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					                       NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF SOLOMON ISLANDS
                       8TH PARLIAMENT – 1ST SESSION – 4TH MEETING
                                   DAILY HANSARD

                                    THURSDAY 16TH AUGUST 2007


                             (Draft Copy – Subject to Changes upon revision)



The Speaker, Rt Honorable Sir Peter Kenilorea           following the withdrawal of a similar motion on
took the Chair at 9.30 a.m.                             Friday the 10th.

Prayers

                ATTENDANCE
                                                                 In giving my ruling on the no
    At prayers all members were present with            confidence notice submitted by Honorable
    the exception of the Ministers for                  Haomae, I feel that it is important that I provide
    Commerce, Industries & Employment,                  the House with further elucidation on certain
    Lands & Survey, Culture & Tourism,                  matters within my ruling of Friday 10th August
    Women, Youth and Children Affairs,                  2007.
    Communication, Aviation & Rural                              The first issue I wish to cover is the sub
    Development, Provincial Government &                judice rule (Standing Order 36(2)) as it relates to
    Rural Development and the members for               this particular motion.
    West New Georgia/Vona Vona, West                             The sub judice rule as it has been
    Guadalcanal, Ranonga/Simbo, East Are                applied in other parliaments around the world
    Are, North Malaita, Gao/Bugotu, South               relates principally to matters before criminal
    Vella La Vella, Hograno/Kia/Havulei,                courts. This aspect of the rule stems from the
    North Guadalcanal, North New Georgia,               traditional fear that statements made in
    West Kwaio, Ulawa/Ugi, North Vella La               Parliament regarding pending criminal cases
    Vella        and       South        New             might prejudice the decisions of potential jurors
    Georgia/Rendova/Tetepari.                           and judges.
                                                                 In terms of civil proceedings, the sub
                                                        judice rule is less strictly applied. Matters are
Ruling on the Inadmissibility of the Motion of          not sub judice until they arte actually before the
No Confidence proposed by the Honorable                 courts and only to the extent that the Speaker
Haomae                                                  rules considering each circumstance. Thus, the
                                                        mere issuance of a writ of summons does not
Mr Speaker: At this point in time the Chair,            render a matter sub judice. In this regard it has
wishes to take advantage of Order 13(c) to pass         been said and I want to quote:
the message in relation to an issue that has
created a lot of public interest, both to the House             “A factor which the Chair must take
of Parliament and hopefully to the public so that               into account in making a judgement
the issue can be properly understood, and                       on the application of the sub judice
hopefully stop the media to keep coming to the                  convention is whether the matter is
Office of the Speaker about it. This is in relation             of a criminal or civil nature. The
to the motion of no confidence submitted by the                 practice of the House provides for
Honourable Member for South Malaita                             greater caution in the case of
        criminal matters... In the case of a                 In relation to the first motion by the Hon
        civil    matter it is a sensible             Huniehu which was placed on Order Paper last
        provision that the rule should not           Friday, I ruled then that the motion was in order
        apply „from the time a writ is               and that the matter proceed. The member
        issued‟ as many months can                   however decided to withdraw the motion under
        intervene between the issue of a writ        Standing Order 31 (1) and the motion was duly
        and the actual court proceedings.            withdrawn.       The member withdrew in the
        The House should not allow its               following terms, quoting from the Hansard
        willingness to curtail debate so as to       record:
        avoid prejudice to be convoluted
        into a curtailment of debate by the                  “This motion, if it is moved now
        issue of a „stop writ’, namely, a                    is about the honorability of this
        writ the purpose of which is not to                  Parliament and the integrity and
        bring the matter to trial but to limit               respectability of our court
        discussion of the issue, a step                      systems and the judicial and
        sometimes taken in defamation and                    therefore I have no intention of
        other cases¹.”                                       creating animosity, acrimony
                                                             and confusion by moving this
         As I have already explained in my first             motion now.
ruling, and I emphasize again here, that in                          Mr Speaker, whilst I
exercising my discretion whether or not a matter             could move the motion now and
raised in this House is sub judice, I must balance           with the submission made by
that rule against the importance of Parliament               the Prime Minister that the High
proceeding with its own business without any                 Court will be hearing this case
outside interference. There are indeed many                  within eight days period, I have
precedents for this. One such occurred on                    decided that this motion be
Monday in the neighbouring country of Papua                  deferred until after the High
New Guinea.                                                  Court made its judgement on
         As many of you may be aware, certain                this motion.”
members elected to the new PNG Parliament
challenged in the Supreme Court the eligibility      Standing Order 31 (1) – Withdrawal of
of Hon Somare or the Right Honourable Somare         motion
to be elected to the office of Prime Minister               Standing Order 31(1) provides that:
prior to parliament meeting for the election of
the Prime Minister. Obviously this House is                  “A motion or an amendment
aware from the announcement made by our                      may be withdrawn at the request
Prime Minister on Monday that court action,                  of the mover by leave of
which is to be heard this Friday, did not prevent            Parliament or the Committee
the PNG Parliament from proceeding with the                  before the question is fully put
election of the Prime Minister. I took a similar             thereon if there is no dissenting
stand on Friday 10 August and I still maintain               voice. A motion or amendment
that stand today.                                            which has been so withdrawn
         Having said that, let me make it clear to           may be proposed again, if, in
the parliament that in relation to the previous              the case of a motion, notice
motion of no confidence and the one recently                 required by these Orders is
submitted that it is my ruling that the sub judice           given.”
rule does not apply for reasons I outlined in my
ruling on Friday and expanded on today.                       In other words for a motion to be
                                                     withdrawn it requires the unanimous agreement
The first no confidence motion                       of Parliament.
         On the basis that no member opposed                has taken a decision during the
the withdrawal of the first no confidence motion,           current or preceding two
that motion was duly withdrawn by the leave of              meetings of that Parliament
this House. This House clearly took a decision              except on a substantive motion
on that matter – it resolved that the motion be             to rescind that decision moved
withdrawn.                                                  with the permission of the
         However, that does not prevent the same            Speaker.”
or another member bringing up the same matter
again, which is what has occurred with the                   In that regard, I am encouraged by the
notice of no confidence motion submitted by the     precedent laid down by the courts in the case of
Hon Haomae on Friday 10 August. This motion         Danny Philip v Speaker (1990) to take into
is a new motion, the notice of which requires the   account the subject matter of each motion when
Speaker to consider its admissibility under the     dealing with no confidence motions.
criteria set out in Standing Order 27(3). Given              Earlier I explained that the no
the complexities involved I have considered the     confidence motion of the Honourable Huniehu is
matter deeply and sought appropriate procedural     a matter that has been resolved by Parliament.
advice over the last several days.                  For present purposes, however, that motion is
                                                    relevant to my determination on whether the
Provision of Standing Order 27                      „same question rule‟ applies to the new motion.
         In determining whether a proposed                   The question before me now is whether
motion is admissible or inadmissible, the           the subject matter of this new motion is
Speaker is guided by standing Order 27. It          substantively the same as that of the motion
stipulates in paragraph 3 that:                     which was resolved last week. The obvious
                                                    answer is, yes these two motions are essentially
        “If the Speaker is of the opinion           one and the same.
        that the proposed motion or                          Notice of the new motion was submitted
        amendment       ...(g)   contains           3 hours after the first motion was duly disposed
        matter which is inconsistent                of by this House. Both motions were proposed
        with paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (5),         by the same group of members presumably for
        (7) or (8) of Standing Order 36             the same reasons. However, this group of
        ... he may direct ... that the              members withdrew their first motion on the
        motion or amendment be                      basis that they proposed waiting for the pending
        returned to the Member as                   court cases to be determined.            No such
        inadmissible ...”                           determination has yet to take place and it is
                                                    unlikely to happen in the near future.
        I have as, required by Standing                       In the light of these observations, there
Order 27, considered the various                    is clearly no change in circumstances between
paragraphs of Standing Order 36 and                 the first motion and the one submitted by the
that Standing Order 36(3) is the relevant           Honourable Haomae and for this reason, I am
provision on which my ruling must be                inclined to rule that the subject matter of both
based.                                              motions is substantively the same and as such,
                                                    the new motion contravenes the „same question
The ‘same question rule’ which applies to           rule‟ and is therefore disqualified by Standing
Standing Order 36(3)                                Order 27 (3)(g).
