by Michelle Bird – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Today marked a milestone for PNG as the Department of Planning and Monitoring, under the leadership of Charles Abel, unveiled the country’s first Planning Act.
Papua New Guinea has been looking at the implementation of such an act since 1962, but has never been able to embark on meaningful development pathways; the planning act will tie government down to funding development priorities.
The Planning and Monitoring Responsibility Act agenda consists of the national planning framework, that includes the national goals and directive principles as articulated in the national strategy for responsible sustainable development (StaRS) – PNG Vision 2050, the medium term development plans, the provincial and sector plans, and the annual budget.
The act also brings into law the national service delivery framework; the physical and spatial service delivery infrastructure of the government that’sets out the minimum standards of services to be provided by all levels of government. It also requires all participants to build and maintain this infrastructure that is set up at the national, provincial, district, LLG, ward and village levels.
The act requires the Department of National Planning and Monitoring to produce an annual budget framework paper, in order to guide the budget formulation, and requires monitoring and evaluation to be conducted at all levels. As well as this it imposes duties and obligations on all agencies, who use funds for development purposes, to report on the performance of those funds.
The department also launched the Development Cooperation Policy (DCP), which is intended to guide the effort of all development partners in funding development priorities around the country.
The DCP takes its cue from the overarching StaRS paradigm, which now provides the guiding principles for all state policy, including the recently launched WASH and Population Policies.