The Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP) Provincial Fiscal Grant Coordinating Committee (PFGCC) of the well-regarded Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) convened at Central Province’s capital Tulagi for two days, 28th Sept and 29th Sept 2022, to discuss the results of the Annual Performance Assessment of PCDF in the Nine Provinces for the year 2020/21, and for allocation of SIG SBD40 million for the qualifying Provinces as approved by the Solomon Islands Government for 2022.
In its two-day meeting the PFGCC had detailed presentation of the performance of respective Provinces from the Team Leader of the Assessment, Mr Tony Hou, who was accompanied by Mr Roger Townshend, the Accountant and Auditor in the Assessment Team. After the presentation of the Report, the Nine Provincial Secretaries were given the opportunity to respond to issues raised in the Report on Provinces by the Assessment Team.
The Deputy Secretaries of Joint Oversight Committee (JOC) Member Ministries also commented on the report and the performance of respective Provinces. The report shows that the performance overall has improved with an average score of 58 being the highest so.
The Provincial Secretaries thanked the Assessors for the Report indicating that it is a true reflection of what the Assessors found on the ground at the time of the Assessment. The PFGCC members congratulated Isabel and Central Provinces who came out first and second in the overall performance results.
It must be remembered that both Central and Isabel are the two Provinces that have so far secured Clean Audit Report in the past two years. Both Provinces seem to be setting the pace in Accountability, in Annual Performance and Audit Reports for the rest of the Provinces to follow. It is no coincidence that the two Provinces are still taking the lead.
Whilst the Committee (the PFGCC) does not have the mandate to decide who to qualify, the PCDF Operations Manual gives opportunity to Provinces to appeal against the results within two weeks. The appeal shall be heard by the Project Steering Committee called the Joint Oversight Committee (JOC), which shall meet on the 5th and 6th of this month to go through the Reports.
The Ministry of Provincial and Institutional Strengthening shall announce the final results of the Assessment 2020/21 immediately after the JOC meeting, which shall end on the 6th of this month
In this recently concluded Assessment, the Nine Provinces were assessed on 11 Minimum Conditions. For a Province to access the 2022 allocation, it must meet all the 11 Minimum Qualifying Conditions as stipulated below:
|No.||Minimum Qualifying Conditions for a Province to Access PCDF Funding|
|1.||Core Staff in Place (All if not any three of these core staff must be in place: Provincial Secretary, Deputy Provincial Secretary, Provincial Treasurer, Deputy Provincial Treasurer, Provincial Planning Development Coordinator, or Senior Planning Officer.|
|2.||Natural Justice (No unprocedural or unfair removal or termination of any member of core staff).|
|3.||PCDF Account link to PCDF Grant Utilization.|
|4.||Signed 2019/20 Financial Statement timely submitted to the Office of the Auditor (OAG) before 31/12/2020.|
|5.||All Bank Reconciliations Updated Accurately.|
|6.||Core Public Finance Management and Reporting Follow Up.|
|7.||Province Respond to 2018/19 OAG Report by Provincial Public Accounts Committee (PPAC) and Provincial Assembly.|
|8.||Compliance to Core-Funding Contributions.|
|9.||Funding for PPAC Meetings & PPAC Meetings Conducted.|
|11.||Participatory Planning Processes (e.g. Ward Development Committees (WDCs) involving in deciding, planning, and implementation of WDC projects with the PG.|
The PFGCC is the fiscal committee created by the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme’s (PGSP) Joint Oversight Committee (JOC, the project board) that meets periodically to review results of PCDF Assessment Reports and make recommendations to the JOC for the final decision. The committee is designed to discuss related fiscal and expenditure issues in the Provinces especially about the grants and make recommendations to the Steering Committee which is the JOC.
The performance of the individual Provinces in last FY 2020/2021 determines the amount of PCDF each Province is going to get in the following FY, in this case 2022/23.
The PFGCC is chaired by the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, and co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.
The main functions of the PFGCC are to make deliberations on the Provincial Service Grants from the National Government such as the Rational for Provincial Services Grants, Current Usage of Provincial Services Grants by the Provinces, Level of Provincial Services Grants, Distribution of Provincial Services Grants among the Provinces, System of Administering Provincial Services Grants, Accounting for and Reporting of Provincial Services Grants, and Suggestions for Change and Reform in the above areas. The PFGCC is mandated to discuss issues relating to Intergovernmental Financing Arrangements, such as giving options for Reform of Intergovernmental Financing Arrangements, including Revenue Sharing.
The PCDF Assessment Report that was reviewed by the Technical Committee (PFGCC) was prepared by the two local consultants: Tony Hou and Roger Townsend. Tony Hou the team leader presented the report to the PFGCC in Tulagi.
The PGSP and its PCDF have been supporting the Provinces for over 13 years with infrastructures that make meaningful changes to the living conditions of the people of Solomon Islands. The recent statistics of PCDF infrastructures have just been tabulated below.
The project has so far delivered 1,549 projects at a total cost of Three Hundred and Nineteen Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty-Five Dollars (SBD319,127,635.66), see table below.
|Item no.||Province||Project||Expenditure incurred||Ongoing Projects||Funds committed||% of total exp||People employed|
|3||Culture and Tourism||32||8,121,145.00||2||152,880||2.54||399|
|8||Solid waste management||12||1,681,920.00||0||–||0.53||40|
|10||Water and Sanitation||520||17,222,722.00||5||517,389||5.40||890|
|11||Fisheries and Marine resources||47||6,495,464.00||2||587,594||2.04||221|
|17||Youth and Sports||7||3,358,989.00||0||–||1.05||125|
|19||Forestry, Land and Natural Resources||4||346,921.00||0||–||0.11||12|
|22||Finance and Treasury||2||115,155.00||0||–||0.04||6|
The PCDF is the funding mechanism of the Provincial Strengthening Programme (PGSP) that was initiated by the Solomon Islands Government in 2004 and started in 2008/9 with the support of donors such as RAMSI, EU, UNCDF, UNDP. The PGSP is now at its second phase and fully funded by the Solomon Islands Government since 2016.
Beginning from next month onwards the PCDF will be boosted with the support from Donor Development Partners such as World Bank, and European Union through United Nations Development Programme through the Integrated Economic Development and Community Resilience (IEDCR) project and Provincial Governance Service Delivery.
Members of the PFGCC are comprised of Deputy Auditor General from the Office of the Auditor General, Assistant Accountant General Management from the Office of the Accountant General, Deputy Secretary to Cabinet from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Deputy Secretary for Education Authorities from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Rural Development, and all 9 Provincial Secretaries, and the officers from the MPGIS.
Agenda for the PFGCC two days meeting covered; Confirmation of the Minutes and Matters Arising from the Minutes of May 2021 held at King Solomon Hotel, Presentation of Assessment Reports of PCDF Funded Projects Implemented by the Nine Provincial Governments for 2020/21 Financial Year, Discussions on the Presented Assessment Reports, Summary of Implementation Status of 2021 Joint Oversight Committee (JOC) Recommendations by MPGIS, Formulation of PFGCC Recommendations to the 2020/21 Assessment Reports, Presentation of IEDCR Components, and other pipeline funding, and visitation on some of Central Province’s PCDF Project Sites.