        As I pointed out in my ruling on Friday,             For clarity, in my first ruling, I was
Standing Order 36(3) provides for the „same         faced with a motion proposed in July 2007 as
question rule‟ and states:                          compared to a similar motion moved and
                                                    defeated in October 2006. Given the passage of
        “It shall be out of order to                time and the potential for changed circumstances
        attempt to reconsider a specific            since October 2006, I ruled that the „same
        question on which Parliament                question rule‟ did not apply to Honourable
Huniehu‟s motion of last week. The same             Chair. There is now some consistency. If I
conclusion cannot be drawn in respect of the        looked at the mover‟s statement he deferred that
present case. The ratio of the Danny Philip case    motion. But it was your chair who said that
of 1990 if applied to this new motion would no      there was no provision in the Standing Orders
doubt support my conclusions in this regard. I      for deferment, hence the withdrawal. Why is
must inform the House however that in relation      there inconsistency in your ruling?
to no confidence motions, I view the application
of Standing Order 36(3) in the restricted manner    Mr Speaker: The inconsistency here may
that I outlined in my ruling on Friday and          simply be because my notice was not drawn to
consider that I have applied that consistently in   the deferment at that time, hence I did not raise
the current circumstances.                          it whereas this particular one, I think my
                                                    memory was working quite well then and I
Ruling                                              remember that there is no provision for
         My ruling therefore is this. I have        deferment of motions. There is deferment of
considered the admissibility of the new no          questions but not for motions, and hence I
confidence motion and in so doing relied on the     alluded to that fact and I understood that the
criteria set out in Standing Order 27(3) as read    motion was withdrawn, not deferred. Not only
with Standing Order 36(3) and rule that the         following my explanation but I think honorable
motion proposed by the Honourable Haomae is         the Member for East Honiara also stood up to
inadmissible.                                       move the motion that it be withdrawn and it was
         Thank you honourable Member, I wish        withdrawn on that basis.
to make this publicly so that the public is aware
and the media stops running to my office.           Hon Sogavare: In the light of that ruling, Mr
Thank you very much indeed.                         Speaker, I would request your permission to ask
                                                    the Attorney General to make some
Hon OTI: Point of order, Mr Speaker. For us         announcements on behalf of the government.
to be absolutely clear on the interpretation of
Parliament having considered the same motion        Attorney General: Mr Speaker, I advise, as
would therefore mean the part that you              instructed by the Government, in the light of
mentioned, non objection to the withdrawal of       your very carefully reasoned and impeccably
the motion tantamount to Parliament resolving       stated ruling to inform the House of the
that the motion has been resolved, henceforth       Government‟s and in particular the Prime
that motion cannot come back on the floor of        Minister‟s decision to withdraw and discontinue
Parliament.                                         the proceedings currently before the courts
                                                    which touch and concern the subject matter of
Mr Speaker: Right.                                  your ruling, as announced to this House.
                                                             I am also pleased to advise the Speaker
Hon Oti: It is not that the parliament had          and the House of that decision and my
disposed of the motion through a motion being       undertaking as well to ensure that those
passed or voted, but the fact it was withdrawn      proceedings are immediately terminated in the
parliament has resolved that it be withdrawn.       High Court by the filing of the requisite notices.
Hence Standing Order 36(3) as you said, strictly
applying that standing order, the withdrawal of a   QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
motion amounts to a resolution by parliament
because no objection was raised.                    National Planning - publishing of the national
                                                    development plan
Mr Fono: Point of order, Mr Speaker. Whilst
we accept your ruling, if you look through the      3. Mr FONO to the Minister for National
Hansard of October last year, the motion that I     Planning & Aid Coordination: When are we
moved was also deferred from one Friday to the      expecting the release and publishing of the
following Friday, and that was accepted by the
National Development Plan the Government has          upon previously, is this proposed National Plan
promised this nation?                                 by the government going to consider the
                                                      NERRDP which has been approved before?
Hon ABANA:         Mr Speaker, the National
Planning component has been transferred from          Hon Sogavare:           Mr Speaker, this is a
my Ministry last year and therefore I do not have     responsible government. I think a big success in
any response to that question but I would rather      the way governments function is that we look at
ask the honorable Prime Minister to respond.          ourselves as a standalone entity. That is
                                                      supposed not to be. The Solomon Islands
Hon Sogavare: We are thinking to release and          Government is an entity that lives forever,
publish the National Planning document to             governing parties come and go. People want to
coincide with the handing down of the national        see themselves as very closely attach to this
budget probably in the November Meeting.              entity called SIG. The programs that are good
                                                      will continue, in fact they do continue.
Sir Kemakeza:        The subject of national                  If you look at the NERRDP, it is
planning has been transferred to the Prime            structured in a way that looks at what eight
Minister‟s Office, which is the right place and I     development partners are going to do for us, the
wonder whether there is any intention by the          bulk of it is actually funded by aid, and the
Government to change this National Planning so        programs are still continuing. Even if this
that it does not confuse the public because the       government is yet to come up with a plan the
planning subject matter has gone to the Prime         programs still continue. They are not affected
Minister‟s Office which I support that idea. But      by the fact that this government is yet to come
the Ministry is just a skeleton and what is it        up with a plan.
doing?                                                        Sir, I can assure the MP for
                                                      Savo/Russells that the good aspects of the
Hon Sogavare: No, Mr Speaker, it is not a             NERRDP still continue.
skeleton. In fact it has a very, very important
responsibility, which is aid coordination. The        Hon Fono: What is the basis of this new
budgets that were presented before this House,        development plan in terms of the years? Are we
the bulk of them are funded by our development        just looking at 2010 or 2015 or 2020? Can the
partners, and the intention of the government is      Prime Minister inform the House what period
to make this Ministry more effective in aid           time are we looking at here, whether it is a
coordination.                                         medium or long term plan?
        There is, in fact, the ………………of
aid fund in Solomon Islands on the performance        Hon Sogavare: In fact the delay is first because
of governments, not only this government but          the planning function was transferred to the
every government that have held the reign of          Prime Minister‟s Office and we need to re-think
power is very small and is not very encouraging.      the whole thing about planning. Because you
Because of that we want that Ministry to              should not be under any illusion that planning is
concentrate very heavily on coordination of aid       panache to our economic problem. Because if it
assistance from our development partners              is, then this country has lived through 29 years
because it is a very, very heavy responsible. It is   of existence as a nation and plans have not
for that reason that we transfer the national         worked well for us, and so we need to find
planning function to the Office of the Prime          reasons why these plans do not work for us.
Minister.                                                      This country does not lack plans. In fact
                                                      when this country gained its independence, it
Sir Kemakeza: On the same subject matter, this        was given a series of seven years of
government is now in its second year now and          development plan. If we look at the way the
therefore the National Plan of the Government         plans are being implemented there is nothing
might come out in 2010. The question is, Mr           really that change anything in our country. So
Speaker, since the NERRDP was widely agreed
we need to really look at it very carefully to find    Hon Fono: Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister did
out why it is like that.                               not answer my supplementary question. I am
         We have identified some thinking. We          asking for the base of the plan whether it is a
have a problem, in fact, it is an ongoing problem      medium term development plan whether it is 5
where there is still to be a meeting of mind           years, 10 years, 15 years or 20 years. I would
between the Solomon Islands Government and             like to know the base of the plan we are looking
our partners in terms of priority. They have           at.
their own priorities and that is why you will see
Parliament not appropriating their money. And          Hon Sogavare: There are two aspects to this.
that is because no matter what we can say about        We will look at an immediate successor to
our plans they have their own priorities. That is      NERRDP so that we continue to take up the
one thing we need to come to terms with. We            good work left behind by NERRDP to fit in our
would like to seriously address that with our aid      program. There is debate going on and we need
partners. We need to seriously talk about it. In       some advice on this whether there is a need to
fact they are asking us what time the plan will        go on very long term plans. I am looking at 20
come. We need to settle this question. If we           to 30 years plan that we need to do, and the aid
need to come up with a plan that we all                donors must come in. Maybe we legislate so
recognize then let us all put our money to where       that it is requirement of the law that we all
this plan says. That is one issue.                     implement the plan – the aid donors and us, all
         The other issue is that in the light of the   of us.
new direction the government is taking - the                   We are looking at two components here.
bottom up approach, the participation of our           One is an immediate successor to the NERRDP
people are very important. And that addresses          and the other one will be looking at a longer
the other question that plans so far have been         term development plan, even if it goes to 40
focused on what aid donors have done for us.           years plan and then legislate it so that it
The NERRDP is a case in point.                         addresses the question of what to do.
         This government wants to come up with                 I think what to do is something which I
a plan that looks at the very heavy participation      do not think any government that comes in
of our own people using the strength of this           should argue on it. It is how to implement that
country. The strength of this country lies in our      plan that we come up with our small manifestos,
natural resources and the wealth that are in the       our programs on how to implement the „what
villages, and more than 85 percent of our people       question‟.
are living there. In other words, we basically                 If it is agreeable to the House, we will
turn the table upside down and start to involve        be seeking the view of the House in the later part
our people. That takes time to be considered.          of this year, probably at the budget session
The other thing that comes up clearly as well          whether it is good to legislate these plans so that
here is that, and I do not know because of the         we live it there and any government that comes
way may be things are happening that our               in, the plan is already set, the aid donors
people cannot be trusted as yet to relate to plans.    understand where we are going, we only come
It needs a lot of education. If our people are to      with how to implement the plan. Thank you.
be actively involved in implementing the plans
they need to be prepared. It is for that reason        Sir Kemakeza: Mr Speaker, I do not know who
that this much talked about PV, which some             the Prime Minister is lecturing. He seems to
Members of the Opposition raised, is taking on         mix himself up with all these things.
board that program. That program is aimed at                   The NERRDP will be reviewed in 2006-
preparing our people right in the village level –      2007, to which he said he will ensure to take it
all of them to take effective part in                  onboard.    The question by the Leader of
implementing the development plan. Thank               Opposition also confused him. If he does not
you.                                                   trust the input of aid donors, this NERRDP
                                                       comes from a wider spectrum of all sectors
                                                       within the community of Solomon Islands,
including the Prime Minister‟s ideas too are          leadership. Are you not planning to legislate for
inside the NERRDP. That is why I said it is a         you to be a Prime Minister for 20 to 30 years?
good plan for him to take onboard.
        For the information of the Prime              Hon Sogavare: Mr Speaker, they are really
Minister who is trying to lecture to us about         confused. When I talked about legislation I can
planning, there is the Vision 2020 which comes        see every one in the front line nodding, they
out from all Solomon Islanders. The Vision            seem to agree.
