Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his Ministers affirmed their full support towards the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) propose Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Act 2023 draft.
Under the leadership of Minister for MRD Honourable Duddley Kopu and the senior management team of the ministry, the draft CDF legislation was introduced to the Prime Minister and some of his key Ministers over a breakfast hosted by MRD on Friday 24th March 2023 in Mendana.
Permanent Secretary of MRD Dr Samson Viulu said they are undertaking this softer approach to explain to the MPs the inefficiencies of the existing CDF Act 2013, major areas of amendment under the new Act, pros of the newly proposed Act and the need for a new CDF Act.
He said the socializing event allows for free discussion among MPs, technical officers of MRD and OPMC officials on the proposed changes.
Prime Minister Sogavare and a few Ministers of the Crown attended the breakfast and were briefed by MRD technical officers about the inefficiencies of the existing CDF Act 2013 and the need to amend or bring in the new CDF Act.
After the presentation, Honourable Sogavare made his response by supporting MRD to continue with the good work.
He highlighted that the delivery mechanisms of the CDF should be at the forefront which he believes will create a positive change in the rural Solomon Islands.
“This is a very important piece of strategy to boost decentralised development to where the strength of the country really lies like we know 85% of people in rural areas.
“They need to be fully engaged and participate in our economic activities and development,” he stated.
Minister for Finance and Treasury Honourable Harry Kuma also expressed his appreciation towards the current review process MRD undertakes.
“It is very important that we go through it thoroughly. Have gathered rich experiences from the consultation. Hopes that at the end of the process, we have good policy and drafting instructions.
“The principal objective is to deliver services to rural areas, mode of delivery services, this is a homegrown regulation that works within our context,” Honourable Kuma stated.
He also highlighted the CDF funds must be open to accountability and audit processes so that we can properly manage the funds.
Minister for Health and Medical Services Honourable Culwick Togamana also expressed his appreciation.
“Please make sure the new Act has teeth to bite so that, when the funds are misused by anyone including important stakeholders like the Preferred Suppliers and those who were at the receiving end, the law has to take them to task.
The Minister for Home Affairs Honourable Christopher Laore, Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs Honorable Clezy Rore, Minister for National Planning and Develoopment Coordination Honorable Rex Ramofafia, Minister for Communication and Aviation Honourable Peter Channel Agovaka and Member of Parliament for Malaita Outer Island Hon. Martin Kealoe were also present and spoke highly of MRD’s undertaking and shared similar sentiments.
Minister for MRD Honourable Duddley Kopu was also present as host Minister.
Permanent Secretary for MRD Dr Samson Viulu thanked the Prime Minister and his Ministers for their contributions towards the MRD’s series of CDF Act 2013 reforms.
He also acknowledges UNDP for their funding support towards reforming the CDF Act 2013.