The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Dr Samson Viulu says the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) could be a tool for economic growth if properly utilized.
He uttered the statement when responding to questions from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday 6th November 2023.
He said,” CDF if properly utilize, can be a tool for economic growth. It depends only on how we use it and it is how we use it that stir public criticism.”
However, he said “as the responsible ministry, the onus is on us to ensure the CDF programme is properly implemented. Not so much on the Members of Parliament (MPs). It’s on us. I think we have so much other areas of challenges that we continue to face with suppliers and monitoring and it won’t take us overnight to solve. We have to take steps. One step at a time.
“And all of you know, this position, is also very highly criticise position, but let us try to impact change in the short time we hold this responsibility,” PS Viulu highlighted.
PS Viulu made a brief informative presentation on the MRD’s development budget and touched on the new CDF Bill 2023 which was well received by PAC.
He also used the opportunity and appeal to PAC members to support the new CDF Bill.
The CDF Bill and legislation once passed in Parliament will further improve the CDF governance including transparency and accountability on how the funds are used to assist and empower our rural people.
The Permanent Secretary also took the chance and highlighted some of the achievements of his ministry for 2023 of which are the formulation and approval of the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development Policy (SICDP) by the government through cabinet and the formulation of the new CDF Bill 2023 which is now with Parliament for deliberation.
He added that the formulation of the Policy (SICDP) and the new CDF Bill are fulfilment of PAC’s recommendations in 2021 for the improvement of CDF delivery mechanisms.
MRD’s key policy priorities and activities for next year going forward are;
3. Organizational and functional reforms to support the CDF Act 2023.
– MRD Press