2020 was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister                   Sir, it is something the government has
and it is a very good work. If he believes on         in mind, and eventually this proposal will come
Solomon Islanders then he must also consider          before Parliament and we are to decide on it. It
Vision 2020 which my Cabinet approved last            is just an intention judging from the fact I have
time.                                                 explained that there is no meeting of mind
        The question is, why is it taking this        between the government and the aid donors in
government two years to produce the                   terms of priority. They have their own priority
development plan because all the materials are        that is different from the government. No matter
there? It is just a matter of putting things          how much we say, no matter how much we put
together. Or is it because of this bottom up          in the plan they do not recognize it.
approach idea that they are confusing the                       It is just a suggestion that may be it is a
country with, which is not a new thing since          good idea to legislate it so that everyone
independence that is causing the delay.               recognizes it because it is enforced by law that
                                                      this is the direction we are going. When I
Hon Sogavare: Mr Speaker, I have already              explained it I said we should only legislate the
answered that question. I think it was the MP         „what‟ aspect of the plan - the frame work so
for Savo/Russells who was confused.                   that it is open to any government that comes in.
         Sir, what is one and half years to do this   We are not pinning anyone down, it is open, and
thing properly. We have 29 years of existence         any new government that comes in addresses the
as a nation. And as I said already if we are in an    „how‟ question to implement the plan.
illusion to think that development plan are
panache to our problem then we are very wrong.        Mr Gukuna: This side we are nodding our
         Plans do not work for this country. If       heads but that side was mesmerized by what the
plans work for us then just look at us after 29       Prime Minister is saying. My question was not
years; pointing straight at us.                       answered. Are you not planning to legislate so
                                                      that you are the Prime Minister for 20 years? It
Sir Kemakeza: Including yourself.                     is just a simple yes or no.

Hon Sogavare: Just look at us, there is nothing       Mr Speaker: I think that is a hypothetical
right with us. We are wasting the last four years     question, which the Prime Minister might find it
selling the sovereignty of this country.              difficult to answer.
         What is one and half years more, 18
months to do this thing properly so that it works     Mr Boyers: Yes, I would like to thank the
for us? Thank you.                                    Prime Minister for his interpretation.         I
                                                      understand that aid coordination is overlapping
Mr Gukuna: Mr Speaker, I am not following             than affective aid delivery.
the argument but I was a little bit confused when             The Prime Minister mentioned last year
the Prime Minister said to legislate the              on planning of the country‟s economic trade
development plan. Development plan is subject         zones. Can the Prime Minister explain whether
to a lot of things and a lot of situations. It is     that is part of the new plan or is it already in
subject to thinking, it is subject to leadership,     action?
and so when he said to legislate a plan for 20, 30
years, are we going to legislate a plan. I am not     Hon Sogavare: Mr Speaker, the idea of
quite sure but are we going to also legislate         adopting the policy of special economic zones to
zone locations throughout the country is a policy    of economic zones is one of key policies of this
that this government is taking up. Mr Speaker,       government. It is an important strategy to
we do not see any reason why it should not be        address some of the bona fide demands of our
included in the plan as one of the strategies to     people of Guadalcanal - decentralize major
address our economic development program.            economic development infrastructures. May be
         Mr Speaker, any plans that we may           when the locations are zoned and incentives
come up with must appreciate the changing            given we can attract investors to go down to the
environment. Anything we do from year 2000           provinces.
and onward, unless we are blind to this, and if               We are pleased to announce that a
we do not take this into account we are              number of investors are already prepared. As
irresponsible, has to take into consideration the    soon as the legislation comes through, which we
reason why this country collapsed in year 2000.      are going to push through in the next sitting of
If any government does not take up that position,    parliament, they will come. How that will
Mr Speaker, it is very irresponsible.                happen is that as soon as the legislation is
         The demands of the people of                passed, the Minister of Commerce will lead a
Guadalcanal are not demands unique only to the       delegation to go to the places we have already
people of Guadalcanal. It is a reflection of what    identified to attract investors to come and invest
the entire nation wants. If the demands are          in those areas. And we are targeting agriculture
listed down and you take a paper and shut out        and areas like that. .
the name „Guadalcanal demands‟ and show that
to any right thinking Solomon Islanders              Hon Fono: Before I thank the Prime Minister
throughout this country, they will all agree that    and the Minister for Aid Coordination, I would
those are issues we should address so that this      like to say that sectoral policies and plans should
country sits down properly. And one of the           be part and parcel of the overall medium term
demands that come out very clearly is to             development plan including the bottom up
decentralize major economic developments to          approach which should not be seen in isolation
other provinces. That is a very clear demand         but part and parcel of the overall development
from them.                                           plan of this nation. This is what we want and we
         Okay, may be it is for a narrow reason      have not seen that over the last 18 months.
because everything happens in Guadalcanal and                 With that I thank the honorable Prime
that is why people are coming to Honiara. That       Minister and the Minister of National Planning
is, I guess, why this word was driving the           and Aid Co-ordination.
demand. But if you look at it in a broader sense,
Mr Speaker, it shows the fact that governments       Aid coordination: EU micro projects funding
after governments have neglected that very
important duty of developing other provinces -       4. Mr FONO to the Minister for National
everything is happening here.                        Planning & Aid Coordination: Can the Minister
         This is a very, very important demand       inform the House on how many projects are
that we all should agree upon. The development       approved and funded in 2006 under the
of other provinces is something we must              European Union Micro-Projects funding by –
address, and the only way to do it, as I explained
to the people of Guadalcanal is that investors                       (a)      Provinces
can only go down to other provinces if important                     (b)      Sectors
infrastructures are established there. We have a                     (c)      Amounts
very serious problem here and we need a lot of
understanding from our people as well as people      Hon ABANA: Mr Speaker, thank the Leader of
in other provinces too.                              the Opposition for this very important question.
         If   we     want     major      economic            I must make it clear here that the EU
development to happen in our provinces, let us       Project not only funds provincial projects but
open up, reduce land disputes so that                also national projects. For national projects in
development can happen long there. This policy
2006, these projects are ongoing, and the           projects have been there for the last five years.
question is asking for what we have until 2006.     How long does the process take? Some projects
                                                    of our people in the rural areas have been there
Provinces                             Sector        for quite sometime in the Ministry and so how
                                Amount              long is the process?

National (3 projects)                  3    on      Hon Abana: Mr Speaker, I am confused with
training                        $194,781.00         the question. I would like to know whether what
                                                    the honorable MP colleague is asking is whether
Western (5 projects)                   3 water      projects have been funded or not funded or how
supply & sanitation             $509,825.00         long is the life of the EU Micro-Project. If it is
                                       2            the EU Micro Project that you would to know
Education                                           how many years it will run then I can tell you
                                                    that it will last until 2008 and that is why we
Choiseul (1 project)                   1    on      have at least another $17 to $20m to expend.
health                          $308,088.00
                                                    Mr Haomae: Mr Speaker, the tenure of the
Central Province (3 projects)           1     on    Micro Project funding is not a process, but the
water supply & sanitation                           process is the screening of applications and so
        $828,855.00                                 on. That is the process. How long the project
                        2 Education                 will take is not a process as that is already
                                                    determined. The process is the time taken from
Renbell, Isabel, Malaita, Makira and Temotu         when applications are lodged to the time the
Provinces (no projects)                             decision is made by the screening committee.
                                                    That is the process. How long does that take
Honiara (2 projects)                    1     on    that because some people in the rural areas have
education                                           been waiting for quite a long time and some
        $262,953.00                                 have already died without hearing the results of
                                        1     on    their applications? That is the national question
social development                                  I want to ask my good Minister for National
                                                    Planning.
Guadalcanal (9 projects)                8     on
water supply & sanitation                           Hon Abana: Projects keep coming in and
        $1,162,988.00                               yesterday was the closing date for the projects of
                                        1     on    this year – it closed on 15th August. Sorry to tell
health                                              you this but it is already closed.
                                                              It is like this. Projects will keep on
                Total           $3,267,490.00       coming and will go through the selection
                                                    criteria.      Applications will be considered
                                                    according to the criteria. When an application is
        Mr Speaker, like I said the projects are    submitted it does not mean it would
ongoing and we have another set from the end of     automatically be approved. No, it must go
2006 to June 2007, which totals $15,973,012.        through so that it is qualified before it is
Those provinces that did not register any project   approved.
are coming in as from 2006/2007 where I am                    The selection of projects is done in a
beginning to see a number of their projects         very transparent manner. After the projects are
coming in. Thank you.                               selected they will go through a Grands Panel
                                                    consisting of technical officers that represent the
Mr HAOMAE: How long does the process                NGOs, the Private Sector, and the Donor that
take before a decision is made to fund a project    provides funds for the project.
under the Micro-Project funding? A number of
         I know that there are more than 500
projects there, and we must give justice to our      Mr Huniehu: Point of order, Mr Speaker. I
people to go through the projects and make sure      think my question relates to the allocation for
we respond directly to our people informing          year 2006 on why Malaita Province was not
them whether their projects are approved or not      allocated any projects. That is what I want to
and the reasons why they are not approved.           know, and not year 2007. May be I will ask that
That takes time. I have a table showing the          question later.
projects and those who have already received
theirs. Hon colleagues, may be your project is       Mr Speaker: My understanding of the answers
approved but you are not aware and so I am           given so far is that projects are received by
going to distribute this table in your pigeonholes   application and not by allocation of resources to
after we finish. The table shows where we are        a particular province. Whoever submits his
now, the amount, who is receiving what from          application receives the benefit of the
which province - everything is in here. I can        application.
distribute this to all of you.
