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Parliament is adjourned until 9:30 am on Monday 10 December 2018.  

Parliamentary Strengthening Project

 

WEDNESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2018

The 7th meeting of the 10th Parliament will commence on Wednesday the 28th of February 2018.

This was after the conclusion of its 6th meeting on Monday the 27th of November last year through a sine die motion.

On Monday this week (12th February 2018), Prime Minister Hon. Rick Houenipwela has issued a letter of notification of commencement of Parliament meeting to His Excellency the Governor General Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui GCMG CSI OBE.

Hon. Rick Houenipwela stated in the letter “As Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s Government of Solomon Islands, and in the spirit of the Section 32 of the Constitution, I write to advise you of my decision to convene the first meeting of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands for 2018 on Wednesday 28th February, 2018.”

Clerk to Parliament Clezy Rore has also confirmed receiving the confirmation from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that Parliament will commence its first sitting for 2018 at the end of this month (28th February) thus he is now working around the clock in notifying all Members of Parliament as mandated under Standing Order 7(2) of the National Parliament Standing Orders.

It is too early to tell what would be the government business for that day’s order paper but obviously the 2018 budget estimates will surely be the main one.

However, there are seven bills that are still before the House to consider. These include six outstanding Bills from 2016 and 2017 and one new one for 2018:

  1. The Constitution (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) Bill 2018
  2. The Anti-Corruption Bill 2017
  3. The Constitution (Amendment) (Dual Citizenship) Bill 2017
  4. The Citizenship Bill 2017
  5. The Strata Titles Bill 2017
  6. The Prescription of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2017
  7. The Legal Profession Bill 2017
  8. The Whistle-blowers Protection Bill 2016

Only 3 bills were passed in the 6th meeting from 26 June 2017 – 24 Nov 2017. These include:

  1. The Ombudsman Act 2017
  2. The 2017 Supplementary Appropriation (No.2) Act 2017
  3. The Provincial Government (Amendment) Bill 2017

Meanwhile, Parliament is also expecting the 2018 budget estimates to be introduced and debated at this meeting.

MONDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2018

The Committee Secretariat together with the Office of the Auditor General has formed a Budget Team as part of its preparatory work to consider the upcoming 2018 Draft Estimates and those that will come in the future.

This is a new initiative as the Committee Secretariat Team felt that it’s time to add some new ideas to effectively carry out the legislative scrutiny role beginning With the upcoming hearings on the 2018 Budget estimates.

This team consisted of staff from the Committee Secretariat, the Research & Library staff, the Accounts Department of the National Parliament Office and Officers from the Auditor General’s office.

In welcoming the training participants, clerk to the Public Accounts Committee, Mrs. Jasmine Waleafea mentioned that the Committee’s working theme for this year is to “Be Proactive” in our given roles.

She said that much have been discussed on the issues of “committee effectiveness and efficiency” in holding the executive to account, but disseminating it is often a challenging task.

During the training, participants endorsed a briefing template for PAC Members as well as citing the proposed Budget Briefing Paper on the budget; which awaits technical support from Fiji, New Zealand and the Scotland Parliament.

The team from Fiji, New South Wales and New Zealand Parliaments are expected to arrive in a few weeks’ time.

Other sessions included identifying issues from the budget, developing questions, managing the Inquiry and concluded with a rapporteur exercise on an assimilative PAC Hearing footage.

With the initiatives that the Parliamentary Budget Team wishes to roll out with this year’s Appropriation Bill, stakeholders would note that the Committee is chartering new waters in their given role to fulfil legislative financial scrutiny.

The PAC clerk concluded that the Committee is hoping to ensure an effective financial oversight on the 2018 Draft Estimates as well as to delivering on an efficient secretarial support in this upcoming inquiry.

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