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Government requests more time to sort ‘more bills’, promise of ACB-return still stands

 

BY CAROL-ANNE SULEGA

THE Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) has been allocated time during Parliament’s period of special adjournment to sort out more Bills to bring before the current sitting.

This was confirmed by the National Parliament of Solomon Islands’ media unit.

“The reason for further adjourning Parliament at its resumption on Monday 9th October was to give time for the Bills and Legislation Committee to hear the Strata Titles Bill 2017 as well as for the Prime Minister’s office to sort out Bills it will bring before this sitting,” Parliament’s statement says.

One of those Bills is the popular Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB) 2016 that has received much backfire for its withdrawal in the last sitting.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare also mentioned yesterday that the Government also needs to finalise the budget, for which is believed to be the 2018 Appropriation Bill 2017.

PM Sogavare when moving the motion for special adjournment said that the bills and legislation committee requested that they need at least one week to look at the Bills currently before the house, especially the Strata Titles Bill 2017.

“One is the Anti-Corruption Bill which the Deputy Prime Minister and I have given our assurance to the nation,” Sogavare stated.

Parliament withdrew the anti–corruption bill 2016 from the Business Paper on the floor of Parliament on Monday, August 28, 2017.

PM Sogavare sought leave under Standing Order 31(1) to move the motion without notice under Standing Order 26(1) due to the following reasons:

“The Bills and Legislation Committee made some very good recommendations to improve this Bill, therefore, government needs to improve the Bill by including recommendations from the Bills and Legislations Committee.

“The Bill will be reintroduced in Parliament as a new Bill,” Sogavare said in the last sitting.

The Prime Minister said his government is standing up to improve this Bill by drawing those recommendations from the Bills and Legislations Committee.

He promised at that time that the Bill will return with much improved provisions to tackle corruption in this country.

Yesterday, the following Bills were put to first reading and were set for second reading:

The ‘Legal Profession Bill 2017’, the ‘Prescription of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2017’ and the ‘Strata Titles Bill 2017’.

As usual, every year Parliament is expected to pass the annual Budget for the next financial year before the Christmas Festive season

On that note, the Parliament Media Unit, in its statement said they believe the Budget the Prime Minister was referring to is the 2018 Budget.

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