                                                     Hon Abana: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons
Mr Huniehu: Mr Speaker, I am a bit concern to        why appraisal of projects is slow too is that the
hear that some provinces did not receive funding     project started late in 2005 and so it needs time
during the fiscal year 2006, and in particular I     to settle in, prepare and establish themselves.
am concern to hear from the Minister that one of     This is also one of the setbacks to the project. I
those provinces is Malaita Province. I think all     think how the project looks after us, the
attempts should be made to fairly distribute all     provinces and the national projects is fair
the projects funded under the Micro Scheme to        enough to everybody. I can see no biasness
all the provinces.                                   here.
         I would like to know why some
provinces did not receive funds. Is it because       Mr RIUMANA: I want to know if income
biasness is exercised in the Ministry or is it       generating projects is also considered for
because those working in the ministry are from       funding under EU. Most of these projects seem
particular provinces and so they did not pay         to be mostly service oriented projects?
attention to other provinces. If so, has the
government or ministry has plan to have a more       Hon Abana: The answer is yes. Under the
equitable distribution of projects in the            sectors considered as livelihood for marketing
provinces because this is one way of disuniting      and also social development to address the
our people. We must be fair to everyone. I do        youths and credit unions.        In regards to
not believe there were no projects submitted         marketing it helps our people through CEMA on
from these provinces that were considered in the     copra and cocoa.
allocation of funds.
                                                     Mr Haomae: Mr Speaker, I come back to time
Hon Abana: Thank you Member for East Are             frame. The Minister did not answer my question
Are. I would like first of all to categorically      very well. Let me give an example so that he
deny that there is any biasness in the approval of   can answer it properly.
projects.                                                     A certain constituent of Small Malaita
        Mr Speaker, as I said this project is        submitted a project in 2000 and he received a
ongoing and colleague our province gets a            letter acknowledging the project was received. I
bigger part in 2007 with a total of 19 projects      am using „was‟, in the past tense. I am not using
altogether totaling $2.2million. There is no         the present tense „is‟ because he might have died
biasness here, but it is just a matter of having     already. Up until today there is no funding yet
projects coming in and then looking at what kind     and that is why I questioned about the timing.
of sectors should be addressed.                      How long does the process take? Is it going to
        In 2007, until June, Malaita has a total     take 10 years or 8 or five years like this project
of 19 projects, which is the highest.
or how long? Can the Minister give a specific          terrestrial digital micro technology.          The
time on this example?                                  technology for the solution is now obsolete and
                                                       Telekom will not implement it.
Hon Abana: A simple answer is like this. If                     Our Telekom is already procuring low
you wait for your project and did not get a            cost rural communication solution using GSM
respond, I would like to ask you to go and check       technology that provides local mobile services
it out as it looks like it is disqualified. You must   and internet access capability and via sat satellite
go down and check for your project.                    links. This solution does not really require very
         The time frame here like I said there are     high mountain locations and work.
a lot of projects there and may be it is much                   Mr Speaker, Our Telekom has already
better that you keep following up to find out any      visited Afio substation recently to locate a
setbacks to your project proposal. That should         suitable block of land. Malaita Province has
help everyone of us.                                   given the go ahead to install a communication
                                                       facility there. Our Telekom is now waiting for
Hon Fono: Further supplementary question.              the Commissioner of Lands for a parcel number
What is the success rate in terms of percentage        and lease for the identified site so that Telekom
on income generated projects funded under the          can install communication for communities in
micro project since its establishment? Can you         the area.
advise me the number of income generating
projects funded under the Micro Project? What          Mr Haomae: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank
is the success rate?                                   the Minister for Communication, Aviation and
                                                       Meteorology.
Hon Abana: Mr Speaker, that is a very
important question but I would say here that the         Education – Rokera Provincial Secondary
success rate of projects is generally very                               School
successful the way we are handling it now. In
terms of the percentage and whatever the data          6. Mr HAOMAE to the Minister for Education
are, there is need for us to collate that for you.     & Human Resources Development: What is the
But generally it is doing well.                        progress to date of the Government‟s intention
                                                       to establish Forms 6 and 7 at Rokera Provincial
Hon Fono: Mr Speaker, I thank the Minister for         Secondary School?
Aid Coordination for the answers.
                                                       Hon SIKUA: Mr Speaker, I would like to
 Communication: telecommunication to be                thank my good friend, the Member for Small
       installed at Eupei Maea                         Malaita for his question. The Government has
                                                       no intention of establishing Form 6 or 7 at
5.     Mr HAOMAE to the Minister for                   Rokera Provincial Secondary School.         Mr
Communication, Aviation & Meteorology:                 Speaker, it is the Malaita Provincial Education
When will telecommunication facility planned           Authority, the controlling authority for that
for the Southern Region of Malaita to be               School that has the intention of establishing
installed at Eupei Maea Mountain on Small              Forms 6 and/or Form 7 at Rokera Provincial
Malaita be forthcoming?                                Secondary School in line with its Provincial
                                                       Education Action Plan. But so far the Ministry
Hon. VAHOE: Mr Speaker, Our Telecom                    is still awaiting a request from the Malaita
formerly the Solomon Telecom is no longer              Provincial Education Authority to establish
putting telecommunication facilities at Eupei          Form 6 and/or Form 7 at the Rokera Provincial
Maea Mountains because the site is difficult to        Secondary School.
get to for installation and maintenance
requirements.                                          Mr Haomae: Mr Speaker, I was involved in the
This site was identified previously under a            establishment of Forms 4 and 5 of the Rokera
project concept that would use line off site           Provincial Secondary School during from 1997
to 2001, and we went to see the Ministry of           reacquired certain shares too in the Bank of the
Education for purposes of funds. As much as           South Pacific.
the Minister would like to say that the Ministry               The National Provident Fund is now
does not have any plans for the School, but           ranked to be amongst the top 10 shareholders in
Malaita Province has that particular plan,            the Bank of the South Pacific. This represents
ultimately they will come knocking at the door        one of the single largest cross-country
of the Minister.                                      investment ever to be carried out by an investor
         Aside from that, Sir, I thank the Minister   in Solomon Islands to another investment off
for his answer.                                       shore.
                                                               The return on investment from the
 Finance: investment rationale of the sale of         investment in BSP, Mr Speaker, I do not have
                 the NBSI                             the figure right now with me but I was quite
                                                      satisfied that the return on the investment rate is
10. Mr GUKUNA to Minister for Finance and             almost at par with the current interest rate that is
Treasury: Can the Minister inform Parliament          now offered in the country, and well above the
of the investment rationale behind the Solomon        rate of what is being applied as the net present
Islands National Provident Fund‟s decision to         value in our discount rate being applied locally
sell the National Bank of Solomon Islands to re-      in the banks in Solomon Islands.
invest in the South Pacific Oil?                      I would say that it is a wise decision to sell the
                                                      NBSI to the BSP. On the proceeds from the
Hon LILO: Mr Speaker, I have just seen this           sale, there is no relationship between the selling
question, and my apology if I stagger in the way      of the NBSI to re-investment in South Pacific
I answer this question.         But I thank the       Oil. These are separate investment assessments.
honorable Member for asking it.                       In fact the decision to invest in the South Pacific
         The decision to sell the NBSI is a           Oil was a decision based on the merit of that
decision made by the Board of the National            particular investment following the decision by
Bank of Solomon Islands. It stems from an             Shell Company to also depart or to divest its
assessment that the Bank requires a strong            retailing and wholesaling business in the Pacific
parenting shareholder to support its investment       Region. The proposal that was put together was
in Solomon Islands. Apparently, with the              considered to be the best proposal given the
National Provident Fund holding a good                circumstances in attracting the decision of Shell
majority shares in the Bank along with three          Company to sell the business and the assets of
other trustees for the Trusts that have been          formerly the Shell business in Solomon Islands
established following the departure of the Bank       to the South Pacific Oil right now in which the
of the South Pacific, that shareholding               National Provident Fund holds the majority
arrangement unfortunately was not able to             shares in it.
provide that strong parenting shareholding
structure required to carry on the business of        Mr Huniehu: Can the Minister explain to
banking in this country. It is for that very reason   Parliament the status of the share trusts held on
that the Board of the National Bank of Solomon        behalf of Solomon Islanders in the Bank?
Islands thinks it is a wise decision to find a
strong shareholder that has the capital, deep         Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, the fate of the three
pocket and also experience in banking to take on      trusts is that the former NBSI Employees Trust
the business of providing banking services            has now been vested and monies will be paid to
carried out by the National Bank of Solomon           all employees who are qualified under that trust
Islands in this country.                              to receive the benefits of the investment in the
         The Bank of the South Pacific was            former NBSI Employees Trust. That is in
contacted given the experience of BSP in PNG          relation to that particular trust.
and also in some parts of the Pacific. The NPF                 I understand that the trustee and also the
benefited quite well from the sale and it has         management of the BSP are now helping the
                                                      staff or the beneficiaries of that particular trust
to make a wise decision as to how they are going      established under any legislation. At this point
to use the money. I think this is a very good         in time it is good that we signal our concerns
idea they are now embarking on because to             about having no political involvement in the
some of them this is one of their lifetime            management of the public trust, but that is
investment they would ever come across with           exactly why it was decided that it should be
that kind of substantial money.                       properly established under trust legislation. The
         In relation to the health and education      trust legislation that will be presented to
trust, Mr Speaker, as you know the Government         Parliament in the next meeting will provide for
through the Minister of Finance was able to           the basis of establishing the corporate trust to
strike an agreement with the two trustees to          manage trusts that are established in the pubic
work on an arrangement to formally transfer           interest.
those trust to the management under a corporate
trustee so that instead of it being managed by        Mr Huniehu: I had a look at the balance sheet
private trust, it will now be transferred to a        of the National Bank of Solomon Islands since
corporate trust, and we are working on that. We       the two trustees had taken over that
expect to have the trust legislation to provide for   responsibility, and I think they were making
the establishment of a corporate trust and where      sound profits during those years and have been
that corporate trust is to be managed in the          building up financial surplus to a credible level.
public interest to be tabled in Parliament in the     Has the Minister detected any problems of
next meeting, so that the corporate trust that        maintaining that status hence the reason for the
takes over the management of these two Trusts         transfer of shares into the trust board, which will
will be formally appointed. But under the             be controlled by politicians?
memorandum of understanding we have entered
into with the two Trusts, we have agreed that the     Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, again it is wrong for us
two trustees will now start to talk to the two        to say that these trusts will be controlled by
Ministers responsible for health and education.       politicians. We still have not decided as to how
And once the formal agreement on the proceeds         that corporate trust will be managed. But
of the sale of the shares in the former NBSI is       everybody are now expressing their concerns
sorted out, the two Trustees will start to talk       that this trust should not be controlled by
with the two Ministers responsible for education      politicians, and when the time comes for us to
and health in relation to where the funds will be     decide on the design of the legislation, we will
invested in Solomon Islands. That is the              make sure that this kind of problem does not
situation on those three Trusts.                      happen.
