By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Government accounts for 2015 have officially closed. Finance Minister, James Marape, announced this today at Vulupindi Haus, Waigani.
The close of accounts ends what the minister describes as a “tough fiscal year.”
“(The) close of accounts will be the shortest in our nation’s history,” Marape said this morning.
Minister Marape said the accounts closed yesterday at 4.06pm and will reopen on January 4, 2016.
Based on past experiences where there has been a mad rush of expenses during the close of accounts period, Marape warned public servants that any expenses made during this period “will be at their own peril.”
The Finance Secretary, Dr. Ken Nangan, said the department has also implemented reforms in their financial management system to cope with the tight fiscal situation the country is in.
“Usually during the longer close of accounts, there are floating cheques, we want to cut that out, so close of accounts in shorter and the integrated financial management system has been configured to zero out all uncommitted funds in the system,” Nangan said.
Marape was optimistic that the government has delivered on key projects despite the drastic cut in the country’s revenue due to the drop in oil and mineral prices.
“We satisfactorily delivered our tuition fee free program this year, we satisfactorily delivered on most of our high impact programs and we satisfactorily delivered on special support grants this year,” Marape said.
While all other government accounts will close, DSIP and PSIP accounts will remain open.
“(With) DSIP (there has been) 80 per cent delivery, 20 per cent still outstanding, we hope to do that close of this year. PSIP is the only issue, we have delivered K191.65 million so far and we have outstanding of K253.35 million,” said Marape.
With regards to the continued drought situation in the country, Secretary Nangan said if there are any urgent drought or disaster matters that arise during close of accounts, the DSIP and PSIP can be used, upon instructions from the Finance Minister and department.