The Director of the Economic Policy Research Unit in the finance ministry, Alimamy Bangura has said that the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey for 2007 will begin on 21 May.
He made the disclosure at the opening of a five-day training workshop for PETS enumerators at the Miatta Conference Center.
He said this year’s survey would focus on the list of entries for the National Primary School Examinations 2007, results of Basic Education Certificate Examinations and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations 2006, analyses of diets supplied to Prisons department and Government sponsored boarding institutions.
He called on the Local Council Authorities to be fully involved in the management of these facilities to ensure effective delivery of services in their communities.
Mr. Bangura encouraged enumerators not to perceive the PETS process as witch hunting or an audit of the Financial Management System, but as a way of informing the formulation of reforms to improve the effectiveness of government spending especially on critical poverty reducing activities and the impact on intended beneficiaries.
He said past PETS undertakings had been a success stories. He told participants that in recent years, Government had made tremendous progress in service-delivery as the country had moved from its post conflict emergency phase to sustainable development and poverty reduction.
He said PETS was an initiative to trace the flow and use of public expenditure to primary facilities and beneficiaries, with the aim of determining whether funds disbursed actually reached the intended beneficiaries and on time.
The Director said the fourth PETS conducted by the Economic Policy Research Unit in September 2005, covered the payment of school fees, subsidy and the distribution of textbooks to primary school children.
It also targets the distribution of seed rice to farmers and the supply of essential drugs to hospitals and health centres. On challenges facing the PETS programme, he said field observations, data analyses and records management still remained a challenge in schools and hospitals. He said even though effort was being made to address the issue, book-keeping and records-management were at a low ebb in the distribution chain. The PETS survey is funded by the United Nations Development Programme, the British Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, Institutional Reform and Capacity Building and the Government of Sierra Leone.