The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has successfully held a one-day consultation on the draft Constituency Development Fund (CDF) legislation with the Solomon Islands integrity institutions on Wednesday 26th April 2023.
The purpose of the consultation was to gather views and insights from these integrity institutions as guidance to support the reform work that MRD is undertaking to strengthen the accountability, transparency and governance of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), as well as ensure its compatibility with the existing legal frameworks.
The consultation was part of a series of consultations already organized by MRD in March this year with selected Members of Parliament (MPs).
Permanent Secretary (Acting) and Deputy Secretary Technical (DST) Hugo Hebala said that the consultation was part of the ongoing reform work that MRD is undertaking toward reforming the governance of CDF.
“Insights and expert opinions gathered from the integrity institutions will provide guidance to MRD in the review of the CDF legislation before it goes to Parliament later in the year.”
MRD also used the consultation as an opportunity to highlight possible areas of concern so that these Accountability and Integrity institutions can provide their expert views and contributions in order to provide some clarity and guide the CDF legislation review in the right course.
Meanwhile, participants commented that revising the CDF Act and its associated provisions can be seen as trying to safeguard the future.
“Ensuring that there is a proper process in the use of CDF would safeguard against future problems that may arise. It is important that due process must be followed,” the participants noted.
Participants gave their invaluable feedbacks on various areas of the draft CDF legislation as well as stressed the need for providing awareness to people within the constituencies on what the proper process is.
“On behalf of the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Senior Management Team of MRD and staff, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your constructive contributions, suggestions, questions, comments and feedback.
“It has been a rewarding experience to have such senior executives contributing to such consultations and we value the many contributions that you all made today,” Hebala acknowledged the participants.
Further series of consultation are planned for the 50 MPs on the revised CDF Act soon.
“The purpose of these upcoming consultations is to present to them the views gathered from the series of consultations with the respected MPs including the Integrity and accountability institutions,” Mr Hebala added.
The Accountability and Integrity institutions that attended the consultation are; Law Reform Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, Leadership Code Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (OPMC) and Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (SIFIU) of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and others.
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