Honiara – Solomons – The Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) Hon. Silas Vaqar Tausinga opened on the Monday June 11th a three day training delivered to 45 Provincial Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Members from 6 different provinces. The objective of the training is to further develop the capacities of Provincial PACs as key accountability and oversight institutions of the Provincial Governments, while clarifying roles, responsibilities and scope of the committees.
The training covered a number of key topics, including: divisions of political responsibilities and budget processes in the Provincial Governments, roles and procedures of PACs in scrutinizing the management of Provincial Executives as well as processes and practices to empower committees and enable investigations.
The recent Cabinet approval for the expansion of the responsibilities of the Provincial Accounts Committees has given momentum to initiatives being set by the MPGIS – such as this training – to strengthen legislative institutions at the provincial level in order to ensure accountability. The approved Cabinet Paper was formulated with the technical support of the joint UNCDF-UNDP Provincial Government Strengthening Programme (PGSP).
In an effort to ensure greater transparency, the composition of the Audit Review Committees is designed to be independent from MPGIS while including members of the donor community.
With the setting up of the Audit Review Committee, the MPGIS is the first Ministry in Solomon Islands to have an independent review audit committee and second to have an internal audit unit.