PLANNING officers are responsible for tracking the development of projects in their areas, a duty which appears to be ignored in most local government authorities, a senior government official said yesterday.
Mr Doto James, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, said planning officers should make close follow-up of what they plan, especially at implementation stage when things get spoiled.
He made the observation when he closed a Planners Conference held in Dodoma.
The Pay Master General said: “While a planning officer is required to every day track the implementation of a certain projects by visiting the site.”
Mr James said he will no longer allow an inspector going to the project site since it’s the planning officers who are supposed to know the projects better that a site visit by inspectors.
He said the government will now be overseeing the planning cadre in the country by protecting and enabling them to carry out their responsibilities in the country without interference.
“We will empower them professionally because there are several complaints that the experts are being ignored at the Council level and are labelled with names that undermine their code of ethics...we cannot allow this to continue,” he emphasised.
He further said that his ministry will develop a better way to connect with all planners in the country in order to address various challenges facing them and protect those who are being oppressed while executing their duties.
Moreover, he said the ministry will also allocate a budget to enable planners to carry out their responsibilities.
He also warned them that the funds would not be disbursed arbitrarily as a mechanism would be set up to reach all those who would follow the procedure.
He pledged to take up all the issues raised in the discussions and resolutions reached at the conference as they will help to achieve and improve the management of planning and implementation of policy and development plans.
Commissioner for National Planning, Dr Nicolaus Shombe said during the two-day conference planners had the opportunity to discuss various topics including the preparation of the third Five Year National Plan which is expected to begin in 2021/22.
Dr Shombe said they discussed in detail the cadre of planners including its importance and contribution to the development of the country and the challenges they face in their performance as well as making recommendations to address them.
On behalf of the Director of Policy and Planning from the Office of the President, Mr John Cheo, commended the ministry for taking care of the planners as he believes the decision will inspire creativity in planning various development programmes in the country.