- What is Our Vision?
This National Parliament of Solomon Islands Vision outlines our constant aim of where we believe the National Parliament should be in the future and all our actions and activities should be within the context of reaching this Vision. We believe that our Vision is one which all sections of society and individuals of all political persuasions can unite behind. The Vision of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands is:
To be a modern Parliament that fulfils its constitutional duties and effectively serves the people of Solomon Islands
- What is Our Mission?
In order to work towards achieving our Vision for the legislature, we have developed a Mission Statement for the National Parliament of Solomon Islands. When developing our Mission Statement we drew on the views gathered from Members and staff within the Parliament, from the Executive, from the Judiciary as well as from other key stakeholders in society such as Civil Society Organisations, the business sector and the media. Our Mission Statement provides the National Parliament of Solomon Islands with a starting point on the road towards realising our Vision. The Mission Statement of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands for the period 2012-2016 is:
As the democratically elected national legislature of Solomon Islands, our mission is to ensure that Parliament exercises its legislative, oversight, representation and outreach duties effectively and that Parliament remains the main forum for national political debate.
- What is the Historical Timeline of Parliament?
- 1893 - The declaration of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).
- 1921 - Advisory Council set up to administer the Protectorate.
- 1950 - Solomon Islanders were appointed to the Advisory Council.
- 1960 - Advisory Council changed its name to the Legislative Council.
- 1967 - An Executive Council was formed apart from the Legislative Council, that functioned as a ‘Cabinet’.
- 1970 - The Legislative Council and the Executive Council were both replaced by a Governing Council.
- 1974 - Governing Council replaced by the Legislative Assembly.
- 1976, 2 January - Solomon Islands achieved internal self-government. The Legislative Assembly had 38 members who were elected by Solomon Islanders.
- 1978, 7 July - Solomon Islands attained Independence and the Legislative Assembly was renamed the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.
- 1994 - The number of seats increased from 38 to 47.
- 1997 - The number of seats increased from 47 to 50.
- What are the basic facts about Parliament?
- Solomon Islands is a Constitutional Monarchy with the Queen as the Head of State, represented in Solomon Islands by the Governor-General.
- The National Parliament of Solomon Islands is a Unicameral Legislature (single chamber). The National Parliament is modeled on the British Parliament, known as ’Westminster’.
- General Elections are held every four years using the ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system.
- The country is divided into 50 single-member constituencies and elections are held on the basis of universal adult suffrage, i.e. anyone over the age of 18 who is not a convicted criminal can vote.
- Anyone over the age of 21 who is a citizen of Solomon Islands can be a candidate for the elections, either as a member of a Political Party or as an Independent candidate.
- The last election was held on Wednesday 19th November 2014 and this Parliament is the tenth since Independence.
- From 1978 to 1994, Parliament met at the ‘Kalala House’ (now the High Court building).
- The present Parliament building is a gift from the United States and the first meeting held in the present Chamber was on August 1994.
- Who are Officers of Parliament?
Within Parliament, there are officers who have special duties and work to make sure that Parliament runs smoothly. The Speaker controls and supervises the meetings of Parliament. He maintains order in the House and ensure that MPs act and speak according to the Standing Orders (Rules of Parliamentary Procedure). There is also Deputy Speaker who performs the role of the Speaker in his absence. The Speaker is elected by MPs from outside of Parliament (i.e. not an MP) while the Deputy Speaker is elected from among the MPs. The current Speaker is Mr Ajilon Jasper Nasiu and the Deputy Speaker is Hon. Andrew Manepora’a.
The Clerk is responsible for providing secretarial support to Parliament and its Committees. During the meetings, the Clerk sits directly in front of the Speaker and takes notes of what is being said and advising the Speaker and MPs on particular issues. There is also a Deputy Clerk who assists in this role.
The Serjeant-At-Arms is responsible for assisting the Speaker to ensure that rules of the Chamber are followed. The Serjeant is responsible for carrying the Mace, which is the symbol of the Speaker’s authority.
Apart form the Officers mentioned above, Parliament has staff in different sections who perform various duties:
The Hansard Section is responsible for recording and transcribing what is being said in Parliament.
The Finance Section looks after all the accounts and financial matters of Members of Parliament and the Parliament.
The Library and Information Section provides research and information services to Members.
The Committee Secretariat is responsible for providing secretariat support to the ten (10) Standing Select Committees of Parliament.
The Information Communications Technology (ICT) Section manages and maintains all the technology and communications of Parliament.
The Administration and Registry section assists in managing the day-to-day administration of Parliament and also attends to the general needs and enquiries of the public regarding parliament.
There are also the Auxiliary Staff which includes security officers, drivers, carpenters, cleaners and gardeners, who maintain the building and its surroundings.
- How often are Meetings of Parliament?
- Parliament usually meets on average three times a year, and the meetings usually last for 3 - 4 weeks. The meetings of Parliament are open to the public who can attend and listen to the debates and the proceedings of Parliament.
The proceedings and debates of Parliament is in the English language or in Pidgin. All the Parliamentary documents, such as Bills, motions, questions, reports are in the English language.
On average, Parliament considers thirteen (13) Bills each year. Most of the Bills brought to Parliament are proposed by the Government, but there are occasionally private member’s Bills that are brought before Parliament for consideration.
The Parliament sits only on weekdays. From Monday to Thursday, the arrangement of business is decided by the Government. On Fridays, the day is allocated for ordinary MPs and is called ‘private members day’. This day is usually utilized by the Opposition MPs.
A typical sitting day starts at 9:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm.
The position of the Deputy Speaker of National Parliament is created under Section 64 of the Constitution of Solomon Islands. The Deputy Speaker is elected from among Members of Parliament every four (4) years. The role of the Deputy Speaker, as provided for under Section 65 of the Constitution of Solomon Islands, is to preside over sittings of parliament in the absence of the Speaker to ensure that Members conduct themselves in accordance to the Standing Orders of National Parliament.
10th Parliament: Deputy Speaker (2014-present):
- David Day Pacha
- Andrew Manepora
9th Parliament: Deputy Speaker (2010-2014):
- Namson Tran
- Job Dudley Tausinga
8th Parliament: Deputy Speaker (2006-2010):
- Clement Kengava
Office of the Clerk and Deputy Clerk
10th Parliament Clerk (2015-current)
The current Clerk of Parliament is Mr. Clezy Rore. The Duties of the Clerk of National Parliament are provided for under Order 6 of the Standing Orders of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands. The Duties of the Clerk covers a range of activities which includes keeping of the minutes of proceedings of parliament and preparing from day to day during sittings of parliament an Order Book showing all future business of which notice has been given.
7th - 10th Parliament Clerk (2001-2014)
- Mrs. Taeasi Sanga.
The Deputy Clerk
- Mr. David Kusilifu