                                                               I differ with your view on the balance
Mr Huniehu: Mr Speaker, can the Minister              sheet of the NBSI. As you know since the BSP
explain to this Parliament that the establishment     departed in 2000 or 2001 the NBSI did not
of these corporate trusts will not be subject to      declare any dividend to the shareholders. In fact
political manipulation?                               there was retention of dividends which have
         The fear we have here, Mr Speaker, is        been capitalized or kept in the capital reserve of
that if these trust shares are transferred to a       the bank. Had they declared those dividends
corporate trustee to be held responsible by           you would have seen the capital base of the
politicians, it can be easily manipulated and         NBSI drop. It would drop.
thereby affect the profitability of the enterprise.            The decision by the board, and may be
                                                      this was not known to you at that time but you
Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, as I have stated, the           were on the government side and you did not
basis in which the corporate trust will be            know what was going on with the bank, the
established will be enacted by Parliament. It         reason why they had to find a strong parenting
will be through the trust legislation that we are     shareholder was for that very reason because if
now working on. Therefore, we will all have the       they had declared dividend the capital base of
opportunity to comment and share our views on         the bank would drop. It will go down. That is
how the corporate trust concept is to be              the very reason why the dividend was not
declared. Had they declared it the base of the        could the Bank have been sold at the same price
NBSI would be very bad indeed.                        it was sold for now?
         But luckily we have another strong
shareholder, which is part to it, and that is the     Mr Speaker: That would be asking the opinion
National Provident Fund that kept it going. All       of the Minister but if he has the facts to respond
our contributions went inside, it was holding         to then he can do so.
some very strong deposits out of the National
Provident Fund and in fact good clients in            Hon Lili: That is right, Mr Speaker, he is
Solomon Islands too.                                  asking my opinion on this particular issue. What
         I do not quite agree with you that the       I am saying to him is that the facts are there. A
situation of the bank was that strong. If it had      fundamental matter of any private investment is
declared any dividend it would have been a            to declare dividend. Shareholders who invest in
much weaker bank. But we have done the right          any company would expect dividend every year.
thing, and that is to support securing a strong       Base beneficiaries to health and education trust
parenting shareholder, which is the BSP right         and also beneficiaries through shareholding with
now to take over the shares in the former NBSI        the National Provident Fund were all expecting
and also to give support to the three trusts that     dividend from the NBSI for those years, but they
have been left behind by the Bank of Hawaii.          do not have it.
                                                                What I am saying is that it cannot be the
Mr Gukuna: Mr Speaker, I disagree with what           best decision to retain somebody‟s rightful
the Minister is trying to put across in the           dividend. It cannot be. You can use it to save
treatment of dividend in relation to capital but I    the situation of the company but it is a legal
am not going to that. I want to ask him because       entitlement that must be declared and once it is
I heard rumors or information that it was the         declared it has to be paid out to the shareholders.
trustees of the bank that pressured the Board to      If that situation is to be followed then that was
sell the NBSI. Can the Minister confirm that?         the complaint that continued to be expressed by
                                                      the public on why dividend has not been paid by
Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, under Standing Order            the NBSI since 2001. The simple reason was
you cannot ask questions based on rumors in           that if it had paid the dividends the Bank would
parliament, it has to be based on facts. The very     have been in a very weak position. It would
balance sheet that the MP for East Are Are            have been in a very weak position. So it is not a
sighted, which if the MP for Rennell/Bellona          question of whether to not pay or pay, it is a
had the benefit of sighting it, would speak for       rightful entitlement to pay the dividend.
itself. If the dividends were declared the NBSI                 The argument here is that if we had paid
would have been at a very weak position, and          the dividend the bank would have landed in a
that is why we have to look for a strong              very weak position and that is why we have to
parenting shareholder, and right now we have          sell it.
identified the Bank of the South Pacific.
                                                      Mr Dausabea: Mr Speaker, before asking the
Mr Huniehu: Can the Minister confirm that by          supplementary question I would like to thank the
not declaring dividends over the last three years,    Minister for giving the shares to a corporate
the NBSI has been building a strong financial         trust. I think that gives me a lot of comfort
base to deliver its service as a consequence of its   rather than giving it to individuals.
stand alone situation as a bank. The trustees, in              My supplementary question, Mr Speaker
my view, were making the right decision not to        is, were the Trustees that hold the shares before
declare dividends otherwise the financial base of     they were transferred to the Corporate Trust
the National Bank of Solomon Islands will not         remunerated? If the answer is yes, how much?
be what it was when it was sold.
         Can the Minister inform this House that      Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, I am not too sure
if it had declared dividends during those years,      whether I am in a position to disclose something
                                                      that is an entitlement to certain private
individuals. Under Standing Order 2, I might          11. Mr GUKUNA to the Minister for Finance
violate that particular rule if I do so.              and Treasury:       Can the Minister inform
                                                      Parliament of the economic benefits to the
Mr Speaker: If it is a matter of secrecy it is out    Solomon Islands National Provident Fund
of order to raise that in Parliament under            resulting from its decision to sell the National
Standing Order 22(f).                                 Bank of Solomon Islands?

Hon Lilo: Of course, they are private trustees        Hon LILO: Mr Speaker, in terms of economic
charged with the responsibility of looking after      benefits, it is quite wide but in terms of the
the trusts of Solomon Islanders. I cannot speak       financial benefits to the National Provident
for the former NBSI Employees‟ Trust but I            Fund, yes it is quite substantial and I think it is
think we can speak for health and education           to the tune of some $40 to $50 million, and that
because these are for the benefit of health and       has contributed to the heightening of the return
education in Solomon Islands.                         on investment that has led to the recent
         To my knowledge, yes, and the                declaration of crediting rate to all shares in the
documents I have sighted reveals that the two         National Provident Fund of about 18%.
Trustees are entitled to certain remuneration                  In terms of economic benefits, with that
under the Deed of Trust. I am saying that they        kind of return to the National Provident Fund on
are entitled to certain remunerations and the         the sale of shares of the NBSI, we have a strong
remunerations are quite substantial, and it           Bank right now with a strong shareholder and it
stemmed from the Deed of Trust that was signed        is now picking up very well in terms of issuing
between those Trustees and the Bank of Hawaii.        credit facilities to the private sector, offering
                                                      good services to the private sectors and so the
Mr Gukuna: I am not quite sure what the               economic benefits in terms of increasing private
National Provident Fund is up to because it           sector, creating more employment and income
seems that it is supporting all these South Pacific   within the economy is there but I cannot
entities like the South Pacific Bank and now it is    quantify it. In terms of immediate financial
South Pacific Oil. I hope it does not turn the        benefits to the National Provident Fund, yes, it
NPF into the South Pacific Provident Fund.            has increased the reserve that has led to the
         I am coming to the South Pacific Oil         recent credit in rate in the declaration of 18%.
issue where there are also rumors that you and
the Prime Minister have shares in the South           Mr Gukuna: Before I thank the Minister I
Pacific Oil. Can you confirm or deny that?            would like to say something about rumors. This
                                                      place is filled with rumors, rumors, rumors and I
Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, I think at certain point        think a lot of things go out of hand because we
in time you have to stop people asking questions      do not stand to clarify those rumors. While it is
based on rumors. I feel very offended by that         true that it is rumors I think it is good that you
comment made by the MP for Rennell/Bellona.           clarify it so that we put an end to those rumors
Please he should stop asking question based on        once and for all. Having said that, I would like
rumors. We do not have any shares in this             to thank the Minister for answering the question.
investment.
                                                      Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, can I just make a
Mr Gukuna: My apologies Minister that I did           comment. I think we ought to be guided by the
not mean to offend you, but it is just a              Standing Orders. In terms of asking and
straightforward no or yes that I want. I would        soliciting information through Parliament, we
like to thank the Minister for comprehensively        have to be guided by Standing Orders. I am
answering the question.                               making that comment in relation to Standing
                                                      Orders 22 and the rules therein, stated very
  Finance: economic benefits of the sale of           clearly as to how we can go about soliciting
                 NBSI                                 information on matters that may have been
                                                      rumored in the public.
