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Parliamentarians' Committee Roles To Be Enhanced

Parliamentarians' Role In Committees To Be Enhanced

Members of Parliament will be able to know and understand more of their roles as national leaders following a Parliamentary Committee training workshop for Members.

The workshop, to be held on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 April 2008, will bring together prominent local and regional experts to assist the National Parliament with ensuring that its parliamentary committees perform their proper roles with an emphasis on engaging the community through committee work.

Speaker of National Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Kenilorea KBE PC, emphasized that the workshop is a very important initiative as it will enable Members to gain better knowledge of their role in parliamentary committees and for them to realize the significance of the role of committees in a parliamentary democracy, especially in the scrutiny of the executive to ensure good governance.

"Members of Parliament will gain a greater appreciation of the value of parliamentary committees as a means of 'taking Parliament to the people', thus enabling Members to be better informed about community views."

"Members will be able to gain greater understanding of the Committees' role of providing a bridge between Members' constituents' concerns and the broader community interest; of promoting public debate; and of scrutinizing the Executive and contributing towards better government through a more informed administration and policy making process," Sir Peter said.

The training workshop is be organized by the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) in conjunction with National Parliament of Solomon Islands and UNDP's Solomon Islands Parliamentary Strengthening Project.

The workshop will be facilitated by distinguished presenters with extensive parliamentary experience. This includes Senator Kay Patterson of Federal Parliament of Australia and Hon. Moses Maladina of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea, Mr. Quinton Clements, Deputy Director of CDI and Mr. Steve Reynolds Clerk Assistant to Committees and Usher of the Black Rode at New South Wales Legislative Council.

Senator Patterson has held a number of positions on Senate Committees including Chairing the Environment, Communications and Arts Committee. In 2001 she was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Health and Ageing and in 2003 as Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues. She resigned from the Ministry in 2006 and will retire from the Senate in June this year.

Hon. Moses Maladina is currently Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Ombudsman Commission of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea, having served previously as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture, and Minister for National Planning. Hon. Maladina is a qualified agriculturalist and has practiced as a Barrister & Solicitor. Before joining parliament, Hon. Maladina also served as managing director of Air Niugini, and was PNG's High Commissioner to New Zealand.

The Parliamentary Committee training will be held at the National Parliament House, Vavaya Ridge, Honiara.


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