The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is preparing to submit ‘Drafting Instructions’ to the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) for the conception of a new regulation to govern the administration of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
This was after a retreat meeting organized for the CDF Reform Taskforce within the ministry to finalize the CDF Legislative Reform ‘Drafting Instructions’ (DI) 2023 ended successfully over the weekend in Tulagi, Central Islands Province.
The retreat ran from 22nd-25th June 2023.
The meeting was a success and ended on high note with the taskforce members reaffirming commitment to apply expertise and energy towards improving the delivery mechanisms and governance of CDF for the betterment of the country and future generations.
Taskforce leader who is the Permanent Secretary of MRD Dr Samson Viulu expressed profound gratitude to his team for the job well done in putting together the ‘drafting instructions’.
He said the retreat to finalize the drafting instructions is part of the mandatory reforms that the ministry is undertaking to improve and strengthen the delivery mechanisms of the CDF program and its governance.
Work on reforming CDF has commenced in August last year by MRD with the formulation of the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy, and the drafting of instructions is part of the process.
Cabinet has approved the policy (SICD) in March this year and that sets a bedrock for the ministry to go ahead with the review work on the CDF legislation 2023.
“This is a long overdue issue and our people have been waiting and eager to see improvements to the management and governance of the CDF program.
“CDF is not new and not bad. CDF is a good thing since it is easy to access by rural people, reaches remote rural areas and touches rural lives in many ways. But the management and governance part of it is an issue, and so the review work to improve it.
“We have captured views and complains from our stakeholders, integrity organisations and the rural folks during our previous consultations and that has helped us a lot towards this review work for a way forward in the management of the CDF program.
“For the benefit of our children and our future generations, we (MRD) have to make this bold move to amend this CDF program to guarantee every Solomon Islanders participate meaningfully in economic development activities to improve their social and economic livelihoods,” he said.
The review work is approaching conclusion and the ministry is set to submit the drafting instructions to AGC end of this month before the draft CDF legislation 2023 goes through other legislative processes.
MRD expects the bill to reach Parliament by September this year.
The new CDF Act and legislation once passed in Parliament will improves the CDF delivery mechanisms as well as pave the way for more positive changes in our rural communities to ensure all rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.
PS Viulu thanked the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister Honourable Duddley Kopu, all members of Parliament (MP), and every individual who have contributed in one way or the other towards the review work and also acknowledged UNDP for funding support which enable MRD to carry out the CDF reforms.
– MRD Press