TGNP Mtandao ON PETS TRAINING
TGNP Mtandao conducted a five days training for three clusters on public expenditure tracking system. The training was held on 15th to 19th September in Morogoro town. This training was phased in three where by government officials such as WEO’s, VEO’s and selected district officials received an intensive training and followed by selected community animators and back to departmental district officials.
The training was three fold which included PETS, Good governance and accountability and the budgetary circle and process. The first two groups although not combined received a similar package while the third group received a tailor made training that focused only on district officers.
The purpose of the training was to raise awareness and capacity building for three clusters on the two tools and the concept of good governance and accountability which are of interest to both the citizens and the officials.
Facilitated by an experienced PETS trainer, Mr. Godlisten Moshi pointed out that good governance and accountability is a two way responsibility, both government leaders and community members have the responsibility of ensuring good governance and accountability principles are adhehered by both parties.
He also said that “Government Officials have no need to worry about citizens conducting PETS or formulating PETS team because they are not TAKUKURU or Police officers or Auditors, instead they should see it as part of citizens’ responsibility and constitutional right to work with them to achieve results for the mutual good.
On the other hand according the training facilitator elected and non elected officials have a responsibility to be accountable to their people on public resources utilization and emphasized that citizens have the right to demand for reports on village revenues and expenditure. He further explained the duties and rights of citizens and the duties of different levels of government officials.
Participants also understood that it is imperative that both citizens and leaders come together to plan, discuss and identify their priorities before they write their annual budgets instead of leaving the task to their community leaders only. This required the citizens to be aware and to take active part in the O&OD process which usually takes place at the village/street levels.
Participants on the other hand especially the animators complained on two major things one being that in most cases village meetings are not called by officials and even when they demand for them still there is no positive response yet another complain was that of citizens not showing up for meetings when they are called especially the women and youths, this leaves most decisions in the hands of few men.
Officials on their side raised a concern on the delay of disbursement of government funds for village implementation hence they find themselves not to have accomplished what they planned to do at the end of the financial year.
During an interview with one of the journalist a participant from the officials side said who was also accused for not cooperating with citizens in formulating the PETS team, publicly declared that “although the time I have left in the office is short, I will go back and discuss with my fellows and see what we can do to ensure that the teams are formed”.
This official also explained that before the training they had an idea about Pets, but after attending the training they now have a deeper understanding on the system. Therefore he believes that he is now in a good position to catalyze its implementation and give support to animators.
All participants from Kisaki village appreciated the effort that TGNP Mtandao is making and are acknowledging that in their area the citizens and community leaders have been working together cooperatively in ensuring that the priorities of the people are implemented. The training has therefore boosted their motivation.
The training ended on 19th September with a brief session with district officials on PETS explaining the legal position of PETS and PETS committees, their duties and boundaries and the facilitator also explained the importance of departmental district officials to give cooperation to committees.