SOLOMONS GOVERNMENT RESUMES REPORTS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 8) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza has presented to the National Parliament copies of 2004 Departmental Annual Reports.

The 2004 Annual Reports are the first ones to be put together after the practice of producing them has fallen away in recent years - although government departments are required to produce them under the General Orders.

But Sir Allan says the new Annual Reports represent an important step taken by the Government because they pave the way to improved accountability for the expenditure of public money, transparency, and good governance.

And he adds they also present an important step towards better engagement with the communities.

Sir Allan says since the disappearance of Annual Reports, most departments have relied on their corporate plans, strategic plans, departmental work programs or similar documents - adding there are many examples of excellent departmental plans in the Public Service.

But Sir Allan says it is important for people to see the work being undertaken by the Government through its public sector agencies, because they will be better able to participate in public debates about the direction of public policy.

In recognizing the importance of Annual Reports, the Cabinet earlier this year set in place a procedure, which will ensure that all annual reports will be produced and presented to it prior to tabling in Parliament in the year following the financial year being reported on.

Sir Allan says in the first quarter of the year, departments will prepare their Annual Reports for the previous year and during the second quarter of the year, they will prepare corporate plans for the next three years.

They will be in accordance with agreed minimum standards, which are submitted to Cabinet for approval.

In the third quarter of the year, departments will prepare and negotiate their budget submissions for the next year, and in the final quarter, they will prepare work plans for the next year.

Sir Allan says throughout the year, departments will continue to implement their budgets in accordance with their corporate plans.

He says parliamentarians will be interested to know that it is also now the role of Cabinet to approve, each year, the first year of a three year rolling departmental corporate plan; and for departments to report to Cabinet at the end of each year on their successes in achieving the objectives of the plans.

December 9, 2005

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com

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