Government Officials from the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Home Affairs will be going on a study trip to Fiji.

The purpose of the trip is to look at the voter registration program being implemented in Fiji, to learn lessons from that and foster relationship with the Fiji Electoral Office.

The team consisting of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sir Allan Kemakeza, PS of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Fred Fakarii, Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu and Electoral Principle Administrative Office, Mr. Freddie Bosoboe will travel to view and study the Electronic Voter Registration being implemented in Fiji in action.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission will conduct new voter registration program throughout the Solomon Islands in 2013.

The study trip is to understand the level of preparation, the resources and the policy environment required for the implementation of such program here in Solomon Islands.

It will also enable them to know the infrastructure necessities, other corporate structures and assess them for applicability and skills required to undertake this type of database development here in the country for future voter registration programs.

Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu said that this is a very vital trip for the commission as it has been identified as an achievement to objective six of the 2012 - 2015 Solomon Islands Electoral Commission Corporate Plan,to build and foster relationships with the other Election Management Bodies to attend electoral Events in other countries to observe and learn all areas in the conduct of voter registrations and elections.

"Also such trip will specially strengthen the existing ties between the two countries as MSG members and their concerns on governance and democratic issues relating to their countries; both of which are also members of the Pacific Islands, Australian and New Zealand Electoral Administrators' Network (PIANZEA)", Mr Haununu said.

Mr Haununu said that Fiji is currently conducting its electronic voter registration and it is a perfect opportunity to see and learn how the voter registration is conducted; in particular, how voter registration centers opens at different periods within the total voter registration timeframe as the Solomon Islands is committed to undertaking a nation-wide voter registration in 2013.

He added that it is envisaged that the lessons to be learnt from this study trip would not only result in the saving cost in terms of the 2013 Solomon Islands voter registration cost but also has the potential to enhance certain features of the process involved.

The leader of the delegation is Chairman of the Electoral Commission Sir Allan Kemakeza as the policy person, Fred Fakarii as the Ministerial Chief accounting officer and Staff of the Office of the Electoral Commission as the policy implementers makes up a well balanced team since they are the major stakeholders of conducting true democratic elections in the country and common understanding between them in respect of how this might be done would certainly facilitate future policy development and operation directives in this area and it is a positive action that the nation should be looking forward to.

The team will leave for Fiji today 21st August and return on the 25th August that is on Saturday.

Source: Press Release, Solomon Islands Electoral Commission