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Parliamentary Strengthening Project



The Parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) successfully concluded a three days hearing into the Electoral Bill 2018 and the Constitution (Amendment) (Electoral) Bill 2018 on Thursday 17th May 2018.

Both Bills were heard together by BLC from Tuesday 15th May to Thursday 17th May 2018 with Officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC), Solomon Islands Electoral Commission, Ministry of Home Affairs, Legal Draftsperson, Political Parties Commission, Representatives of registered Political Parties, Transparency Solomon Islands, National Council of Women (NCW) and a retired MP and Former Prime Minister Sir Francis Billy Hilly.

The Electoral Bill 2018 is a proposed law to regulate the registration of electors and the election of members of the National Parliament and for related purposes.

Its objects and reasons are to repeal and replace the National Parliament Electoral Provisions Act (Cap.87), to improve the registration system of electors, to further regulate nomination process of candidates, to further improve the conduct of voting, to improve the counting process and to ensure there is a comprehensive range of electoral offences with appropriate penalties.

The Constitution (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) Bill 2018 is to amend the Constitution in relation to electoral matters.

Its objects and reasons are to provide an additional requirement that a candidate for election be a registered elector and to allow an Act to prescribe the term “ordinarily resident”; furthermore, to provide for a 12 month stand down period for a member of the Electoral Commission or staff to involved in the election process if he or she intends to stand as a candidate.

The Bill also caters for the increase of membership of the Electoral Commission to 5 members who will also deal with registration of political parties currently undertaken by the Political Parties Commission under the Political Parties Integrity Act 2014.

It also aims to establish a new position of Commissioner of Elections as the administrative head of the office responsible for elections and will also act as the Registrar for Political Parties under the Political Parties Integrity Act 2014.

Details of the Electoral Bill 2018 and the Constitutional (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) Bill 2018 can be accessed on the 'What’s new in Parliament' column.

Currently the BLC under the Chairmanship of Hon. Matthew Wale has already deliberated on the following Bills;

  • The Anti-Corruption Bill 2017
  • The Electoral Bill 2018 and
  • The Constitution (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) 2018

BLC is planning to deliberate on the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority Bill 2018 starting on Tuesday, 22nd March 2018.

Bills that are still before the House to consider include:

  • The Strata Titles Bill 2017
  • The Legal Profession Bill 2017; and
  • The Whistle-blowers Protection Bill 2016


The recent 4 day inquiry to the Western province by the Education and Human Resources Training Committee from the 7th to the 11th of May 2018 was deemed a success.

The visiting delegation, headed by the Chairman and MP for East Makira, Hon. Alfred Ghiro, includes Committee members; Hon. Matthew Wale, (MP, Aoke/Langalanga), Hon. Derek Sikua, (MP, North East Guadalcanal), Hon. Dickson Mua, (MP, Savo/ Russell) accompanied by the Committee Secretariat of the National Parliament.

The Committee’s visit to the Western Province was a continuation of its Inquiry instigated in 2016 on the quality of training undertaken by our medical practitioners.

Underlined issues of types and relevance of training, standards of certification and qualifications, in-service training plans and scheme, including other matters relating to trainings and practical certification were emphasized during the course of the hearing held at the Helena Goldie Nursing College on Tuesday 8th May 2018.

Student representatives and faculty of the Nursing College, as well as the staff of Helena Goldie Hospital appeared before the Committee. These witnesses expressed concerns on issues the college and the hospital have been facing for many years. Some of the concerns include negligence and lack of support from relevant stakeholders.

Issues pertaining to the suspension of the Helena Goldie School of Nursing by the Nursing Council hinges on the need to upgrade the teaching curriculum and anticipated, improvements and provisions of an adequate Infrastructure.

There have been financial struggles since the college started their Diploma in nursing program in 2010. These problems have affected class schedules and reduced the possibility for the college to have new student intakes.

