By Gary Hatigeva
A group of researchers are currently in Honiara under a Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) to help strengthen the country’s parliamentary system of operations and governance.
Funded by the New Zealand Government through the United Nations Development Programme for Pacific Island countries, the initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of the parliament secretariats to provide support to Members of Parliament.
These includes the enhancement in the capacity of parliaments in all participating countries to debate budgets and provide for effective public accounts committee operations at the same time mainstream development issues in the work of parliament and support the running of practice parliaments for women.
The initiative also looks to promote the selection of an increased number of women candidates by political parties and improve information exchange on the south-south cooperation between Pacific parliaments.
Meanwhile, parliament officials revealed that the group will join the budget team during the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings where they will also, under the initiative, be providing support on the overall reviewing of the national budget.
The Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) is a three-year programme designed to provide support to Parliaments in the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
The project’s overall outcome is to meet citizens’ expectations for voice, development and the rule of law and accountability and through support to the partner parliaments to strengthen systems of democratic governance.