ESP payment process continues

MoFT Permanent Secretary McKinnie Dentana. Photo by SBM
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APPROVAL, informing recipients, signing of contracts and also raising of payments on the remaining part on the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) continues this week.

Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) Permanent Secretary (PS) and Chairman of the ESP Committee McKinnie Dentana said with the process, they expect it to continue until the end of this month November, and probably payment will still continue next month December.

Mr Dentana updating on the ESP during yesterday’s ‘Covid-19 Talk-Back’ show said as of last week, their team have been trying to complete the last process especially on the remaining sectors such as in agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

“Approval, informing recipients and signing of contracts and also raising of payments on the remaining part on the stimulus package continues this week. This process we expect to continue up until the end of this month [November] and probably payments will still continue next month. But most of the formal process on approval and informing recipients as they come and sign off contracts and such, we expect it to conclude this month, while payments will still continue,” said Dentana.

“As of last week and this week, our team both from the ministry of finance, Prime Minister’s Office and the committees tried to complete the last process especially on the remaining sectors, mainly on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and payments of  informing recipients progresses as of last week and will continue this week.”

The Permanent Secretary of MoFT said in terms of release of ‘public information’ is a priority and commitment on the stimulus package.

“As I have informed the public earlier, it is a requirement from the donor fund that also support the stimulus package that all information must be released,” said Dentana.

“But the avenue to release is what we are still progressing on at this stage. Uploading of all the applications is complete. We are waiting for final approval on some of the sectors before we upload the list of approval into the system. And that process we expect to conclude within the next one or two weeks and hopefully by the end of this month we should formally launch the software and information can be accessed through this process, or the platform that we design or recommend.

“So certainly information will be released on public as well as certainly proper channel will be provided.”

Mr Dentana in elaborating assures the public that the approval process still falls within the ‘four structure’ of the stimulus package.

“I want to assure the public that the approval process still falls within the four structure of the stimulus package as other policy approved in May. There is no misallocation or miss-approval according to the relevant structure of the stimulus package. The process of approval too still maintains as on the guidelines of the stimulus package, screening have been done by the screening committee, coming to the committee of the Oversight Committee, implementing, awarding, and of course the verification part has also been done by the government as well. So those processes still maintain,” said Dentana.

In final update, Mr Dentana said they have completed the first round of monitoring and evaluation of those who have received the stimulus package from July up to August.

“So report has been done and we expect to present it to Caucas and the government on Tuesday [tomorrow] this week. The report covers how the fund is used, what is its impact, so there is the commitment to ensure that the money or recipient who receives the stimulus package also meets their obligation and it goes towards the right purpose,” said Dentana.

“The first round of report is complete, I thank the youths engaged, managing to meet people who received the support and also ask and get their information. This is a report that will also be uploaded to the website and at the same time this information as soon as the process of auditing takes place, will also be available at Parliament, so there is no intention for information will not be withheld. All the relevant information related to the stimulus package will be public information for everyone to be able to access.”