Ward grants out

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CDF should also have regulations, says Veke

 

BY GEORGINA KEKEA

GUADALCANAL Premier, Anthony Veke is calling on the Members of Parliament to regulate the Rural Constituency Development Funds (RCDF).

Premier Veke is responding to an article in Island Sun on the suggestion made by Wale for Ward Grants to be removed from the Provincial Government level.

In his response, Veke is calling on the MP for Auki/Langalanga, Mathew Wale and the Members of Parliament to be realistic to the people of Solomon Islands

Veke said as of 2019, MPAs will not be accessing Ward Grants as it will be part of capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is money spent on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets such as land, buildings and equipment.

He said this was made possible after the passing of the Financial Management Ordinance (FMO) 2018. The revised FMO has regulated the use of Ward Grants.

“I would also like to ask MP Wale to do the same for RCDF. Where is the RCDF regulations?” Veke questions.

Last week during the PAC hearing, Wale was heard to suggest that the role of support towards Provincial Governments should be given to the Constituencies whose program deal more directly with the people.

However Veke says the RCDF has been with MPs for quite sometimes but there has been very little happening in the provinces despite the huge amount received.

He said the only institution that has proper plan for use of funds is the provincial governments.

“The provinces had revised their FMOs last week in their various assemblies and through the provisions of the FMO we had regulated the use of Ward Grants. When will the MPs regulates the usage of RCDF?” Veke questions.

Veke said the provinces only use 100k annually as Ward Grant but are willing to have it regulated.

“For Guadalcanal, the MPs have gone their own way without caring for the Development plans the province has. It is duplicating and merely for political gain for MPs”, Veke said.

Now with the Ward Grant consolidated in Capital expenditure, Veke said MPAs will not be able to assist rural people in school fees, boat fare and death in family.

He said since this will no longer be entertained, he is calling on his people to step up and start doing things for themselves.

“GP has just passed the revised FMO last week. As soon as the revised FMO goes through the gazette it becomes an ordinance that will have provisions that regulates Ward Grant. So it is better for Wale as an MP to stop and think of how he can convince his colleagues in Parliament about regulating RCDF”, Veke said.

In 2013, Parliament passed the CDF Act to provide for the purpose of developing, supervising and regulating the management and disbursement of Constituency Development Funds in transparent and accountable manner.

The object and responsibility of this Act is to ensure that the management and disbursement of Constituency Development Funds is carried out with integrity and in a prudent manner with a view to safeguarding the interest of potential recipients of the funds.

Funds for constituency development purposes are administered and managed by Constituency Development Officers.

Most Constituency officers are working in isolation from the Provincial governments though they serve the same group of people.

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