Speaking to Parliament media on the pressing matter of opportunities for further studies and scholarships, Thadeus Siota, a long serving registered nurse in Helena Goldie said that the importance and urgency for these upgrades to take place has been a desperate cry for help by the college since 2008.

“We are in a situation where we don’t even know what comes next in terms of scholarships or opportunities to further our studies as our students are also being ignored by responsible authorities”

Mr Siota further raised that most of the opportunities and scholarships that come through these authorities do not reach them.

The EHRT Committee later made site visits to the Helena Goldie hospital and College facilities on Wednesday the 9th to establish the concerns and outcries emphasized during its one day hearing.

The Committee later headed to Gizo on the 10th for a site visit to the Gizo Hospital.

Whilst in Gizo the EHRT Committee also paid a courtesy visit to the Western Provincial Assembly and raised the highlighted concerns from both health institutes and suggestted development plans for a better working relation between Helena Goldie and Gizo Hospital with all its stakeholders.

Presented at the meeting were the Deputy Premier, Hon. Malloney Lapoto, Provincial Assembly Speaker, Mr. Richard Tekefono and the Provincial Secretary to the Western Provincial Executive, Mr. Jeffery Wickham.

The Provincial representative also noted the urgency of concerns raised and assured the visiting Committee of their plans to adequately support these two provincial health institutes and pledged their cooperation’s to assist the EHRT Committee in resolving and implementing on its findings and recommendations.

A scheduled visit by the Health Committee will be due for a visit to Gizo, with a date to be set later in June.

The delegation departed Munda for Honiara on Friday the 11th of May.


HE. Roderick Brazier (center) and staff of the National Parliament Office during the short handing over ceremony at the National Parliament House, Honiara.

The Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands HE. Roderick Brazier handed over a bunch of ICT equipment to the Speaker of National Parliament Ajilon Jasper Nasiu in a brief handing-over ceremony on Friday 4th May 2018.

The ICT equipment comprised of 2 Dell XPS Laptop, a Systematic endpoint protection software, 2 VuPoint Portable (handheld) Scanner and a Marantz PMD670 Digital Audio Recorder.

An application was made Last year by the National Parliament Office to the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships Fund to purchase the equipment and to fund 30 staff to do the English Grammar Course (in country training) this year.
The Australian Federal Parliament in Canberra accepted both request for equipment and training. The equipment was presented to Parliament by the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands H.E. Roderick Brazier on behalf of the Australian Government.

Purposely the equipment received will best serve the required ICT needs of the Parliament mission statement who want to strive to become a modern Parliament.
One of the laptops will replace the current chamber laptop which is old and very slow that is normally used by the procedures officers during past Parliament meetings. The Systematic endpoint protection software is essential because of the urgent need to protect Parliament’s ICT network.

The 2 VuPoint Portable (handheld) Scanner will certainly boost Parliament Library to scan old books and reports into its digital depository as well as to assist Committee Secretariat who also need portable scanner for storing information while conducting hearings out in the Provinces.

While the Recorder will be used for Committee hearings while out in the provinces. This device captures digital audio for Hansard to transcribe. Currently National Parliament Office only has one.

Speaker of Parliament Ajilon Nasiu while thanking the Australian Government for their support also told Parliament Officers to make good use of the equipment with care.


Members of the Education and Human Resource Training Committee is conducting an inquiry on the Training of Medical Practitioners for Solomon Islands in the Western Province starting Tuesday 8th to 10th May 2018 in Munda and later to Gizo for a site visit at the Gizo hospital.

The team consisted of six Committee members led by the Chairman, Hon. Alfred Ghiro. Members of the Committee are: Hon. Matthew Wale, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua, Hon. Dickson Mua, Hon. Peter Tom and Hon. David Tome.
Others that make up the team are staff of Parliament who will be facilitating the hearings as the Secretariat.

