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CONSTITUTIONAL GRANTS WENT STALE DUE TO NO ACQUITALS

More than K16 million Constitutional Grants went stale and forfeited back to the state this year due to non-submission of acquittal reports by provincial and district administrators and finance managers.

The Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) Secretary Aihi Vaki said to qualify for the release of the next lot of Constitutional Grants which consists of Provincial and District Support Grants (PSG & DSG) depends entirely on the previous year’s reports – both physical and financial reports.

Mr Vaki said in 2021, there were K6, 250,000.00 PSG and DSG of which 12 discretionary and 13 non-discretionary cheques that had been re-issued, however these cheques will go stale again in September of 2023 if not collected by the provinces and districts.   

In 2022, there were 36 discretionary and 31 non-discretionary components of PSG & DSG that totaled up to K16, 750,000.00 that had gone stale. Treasury Department had been advised accordingly to settle it, if possible through issuing of a new warrant. 

“The provincial or district administrators and finance managers must not procrastinate but must take heed of the department’s advice at the earliest. When you do not comply by reporting, you should be held accountable for denying people’s rights to receiving basic government services. It is always easy to get funds but difficult to report,” Vaki said.

Secretary Vaki had adviced that the application of these grants must be prudently managed and properly reported to the department. Districts and provinces must identify gaps in important areas that need serious consideration and intervention, especially at the LLG and ward levels where majority of the people live, therefore not to forgo funds made available in each financial year.

“Funds must be spent on intended purposes, focusing on key sectors such as education, health and economic activities including other sustainable projects in partnership with local communities to empower and improve their living standards,” he said.

Mr Vaki further challenged his colleague public servants particularly the administrators and finance managers at the sub-national administration to read and understand the administrative guidelines and financial instructions governing the Constitutional Grants and SIP funds. The Members of Parliament are also encouraged to read and understand these administrative guidelines and financial instructions to be conversant with.

He also reminded those provinces and districts who had failed to submit their Provincial and District Services Improvement Program (PSIP and DSIP) reports in the last term of parliament, from 2017-2022 to submit.

“These reports are still outstanding and must not be swept under the carpet, this is to ensure maintain accountability, transparency and good governance at the sub-national administration,” he added.

There are two major components of reporting on SIP, the expenditure report and physical report that must include purchase of capital assets inventory report, such assets as construction equipment, vehicles, communication towers, workboats etc. that can generate revenue.

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