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Parliamentary Strengthening Project


20TH MARCH 2018

The parliamentary Civic Team and logistics team at Koriovuku, Ranonga

The Parliament Civic Education team is currently touring Ranonga Simbo, North Vella La Vella and South Vella La Vella constituencies.

Last week, the team of four Parliamentary staff who are assisted by members of the above constituencies successfully completed the education outreach program to Ranonga Simbo Constituency. They toured Ranonga Simbo from the 12-17 March.

The team visited Lengana Village, Riquru Primary school, Lale Village ,Sidoku Community High School, Buri Community High School, Koriovuku , Patu Village , Penuna Community High School and Suava Village.

In North Vella La Vella, the team is visiting Simbilado, Karaka community and surrounding, Karokesa Community, Boro and surrounding communities, Suanatali & Liangai surrounding communities, JAC and surrounding communities, Irigila and surrounding communities, Leona and surrounding communities and Vatoro.

In South Vella La Vella, the team will tour the following communities: Varese Village and surrounding communities, Vonunu PSS & surrounding Communities, Maravari Village & surrounding communities, Eleoteve CHS, Kolokolo and surrounding communities, Labulabu and surrounding communities

The main objective of the outreach program is to help participants to learn about the democratic system of Solomon Islands, an opportunity for community members to discuss their ideas about the democratic system and the trend of political leadership in SI.

It is also an opportunity where constituents will explore the fundamental values, ideologies and theories of traditional and modern leadership and also learn the basic and simple approaches in supporting their MPs in carrying out their role as national leaders of this country.

Additionally, they will also learn about the connection between the electoral system of Solomon Islands and National Parliament as one of the democratic arms of our state.
The people of Ranonga Simbo were very happy to receive these information as this was the first time in the history of Parliament to get down to the people of Ranonga Simbo.

As was nicely put together by Mr. Stanley of Biru Village, Ranonga Simbo constituency.
“For so long I have been asleep, today I woke up! Now I can relate I can understand what Parliament and the roles of our MPs”

The same sentiments were also echoed in all the schools the team visited and the students took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions relating to Parliament and our democratic processes.

Some of the questions raised are on the composition of Parliament committee Members, sitting arrangements in the chamber, the role of the Governor General, the difference between cabinet and caucus, motions and the role of the speaker and how he is appointed.

Acting Director of the Parliament Education Unit Ms. Marisa Pepa said she is happy to see that our rural people are beginning to understand and appreciate parliamentary democracy.

She then thanked the Chiefs and community leaders of Ranonga and Simbo for their support towards this program.

Most importantly, she thanked the Honorable Member for Ranonga Simbo , Hon. Charles Sigoto for seeing the importance of educating his people on Parliamentary processes.
This week, the team is now in North Vella constituency. They will be touring villages in that particular constituency from Monday 19th March to 23rd March and will continue to South Vella constituency in the following week (26-30 March).

The National Parliament can only able to organize one constituency visit for this year due to budget constraints, thus this is the last constituency tour for National Parliament to organise before the National Elections are held in November this year.


20TH MARCH 2018

The 7th meeting of the 10th Parliament is again adjourned to give time for the Public Accounts Committee to continue scrutinize the 2018 Appropriation Bill 2018.

Honorable Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hounipwela adjourned Parliament for that particular reason as all papers required for the hearings were received late by the Committee.
The Committee only commenced the hearings on Thursday 15th March. Due to late arrival of the budget documents, this will need further time for the Committee to complete its hearings.

Prime Minister Rick Hou told PAC to be responsible in conducting the hearings without realizing that it is the Ministry of Finance who did not submit all required papers on the 2018 estimates on time.

Given that situation the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Douglas Ete thanked the Prime Minister for giving PAC some more time.

Hon Ete wrote to the Prime Minister for an extended period of time since the papers for PAC which come from the budget department do not come as a whole but on a sporadic basis giving PAC difficulty seeing all the documents on time.

PAC Chair in his remarks in the chamber said they did not receive the development budget until the 12th March and they are yet to receive the teachers’ establishment.
These are very important papers and PAC need these information for the inquiry.
Meanwhile, all parties agree to the reasons for adjournment, thus Parliament is adjourned to 26th March.

The 2018 Appropriation Bill 2018 went through the first reading on Monday 19th March and was set down for second reading.

PAC hearings are expected to end this week and hopefully the appropriation Bill will go to second reading to committee stage and third reading at the resumption of the house on the 26th.


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