                                                       Mr Haomae: First of all I want to correct the
BILLS                                                  statement made by the Minister yesterday. I am
                                                       not the Chairman of the Board of Directors of
Bills – Committee Stage                                the Solomon Islands Printers when I was a
                                                       politician. I am not a Parliament Member in the
The State Owned Enterprises Bill 2007                  last term, but I was a private citizen when I was
                                                       appointed Chairman of the SI Printers. So the
Parliament resolves itself into the Committee of       Minister of Finance is incorrect in informing
the Whole House to consider the Sate Owned             Parliament and public yesterday about that. I
Enterprises Bill 2007                                  want to correct him as I was not a politician at
                                                       that time but I am a politician now but not when
Mr Huniehu: I just want to seek the Minister‟s         I was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of
explanation as to when he intends to implement         the SI Printers. That is what I would like to
this Bill if it is ratified by Parliament. If he can   clarify that to him. I did not do that yesterday
just give some time frame, please.                     because I was attending to a legal matter
                                                       summoned on us by the Prime Minister.
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, we intend to enforce
the requirements of this Act by the end of the         Hon Lilo: That has nothing to do with this Bill.
next three months, which would be around               I can say to you that there was a flow on period
November to get SOEs to start to plan ahead in         of his chairmanship as a Member of Parliament
terms of how they can meet certain requirements        whilst he is also the Chairman of the Printers. It
of this Act. We are looking at within the next         is that flow on period that effectively means that
three months to arrive at some understanding on        he was still a Chairman of SI Printers in the
the enforcement date of this Act.                      current time when he is a Member of Parliament.
        We will hold consultations with all the        That was the effect of my comment yesterday.
SOEs Board and Management to ensure
everybody understands what is required of them         Mr Haomae: The Minister of Finance also
under this Act.                                        removed me from the Chairmanship because I
                                                       was a member of the Opposition and not the
Clause 1 agreed to                                     Government bench. When I took over the
                                                       chairmanship of the SI Printers it was really
Mr Huniehu: Can the Minister explain the               down on the floor and when I left, it picked up.
terms „accountable Ministers‟ and „responsible                  I was quite offended by the insinuation
Minister‟? What does it mean?                          made by the Minister yesterday. But any way
                                                       let us come back to the Bill. In terms of Clause
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, accountable Ministers           2, the Minister of Finance will now be the
are composite, it includes both the Minister of        responsible officer of other statutory authorities.
Finance and the Minister responsible for that          In the past he was not. In this umbrella bill, the
particular sector. Responsible Minister is the         structure is that the Minister of Finance will also
Minister responsible for that sector. As you can       be the responsible Minister for SIWA and SIEA.
note in Clause 2 of the Bill itself, the responsible   In terms of the enabling legislation of those
Minister is the Minister responsible for that          statutory authorities, the Minister responsible for
particular sector. If the SOE we are referring to      that sector is answerable to the Prime Minister
is the SOLTAI Fishing, for instance, then the          and then to Parliament. Now the minister will
responsible Minister is the Minister of Fisheries.     be answerable to the Minister of Finance, the
But both the Minister of Finance and the               Minister of Finance to the Prime Minister and
Responsible Ministers are jointly accountable in       the Prime Minister to the Parliament.
enforcing the requirements of this Act on that                  In the event that those two ministers
particular SOE.                                        have conflicting views who is going to prevail.
                                                       Is it going to be the Minister of Finance who is
                                                       responsible for this Bill or this Act or the
responsible Minister for that particular statutory     responsible Minister. Therefore, when it comes
authority or SOEs? That is what I would like to        to fisheries or shipping it would be the Minister
seek clarification on.                                 of Infrastructure holding 50% and the Minister
                                                       of Finance 50%. That is what it is like.
Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, I would just like to                      Also as we go into the clauses in here
elaborate on the fact that the appointment of the      we will find that decisions are made jointly, and
MP for Small Malaita as chairman of SI Printers        the reasons must prevail, not personality or
flows on into his current period as a Member of        personal differences. Reasons and those reasons
Parliament, and I effectively directed to remove       will have to be assessed properly based on
him from that chairmanship, and because of that        assessments made by the management through
he is also a chairman of a statutory body for a        the board, properly assessed and those are
short period of time in his capacity too, as a         reasons that both ministers will act on.
Member of Parliament.                                           I think we need to take this correctly
          In terms of his claim that the Printers is   because even the media, last night, wrongly
now on sound financial footing, I read the             misquoted that this Bill will give more power to
accounts of the SOEs, all other ICSI portfolio         the Minister of Finance. It is not, it is reducing
companies, I am concerned about the Printers,          the power of the Minister of Finance.
and my concerns the Printers still remains, and                 If you look at other legislations, Mr
that I will deal with them at the appropriate time.    Speaker…...
          In terms of the „responsible minister‟ in
the bill, under the ICSI Act the Minister of           Mr Huniehu: Point of order. The Minister
Finance is the sole shareholder of every ICSI          made a statement that we had it all wrong. That
portfolio companies. What we are trying to do          is just a simple reason why as the Chairman of
here is to share that responsibility. So it is         the Bills and Legislation Committee pleaded
totally wrong for anyone to say that in this Bill      yesterday that the report of the Bills and
we are putting the Minister for Finance to             Legislation Committee should be properly
overpower the other ministers. We are, in fact,        comprehended by all Members of Parliament
trying to share the responsibility of overseeing       and a request for this Bill to be deferred at a later
and managing these SOEs together with other            date.
ministers. When we come to that particular                      I do not think we have it all wrong. We
clause later on you will see that there is an equal    were only expressing our concern on issues that
shareholding held by the Minister for Finance          we think would in the future affect the good
and the responsible minister of a particular           intention of this Bill.
sector. That shows sharing of responsibility
where they will both act together jointly, not on      Hon Lilo:       Thank you, Mr Chairman, I
their own and on their own behalf but on behalf        appreciate the comments but still it is wrong
of the crown. That is what the Bill says.              premised on very wrong facts. I still maintain
          Starting from the Leader of the              that I need to make this clarification well right
Opposition yesterday, the MP for West New              now. Because in the case of other statutory
Georgia, the MP for East Are Are took it all           bodies like the Solomon Islands Water Authority
wrong. If we had a test yesterday everyone will        (SIWA), the Solomon Islands Electricity
get one out of ten on that particular point - one      Authority, there are certain powers exercised by
out of ten points. That is what we are trying to       the Minister of Finance prescribed by law in
do here - share that responsibility.                   those Acts where those entities cannot enter into
          Under ICSI, it is the Minister of Finance    any financial agreement without the approval of
that holds 100% and therefore even if a                the Minister of Finance.
responsible minister tries to impose something                 Therefore, even those Acts have the
on that particular SOE he has the power to say         intention of having the Minister of Finance
no. What we are saying here is to share the            exercising certain powers in those SOEs Mr
responsibility that instead of the Minister of         Chairman. What I am saying here is that I see
Finance himself, it is shared equally with the         no reason whatsoever as to why there will be a
conflict between the two Ministers when making                 The status of the Central Bank is very
decisions who are shareholding ministers in the       different and the way the Central Bank runs its
SOEs.                                                 affairs, its accounting practices is not only
                                                      limited inside the country but internationally. It
Sir Kemakeza: Mr Chairman, the Minister for           follows certain prescriptions prescribed by the
Finance referred to a case, and I think this side     International Monetary Fund, which is the larger
of the House has related the concern if that is the   overseeing central banking monetary authority
case because it has happened in the directorship      throughout the world. So it is quite different in
of the Solomon Taiyo – Ministers are by name.         this particular case. However, the Central Bank
I think that is one good example which is very        also declares dividends to the Government.
hard legally to clear.                                Where the Central Bank makes profit it is the
         My question to the Minister is, where do     requirement of the Act that it pays that into the
government enterprises come in, in this               consolidated fund. It also provides temporary
interpretation? What I meant is whether this Bill     fiscal facilities within the operations of the Bank
also covers the half private and half government      to ensure that the economy does not
entities, for example Solomon Taiyo, Our              unnecessarily go through problems when the
Telekom, the NPF.                                     need arises. It provides temporary facilities and
         The second question is, what is the          it also has the power to create money for a
status of the CBSI and therefore was not listed in    special reason and so forth. It is a very different
the schedule. For example, the CBSI, SICHE            animal altogether.
etc. these are also owned by the Government but
are not in the schedule.                              Mr Huniehu: The Minister has said that the
                                                      Investment Corporation Act stipulates that the
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, in the case of                 Minister of Finance himself is the sole
companies that the government holds partial           shareholder on behalf of the government, and
shares in them, those partial shares will be          that is the reason why none of the portfolio
shared equally between the two Ministers. It          companies of the Investment Corporation of
will be held equally by the two Ministers. For        Solomon Islands are doing better, but are all
instance, in the case of the Solomon Taiyo            liabilities to this nation creating more chaos than
Fishing Processing, which is an example we            developing a positive economic growth for this
always come back to where the government              country.
holds 51% shares, that 51% shares will be                       I would like the Minister to inform the
allotted equally between the two Ministers and        House, the Minister of Finance himself being the
so it will be exercise jointly by the two             sole shareholder in the ICSI investment
Ministers.                                            arrangement, now that we are talking about a
         In the case of Our Telekom, for              shared responsibility, which is two politicians
instance, in which the Government only holds          holding shares in the companies, what sort of
5% shares or 10% shares, it will be shared            improvement will this arrangement do to the
equally as well so that both Ministers, even          economy.
