By Francis Talasasa , Reporter
Regional Program Advisor to the UNDP Patrick Duong said the United Nations Development Program is extremely important in the context of the country of Palau because it is about strengthening the capacities of the local state so that they are more accountable to the people at the local level. [restrict]
He said the country of Palau is a country where the governance system is decentralized at the state level in the 16 states and the states have reasonably a large power to pass regulations to execute but what has been seen from a previous scoping mission that was conducted in February this year, some of the states still have capacity gaps in terms of preparing development plans, planning, budgeting and reporting on how they are spending their public resources.
He said what he has learned is that we have to be very pragmatic in how we are doing capacity developments for those local states. We have to have local solutions systematically and that the approach is not to push further for the decentralization process. What UNDP is pushing is for more capacities to be built in the states to be able to better plan what they already have at functions and to better spend what they already have as money. That is really the focus of the project is all about.
He was pleased with the big level of participation, from the highest level of Government, His Excellency President Remengesau, The minister of State, Minister of Finance and more important is having the Governors, Speakers, Legislators and the people who are involved in the workshop. “It can be seen from the discussions that they are really focused and they really want to improve the way they are performing their states. According to a training, the assessment shows that they are very eager to participate to attend the training”. They want systems and processes so that they can start implementing and this is what the project will be helping, he added.
The main objective of the first 3 days workshop is to present to stakeholders what the project is all about and the other thing is also to introduce the concept of local governance but also to remind participants of the rules and regulations that exist which they have to apply when it comes to preparing new laws at the local level, executing budgets, reporting on public expenditure and preparing for the audits.
The project through the Bureau of Domestic Affairs will be supporting the implementation of the actions plans which UNDP will provide technical assistance.This is in order for the states to have the capacity to basically execute what is in the plan. [/restrict]