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Choiseul tops all provinces

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Provincial performance assessment report released


THE Joint Oversight Committee of the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme has released the final results of the annual performance assessment conducted in 2012 for access to Provincial Capacity Development Fund 2013/14.

The Joint Oversight Committee, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Stanley D. Pirione, presided over the results of the assessment on the 20th of December 2012.

In 2012 annual performance assessment, provincial governments were assessed on seven minimum conditions and eight performance measures with 100 indicators.

For a province to qualify for funding from Provincial Capacity Development Fund, it has to meet all seven minimum conditions.

The 2012 assessment results have been highlighted in table 1 below.

The amount of funds that should be allocated to each province has also been determined as indicated in the table.

Table 1: 2012 PCDF annual performance assessment results

Items

Provinces

Minimum conditions met

Performance score per province

Amount allocated

SBD

1

Malaita

3

53

0.00

2

Makira Ulawa

7

62

3,805,540

3

Central

7

66

2,739,989

4

Isabel

7

70

2,784,438

5

Choiseul

7

75

3,268,998

6

Western

7

68

5,492,773

7

Guadalcanal

7

58

5,184,307

8

Temotu

7

69

2,771,118

9

Rennell & Bellona

7

54

1,636,961

The performance scores are out of 100 points

In addition to Malaita Province, Rennell & Bellona Province was going to miss out from this year's funding but the province successfully appealed against minimum condition 6 (tabling of audit report in the provincial assembly).

The Joint Oversight Committee heard the appeal from Renbel and approved the qualification of Renbel on the basis of evidences produced before the steering committee.

The Provincial Capacity Development Fund Operational Manual has a provision for provinces that do not meet certain minimum conditions to file an appeal directly to the Joint Oversight Committee through the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Provincial Government Institutional Strengthening who is the chairman of the Project Steering Committee.

The appeal is heard only when it is filed within a period of two weeks of the date of Joint Oversight Committee announcing the results of the assessment.

For provinces that do not meet the minimum conditions, the Ministry ensures that support is provided to them in the form of capacity building in order to improve their financial management capabilities.

Support is provided to all provinces though the capacity building initiative funded by Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme designed to improve public expenditure management system and good governance at the provincial level.

In the case of Malaita Province, further assistance shall be provided in order to ensure that the province is back on track.

The seven minimum conditions assessed in 2012 include as follows:

  1. Core staffing in place:
    Provincial Secretary or Deputy Provincial Secretary, Provincial Treasurer or Deputy Provincial Treasurer, Chief Planning Officer or Senior Planning Officer should be in place.

  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.

  3. Management of Provincial Capacity Development Fund accounts:
    That Provincial Capacity Development Fund accounts are not used for any purposes other than Provincial Capacity Development Fund purposes.

  4. Financial reporting:
    The Provincial Government financial statements are submitted to the Office of Auditor General on or before 31st December.

  5. Bank Reconciliation:
    That the bank reconciliations of the province are up to date at least one month before the assessment team arrives.

  6. Audit reports:
    That the most recent audit reports are tabled before the provincial assembly and a strategy is developed of audit queries shall be dealt with by the province.

  7. Co-funding:
    That the province pays its own contribution into Provincial Capacity Development Fund account during the course of the year. This has to be evidenced in the bank statement of the province.

Performance measures (see table 2 below)

In terms of performance measures, the provincial government of Choiseul has been consistently leading the nine provinces since the performance assessment commenced in 2009, as indicated in  table 2 below.

The overall trend analysis of the results shows that, on average, provinces have been improving their performance.

Average score has increased from 40 in 2009 to 64 in 2012 assessment.

Even though performance measures have been enhanced as a result of the revision that took place in 2012, the average score has improved.

About 50% of Provincial Capacity Development Funds have this year been allocated to provinces based on performance.

The remaining 50% is allocated based on basic allocation formula.

Provinces that obtained higher scores in performance measures such as Choiseul and Isabel have gained more resources despite their low population.

This year, 20% of fixed service grant has been allocated to provincial governments based on their scores in the performance measures assessment for Provincial Capacity Development Fund.

Provinces that did well in the Provincial Capacity Development Fund performance measures increased their allocations in the fixed service grant.

The use of performance measures in allocating a portion of fixed service grant to provinces is an indication of the impact of the Provincial Capacity Development Fund mechanism of promoting sound fiscal reforms.

Table 2: Trend analysis of PG performance in Performance Measures

From 2009 - 2012

Provinces

2009

2010

2011

2012

Guadalcanal

34

60

61

58

Temotu

34

43

61

69

Western

44

62

58

68

Makira Ulawa

44

61

65

62

Isabel

38

71

80

70

Central

37

57

61

66

Malaita

49

59

54

53

Rennell & Bellona

34

43

45

54

Choiseul

49

78

80

75

Total for average comp.

363

534

565

575

Average

40

59

63

64

 

Table 3: The revised performance measures that were assessed in 2012

 

Items

Performance Measures

Indicators

1

Existence of quality of development plan and annual budget

18

2

Achievement of budgeted estimated targets and project implementation (budget performance)

9

3

Revenue collections performance and contribution to own development (sustainability)

8

4

HR management capacity and performance

6

5

Financial management

28

6

Transparency and Governance

15

7

Operation of the assembly and executive and links to administration

10

8

Operation of assembly and executive and links to administration

6

 

Total

100

 

Provincial Capacity Development Fund is a performance based grant which has been set up by the Solomon Island Government to provide provinces with investment for small scale infrastructure projects whilst at the same time promoting public expenditure management systems and public financial management systems at the provincial level.

When the Provincial Capacity Development Fund started in 2008, SIG and donors (EU, RAMSI, UNDP and UNCDF) contributed equally to the capital development fund accessed by provinces that meet the minimum criteria.

For the first four years, the donors and SIG were each contributing about $5.4million but since 2011, the National Government up-scaled its contribution to $30 million per annum.

The Ministry hires four independent consultants annually (one planning expert, two accountants and one auditor) to carry out the assessment over a period of two months.

The final reports of the assessors are first discussed by the Provincial Fiscal Grant Coordination committee (a committee that discusses fiscal issues of Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme) and then later finalised by the Joint oversight Committee (project steering committee) based on Provincial Fiscal Grant Coordination Committee recommendations (a fiscal committee that assists the project Board).

Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme is a SIG and donor funded programme that has been designed to strengthen capacities of provincial governments in Solomon Islands for effective service delivery.

The first phase of the programme has been focusing on strengthening the public expenditure management capacity of the provincial government by providing them with incentives in the form of Provincial Capacity Development Fund to finance small scale investments at the provincial level.

The programme commenced in 2008 and will end by end of December 2013.

Since 2008, assessments have been carried out annually to determine the eligibility of provinces to the fund.

The next assessment to determine who should qualify for PCDF funding in 2014/15 shall be carried out in July 2013.