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RAMSI launches Annual Reports on its work

OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL COORDINATOR

REGIONAL ASSISTANCE MISSION TO SOLOMON ISLANDS


MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 19th October 2006

RAMSI launches Annual Reports on its work

Solomon Islanders can judge for themselves the progress being made by their country through the partnership with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) according to RAMSI Special Coordinator James Batley.

Releasing the first RAMSI Annual Performance Report, Mr Batley said that it was important to show Solomon Islanders and the governments that contribute to RAMSI what had been achieved so far and what still needed to be done.

“RAMSI, working with the Solomon Islands Government, has made substantial progress in fulfilling its mandate however there are still enormous challenges,” Mr Batley said.

“To build on RAMSI’s achievements will require continued capacity building in the public service, a strong focus on the affordability of government, and strong coordination between RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government.”

Mr Batley said that the RAMSI Performance Report should be a useful tool for the Solomon Islands Government, governments from throughout the Pacific that were contributing to RAMSI, and of course for RAMSI itself to improve its programs. He said RAMSI was considering the recommendations contained in the report.

The report showed that, over the past year, RAMSI had contributed to a range of positive results:

…in the Law and Justice sector:
- 99 new recruits graduated into the Solomon Islands Police Force, and more Solomon Islanders were appointed to key positions in the force
- 35 new recruits commenced in the Solomon Islands Prison Service
- a Solomon Islander was appointed as DPP following a period of systematic capacity building and mentoring
- magistrate services were expanded into the provinces
- building of provincial prison and courts commenced
- the number of prisoners on remand had fallen

… in the area of Machinery of Government:
- all departments completed annual reports, which were tabled in Parliament for the first time in many years
- the Auditor General completed 11 audits
- recruitment in to the public service was accelerated
- over 1000 public servants received training through the revitalised IPAM, throughout all provinces
- the national elections met international standards including the successful introduction of the single ballot box system
- a national civic education program reached over 200,000 people.

… in the area of economic governance:
- for the third year running, domestic government revenue grew strongly (SBD$625.9 million in 2005 to around SBD$700 million in 2006)
- the Foreign Investment Act was implemented
- a program of comprehensive tax reform was commenced
- the government continued to settle its debts to local trade creditors
- the government’s international debt was regularised.

The report was prepared by a team led by US-based consulting firm, CAMRIS International. Findings were based on data from a range of sources including the People’s Survey pilot (a nationwide survey of Solomon Islanders), capacity building stocktakes, and interviews with both RAMSI and Solomon Islands personnel.

Mr Batley said that RAMSI performance reports would be undertaken and published every year.

The report has been given to the Solomon Islands Government and the Pacific Islands Forum and is now publicly available on the RAMSI website:
www.ramsi.org


ENDS

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