though small those shares may be, we are in a
position to ensure that development priorities        Hon Lilo: You have to take this principle first
and direction the government wants can be             and understand it. They are not holding the
conveyed and related to the board so that it can      shares personally for themselves but they are
be known by the board in the process of it            holding it on behalf of the crown. What we are
planning for its corporate plan.                      saying here is that other mechanisms that will
         The status of the Central Bank is quite      enable the Minister to perform his responsibility
different. The Central Bank is a bank of the          as a shareholder on behalf of the Crown are
government, and it is a specially designed            there. They are backed up by ministerial
institution that must remain independent in any       officials to assess things and so forth. Where
economy. The Central Bank cannot be directly          legal matters come up they consult the relevant
put to this kind of situation.                        legal authorities the government rely on for legal
advice to advise them on legal issues, where        by the MP for Savo/Russells, as all of us know
there is need to carry out economic assessment,     for over the last 29 years ICSI portfolio
the ministries have the capacity to advise the      companies have not been able to do that.
ministers in that way.                                       What we are saying here is that the
         What we are saying here is where we        common problem faced by all the SOES seems
have failed in the past where only one minister     to be the same. Problems such as financial
decides on issues, that responsibility is now       mismanagement, managerial and administration
shared. May be in the past there is only one        of companies not being run properly, and that is
Minister and that is why decisions were done        exactly what this Bill is trying to address. It is
just by one man and therefore did not take into     trying to put the priority of financial
account other interests. There is the need to       management at the forefront on directors and
share that responsibility and by sharing that       management so that what the SOEs are
responsibility and giving more ideas and            established for can be achieved, and that is
discussion on the issue faced by our SOEs, we       declaring dividends, paying more money into the
will be able to come up with good solutions.        government purse in order to roll down the
That is the whole intention so that the whole       government purse to people in the rural areas
process of governance is more balanced rather       through the government budget.
than just being thrown down and pushed down                  The objective of the ICSI Act is not
single handedly by just one line of authority       limited to starting of subsidiary companies. If
within the government.                              you look at the powers of ICSI, it is quite wide.
                                                    It can go into unitrust, we can even convert into
Sir Kemakeza: Mr Chairman, I am very happy          some stock market kind of arrangement, the
with the explanation by the Minister where he       powers of ICSI are very wide.
himself holds the shares on behalf of the                    There are some very good functions of
government.                                         ICSI that still exist that ICSI is not able to
I see this Bill as going towards abolishing the     execute. Why? It even cannot manage the
ICSI. Mr Chairman, as you know yourself any         subsidiary investments and therefore it cannot
dividend derived from all the State Owned           do the other functions that Parliament authorizes
Enterprises according to the law have to go         the ICSI to do through the Investment Act.
through ICSI. However, if ICSI has liabilities               This is not a total dismantling of the
over and above the dividends, the dividends will    ICSI. We are only saying that in so far as ICSI
be absorbed by ICSI because ICSI is not making      capital put in by the government into investment
any money. I am sorry that the Ministry of          that ICSI establishes the subsidiary companies,
Finance who is a shareholder cannot prove           let us create this Bill so that we properly clean
himself to make ICSI profitable. I am sorry         and tidy up the operations of the SOE this time
about the Minister for being there many years.      to make it become strong. That is basically what
The ICSI is defunct and that is what this Bill is   we are doing.
actually driving towards so that you give shares             An entity that is not working cannot be
to respective ministers who are holding             relied upon. There are practices done by say
portfolios for and on behalf of the government.     financial auditors and so forth that if an entity is
         The question is, is the policy of the      not working we put it to a new entity, carry on
government to get rid of ICSI and that is why       the business and clean up the part. That is what
you are putting a new legislation here so that      we are doing. We are trying to clean up all the
responsibility is given to responsible ministers    mess that exists within all the ICSI subsidiaries
so that any dividend goes to the consolidated       over the years by putting it into a new
fund. Is that the intention or is it a matter of    arrangement but still recognizing the relevant
sharing responsibility?                             laws that provide for their establishment in the
                                                    first place. We are giving more power to clean it
Hon Lilo: As you know the ICSI is establish for     in a more neater way whilst at the same time aim
one conduit for to channel dividends from SOEs      at promoting good corporate governance,
to the government. As quite rightly pointed out     creating more opportunities for the entity to take
the lead in private sector development and so        must be done this time and it has to be done
forth. That is the arrangement we are trying to      lawfully and in a way that mandatory actions
do in this Bill, Mr Chairman.                        can be enforced to make the change to happen.

Mr Gukuna: The Minister is emphasizing the           Hon Sogavare: I just want to make a point of
shareholding arrangement that splits the             order here. Before we proceed in our discussion
responsibility between the Minister of Finance       in the Committee, Mr Chairman, I would like to
and the responsible Minister. Couldn‟t that be       point Members to Standing Order 50(1) which
done to the present system because each SOEs is      says that “Any committee to which a bill is
established under an Act. Why not deal with          committed shall not discuss the principles of the
each one individually because circumstances of       Bill”. The principles of a bill should be
each SOE‟s are different? You could have done        discussed in the second reading. We expect the
it individually so that you deal with their cases    Chairman of the Bills Committee and the others
individually and at the same time correctly          who are concern about the principles of the bill
identify their problems. It is a management          to raise those issues during the debate, and we
problem and the structures in existent now have      failed to do that. We have passed that now and
stopped you from doing something about               so let us focus on the details of the bill.
management. Why don‟t you do that within
those Acts? You rightly pointed out that it is a     Sir Kemakeza: Mr Chairman, we are here on
management problem.         How can that be          behalf of our people. We are here on behalf of
improved by changing it when you are still           our people representing our constituencies. Our
dealing with the same management? Is it giving       people need to know these things from this floor
you extra power or extra authority that              of Parliament through their Members of
individual Acts have not given you? What is it?      Parliament who are representing them here. If
                                                     we have doubts we are asking questions on their
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, as I have said when           behalf. I want this to be understood.
moving this Bill, there are existing Acts but in a            My question is in relation to the two acts
way they fall short of enforcing the objectives in   - the Act that is legislated for a particular
those Acts. If that is going to be done then it      portfolio and this particular Act. The other act is
will basically remove the relevance of those         heavily dominated by bureaucrats, and here we
Acts.                                                are taking another act which is heavily
         What we are doing here is to                dominated by politicians and.            The Acts
complement those Acts that instead of totally        governing the portfolios have strict rules by
getting rid of those Acts, we establish an           names and by posts. I am therefore not
arrangement that is legally recognized to            convinced at all with the explanation by the
rejuvenate or make good changes that may bring       Minister of Finance. How can these two acts
about a good performance of these SOEs. That         harmonize in the process of implementing this
is what we are trying to do here.                    Act? I agree that gradually some amendments
         We want to identify a particular problem    have to be made to the Acts governing those
whether that problem is financial, managerial,       portfolios, but when these two are in conflict
corporate governance problem or whatever, a          which Act will supersede the other.
situation is created to address that problem
rather than totally ignoring existing legislations   Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, I think we are yet to
that establish these entities.                       come to that particular clause, and that is why if
         You will also find in this Bill a           we go clause by clause we should be able to
complimentary intention. This Bill is intended       answer some of the questions that have been
to be enforced in complimentary to existing          raised. What we are asking here I think it would
legislations. That is a good thing about this        be wrong for me to answer here because we are
arrangement.                                         yet to come to that particular clause when that
         The thing we must understand is that the    comment should be made.
cleaning up of all these SOEs is a process that
Mr Chairman: We will come to those issues.            limited market in terms of, if we are to go on a
Hon Fono: Chairman, can the Minister give an          full scale commercial financing of housing in
example of the term „community service                our provincial centres they would not go there
obligation‟. In my debate yesterday I raised the      but it is an obligation. It should be an obligation
concern of politicizing services at the expense of    for us to provide housing to our workers in the
the SOEs. I am concerned about that. Are there        provincial centres. We have to dictate or set up
any safeguards may be under regulation on the         some kind of arrangement as to how our SOEs
community service obligation that a SOE needs         will deliver housing in our provincial centres.
to provide so that it is not open-ended for           That is what is meant by this community service
politicians to abuse at the expense of SOE so         obligation.
that instead of making the SOE to be profitable
they will just go towards bankruptcy. That is         Sir Kemakeza: Mr Chairman, on the same
my fear. .                                            issue, and in view of the answer by the Minister
                                                      of Finance, who is going to meet the bills on
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, the definition of              community service? You are talking about
„community service obligation‟ is in clause 2.        profitability and community services and so who
An example of this would be to say, for instance,     is going to meet the bill of these community
the Airlines has to make sure it flies to some of     services?
the uneconomical routes. It is our obligation to
provide such a service. Why? It is a need that        Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, I use community
has to be done.                                       service obligation in a generic way referring to
         In that kind of situation, if we are to      our services to the community whether it is rural
strictly follow the prescription of this bill, and    urban or rural community service areas
that is to ensure all SOEs operate within the         throughout the whole country.
commercial viability principle, we would not be               In terms of who is going to meet it, that
able to service those routes. What we are saying      is what is prescribed in this bill. If we go clause
here is that where there is need for us to provide    by clause it will show to you how it will be
those services it has to be prescribed here on        determined, how services to non commercial
how the SOEs will go about providing such a           service areas in the country will be financed by
service to our good people in this country.           the government through the SOEs and how
         There is also a provision in here that       finance is to be made available to the SOEs.
provides for some prohibitive clauses on how                  In fact it prescribes some very, very
that service obligation is to be delivered by the     transparent process.         Where government
SOEs. Otherwise it is a profitable route but          assistance is given to a SOE to service a
there are directors who directly provide figures      particular non economical service area in the
that mislead people to declare those routes as        country, for instance, it has to be published and
non commercial when they are supposed to be           laid before Parliament so that the SOE strictly
commercial service area for the SOEs. There is        abides by the terms of that particular
also a penalty here. The penalty is to ensure it is   arrangement of the government giving that
not unnecessarily used to justify certain actions.    assistance rather than lumping it up claiming to
In fact there are very restrictive provisions in      provide services to non economical service areas
this bill that restricts SOEs in the way services     in Solomon Islands and therefore incur all these
are delivered to what is commercially service         losses, which seems to be the excuse that all our
area to non commercial service areas in the           SOEs have been using at this time.
country.
