The Government is determined to deliver a safe and green Pacific Games when it hosts the regional sporting event in November.
The Government Services Integration Committee (GSIC) in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, overseeing Government preparations, towards the Pacific Games 2023, have successfully held discussions with Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials, who will be involved in the implementation of the Safe and Green Games campaign towards the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara. The meeting was held at SINIS, Ranandi on 24 January 2023.
The GSIC a sub-committee established by the National Hosting Authority (NHA) and the OPMC is an extension of the Sol2023 Games Organising Committee to strategically coordinate closely with the Games Organising Committee and oversee government services integration, which have been the driving force in identifying, planning and coordination of government responsibilities towards the delivery of the games.
Government’s support to the Games Organising Committee is critical and reflected in the establishment of GOC by NOCSI in having GSIC represented within the Games Organising Committee. GSIC Chairman Mr. Bernard Bata’anisia acknowledged the representation of Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries and officials at the meeting.
At the meeting the Games Organising Committee (GOC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Peter Stewart, also provided an update on his team’s extensive preparations, achievements and expectations.
“I can safely say that we have reached the final straw in our 18 months of preparations so far. We are well on track in terms of our preparations with regards to Games Infrastructure and Games Operations,” the CEO said.
Some of these achievements that the CEO highlighted included: over $150 million SBD worth of key procurements either contracted or in the market; the finalization of a volunteer programme which will see the recruitment of around 3000 volunteers; The signing of 7 village Use Agreements signed and 17 Sport Venue Use Agreements, to name a few. The GOC have so far finalized the 25th version of their 30 Sports programmes.
In terms of the government’s financial commitment towards the Games, the Deputy Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury Mr. Coswal Nelson, informed the meeting that the total funding towards 2023 Pacific Games in the 2023 Budget is $455.3 Million, in which $367 million is for NHA and $88.3 million is for other Ministries.
The Deputy Secretary MoFT called on all accountable officers to finalize Ministerial work plans and projected expenditures aligned to the safe green games campaign and submit them for review and disbursement of funds for implementation.
In addition, Deputy Secretary Strategic Planning and Program Quality of the Ministry of National Planning and Development Cooperation Travis Ziku, also reiterated the call to Permanent Secretaries and responsible officers to prepare and submit their workplans and expenditure projection before February 17.
Mr. Ziku said submissions are expected earlier than the deadline to give enough time for proper review, which is usually within five working days. Each Ministry is expected to provide monthly projections on what programs and activities will be carried out.
Meanwhile the Chairman of GSIC Mr. Bata’anisia informed the meeting that the Safe and Green Games campaign is expected to be launched in late February 2023 at date to be confirmed by the Government.
“After this meeting with your inputs, comments and recommendations, we will prepare a paper for Cabinet approval before a formal announcement on the launching date and activities for the launching of the safe and green games campaign will be made,” Mr. Bata’anisia said.
The campaign will be led by HCC and Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and will include government ministries, the private sector, NGOs Churches, Government Agencies, State Owned Enterprises and the general public.
The safe and green games campaign is the first of its kind to be held in Honiara and is expected to become a trailblazing campaign which will eventually lead to a much bigger discussion on improving the physical standard of Honiara into a modern city.
Source: Sol2023 Media