Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka, set out his expectations to staff members of the Ministry today, saying he expects to see a faster rate of budget implementation and improved productivity and service delivery to rural and maritime citizens.
He highlighted this while addressing more than 100 Ministry staff members at their annual Planning Workshop at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour today.
Hon. Ditoka reminded participants that the Planning Workshop had provided a platform on which they would deliver the expected services by utilising the increased budgetary allocation efficiently and effectively in the coming financial year.
“I understand that our budget utilisation has reached 90% in recent years, but this is mostly reached at the end of the financial year. While this rate may be commendable, it does not gauge our efficiency in achieving. Let us try to change this; let us prove to the people of this nation that we are worthy of the taxes they pay annually,” Hon. Ditoka stated.
Participants attending the one-day workshop include members of the Ministry’s senior management, the Provincial Administrators, District and Assistant District Officers, Finance teams, and the Ministry’s support staff.
The Ministry’s Planning Workshop also provides a platform for staff members to come together and reflect on achievements, analyse strengths and setbacks, identify opportunities, re-strategise and re-align to the Ministry’s strategic direction, and set goals and targets for the new financial year.
“It’s crucial to remember that the planning we undertake today is not an end in itself. Our discussions and actions here will shape the trajectory of our Ministry for the new financial year. It is our responsibility to ensure that this planning exercise leads to meaningful outcomes and tangible results that reflect improved living standards of our rural and maritime populace, poverty reduction, enhanced sustainable growth and resilience of the rural economy,” Hon. Ditoka said.
Minister Ditoka also acknowledged the support of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project for their support, and unwavering commitment to the Ministry’s mission, especially in implementing risk-informed development.