The hearings will take place at Helena Goldie Nursing College and Hospital where a number of witnesses from the Helena Goldie Nursing and Hospital. Helena Goldie Hospital staff and nurses, Gizo Hospital staff and Provincial Assembly will appear before the committee to give their views on the issue.

The Committee will examine the types and relevance of training, standards of certification and award of qualification for medical doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care practitioners.

They will also review in-service training plans and schemes for medical practitioners provided by the government ministries of their sponsors and examine any other matter relating to training and practice certification of medical health and care practitioners.

As part of the inquiry, they will conduct site inspections to existing medical and health facilities, thus, a site visit to Gizo hospital is part of the program.
Reports on the findings and recommendations will be presented to Parliament as soon as it is compiled.

The team will hold hearings in Munda for three days and will be travelling to Gizo later for the site visit and a courtesy call to the Western provincial Government. The team returns to Honiara on Friday 11th May.


The Parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) will conduct a two days hearing into the Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 starting this Thursday 3rd of May 2018 until Friday 4th.

The Bill was reintroduced after it was withdrawn from the Business Paper on the floor of Parliament on Monday 28th of August 2017.
Former Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare then sought leave under Standing Order 31(1) to move the motion to withdraw the original Bill which was introduced back in 2016.

It was moved by the Prime Minister without notice under Standing Order 26 (1) due to the reasons, the Bills and Legislation Committee at that time had made some very good recommendations to improve the older version of the Bill.
Government had therefore seen the need to improve the Bill by including recommendations from the latter Bills and Legislations Committee thus the Bill was reintroduced in Parliament as a new Bill.

The object of the Anti-Corruption Bill is to give legislative effect to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by:
•Creating new corruption offences to capture the full range of corrupt practices that may occur within the public sector or in the interaction between the public and private sectors.
• Providing for the investigation and prosecution of corruption offences;
• Establishing the Solomon islands independent commission against corruption; and
• Introducing a wide range of measures to prevent corruption, including a national
Anti-Corruption Strategy, public awareness activities about the effects and
prevention of corruption, and assistance too public and private bodies in the
prevention of corruption.

The reasons for the Bill are that:

• Corruption in Solomon Islands appear to be widespread;
• Corruption undermine development and sustain poverty, inhibits economic growth,
drives politic instability, enable the unsustainable use of natural resources,
impact the delivery of service and undermines good governance and the rule of

Solomon Islands acceded to UNCAC in January 2012 and is internationally obligated to have law in place to implement the convention. In 2014, the UN Office on Drug and Crime conducted a Review of Solomon Islands’ compliance with the UNCAC. It showed deficiencies in several areas in law and administration, in particular as regard the scope of the existing law and their effectiveness in preventing corruption.

The Government has accepted most of the recommendation in the UN Review, and the Anti-Corruption Unit in the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has developed a policy on Anti-Corruption, one component of which is this Bill.

There are existing corruption offences in the Penal Code, but they do not cover the range of conduct that constitutes corruption adequately, and they are not well expressed or well understood. The Bill creates new offences apply to both the action of public officers and actions of individuals and private sector organization in their interaction with public officers.

The UN Review also recommended that Solomon Islands should have an institution dedicated to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption. This will be achieved by the establishment of the Solomon Islands Independent Commission against Corruption (SIICAC) by the Bill. The commission will be independent, with its own finances and staff, and will have the power to instigate prosecutions with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Bill seeks to ensure that the new Commission liaises with existing bodies that deal with maladministration (the Ombudsman) and misconduct in public officer (the Leadership Code Commission) and amend the Panel Code to require various agencies to liaise with one another and share information for the purpose of investigation and prosecuting corruption offences.

Stakeholders that will appear before the Bills and Legislation Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mathew Wale include the Office of the Prime Minister, Legal Draftsperson, Transparency Solomon Islands, NCW, FSII, DSE, Law Reform Commission, Leadership Code Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Police (JANUS), Auditor General’s Office and Internal Audit.

