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Accountability and Transparency Important For Development

Accountability and Transparency Important For Development, Koror State Governor Shares His Views with Palau Peer Review Team

Press Statement 25/13

[16 May, 2013, Koror, Palau] At the invitation of the Government of Palau, a Palau Peer Review Team consisting of Ms Natalia Palu-Latu from Tonga, Ms Maybelline Andon-Bing from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Mr ‘Alopi Latukefu from AusAID are currently in Palau to consult on national planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management processes.  The Team is supported by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.  Palau is the 10th Forum Island Country to have volunteered to undertake this peer review process. 

On 16 May, the Peer Review Team met with the Governor of Koror State, one of 16 states in the Republic of Palau.  As governor for the past 8 years of Palau’s most populous state, the Honorable Yositaka Adachi was proud that for the first time in recent history Koror experienced a surplus from its budget this past year. He noted that, “The most important thing for my government is to set priorities for Koror State based on the priorities of our people, then we go about implementing them”.  He further noted that “the Koror state government had to learn to live with what was available in terms of funds.” Koror is home to the world famous Rock Islands and the mystical Jellyfish Lake that is filled with thousands of stingless jellyfish.

Governor Yositaka Adachi shared his views on the importance of being accountable. It’s a perfect marriage made in heaven—accountability and transparency.” By demanding accountability for each state, each state will be expected to have its own audit. “Audits are very important; they tell us what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right,” reiterated the Governor.

When asked of his views on the current structure of governance, the Governor frankly admitted that Palau doesn’t have the resources for this type of “elaborate governance system” as they cannot afford it.

Regarding the engagement of states and governors in national policy making, the governor noted that there is an existing association of Governors and Delegates who do meet but irregularly to discuss policy matters.  He urged for more systematic and improved communication between state governments and the executive and with the national government revealing, “Although most of the dialogue occurs with the executive such as the line ministries, the missing link is the dialogue between governors and delegates, connecting the state level to the national level congress.” 

Peer Reviews are an initiative of Forum Leaders under the 2009 Cairns Compact for Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact), which is a commitment by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders to support the implementation of Pacific Plan and national priorities, providing the principles and processes for coordinated delivery.

The purpose of the Peer Review process is to assist countries to improve the planning, budgeting and delivery of development programmes, consequently improving development outcomes and accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

ENDS

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