GOVERNMENT says it has developed the terms of reference to guide the operations of the Public Investment Board, a wing that will be approving all public investment projects before implementation.
According to national development planning minister Alexander Chiteme’s statement yesterday, so far, the draft procedures manual and guidelines for public investment management have been prepared.
He stated that the Ministry of National Development Planning with support of cooperating partners under the Public Financial Management Reform Programme was thus putting in place the public investment management system to buttress the work of the PIB of appraising of public investment projects.
“So far, the draft procedures manual and guidelines for public investment management have been prepared. A total of 25 Government officers in the Ministry of National Development Planning and other ministries have also been trained in various aspects of project appraisal including financial and economic analysis, as well as stakeholder and risk analysis. Work is in progress with regard to the development of technical specification for an ICT system and a database to support the Public Investment Management System,” Chiteme stated.
“At the core of implementing this austerity measure is to have in place a central sieving point for all projects and ascertain their worthwhileness and later on value for money and bring order into the economy on how projects are conceived, selected and implemented and whether they will meet the requirements of the beneficiaries in terms of transforming their socio-economic landscape.”
He recalled key among the government’s series of austerity measures, was the setting up of the PIB which would be required to approve all public investment projects before their implementation.
Chiteme stated that the board would scrutinise the cost implications between the envisaged outcomes and financial input and also make recommendations on the most feasible financing modalities of such projects.
“At the core of this austerity measure is to manage escalating costs on public investments and bring them to the most bearable levels that will guarantee value for money both on the government and beneficiaries,” he stated.
Chiteme stated that the work of the PIB under the Ministry of National Development Planning would be anchored on the Public Investment Management System. He stated that the system would provide a data base to enable the PIB understand the nature, focus and desired outcomes of the projects and determine whether the proposed public investment projects were aligned with national objectives and priorities and could be implemented in a cost effective manner.
“Therefore, the Board’s responsibility will be to provide policy guidelines on the development and selection of projects that meet the required technical, economical and appropriate social requirements. The ultimate objective for putting in place the Public Investment Board is to provide policy direction in the selection of the public projects that will ultimately have higher impacts,” stated Chiteme. “The terms of reference to guide the operations of the board have been developed and the composition in terms of institutional representation has also been determined. Once Cabinet approves the names of the persons to sit on the board the Hon. Minister of National Development Planning will make known to the public the names of the office bearers.”