The Bill in its current form is attached with Penal Code showing Amendments proposed by Anti-Corruption Bill 2017.


The NSW MPs visiting the two communities. MP for West Guadalcanal Constituency, Hon. Moses Garu chatting with one of the MPs of NSW Parliament during the Constituency tour in Lambi.

The NSW MPs headed by President Hon John Ajaka on Thursday 19th April 2018 made a historic visit to two communities in the West Guadalcanal constituency.

Communities of Lambi and Verahue were so privilege and delighted to receive the New South Wales MPs right in their village.

The trip took approximately an hour drive from the capital Honiara to visale and then another hour boat ride from Visale to Lambi.

Although the weather was not so kind, the delegates who were divided in three boats insisted to go and they seem to enjoy most of it, especially boat riding on a rainy and bumpy swells of the west Guadalcanal Sea.

A group of men dressed in traditional warriors costume welcomed the delegates as they safely landed on the beautiful white sandy beach of Lambi. Following the warriors welcome, they were led to a hut by a group of women dancers who also dressed in traditional grass skirts made of tree barks.

Local chiefs of Lambi community presented to the NSW President Hon Ajaka a Guadalcanal traditional shell money and chupu (a traditional gift of local food and a pig) as a sign of respect to any leader (both local or foreign) who visited their community.

You can tell from the villager’s happy faces that they appreciated so much the visitation of the New South Wales MPs in their village.

“This is history for us since we hardly have such visits from any leaders or delegates overseas to our shores” a Lambi chief told the delegates.

All the rest of the NSW MPs were also presented with traditional woven baskets each to take back with them as souvenirs.

President Ajaka thanked the Chiefs and the lambi community for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation and for the gifts they received as well.

“I’m planning to make such constituency visit an annual thing, that’s once in a year” Hon. Ajaka assured the people of Lambi.

“I’d love to spend a night sitting by the fire and experience the rural setting however time did not allow me for that, probably next time.”

Hon. Moses Garu also took that moment to thank the Lambi community for their preparation to host the delegation and for that he donated a sum of $3000 for the community as a token of appreciation.

After the chupu ceremony at Lambi, the NSW MPs took another 15 minutes boat ride to Verahue community where they were also greeted to a heroic welcome.

At Verahue village, the NSW MPS were shown some of the assistance given to the community by their Hon MP Moses Garu. This include a new Church building, a new kindergarten classroom, a three tone truck and a coconut oil crushing mill.

Following the site visits around the village, the delegation were farewell with two hymns sung beautifully by the Verahue choir before they head to Visale to finally board vehicles for Honiara. Such a visit is basically to show the visiting NSW MPs to see for themselves what a rural constituency set up looks like.

It was made possible through dialogues between the National Parliament Civic department and the West Guadalcanal MP Hon Moses Garu who is also the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, to host the NSW delegation at his Constituency.


The New South Wales Parliament’s launched of the scholarship program for Solomon Islands Parliament and Bougainville Parliaments will strengthen and keep the partnership between the three Parliaments strong.

President of the New South Wales Parliament, Hon. John Ajaka in his remarks at the launching ceremony at the National Parliament of Solomon Islands said there are two main reasons for their visit here.

One is to reaffirm their long standing partnership to the twinning partnership.

Over the last 10 years, the members and officers of both parliaments have collaborated on dozens of initiatives to strengthen the capacity of this two parliaments, to do what members are elected to do. That is:

To make effective laws, represent our citizens and oversight the actions of the government.

“We’ve learned much from each other and over this time and have become firm and trusted friends,” he said.

The delegation will be having numerous meetings and visits as part of their visit program, thus, Hon. Ajaka said these visits will in no doubt help them to understand the political and social context in which members of the Solomon Islands parliament work and the particular challenges faced as legislatures.

“And hopefully over the next few days you’ll get to know us better. The better we know each, the better place will be to support our twinning partnership into the future.”

