MONDAY 18TH MAY 2015
The Leader of the official Opposition and MP for Hograno/Kia Havulei , Hon. Jeremiah Manele says he found the recent induction program for Members of Parliament very useful and worthwhile.
Speaking on behalf of all MPs at the closing of the program, Hon. Manele explained that being a first termer, the induction program reminded him of his role as an MP as well as a leader.
“I trust my other first term colleagues have also found it useful”
Hon. Manele has acknowledged the Guest speaker Hon. Jonathan O’Dea of New South Wales Parliament for reminding them as members of Parliament to must serve their people as that is their most important stakeholder.
“This is in order and is our national motto-to lead is to serve”
The opposition leader further expressed that he has benefited a lot from the various sessions covered during the 4 days program.
“I have benefited from various sessions we have covered including the fundamental principle of the separation of powers which underpins our parliamentary democracy; the roles and functions of our integrity institutions; and the functions of other key stakeholders including the budget process”
Hon. Manele further clarified that he had covered most of the areas mentioned in theory in his introduction to politics courses at University, but said what one learns in theory is different from practice or reality.
“And this what makes life or politics interesting”
Other sessions that are of interest includes the issue of autonomy or independence of Parliament; of the Judiciary, and even of institutions like the Auditor General’s Office.
The roles and functions of the Legislature are critical and one that we as MPs must always keep in mind. He urged all members of Parliament to must familiarize themselves with the standing orders.
Hon. Manele urged all MPs to also take heed of the sessions in which they were being reminded by the Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission, the Auditor General; and the Ombudsman of the importance of accountability, transparency and good governance.
“Issues of what constitute misconduct in office are vital for us leaders to bear in mind”
He further went on by praising the sessions on Foreign Affairs, Planning, and the budget process, and the Ministry of Rural Development describing it as equally refreshing and important.
“It’s important and very much relevant to what we do as members of Parliament. Ministers especially need to know the work of their Ministries”
The opposition leader described the final session of the induction program on the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission also important as this body deals with the MPs terms and conditions or entitlements.
Finally, going forward Hon. Manele has urged the organizing committee for the 11th Parliament to host similar induction straight after the swearing in of all MPs or after the election of the Prime Minister to enable greater participation by all MPs.
Hon. Manele said this because he had observed that the recent program has not been well attended because Ministers were busy and sitting MPs have gone through such a program several times.
The Opposition Leader further recommended that future programs should be hosted out of Honiara, as a retreat somewhere not far but reasonably close so that MPs cannot escape. He also recommended other key central agencies such as the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as well as the Ministry of Public Service to also be invited to make presentations on the scope of their duties and responsibilities as they are directly relevant to the work of MPs especially on policy matters, and human resources as they relate to the Appropriation Bill.
His final plea is for all MPs to have another session on the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) when all of them are present.
MONDAY 18TH MAY 2015
The Speaker of the National Parliament Hon. Ajilon Nasiu has described the recent 3rd induction program for Members of Parliament as a successful and memorable one in the history of Parliament.
Speaking in closing of the program at the Honiara hotel’s Margarita bar on Thursday 14th May, Mr Nasiu said this was an effort by Parliament in ensuring that Members of Parliament are aware of their roles as legislators, more so as leaders to be equipped with the necessary information that they can enhance in carrying out their duties as mandated and expected of them by the citizens of this country.
“After this 4 days of induction I believe, that you should have the knowledge and information required to prepare you to execute your roles and functions more effectively”
Mr. Nasiu told Members of Parliament that the induction program is not only educational but also to properly prepare and equip Members to overcome what is ahead of them as leaders, and he quotes Malcolm X saying “the future belongs to those who prepare for it today”
The Speaker reiterated that the recent induction program paved ways for Members to be informed and to better perform their roles as Representatives of the people, their roles as legislators and their roles in Scrutinizing legislation.
“And more importantly your roles as leaders in Serving this Nation” Mr. Nasiu added.
The Speaker finally concluded his farewell remarks by thanking the following for making the program successful:
a. the Prime Minister as Head of the Executive for the support rendered in enabling Parliament to have the resources to carry out this Induction Program,
He also acknowledged the input and tireless efforts of the Clerk, the Management and Staff of Parliament who have coordinated the smooth running of the Induction Program.
THURSDAY 13TH MAY 2015
Member of Parliament (MP) from the New South Wales (NSW) government Jonathan O’Dea hand delivered two separate cheques for the National Referral Hospital and the Good Samaritan Hospital, each cheque accounts for AUD$3,563.00 respectively.
The handing over of the cheques took place in the National Parliament conference room yesterday, witness by the media and staff of the parliament.
