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Parliamentary Strengthening Project

 

TUESDAY 10TH APRIL 2018

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.

ENDS///

TUESDAY 10TH APRIL 2018

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.

ENDS///

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