Ministry to establish capital project

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Minister for Housing and Local Government, Maciu Nalumisa during break between sessions at Parliament on Monday March. 27. 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Ministry of Local Government is looking to establish a capital project monitoring team in this financial year to oversee the many projects undertaken by municipal councils.

Local Government Minister Maciu Nalumisa said this in Parliament this week, adding there are strict procedures in place to assess how grants are being used.

In its report, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had recommended for the ministry to strictly monitor the progress of capital projects implementation to provide better control for future grant disbursement to municipalities capital projects.

Mr Nalumisa said the ministry had developed specific Key Performance Indicators of special administrators and CEOs to oversee the implementation of capital projects.

“In accordance with budgetary allocation timelines, councils are also required to comply with the financial policy and grant agreements,” he said.

“In ensuring that municipal councils adhere to the grant agreement purposes, outlines and does thorough checking of grant expenditures incurred by the councils, the councils are also required to submit monthly signed financial reports to the ministry.

“In this financial year, the ministry is establishing a capital project monitoring team to ensure better control over capital projects implementation. In addition, a capital project implementation policy will be developed to guide the councils on the implementation phases of the development projects.

“Furthermore, for the coming financial year, the ministry will have an inhouse project management expert. This officer will assess and review all capital projects of municipal councils — those that are funded by councils and the ones funded by Government.”

Mr Nalumisa said for all grant funding, the municipal councils agreement outlined the purpose on which the funding to the councils should be used.

He said acquittals submitted to the councils would be thoroughly scrutinised by the finance team before releasing future grants.

“The financial manual build by the ministry also provides proper guidance to the councils as to how the government grants need to be utilised.

“The ministry has further implemented the grant checklist that provides the grant funding requirements. The checklist has been circulated to all the councils on the supporting documents to be attached to the payment vouchers and order for the supporting documents to ensure proper referencing.

“These are monitored by the Ministry of Local Government team through the checking of grant acquittals, ensuring that all proper supporting documents are attached to the payment vouchers.”

He also highlighted that the ministry had implemented a financial policy and identified a need for provision of trainings to the council staff on policies and proceeds to enhance the knowledge and skills for better service delivery.

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