THE National Statistics Office has concluded the year 2020 on a high note as it joined other divisions within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury for the annual Christmas party.
Held on Friday 11th December at the ministry’s car park, it was a colourful evening of fun and entertainment for the staff.
A statement from Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) said the program started with a Christmas message followed by a speech from the Finance and Treasury Minister Harry Kuma.
Acknowledging that 2020 has been a challenging year for the ministry, Mr. Kuma however highlighted and recognized the achievements of each division within the ministry as they cope with the challenges.
Mr. Kuma said despite the challenging year, the NSO has achieved the following in 2020;
• Production and release of the Gross Domestic Product 2003-2017 and Re-base of the Estimates to 2012 constant prices (actual numbers)
• Launch and release of the 2019 National Population and Housing Census Project Provisional Results
• Completion of Asset Retrieval Exercise for the 2019 National Population and Housing Census Project Provisional Results
• Completion of Data-Entry Processing for the 2019 National Population and Housing Census Project Provisional Results
• Successful regular (monthly) release of the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) and Inflation
• Completion of annual data collections on business, employment, and non-profit institutions to support 2018-2019 GDP compilation work.
The Finance Minister said the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) has changed everything almost overnight.
“The ministry has faced a difficult working environment due to competing priorities and expectations.
“There is an urgent need to work,” he said.
Mr. Kuma said the ministry has felt the hardship of sharing the limited resource because of the pandemic.
“It has come to stand still as a consequence of rigid processes to complete the ministry’s new structure which could have contributed a lot in certain gaps in the ministry.
“There is a lack of commitment and understanding by each division on the connectivity and relationship of each division’s responsibilities in achieving the main goal of the Ministry,” Mr. Kuma said.
“One specific example is recruitment.
“The process needs the input of all divisions to progress.”
But he said these challenges the ministry faced can be converted into opportunities.
“I believe these opportunities can motivate us in 2021 to achieve greater things under our mandated responsibility because we have learnt a lot this year 2020 with the current situation,” the minister said.
The presentation of awards followed shortly after the Minister’s speech.
The awards recognise teams and individuals that foster the Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s principles of being innovative, accountable, responsive, and reliable during the course of their duties throughout the year.
Two NSO staff received awards on the night.
Mr. Andrew Kakate received the 2020 Excellence in Service Management Award and Ms. Joana Basi received the National Statistics Office Divisional Award.