Deputy Provincial Secretary (DPS) and Provincial Secretary (PS) Acting of Western Provincial Government (WPG), Patrick Toiraena says the country needs a robust framework towards achieving better outcomes in terms of Constituency Development.
Mr. Toiraena was speaking at the opening of the two days consultation on the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development SICD) Policy which commenced at Munda, Western Province today (Thursday 8th September).
Officials from the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) led by the Deputy Secretary Technical Hugo Hebala is facilitating the consultation which will end today.
“If we (country) to have any meaningful development in our constituencies, such intended funds through the Ministry of Rural Development must have a robust framework to ensure we achieve better outcomes in so far as developing our constituencies are concerned,” Mr. Toiraena emphasized.
He said the government has injected a lot of money through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) but there is lack accountability and safeguards to guarantee Members of Parliament (MPs) and responsible officers held accountable for such public funds.
Therefore, Mr. Toiraena said there is a need for better safeguards, systems and processes and accountability frameworks to ensure MPs and responsible officers are accountable for such public funds and perhaps most importantly funds are actually utilized on what they are intended for.
Mr. Toiraena also used the opportunity and urged all the participants to contribute constructively with ideas and suggestions to support MRD in its effort towards the formulation of the SICD Policy which will possibly bolster and strengthen pathways towards boosting service delivery and development in our rural areas.
Mr. Toiraena then thanked the MRD team for the opportunity to be part of the consultation.
Deputy Secretary Corporate (DSC) Constance Wane on behalf of MRD delegation/Task Force thanked the participates for responding positively to the ministry’s invitation to be part of the consultation. “We highly appreciate your commitment.”
DSC Wane told participants that the consultation is organised purposely to engage with the ministry’s stakeholders to gauze their invaluable contributions towards the development of the SICD Policy.
“This policy framework overall intends to guide the management and enhance the delivery of the Constituency Development Funds,” she said.
This Policy Framework will set the bases for MRD internal Taskforce to:
1. Develop the drafting instructions for the proposed review of the CDF Act 2013.
2. It will also further enhance the planning, coordination, implementation and management of the CDF
3. New Policy should also address issues of ownership of properties, equipment’s and machines purchased from CDF, which are often taken over by sitting MP after they vacate the seat.
She further said, the policy will explore the establishment of constituency Development Centres to bring government services closer to rural people to grow the economy.
“The policy will try to narrow down the focus of CDF because as it is now, the scope is quite broad. The focus may concentrate on the Social Economic, infrastructures or livelihoods. The policy will also look at the governance of CDF, to address the accountability and transparency issues with regards to the delivery mechanism. This is to ensure the CDF aligns to the Constitution of Solomon Islands, Public Financial Management Act 2013, Public Service Regulations and other relevant regulations,” DSC Wane explained.
The Policy vision statement is to create stronger and vibrant livelihood development for all Solomon Islanders.
“The policy also seeks to establish strong and effective collaboration with other line ministries and key stakeholder on delivering the projects. So, these two days’ consultation will enable us (MRD) to gather invaluable inputs and recommendations from you our stakeholders to assist towards the formulation and design of the SICD framework,” she stated.
The objectives of this consultation are:
1. To introduce and understand the background of the Current Constituency Development Practices.
2. To receive information about issues to be addressed.
3. To understand the Pros and Cons of existing CDF practises
4. To discuss issues and concerns and contribute to potential solutions
5. To receive feedback on options.
6. To communicate and validate decision and how participation inputs were used.
Ms Wane said they are looking forward to receiving invaluable inputs and recommendations from participants through discussions and presentations during the duration of the consultation to help MRD towards the formulation and design phase of the SICD Policy Framework.
Provincial Secretary Acting for Western Province, Patrick Toiraena, Senior Government Officials, Chiefs, villages Elders, tribal leaders, Church Leaders, Women’s Rep, Youth Rep, Fishers Rep, Farmers Rep and other MRD key stakeholders’ members attend the consultation.
Source: MRD Media