Governors call for more powers is reasonable: Painap

Date Published:
Mon, 02/19/2024 - 11:07

Story by Claudia Tally of Post-Courier (14th February 2024)


The call from the 22 Provincial Governors for decentralization of powers from the National Government is reasonable, says the funding watchdog.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Economic and Fiscal Commission Patrick Kennedy Painap said the Commission understands the calls and changes will be proposed under the current review of the inter-governmental financing system.

He said at present, all government funding for the key development areas like education, health, police, infrastructure and others are controlled by Waigani which has 80% funding control.

“The powers relate to funding. “The governors only have control over 20%. “The rest of the 80% is controlled by the National Government. “That is why the governors are complaining. “To which they have a genuine complaint too” he said.

Mr Painap further made reference to funding for police in the country. “Policing and Security are the national functions and most of the funding given to the Royal PNG Constabulary (RPNGC) does not trickle down to the provinces.

“As such with growing law and order concerns, provincial governments cannot access this funding and must draw from other sources. “When law and order issues come up, there is no funding and who comes in, it is the governors.

“That is the reason why they are complaining. “It has come to a time when the governors want some operational funds so when the issues arise, they will attend to it,” he said.

It was noted that while the provincial governors want more functions and powers, it now comes down to the credibility of each administration.

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