In the first week of August the government's working committee on the integrity bill toured Papua New Guinea as part of its ongoing consultative and research process.

The trip was meant to give the committee an opportunity to learn about how similar reform has affected political parties' development, integrity and conduct of Members of Parliament under the Organic law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) in PNG.

Following this trip the committee convened two successful conferences in Honiara in the months of August and September.

This week another team is in PNG carrying out similar studies.

This time the team comprised of two Opposition Members of Parliament namely Hon. Japheth Waipora and Hon. Isaac Inoke.

Special Secretary to the Prime, Mr. John Keniapisia is leading the team.

Mr. Keniapisia is standing in for Committee member Mr. Gabriel Suri (Acting Attorney General), who could not lead the team due to ill health.

The inclusion of the Opposition group in the consultative and research process is a crucial bi-partisan approach to this important reform initiative that will impact on governance, politics and leadership in Solomon Islands.

All along the Opposition group has been supportive of this reform initiative, which commenced as a policy under Sogavare led government (GCCG) in 2006.

The delegation arrived in Port Moresby yesterday and was met by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner, H.E. Mr Bernard Bata'anisia, and senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade & Immigration.

Today, Tuesday 30th September 2008, the team had a briefing with the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Mr Bernard Bata'anisia and later met with PNG's Attorney General, Hon Dr Allan Marat, PNG's Secretary for the Justice Department and Dr. Alphonsus Gelu of PNG's National Research Institute.

Later in the week the team is scheduled to meet with other important stakeholders in the implementation and administration of OLIPPAC including the office of the Registrar of Political parties, Parliament office, Electoral commission, Ombudsman and a number of political parties.

These study tours were made possible through joint funding from European Union and SI Government.

Committee chairman, Mr. Keniapisia acknowledged European Union assistance towards this reform initiative, on behalf of the Government.

The delegation returns to Honiara on Sunday 5th October 2008.

Press Release (Government Communication Unit)