The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) is conducting a series of induction training for new Members of Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) starting this week.

One hundred and ten MPAs from 6 Provinces including Central Islands, Guadalcanal, Isabel, Malaita, Renbel and Temotu will undergo two days of training in their Provincial towns in February and March.

The 6 Provinces elected their MPAs in December 2010. Three other Provinces, Western, Makira and Choiseul underwent the same training program after their elections a couple of years earlier.

A team of resource personnel from the MPGIS, PGSP, Ombudsman's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Leadership Code Commission are key instructors in the training. The training will commence in Rennell & Bellona Province from 10th - 11th Feb and concludes at Lata in Temotu Province on the second week of March.

The training is aimed at developing the capacity of Provincial Assemblies and Executives to enable them formulate better and relevant policies, legislation, and ordinances and regulations in order to better oversee the Provincial Administration and monitor the Provincial Public Expenditure Management cycle.

It covers MPA roles and functions, good governance and leadership, transparency and accountability, Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP), hierarchy of law, financial management, funding arrangements of the Provincial Capital Development Fund (PCDF), and sound management and administration practices.

The Provincial Government Act of 1997 mandates the MPGIS to develop the capacity of Provincial Governments in good governance and facilitate decentralization processes to ensure smooth running of their functions and roles.

Currently the MPGIS hosts the PGSP a joint donor initiative established following a request by Solomon Islands Government in 2004 for an integrated approach to provincial government strengthening.

Donor partners including RAMSI, EU, UNDP and UNCDF responded to the establishment of the PGSP. The PGSP's tenure is 15 years with the first 5 year phase already started in 2008 finishing in 2013. Its first phase budget stands at USD14.6M of which USD3.5M comes directly from the Government of Solomon Islands as its contribution towards the program.

Press Release; Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening