BY GEORGINA KEKEA
CENTRAL Islands provincial government has recently held a training for ward development chair persons and treasurers at Sunset resort in Savo.
In his keynote address to workshop participants, Premier Vasuni said the training was conducted in compliance with a resolution reached by the Cabinet of Solomon Islands in September 2012, for stronger citizen participation in the Provincial Planning Process. The resolution mandated WDC members to coordinate and participate in all development planning processes at the community and ward levels.
Premier Vasuni said the recently reviewed Financial Management Ordinance (FMO) and Financial Instructions (FI) emphasised the need for citizens to participate fully in all development decision making processes at the Ward and the Provincial level. He said it is therefore crucial that WDC members are trained and capacitated in order for them to perform at levels expected by the people and the Provincial Government.
This participatory planning process is hoped to make the planning processes at the community and ward level more inclusive and at the same time ensure citizens’ views are captured and reflected on the choice of projects that are considered as their felt needs instead of a centralised decision making, said Vasuni.
The Central Province Premier highlighted his government’s conviction on integrated and inclusive approach to development planning and stressed that any development by government agencies, donor partners or NGO’s within Central Province must be well coordinated and organised with the province and the relevant ward committees. This, he said, is important to avoid duplication of activities and wasting of limited available resources on similar targets.
The Premier informed the participants, who are mostly the Chairpersons and Treasurers of Central Province’s WDC members, that as from next current Financial Year (2018/2019 FY), his government will be gradually devolving the management and accountability of Ward Development Grants (WDG’s) to the Ward Development Committees (WDCs).
“It is therefore important that WDC members are trained on the adopted procurement procedures and methods which must be followed when implementing ward capital development projects.”
He added the training will include monitoring and reporting on the accountability of WDGs in accordance with the prescribed templates which was developed by Central Province’s Treasury Division and approved and adopted by the Provincial Executive in May 2018.