Central Islands Province takes the lead in 2017/18 Provincial Capacity Development Fund Annual Assessment with a score of 72 points out of 100.

Seven out of Nine Provincial Governments have this year qualified for access to PCDF after meeting all eight minimum conditions that allow them access to SBD40million of Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) of Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP) (a programme administered by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS)). The assessment, which was based on the approved eight minimum conditions was conducted by two independent local consultants from November 2018 to March 2019 for PCDF allocation for 2019/20 budget of provincial governments. All but Makira Ulawa and Rennell & Bellona Provinces met the eight Minimum Conditions this year.

The project steering committee (PGSP Joint Oversight Committee) which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Mr Stanley D. Pirione, released the results of the assessment immediately the board concluded its meeting in Honiara on the 27th day of June 2019. Makira Ulawa could not qualify because it had issues with reconciliation of its bank statements with the cash book whilst Rennell & Bellona violated the PCDF investment menu and misused PCDF in 2017/18. Choiseul qualified in the second round of assessment to meet all the conditions.

Table 1: Final PCDF Allocation 2019/20

 
Item
No.
Final Score of PMs
Item Description
Final Amount
SBD
1
Makira Ulawa
56
Disqualified but allocated with 20% of its total allocation but lost $3, 710, 495
927, 624
2
Malaita
33
Qualified – full allocation
8, 654, 575
3
Western
27
Qualified - full allocation
5, 366, 287
4
Guadalcanal
29
Qualified - full allocation
7, 395, 380
5
Isabel
58
Qualified - full allocation
4, 552, 563
6
Central
72
Qualified - full allocation
5, 138, 633
7
Temotu
63
Qualified - full allocation
4, 257, 529
8
Choiseul
50
Qualified in round 2 but lost $805, 219 of basic allocation
3, 396, 701
9
Rennell & Bellona
25
Disqualified (20% of its total allocation provided) but lost $1,242,831
310, 708
Total Allocated
40, 000, 000

For a province to qualify for full funding from Provincial Capacity Development Fund, it must meet all eight minimum conditions (see tables 1 & 2 below). Every indicator in this assessment is worth SBD200, 000. Any point the province misses out, it reduces its ability to compete for SBD200, 000. About 50% of the PCDF is allocated to qualifying provinces based on minimum criteria and 50% based on performance. When a province is disqualified, it is still allocated 20% of its total allocation that would have been due to it had it met all the minimum conditions. This is designed to ensure continuity of its existing projects.

The objective of the performance-based grants of PGSP:

  • To provide funds to provinces for infrastructures that create enabling environment to promote rural economic development.
  • Build capacities of provincial officers through learning by doing to enable them to support service delivery at rural level.
  • Develop capacities of provincial officers and elected leaders in public expenditure management system and good governance.
  • Promote public expenditure management systems and public financial management systems at the provincial level through incentives.
  • Identify capacity gaps for PGSP and MPGIS to design tailor-made capacity building programmes to fill the gaps.
  • To provide incentives to provincial governments to comply with laws and regulations that enhance accountability, transparency and good governance in Solomon Islands.

The Eight Minimum Conditions Assessed in 2017/18

Minimum Condition Description
Comments
1. Core staffing in place
Provincial Secretary or Deputy Provincial Secretary, Provincial Treasurer or Deputy Provincial Treasurer, Chief Planning Officer or Senior Planning Officer who is dedicated to PCDF should be in place.
This MC has been met by all nine provinces.
2. Natural Justice
The termination of seconded officers is carried out by following the principles of natural justice as laid out in the Labour Act, public service regulations and the relevant sections of the General Orders of the Solomon Island Government.
This MC has been met by all nine provinces.
3. Management of Provincial Capacity Development Fund accounts
That Provincial Capacity Development Fund accounts are not used for any purposes other than PCDF purposes. It is prohibited to pay funds in and out of PCDF bank account that is not for the purpose of implementing PCDF projects and not in accordance with the investment menu.
This MC has been met by all provinces except for Rennell & Bellona Province.
4. Financial reporting
The Provincial Government financial statements are submitted to the Office of Auditor General on or before 31st December each year to comply with section 39 (1&2) of the PGA 1997.
This MC has been met by all provinces.
5. Bank Reconciliation
That the bank reconciliations of the province are up to date at least one month before the assessment team arrives in compliance with the Financial Management Ordinance section 25.
This MC has been met by all provinces except for Makira Ulawa.
6. Audit reports
That the most recent audit reports are tabled before the provincial assembly and a strategy is developed of how audit queries shall be dealt with by the province to ensure compliance with section 39 (3,4) of PGA 1997.
This MC has been met by all provinces.
7. Co-funding
That the province budgets a sum of SBD250, 000 to meet the salaries of a qualified engineer resident in the province to support infrastructure delivery.
This MC has been met by all provinces.
8. Public Accounts Committee
That the province budgets enough funds for at least two meetings of Provincial PAC annually. This is to comply with the PG Standing Order section 199 – 2015 and the Financial Management Ordinance section 58.
All provinces met this minimum condition

Table 3: The performance measures that were assessed Items

 
Performance Measures
Indicators
Value/point (SDB)
1
Existence of quality of development plan and annual budget. These plans are linked to NDS
16
3,200,000
2
Achievement of budgeted estimated targets and project implementation (budget performance)
8
1,600,000
3
Revenue collections performance and contribution to own development (sustainability)
6
1,200,000
4
HR management capacity and performance
6
1,200,000
5
Financial management
23
4,600,000
6
Procurement system is followed by all provinces
18
3,600,000
7
Transparency and Governance
7
1,400,000
8
Operation of assembly and executive and links to administration
16
3,200,000
Total
100
20,000,000

The next assessment to determine who should qualify for PCDF funding in 2020/21 shall be carried out from August 2019– December 2019. All provinces are being advised to start proper preparations for the next round of assessment. Support from the Ministry shall be provided to ensure all provinces have the capacity to comply and meet the required conditions to ensure proper accountability of public funds.

The chairman of PGSP Joint Oversight Committee extends his sincere thanks and appreciation to:

  • All provincial officers and the political leaders for their support and cooperation with the assessment process;
  • The assessment team for their hard work and cooperation in finalising the assessment reports through series of edits;
  • The members of the PGSP Joint Oversight Committee for their continued support for the performance- based programme;
  • The Provincial Fiscal Grant Coordination Committee for their technical work in facilitating the decision-making process of the steering committee.
  • The technical officers of MPGIS and the PGSP for training and providing technical guidance to the assessment team to ensure high quality reports.

The chair, on behalf of the Ministry, extends his heart-felt congratulations to the hard-working team in Central Islands Province (including the former Premier, Patrick Vasuni) who, for two years, supported the province in taking the lead in the PCDF performance assessment. PS Stanley is confident that the new executive would continue to motivate the officers to maintain the same spirit and the same level of performance.

By: Stanley D. Pirione

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening

And Chairman of PGSP Joint Oversight Committee (Project Board)

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