With lessons learnt from the COVID- 19 pandemic, the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) is keen and committed more than ever to deliver tangible development for the betterment of the country as a whole.
This is illustrated in last week’s one- day retreat at Ginger Beach where, all government ministries under the productive sector were given the opportunity to provide updates on their respective policy implementations to date, have dialogue on Government Redirection policies and update on their 2021 development budget implementation as the baseline for the 2022 budget priorities particularly for the productive sector.
The retreat was organised by the Productive Sector under the Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PIMEU) in the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC).
In his opening remarks the Chief of Staff of OPMC Robson Tana Djokovic stated that one of the two overarching policies of the DCGA is to focus on sustaining the economy and the significant role productive sector Ministries have to ensure critical areas of development are prioritized and supported through cross-sectoral collaboration was the main reason this retreat was organized.
In his remarks, the Chief of Staff stated, “You being the front line ministries in sustaining our economy it is important that we organize for this retreat today to consolidate our various efforts and forging a collaborative spirit toward implementing the development policies of the DCGA”.
The close cross-sectoral collaboration is actually needed, as the government will narrow its focus on implementing specific policies only starting next year, revealed the Chief of Staff.
“This year your sector was accorded top priority in terms of funding allocations and will be the same for 2022. Thus, it is only appropriate that whatever limited resources allocated to your sector is focused only on certain priority areas according to the two overarching objectives of (1) protecting our country against COVID19 and (2) sustaining our economy”, says Djokovic.
Djokovic said next year government would not reinvent the wheel but will rollover or build on the foundations of this year’s policy implementations and progresses.
The Chief of Staff highlighted that government’s focus will be narrowed and that government will put money into key priorities that all ministries can collectively put efforts into implementing them.
Djokovic further adds that, “In light of the ongoing financial challenges brought about by the closure of international borders and our borders because of the COVID19, SIG must take stringent measures on its finances particularly on how it expended its development funds. I expect that your retreat today will capture discussions on the nature of funds spent under your respective development budgets (DB) and to limit the nature of recurrent spending within the DB to minimal”.
Djokovic further revealed that as of next year government will likely focus on infrastructure investment, primary production, value adding and export as the four priority policy areas for the 2022 Budget.
On Bills and Legislations Djokovic said, government will focus only on bills that will directly support the two overarching goals and deliver tangible developments.
Djokovic also emphasized that government ministries in the productive sector need to think outside of the box as the current circumstances are not normal.
“We must adjust and align ourselves so that we are prepared to meet the challenges we have encountered in the delivery of government policies and collectively resolve them,” Djokovic highlighted.
All Permanent Secretaries present at the retreat echoed similar statements and thanked the OPMC for initiating stronger collaboration within the productive sector and across other sectors.
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Lands and Housing Mr Stanley Waleanisia when speaking during the retreat said that close collaboration and proper coordination across sectors and within sectors is the way forward if we want to see meaningful implementation of government policies at all levels.
The Chief of Staff concluded that this is the first time that better cross-sectoral collaboration amongst line ministries including OPMC, MoFT and MNPDC had happened under any political government and urges all the participating ministries to utilize this rare but important spirit of collaboration.
The theme of the retreat was “Collaboration for growth and productivity”.
The one- day retreat is supported by Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination, Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.