Nine out of the 51 will receive $575,0000 from the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD), today as part of the government’s $1 million tala District’s Development Project.
Minister Leota Laki Lamositele Sio confirmed with Talamua that 24 of 51 electoral constituencies have been approved to receive the initial payments from the $1m tala allocated annually under the District’s Development Project.
He said out of these 24, nine will sign their Funding Agreements today and the other 15 districts on Tuesday next week.
Leota explained that under the project approved guidelines, the annual $1 million tala allocation for each of the 51 constituencies, will be expended as follows:
- $150,000 is allocated for the office expenses such as computers, stationery, water and electricity, and administration including the salaries of 3 full-time staff and the sitting allowances of the 14 Board members.
- The $850,000 balance will be paid out in two installments for approved development projects if conditions and guidelines that include a Development Plan for the funds’ expenditure and Budget are met.
He said the 24 approved constituencies have satisfied the criteria and guidelines set down for the project such as a District Council Office with a 15-member council, an audited account of the use of the first $200,000 for office establishment, and a Development Plan for the fund’s expenditure.
Leota said the rest of the constituencies are at various stages of establishment. This has been primarily due to internal friction and political interference. Due to this delay, the Government has set 31 December 2022 as the final date for other districts to submit their reports on how the $200,000 was utilised, so they can graduate to be entitled to the $1m tala.
Leota said September was the initial deadline set down for all districts to submit their reports; however, there was a delay in some districts’ preparations in establishing their offices, the Council and their Development Plans, and a Budget.
“So the Government decided to give the other districts until 31 December 2022 to finalise and submit their reports,” said Leota. “So that there won’t be a big gap between the districts who have started their projects and those who haven’t.”