Financial Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency- Central Islands Province - Solomon Star News

Financial Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency- Central Islands Province

07 April 2020

Transparency Solomon Islands commends and congratulates the Central Islands Province for its 2018/19 Financial Statement clean audit report as reported in the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening press release of 6th March 2020.  Congratulations and well-done Central Islands Province. 

Having worked with you in your communities, with your administration in our face to face Civic Awareness we proudly observe the determination of both the Political and the administrative leadership, of your province to work together to achieve common goals in many areas including financial accountability. As is the trend in provincial governments, there is an understanding of the separation of powers, whereby the political leadership sets the policy directives and leaves their official to handle the implementation, properly accounting for the finances given to the province.  

Yes, it is very important that proper records are maintained to account for public funds but more importantly, Transparency Solomon Islands had the opportunity travelling from community to community to witness the tangible developments in different communities in the province such as community social and economic infrastructure, health facilities, better classrooms, and others. So not only do we see it in an audit report but the existence of your achievements on the ground in communities can be verified.  

Had the provincial government had access to $91,600,000.00 CDF funds channeled through the members of parliament for the province in the last eight [8] years [9th and 10th Parliament], Transparency Solomon Islands believes the majority of communities in the province will have improved social and economic infrastructures, such as water supply, sanitation, village rest houses or homestays, eco-tourism, etc. improving people’s lives.  

Transparency Solomon Islands congratulates the Permanent Secretary and his team for their persistence in guiding, mentoring and building capacity and the good working partnership you and your staff have with the political and administrative leadership of the provincial governments. As echoed by the Permanent Secretary of MPGIS Mr. Stanley Dick Pirione this kind of achievement is only possible when Provinces make the decision to enforce compliance with every aspect of Provincial Legislations and the relevant National Government Laws”, and truly you have shown this Central Islands Province. Transparency Solomon Islands commends and supports MPGIS renewed commitment to intensify capacity building for your province and other provinces to ensure the sustainability of achievement.  

Transparency Solomon Islands commends Central Islands Provincial Government for the history you now made together with Isabel Province on accounting for the public funds allocated to you.  This indeed is history and the second time since Independence another clean audit has been issued in one part of the Executive Arm of the Government. 

Congratulations Premier of Central Islands Province [former and present] and staff. Well done for showing the national government that it can be done. Transparency Solomon Islands urges the Executive Government to expect no less from the rest of the government machinery.

More importantly, Central Island and Isabel Provinces and other Provincial Governments have shown time and again that they can bring about development with the small resources they are allocated to build schools, clinics, water supply, and the list goes on. 

With this achievement let the motto regarding audit of public funds be; no more Qualified, Adverse, Disclaimer audit opinions for an audit report of tax-payers money. To date, the audit opinion of government accounts has always been [1] Qualified, [2] Adverse and [3] Disclaimer. 

TSI takes its hat off to the Central Islands Provincial government’s clean audit. It speaks volumes as a model to the national government in accounting for the public funds. This is a clear manifestation of the fight against corruption at the provincial level.

It should send a clear message that it is now time to recognize the achievements of the provincial government and involve them in the discussion of the stimulus package in relation to COVID 19. Transparency Solomon Islands urges the Executive Government to look at the bigger picture when you plan for a stimulus package.  TSI urges that you do involve Provincial Governments in the consultation. During the ethnic tension, it is their agricultural production that kept the countries economy afloat and not that of the big business houses of Honiara that are now pushing for the stimulus package. It is time to stop and think strategically and not a time to make policies on the run. Time to stop and look at the bigger picture and involve the major stakeholders, the Provincial Governments and their farmers or the agricultural sector.

More importantly, State of Emergency should not be taken as an opportunity to bypass transparency and accountability. Transparency Solomon Islands urges all members of parliament to properly account for how they have used the $500,000.00 released to them for purposes of repatriation.