The newly appointed Permanent Secretary for the Solomon Islands Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Dr. Samson Viulu, has unveiled a range of legislative reforms he plans to achieve during his tenure in office.
PS Dr. Viulu revealed these priority reforms in a meeting organised by MRD’s management this week at the Cowboys Grill in Honiara to formally welcome him (PS) to office.
The legislative reforms are aimed at decentralizing government services to our rural people and establishing relevant institutes in the constituencies so that there is further positive impact on the disbursement and use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to transform our rural sceneries and improves rural people livelihoods.
The reforms will also see the expansion of functions of the ministry as well as guarantee better service delivery through projects to boost economic activities and development in our rural communities or areas.
“I want to see the CDF as an engine for the economic growth of this country and I believe this can be achieved through establishing a proper regulatory framework for the CDF,” PS Viulu said.
“Of course, it is a tough step to take, but it is a give and take situation. So that is the path we are taking here on,” PS Dr. Viulu said.
A number of priorities that the new PS and his administration want to achieve in the coming months and years include;
1. CDF Act Reform and Regulatory Framework
2. Policy framework for Rural Development
3. Policy Paper on Rural Development
4. CDF Act Amendment Bill to Parliament within a year timeframe from now that will capture the following;
• Institutionalization of constituencies as department of MRD rather than being political boundaries as they are currently.
• Establishment of constituency growth centers
• Decentralization of government services through the CGC.
• Establishment of Constituency Business Companies and Investment Arms
• Ownership of constituency properties, machines, equipment to remain with constituency companies and MRD
• Formalization of committees.
5. Collaboration with donors
6. Collaboration with government technical ministries
7. Create New development programs for 2023 with direct support from willing donors and friends.
8. Seek external funding support to the ministry
9. MRD restructuring
10. Strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and establish a project management unit
11. Create opportunity tracking tool/list
12. Promote integrated approach to rural development
13. Discourage any affiliations with preferred suppliers by officials of MRD.
14. Capacity building for MRD staffs and constituency officials
Dr. Viulu resumed official duties as Permanent Secretary for MRD on Monday 21st June, 2022.
Prior to taking up the PS role at MRD, Dr. Viulu served at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) as the Policy Secretary for Productive Sector looking after seven ministries namely, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT), Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey (MLHS), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) and Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID).
PS Viulu looks forward to working closely with the MRD Minister and support the Minister in his role as the lead reformer in all of the outlined priorities.
Source: Press Release, Ministry of Rural Development