the existing health structure to ensure we can reduce the mortality rates of infants and women which are among the worst in the world.
I have met those people from the USA who visited PNG to support the Hospital of Excellence. My feeling after the meeting was they were not all convinced that the proposal for a Super Hospital or hospital of excellence was the answer to our immediate problems. They largely supported the views expressed by myself and those who attended the meeting in Madang.
How can we begin to talk about this proposal in light of the state of existing hospitals that serve the bulk of the population, how can a handful of doctors and nurses in the public health system cope with delivery of an acceptable level of health services given the geographical diversity and difficulty of transport and super impose an expensive super hospital for the lucky few that may be insured or can afford such specialist treatment in or out of PNG.

The super hospital , a political extravagance for narrow minded shortsighted pompous filthyrich pollies & their cohorts...its another way of dishing out public money to their cronies under the guise of construction contracts,building contracts ,all kind of contracts but all falling short of actually delivering the goods .If thay do deliver than is substandard that never met the quality standards in the first place.
The Govt should put the money into all the current hospitals in the country,boosting the numbers of doctors ,nurses and facilitaing improving the basic health care facilities in the Health centers in all the provinces.Upgrading all major hospital medical equiptment, euipping all hospitals with the latest in X-Ray immaging technology , recruiting & training current staff with a hands on approach on using the new technology.
These are important priorities yet the goverment wants to set up this super hospital..