A one week information workshop on the 2021 national budget for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) is underway in Honiara.
The workshop is a follow on of the Floating Budget Office (FBO) Mission to Parliament which commenced on Tuesday 16 March, the Mission provided an independent analysis on the 2021 Appropriation Bill through a budget brief to make financial information more simplified and ‘digestible’ for Members of Parliament to use in the Budget debate.
The FBO Mission comprised of researchers from within the National Parliament Office, subject experts on Climate change and Gender and Parliamentary researchers from the Fiji and Tonga Parliaments.
Clerk to National Parliament, David Kusilifu in his opening remarks at the workshop thanked participants for accepting the invitation to the briefing session.
He said national budgets impact the entire country – all sectors, institutions and all communities, therefore, the availability of information to citizens and CSOs is essential not only as a right, but also in terms of having an open and transparent governance system.
“This workshop provides a space to apply your perspective or lenses as civil society organizations and interest groups on the national budget within the ambit of public finance oversight.”
It is envisaged that the workshop will also assist CSOs to better understand the role and work of Parliament. This is the second Budget briefing workshop held for CSOs, the first was held in late 2019.
The Clerk thanked the following partners for making the event possible:
- UNDP Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) and Strengthening Legislature in the Pacific (SIPL) projects – which are funded by the New Zealand and Japan Governments,
- Development Services Exchange (DSE),
- The Solomon Islands Government for the ongoing support, and
- FBO Technical experts;
- Dr. Jeremy Hills (Climate Change Analyst) and
- Dr. Swanpa Bist-Joshi (Gender Expert) for the virtual sessions.
The first day of this workshop was a briefing for Honiara based CSOs. Provincial CSO participants will begin their session today Tuesday 11th May and conclude on Friday 14th May 2021.