The District Planning Offices were established in the late 1970’s to take forward the decentralised participatory planning process. District Planning Offices function under the guidance of the State Planning Board and are under the control of the District Collector. Officers of the Board are appointed as District Planning Officers. The District Planning Officer is designated as ex-officio Personal Assistant to the District Collector and Secretary to the District Development Council. District Planning Offices play a key role in the formulation of Plan schemes and in monitoring their implementation.
As the district offices of the Board, the District Planning Offices also play an important role in coordinating the State-district-level Plans. In addition, the Planning Offices provide support and guidance to the District Planning Committee, District Development Committee, Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), Special Central Assistance, and Western Ghats Development Project. District Planning Office, functioning as the District Planning Secretariat, is the key office in the district in the process of Decentralised Planning covering all local self-governments in the district and plays a crucial role in the Plan process of the Local Self Governments-approval,implementation, monitoring and evaluation of plans of Local Governments.
DPO holds the ex-officio posts in various key committees:
- The Joint Secretary (Co-ordination) of the District Planning Committee-constitutional body in co-ordinating the district-level Plan and levels below.
- Member Secretary of District Development Council
- District Co-ordinator, Akshaya
- Ex-officio PA of District Collector
- Nodal Officer, Sutharyakeralam
- As DPC Joint Secretary (co-ordination) co-ordinates and monitors the Subhiksha Keralam programme in the district.
- The head of the District Nodal Agency for the MPLAD Scheme
- Convener of Accelerated Rural Water Supply Scheme
- Convener of the district-level Working Group for SC Development
- Convener of the district-level Working Group for ST Development
- Focal Point Officer of the district-level Consultative Committee of Banks
- Member of Vigilance and Monitoring Committee of Centrally Sponsored Schemes
- Member of Executive Committee of Model Residential School.
- Member of Executive Committee of Nehru Yuva Kendra
- Co-ordinator, district and block-level Training of Decentralisation
- Member of Selection Committee of beneficiaries of Fisheries, Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board, Industries.