PAC gives government 20 recommendations

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National Parliament of Solomon Islands
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THE Public Accounts Committee has made 20 recommendations to the Government after it completed its hearing on the $4 billion budget which was held from March 22-31.

A total of 257 witnesses appeared before the Committee to give their testimonies.

The report of the PAC was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

The recommendations are:

Recommendation 1

  1. The Committee urges the Central Bank to exercise regular supervisory and prudential oversight of DBSI.
  2. The Committee recommends that the composition of the DBSI Board be reviewed so that Board members are truly independent of both the Government as owner and the Central Bank as regulator and not include political appointees.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that:

  1. The Government provides further capital injection of $50 million to DBSI to enable it to provide further loans to SMEs and rural investors.
  2. The bank enter into international banking arrangements to enable foreign currency transactions to facilitate forestry accounts and transactions.
  3. DBSI develop transparent guidelines to avoid refinancing of non-performing loans from commercial banks.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development prepare a Cabinet paper to seek further assistances to boost the economy through productive sector under the ministry to fund specified crops for processing.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends:

  1. That the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock needs to review the Biosecurity Act to enable the ministry to be more effective in controlling our borders against foreign pests.
  2. That the existing threats to Biosecurity of, coconut rhinoceros beetle, Asian bee and giant African snail, are adequately funded to seriously address the need currently experienced in the country.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends:

  1. That the Ministry of Public Service continue to coordinate with the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) to resolve the dire need for functional review of the OAG and allocate to the Office the required manpower.
  2. That the Government allocate funds to the OAG to secure the AG’s residence from ongoing encroachments of settlements.
  3. Expedite the appointment of the Auditor-General.

Recommendation 6

  1. The Committee recommends that the SINU Act be amended and that governance and the relationship of unions and management are clarified.
  2. The Committee urges the expedited appointment of a replacement Vice-Chancellor.
  3. The Committee recommends the Government study the option of establishing an institute of technology to take over the trades schools from SINU.
  4. The Committee urges MEHRD to seek external quality assurance assessment and accreditation of SINU course offerings.
  5. The Committee urges that the terms and conditions of award of scholarships be reviewed for affordability and incentivises and prioritises Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
  6. The Committee urges the Government to commission a study into Education financing.
  7. The Committee recommends the roll out of multilingual education (MLE) in primary schools.
  8. The Committee urges the Government to strengthen the apprenticeship program and give sole responsibility for it to SITESA.

Recommendation 7

  1. The Committee urges the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to liaise with the Governor of the Central Bank to collect the uncollected revenues of $300 million identified as “dead money”.
  2. The Committee is concerned at the slow pace of tax reform and urges the Ministry to progress these reforms in a more timely manner.
  3. The Committee recommends that exemptions granted to Mamara development be on capital items only.
  4. The committee recommends that appropriate packages of fiscal incentives are devised to attract quality and sizable investment in strategic sectors.
  5. The Committee urges CBSI to review the effectiveness and relevance of current monetary policy tools and consider options to strengthen the effectiveness of transmission of consequences of monetary policy to consumers.
  6. The Committee urges the Ministries of Finance and Planning to ensure that there is full disclosure in budget documents of donor funding through non-appropriated expenditures.

Recommendation 8

The Committee urges the expedited appointment of the Ambassador to the United Nations.

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that the Government support the roles and functions of the Governor-General by allowing it to make budgetary bids for its Other Charges and Development budgets.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services that any improvements to the current National Referral Hospital (NRH) and the proposed development of the new NRH must take into consideration the population growth and the aging population for the next 30 years so that structural designs are intended to last longer and can cater for the growing and aging population.

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends:

That Government takes control of vaccine procurement and rollout.

That the Ministry of Health and Medical Services work with other government agencies, networks and stakeholders such as churches to help with educating our people about the vaccine and its roll out program to convince our people to get vaccinated.

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that the Government commission a review of National Referral Hospital to look at clinical governance and corporate governance with a view to the possibility of establishing an independent hospital board and urge the government to consider procuring technical assistance to undertake such a review.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that the Ministry of Health and Medical Service carry out a Cost of Health and Medicals Services study in the Solomon Islands that is similar to the Cost of Policing done by RAMSI. This is so that an overall report on cost of delivering health and medical services can inform on the appropriate budget allocation.

Recommendation 14

  1. The Committee urges the Government to implement the forestry sustainability policy.
  2. The Committee urges the Government to strictly enforce the prohibition of logging beyond 400 meters above sea-level.

Recommendation 15

  1. The Committee urges the Government to review the arms capability of the RSIPF appropriate to border management.
  2. The Committee recommends that the Commissioner of Corrections consider options for community service by inmates.
  3. The Committee recommends the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Service undertake a peer review of the quality of police training.

Recommendation 16

  1. The Committee recommends that the Land Registry be reallocated to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey under the management of the Commissioner of Lands.
  2. The Committee urges the Government to expedite identification and acquisition of land for the resettlement of climate vulnerable communities.

Recommendation 17

The Committee urges:

  1. The Government to continue with the Henderson runway reseal/overlay and to seek additional funding for its completion.
  2. The Committee urges the Government to review the Telecommunications Act to further strengthen competition, improve quality, and reduce cost of services.

Recommendation 18

The Committee urges the Government to adequately fund the National Judiciary and its support services and to expedite reforms to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

Recommendation 19

The Committee strongly urges the Government to allocate adequate funding for safe houses and support services for victims of domestic and gender based violence.

Recommendation 20

The Committee recommends:

  1. That the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology liaise with HCC to ensure that appropriate development consent was obtained in the developments encroaching the Mataniko riverside and appropriate remedial action is taken to enforce the law.
  2. That a project to be undertaken to clean up the Mataniko river.
  3. That the Government commission a study on the need to establish a climate fund.
  4. That the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology devise a plan and protocols for the relocation of communities vulnerable to sea level rise.
  5. That the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology propose amendments to relevant laws to clarify governance for tubi.

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