He added the second reason for their visit is to formally launch the twinning bilong yumi scholarship for staff of the Solomon Islands and Bougainville Parliaments.

Although the NSW Parliament has not received external funding support for its activities since 2016, they have to find creative and effective ways to support the program.

He listed some as the:

  • Partnership agreement arrangements with other agencies such as the Pacific Office of the United Nations Development Program whom he acknowledge and thank. Last year, a staff from the Solomon Islands Parliament, Ms. Jean Sahu spent a month in the NSW Parliament. The cost of her attachment was shared with the UNDP.
  • Another example, in 2017 several NSW branch commonwealth women parliamentarians co-hosted a women’s leadership seminar on sport and elections in Honiara and the Australian high commission. The presentation of 100 netball uniforms to Ms. Salome Akao, a member of the Solomon Islands Olympic committee was a result of the links made during that trip.

“We are determine to find creative and cost effective ways to keep our partnerships strong and this is where this twinning scholarship comes in place,” Hon. Ajaka said.
Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu thank the delegation.

Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu thank the delegation.

He acknowledged that over the years the National Parliament of Solomon Islands has greatly benefitted from the twinning partnership, thus, he is very grateful for everyone who gathered to reaffirm and celebrate the partnership between the two parliaments.

“This morning we will witness the launching of the twinning bilong yumi scholarship and I am very grateful that all of you are here to reaffirm and celebrate the partnership between the two parliaments.

Mr. Ajilon said, he hope that this week will be a fruitful week and that the visit will further strengthen the friendship.

The scholarship is believed to have terrific potential to facilitate the professional development of staff of both Parliaments.

To contribute to the body of knowledge about parliamentary matters and most importantly to keep the link strong between our parliaments.

There will be two application rounds in 2018. Closing dates for each are: Friday 25th May and Friday 26th October 2018.


Deputy Clerk to National Parliament, Mr. David Kusilifu far right with the Delegation from NSW on arrival at the Honiara Internal Airport

A delegation of members of the NSW Parliament, led by the President, the Hon John Ajaka are currently in the country from Tuesday 17th till Friday 20th April 2018 to launch an inaugural scholarship program designed to enhance the professional development of staff of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

The visit by the NSW Parliament delegation will provide the President with the opportunity to reaffirm the NSW Parliament's commitment to the twinning partnership with the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

On Wednesday 18th April, the launching proper will convene at the Paul Tovua Complex together with the presentation of Annotated Standing Orders. After the launch of Twinning Bilong Umi Scholarship program, the NSW delegates will have a briefing with the Australian High Commissioner and the Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Hon Jeremiah Manele at his Office.

Four of the NSW members will also attend side meetings separately with selected government ministers as well as leaders of certain local organizations and churches. These include meetings with the Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG), the Chairman of Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA), Women in IT Solomon Islands and Minister of the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Environment, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Meteorology.

The delegation’s Meeting with the Ombudsman and Leadership Code Commission and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will take place on Thursday the 19th before heading for a Constituency visit to West Guadalcanal.

The Constituency visit is hosted by the Honorable Member for West Guadalcanal Constituency Hon. Moses Garu, who is also the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services.

On Friday the 20th, the NSW delegation will also be having meetings with the Leader of Opposition Hon. Manasseh Maelanga, the Leader of Independent Group Hon. Dr Derek Sikua and Chairpersons of the Parliamentary Standing Committees.
They will finally wrap up their meetings with the National Parliament Management Group to further discuss support from twinning arrangement before departing for Brisbane on Friday afternoon.

The New South Wales visiting delegation are;
1. The President, the Hon Mr. John Ajaka, President of the Legislative Council
2. The Hon Catherine Cusack, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Inclusion
3. The Hon Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Opposition Whip
4. The Hon Mr. Jonathan O'Dea; MLA, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Treasurer
5. The Hon Paul Green; MLC, Temporary Chair of Committees
6. Ms. Beverly Duffy; Clerk Assistant (Procedure) and delegation secretary
7. Mr. Tom Anderson; member of President's staff

Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu will also be making remarks at the launching.