The ceremonial handing over of the cheques was well conducted by parliament staff that showed Hon. Charles Sigoto, the chairman of the Health and Medical Services Committee appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Health to receive the cheque, while Sister Irene Huerta received the cheque representing the Good Samaritan Hospital.
Both hospitals received the cheques from Jonathan O’Dea who represents the New South Wales Parliament.
Before hand delivering the cheques O’Dea express his pleasure on behalf of the New South Wales parliament to assist hospitals in Solomon Islands with what they could offer from their heart that truly reflects their good relationships with the Asia-Pacific region.
O’Dea humbly said that this assistance is purposely to assist these two hospitals in their life saving services provided for our people.
“This goes to people who care for the sick and it comes with Christian ethics,” O’Dea stated.
Meanwhile, Irene Huerta of the Good Samaritan Hospital applauded the assistance, asserting that this will really helps them to finance some of their works that needs improvement in their service delivery.
WEDNESDAY 13TH MAY 2015
Prime Minister Manasseh (PM) Sogavare highlighted the importance of Parliament induction program during the opening of the program at the Heritage Park Hotel on Monday 11th May 2015 evening.
Prime Minister started his speech by reiterating his admiration on the theme of the Induction Program is ‘TO LEAD is to SERVE-United Action for a better Solomon Islands.’
The PM stressed that the purpose of the induction program is to raise awareness among participating parliamentarians of key parliamentary departments, services and facilities.
“The induction program sets out to explain the important structures, functions and obligations of these key parliamentary institutions,” PM stated. “So members of parliament are better able to appreciate these in relation to their crucial roles in national leadership and accountability,” he added.
Sogavare asserted the importance of the program as it is designed to balance MPs’ need for capacity building and skills transfer with demands for the greater engagement of MPs in Parliament procedure and public policy discussions.
“To be effective in whatever you do; you must also be knowledgeable about what to do,” the PM stressed.
The PM also stressed on the significance of being professional and specialised as critical aspects of the modernised global community, by urging Solomon Islands MPs to acquaint themselves with these important qualities and characteristics.
Sogavare concluded his remarks by hoping that at the end of the induction program, which is scheduled to complete by the end of this week will certainly helps MPs to find it fruitful and invaluable exercise.
WEDNESDAY 13TH MAY 2015
The Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu has acknowledged and welcomed the presence of Honorable Jonathan Richard O’Dea and Mr Simon Johnston from New South Wales Parliament for accepting the invitation to attend the MPs third induction program currently underway.
“I thank you most profoundly for accepting the request made by the National Parliament to attend this induction Program and enlightened us on the topic of Separation of Powers and Leadership Role of Members”
He was speaking during a dinner he hosted to mark the opening of the induction program at the Heritage Park Hotel on Monday night.
Honorable Richard was invited as guest speaker for the program because of his vast experience since becoming an MP in 2007 and a former Chair of Public Accounts Committee in the New South Wales Parliament, while Mr Simon Johnston is the twining coordinator for the Bougainville House of Representative, Solomon Islands Parliament and New South Wales Parliament.
Mr Nasiu told Members of Parliament that the presence of the two Officials is a testimony to the deep and genuine relationship that Solomon Islands Parliament has continued to enjoy with New South Wales Parliament.
“Honorable Members, of course this Program would have been pointless without your participation. I wish to kindly request all of you to attend and participate in our program for this remaining couple of days”
Mr Nasiu encouraged all MPs that this program will be meaningful and important for them as they will use the knowledge they have acquired through the program wisely in the next four years.
The Speaker reminded Members of Parliament that the induction of Members is an ongoing process, not a one off process.
“There is no such thing as a one off induction for Parliamentarians, as political national leaders, you will gradually learn your trade over the next four years both in and outside Parliament”
The Speaker further urged the MPs to always keep an open mind and not resist change unnecessarily.
“A politician never stops leading; please bear that in mind,” Mr Nasiu urged.
He said the induction program is important because it gives Members an opportunity to pause and listen to each other, share ideas and experiences on issues that they as Members of Parliament commonly face in executing their responsibilities.
“Lets us all strive to make a difference in ourselves by being better leaders for our nation-the Solomon Islands, using this induction program as a stepping stone towards that difference”
The Speaker then concluded by thanking the facilitators and presenters from the government ministries and other stakeholders who have willingly spared their time to contribute to this induction program upon invitation.
He further thanked the Solomon Islands Government for generously supporting this program through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and for assisting the Parliament staff to strengthen the highest institution of governance in the country.
This Induction program was an initiative of the National Parliament office and the UNDP Parliamentary Strengthening Project. Much preparation was put into this initiative by the hard working staff of National Parliament and their untiring dedication shows their ultimate mission to serve Members and Parliament as the highest institution of the land.
The program will end on Thursday 14th 2015.