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Parliament is adjourned until 9:30 am on Wednesday 22 August 2018.  

Parliamentary Strengthening Project

 

TUESDAY 22 MAY 2018

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

TUESDAY 22ND MAY 2018

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.

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