Parliament has passed the 2018 Budget on Monday 9th April 2018 at the same time this current sitting is also adjourned to 18th July 2018.

The total money budgeted for this year is $3.7 billion but government is anticipating a supplementary to be brought before Parliament by middle of this year.
The current sitting is specially adjourned to the 18th of July, thus, it is only fair to anticipate the supplementary appropriation among other Bills that are listed for July.
With the continuation of this current sitting in July, as stated by Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Houenipwela, a number of Bills will be brought to Parliament, thus, the Bills and Legislation Committee is expected to do a lot of work at the time of adjournment.
The Prime Minister named some of Bills that will come in July as:
1. The Anti-Corruption Bill 2017
2. The Constitution (Amendment) (Dual Citizenship) Bill 2017
3. The Citizenship Bill 2017
4. The Constitution (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) Bill 2018
5. The Electoral Bill 2018

He said the reason for this adjournment is to give time for the Bills and Legislation Committee to work on the Bills that are yet to be concluded this year. Another is to give time for Members of Parliament, especially, those MPs that hold port folios to concentrate their attention to implementing their respective ministerial programs for 2018.

He added that he is acutely aware of the need for Members to visit their constituencies at least for the first quarter of this year, hence another reason for this special adjournment.

Meanwhile, Hon. Prime Minister registered his government’s deep appreciation to our development partners for their continued engagement in our development programs, particularly for this year.

“For answering the call we made last year to come on board to support us this year which they have and for that I am very grateful. I want to express and register the government’s gratitude.”

Prime Minister Rick Hou said the support and cooperation of our development partners will continue to be vital in our development aspirations.

Chairman of the Bills and Legislation Committee, Hon. Matthew Wale in his response to comments on the BLC work said his committee is ready and willing to do the work but encouraged government to submit the Bills to Parliament on time other than last minute submissions as the usual case.

“Give us ample time to get these things done,” Hon. Wale said.
He added that his committee recognizes that this is the final year of the House, thus, they want to make sure they get things done on time.



Mr. Willy Hiurae during the presentation to Members of Parliament

Members of Parliament were briefed on a white paper on the establishment of Solomon Islands Customary Land Commission and Solomon Islands Land Trust Board on Thursday 5th April 2018.

This briefing was made possible to Members of Parliament by the Minister of Lands and Survey, Hon. Andrew Manepora.

Private consultant to the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform Unit Willy Hiuare who is a lawyer by profession made the presentation. Mr. Hiurae has been working and living in Suva, Fiji for many years now and is now doing this consultancy work for this particular reform.

He presented the concept on Land reform, particularly the possible processes our country can use to acquire customary Land titles and anchor customary land titles for Solomon Island tribal land system.

Hiuare said the approach his team is taking is to pilot the concept first which they already did and now produced a Skeleton white paper along with technical research before they make any consultations with stakeholders and people of this country.
He said the usual way of doing things in the Solomon Islands is vice versa but for this program they are taking the opposite approach by piloting it first and putting together a white paper before making wider consultations. They only did one consultation with Malaita provincial government but feel the need to put together the white paper before consulting further.

Hon. Manepora strongly advocates for this approach since it will take into account errors and suggestions in the initial stages so what comes out in the white paper is already filtered and tidied before taking up suggestions.
This will avoid lop holes when a white paper is produced and move the work faster than the usual process.

A skeleton white paper is already produced and is ready to be presented to caucus and cabinet.

According to the timeline of this program, the team said the buck now stops with the government, thus, it is the Minister of lands who is in control of the pace of this program.

Hon. Manepora assured MPs that the skeleton white paper will be taken to caucus next week and later on to cabinet but he wants most of this work to be done in the remaining nine months he is in office.


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