The Ministry of Rural Development has successfully held a half-day consultation on the draft Constituency Development Fund legislation with Accountability and Integrity institutions on Friday 3rd February 2023.
Held at the MRD conference room, the purpose of the consultation was to gather views and contributions from these institutions in order to strengthen the governance of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) implementation and administration.
The consultation also focused mainly on whether the draft CDF legislation is aligned with the Public Financial Management Act 2013 and other areas for consideration.
Briefly the proposed CDF Legislation was drafted by the Ministry of Rural Development in consultation with the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC).
“It was drafted purposely to ensure, the much-criticized CDF funding mechanism is properly and effectively governed and managed to better the lives of all Solomon Islanders.
“It, therefore, seeks to revise the current CDF Act and is intended to accompany the SICD Policy and drafting instructions, which will be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General.
“It is currently not finalized and is still undergoing consultation.
“This review was conducted by directly comparing the draft CDF legislation against the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) 2013,” Permanent Secretary of MRD Dr. Samson Viulu said.
He said MRD used the consultation to highlight possible areas of concern, so that these Accountability and Integrity institutions provide their expert views and contributions in order to provide some clarity and guide the review in the right direction.
“Views on fundamental areas that should be included in the revised CDF legislation are of paramount.”
Meanwhile, PS Viulu said some of the responses from these Accountability and Integrity institutions are overwhelming and encouraging.
They said the CDF is of great importance as it goes directly to rural people in constituencies, but does not have a proper governance structure.
“Therefore, it needs a proper governance structure to manage resources better, and improve accountability and compliance.
“And Importantly to ensure that the CDF Act is consistent with the Public Financial Management Act to make sure that the CDF Act does not encroach too much on other Acts, as this may lead to conflict,” he empathized.
The Accountability and Integrity institutions that attended the consultation are; Leadership Code Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet, Office of the Auditor General, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Solomon Islands Commission Against Corruption, and Registrar of Political Parties.
MRD’s vision is to ensure all rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood through CDF and other public funds accessed by constituencies.
– MRD Press