What is the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council (CIMC)?
The Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) is an independent organisation that brings together all civil society, the private sector and government partners to develop policy and directly influence and monitor government decision making for the long-term development of Papua New Guinea.
It was established by the National Executive Council after the National Economic Summit in February 1998. The Private sector and civil society who attended the Summit called for a consultative mechanism to be established so that recommendations made by the wider community would be followed up within government circles by the CIMC and ensure their implementation through law and policy.
The goal of the CIMC is to ensure that dialogue, through the ongoing consultation processes, is sustained between government, private sector and the community at large and the recommendations made to government through this process are implemented.
The CIMC is administered by the Institute of National Affairs, a private non-profit research institute providing alternate advice to that provided by the public service to ensure it is efficient and free from political influence.
Composition of the CIMC Council
The CIMC is chaired by the Minister for National Planning & Monitoring who reports directly to the National Executive Council and selected ministerial committees. Its council members are from Government which includes secretaries from major government agencies, the business sector, the NGO sector and peak bodies representing civil society in the country.
Relevance of the CIMC
The CIMC is considered a relevant mechanism to facilitate policy dialogue between government, its partners and citizens. As a dialogue forum it is the only appropriate mechanism recognised by government that can be used by stakeholders to express their opinions concerning government policies and legislation and to bring government to the people.
Discussions on development policy matters are also done through sectoral committees, working groups and Regional/National Development Forums held each year. The CIMC is also tasked to oversee and co-ordinate implementation of the recommendations endorsed by the forums and promotes constructive, collaborative and practical policy approaches to tackle some of the country’s persistent development problems. It can also provide alternative advice to government on development policy while promoting applied research and data collection on economic, social and development issues and ensure its intended purpose as the link between Government and the people is fully realised. The government should be commended for putting in place such a unique mechanism that brings Government down to the people and bridges the various sectors in society.
Current Programs and Activities
The CIMC employs two main processes to get views from stakeholders and citizens. The first is through the annual development forums; four regional consultations and one national consultation, and the second is through the CIMC‟s sectoral committees. Forums are organized for the four regions (Momase, Highlands, Islands, and Southern), with the peak being the National Development Forum, usually held at Parliament House.
The CIMCs Sectoral Committees have members from many different backgrounds, bringing researchers, public servants, NGOs, and development practitioners together in ways that complements the work of the existing sector specific committee. The committees meet on a quarterly basis, and are chaired by either government officials or private sector representatives. At present, there are eight CIMC sectoral committees and two programs.
The committees with programs are the Family & Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC), and the Informal Economy Sectoral Committee. Programs without committees are State-Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Partnership Coordination.
Sectoral Committees without programs are:
1. Commerce and Services
2. Law and Order
3. Transport and Infrastructure
4. Agriculture and Natural Resource
5. Education and Training
6. Health, Population & HIV/AIDS.
7. Budget Tracking & Social Auditing
The CIMC process has achieved a number of important achievements and proven to be an invaluable avenue for wider participation of members of society to influence policies.
The CIMC has made many submissions to the National Executive Council of which some have been endorsed and implemented through policy development and annual budget process.
Some key achievements of the CIMC include:
• promoting the maintenance of key road infrastructure as a means of enhancing economic development (Creation of the National Roads Authority)
• targeting corruption and its proceeds at all levels (creation of the National Anti-Corruption Alliance which is now subsumed into the Taskforce Sweep
• promoting informal sector developments through advocacy, awareness, legislative and policy reforms (Informal Sector Development and Control Act 2004) & National Informal Economic Policy 2009
• long term strategy to combat family and sexual violence, including legislative reforms and services for survivors
• establishing the National Working Group on Impediments to Business and Investment
• National Security Industry Protection Act 2004, regulating the private sector security industry
• establishment of the Rural Airstrips Agency (RAA) in partnership with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
Under the leadership of the current Chairman the CIMC has undertaken the following activities:
1. had three policy submissions endorsed by Cabinet between 2012 and 2013
2. had two Outcome Reports presented to Parliament for the first time
3. undertaken a review to see where CIMC is after 14 years of operation
4. undertaken stocktake on the implementation of past CIMC recommendations since 2007
Good governance through the CIMC process
Through the CIMC mechanism, the government can build and strengthen effective, efficient, transparent and accountable government structures ensuring that the greater majority of citizens’ access government information and participate through consultation in policy making.
Such will contribute to good governance fostering greater transparency in policy making and accountability through direct public scrutiny and oversight. These can then result in government making quality policy decisions based on a wider range of information sources resulting in higher levels of implementation and compliance, given greater public awareness of policies and participation in their design.
The CIMC is about
All citizens having equal opportunities and multiple channels to access information, be consulted and participate. Every reasonable effort should be made to engage with a wide variety of people as much as possible. Strong relations with citizens is a sound investment in better policy-making and a core element of good governance.
Governments have an obligation to inform participants and ensure that the policy-making process is open, transparent, and amenable to external scrutiny to help increase accountability and trust in government.
Why the CIMC is important to you
The CIMC aims to provide education informally, on public issues to increase society’s capacity to understand issues. The CIMC emphasises sharing of information, skills and insights. Sharing of information does not just mean government officers explaining policies, but also to learn about other stakeholders’ values, experience and local knowledge are also important to understanding the “bigger picture”.
Through your participation in the CIMC process, you can make a contribution to generating alternatives and assess their consequences, and finding possible solutions that are satisfactory for all. The emphasis is on involving citizens, organisations and business people, who are not normally active in policy-making for development of the country to join Sectoral Committees and participate in the Forums.
Individuals and organisations with concern for the country’s development are encouraged to contact the CIMC Secretariat to raise concerns or lobby for CIMC type entities to be established in the districts and provinces so that effective dialogue on local development needs are attended to at that level.