         The principle of community service           Mr Huniehu: Mr Chairman, that is the concern
obligation is a universal principle that lists        we raised that if a community service is to be
things like transportation and housing as a need,     regulated then only the Minister will gazette it
for instance, we have to provide good housing.        without Parliament knowing the extent of the
We require our SOEs to provide good housing to        regulations and what will be covered under
provincial urban centres that may have very           community service because regulations are not
part of bills that come before parliament. The            that is to concentrate on its details and to
Minister prescribes it and gazettes it. Whether           ventilate on to concerns about principles which
parliamentarians like it or not, he did it the way        have already been decided on.
he wants it and therefore some of us fear that if a                The issues raised by the honorable
board of the SOEs are full of politicians they are        Member expecting the power of the Minister to
going to use these provisions for politicking in          make regulations can, of course, be tested in
the year 2010 and beyond, and this is why we              court as to the insufficiency of those regulations
have concern on this provision.                           in compliance with the elementary principles of
          For example, a board member who is a            law, issues of defects emanating from ultra vires
sitting member in an urban area where electricity         provisions. So there is sufficient protection for
and water is provided could during election time          those concerns by mitigation which should
ask for community service so that the electricity         address the concerns he is ventilating at this
and water bills of their supporters be                    point in time.
reconnected. This is very dangerous to the                         The other issue is perhaps if it is such a
financial viability of the SOEs, and therefore            concern at this stage then it might just simply
Parliament ought to know precisely what                   pass over this clause and move to other
community service means. It is a requirement              substantive provisions of the bill which have
that all of us should know because as it is stated        been telescoped in our discussions now and
here it is open ended and it can be abused.               return to the definitions in the clause and allay
                                                          those concerns. Those are my observations to
Hon Darcy: I will ask the Attorney General to             guide the committee to hasten the process of the
provide some enlightenment on that particular             deliberation of this committee.
issue. But I still come back that the MP for East
Are Are has not read this Bill because if he has          Clause 2 agreed to.
read the bill there is a lot of connectivity in here
that really connects the way community service            Clause 3
obligations are decided as part of the notice that
comes into Parliament.                                    Mr Haomae: Mr Chairman, I want explanation
         We are still hovering around Clause 2            on clause 3, which says “This Act shall bind the
because if we move on we will find a lot of               Crown”.
answers to some of the questions that you are
asking now. But again I would ask him to read             Attorney General: The need for it to bind the
ahead because you will connect yourself very              Crown needs to be spelt out in the legislation to
well if you read ahead. What the MP is                    dispel the long standing convention that acts do
concerned about is exactly what is prohibited in          not state that it would bind the crown, I presume
this bill. Any directors of any SOEs that                 do not bind the crown.
knowingly mislead the SOEs and the                                 The entity is being regulated as state
Government in providing a community service               owned enterprise and there is a necessity that the
obligation which should not be, is subject to             crown is bound by its own statute because the
penalty in this Bill. It is a big fine. I do not          entities themselves are crown entities. The
know how much it is, but when we come to that             definition of crown which is stated in the bill
clause we will see it. But perhaps we could have          refers back to the definition in the Constitution
an explanation from the Attorney General?                 which is, the definition being the crown of
                                                          Solomon Islands. The simple answer to the
Mr Chairman:        And I will affirm the vote            question is, yes it does need to bind the crown, it
today that please refrain from debate and                 does so explicitly.
continue asking as many questions as possible.
                                                          Clause 3 agreed to
Attorney General: The reminder that you have              Clauses 4 & 5 agreed to
.............is irrelevant in respect of Standing Order
50(1) which says exactly what this debate states          Clause 6
Mr Fono: Directors‟ roles – why are Director‟s          of the Opposition to formulate adequate laws to
liabilities not included here? In most cases the        govern the situation ………………..
liabilities of directors are not known whether
under the Company‟s Act or the Fisheries Act.           Clause 6 agreed to
There is the tendency to jump to become
directors not knowing the liabilities of directors.     Clause 7
          Is it possible to include liabilities under
Clause 6 – Directors‟ roles so that directors           Mr Haomae: In terms of the rationale behind
know exactly their liabilities in the event that the    the honorable Ministers, which is the Minister of
company they are directors of become insolvent          Finance and the Minister responsible for that
or bankrupt so that they have some concern              particular state owned enterprise. The Minister
whether or not to become directors in the state         has already stated, and I am not debating, Mr
owned enterprises. I do not see any clause              Chairman, but I want to clarify the point before I
relating to liabilities of directors in the Bill.       ask the question so that it is very clear to the
                                                        Minister and is able to answer me properly.
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, sub clause 8 does                         The rationale of bringing in another
provide for that liability. There would be also         Minister to be a shareholder because it was
regulation made under clause 24, which will also        already amplified in the other statutory
provide for stringent requirement of what the           legislations, published in the Act is the
directors‟ roles are and the liabilities they are       connection with the Minister of Finance.
exposed to in the event they may have acted                      You can also argue that in terms of the
contrary to the intent of this Act in their role as     ICSI portfolio companies, that connection is
directors. But perhaps the Attorney General can         already there between the Minister responsible
also enlighten us.                                      for the SOEs and the Minister of Finance. This
                                                        Bill is merely emphasizing further and that is
Attorney General: The question is very simply           why it was clamed that the Minister of Finance
answered that those directors were members of           has more powers over most authorities as is
already an appointed company governed by the            explicitly stated. ]
Companies‟ laws which include the Common                         In the event that they disagree, which
Law regulating the liabilities of the directors         Act will take precedence? Is it the enabling
along with their provision of obligation which          legislation or the Act establishing?
are enforced by the Common Law. Those
provisions are …… ………………………….to                         Hon Lilo: That is such a very long statement
the Leader of Opposition‟s question is a                leading to a very small question. I do not know
constructive one liability of those directors of        how that particular clause will fall into the
statutory authorities which are not companies.          context of the responsibility of Ministers. But I
And if understand it that would be the intent of        have already stated that reasons will prevail, not
the question then yes, there is a penalty imposed       any interest that the Ministers might have over
……………. of a very significant amount of                  that particular issue in question.
money of a fined of up to $100,000 which is I                    In relation to this particular clause, I do
believe an office incentive, not to be criminally       not know how that part will come in because
… …………. otherwise the issue of common                   both are accountable to Parliament and when
law liabilities …………………….as does the                    they are both accountable to Parliament, it is an
issue of negligence ………………..                            obligation that they must both be accountable to
         The suggestion made by the Leader of           Parliament on a given reason that is required by
the Opposition is constructive also because it is       Parliament over a particular SOE. That is how I
something that will be addressed ………………                 can put it.
will be addressed later when the Company‟s Act
overhauls and ……………… and would like to                  Mr Tozaka: This is on responsibility, Mr
engage in constructive dialogue with the Leader         Chairman. The responsibility has now been
                                                        increased not only to the Minister responsible
but also to the Board Members, which is good.
My question here, which partly implies the daily     Mr Huniehu: But we should only have one law
checking of this new responsibility given to the     for everybody. If the Minister is charged for
state owned enterprise is going to be going out      misconduct in office under the Penal Code, the
from the traditional way of doing things, and        fine he will pay is just small, may be for a
that is only when reports are submitted that we      couple of hundred dollars. But in here the
know but now the performance is going to be a        prescription is that any one who is found guilty
daily basis. Can the Minister explain how that       of an offence he pays a fine of $100,000. Why
will be monitored?                                   should there be two justice systems for one
                                                     people?
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, may be when we
come to that particular clause we will explain to    Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, this is the thing that I
the honorable Member how the SOEs through            continue to ask these people to read the Bill. We
the management will be accountable to the            spent our time planning the motion of no
Board and then to the Minister. This particular      confidence and that is why we have not read this
clause is for the two Ministers to be accountable    bill. Mr Chairman, read the Bill on sub clause 4,
to Parliament.                                       „Any person who knowingly directs or
         There is a clause in here that refers to    encourages a director or the Board of Directors
accountability, for instance, one month before       of SOE to make a decision he shall be liable to a
the end of the year or three months before the       fine of $50,000.‟ If he is a Minister, is he
end of the year, the SOE is required to come up      immune? No.
with a statement of corporate objective to be                 Mr Chairman, may be we should break
endorsed by the two Ministers, and it will be        for lunch so that it allows these people to read
strictly enforced by the Board during the course     the bill. May be it is lunchtime and so our sugar
of the year in the operation of the SOE. That in     level drops, our IQ drops and we can forget
a way is a process of monitoring the                 about the planning of the motion of no
performance of the SOES.                             confidence so that everything will be
                                                     straightforward.
Clause 7 agreed to
                                                     Mr Haomae: I think the point here is that the
Clause 8                                             Minister is confused about the question. In here
                                                     it says anyone who influences the Director, and
Mr Huniehu: My question is on clause 8 to be         the Minister correctly said that if the Minister
read in conjunction with clause 6 sub clauses 5      influences the Director he will be in the same
and 8. It appears to me that the shareholder is      boat. What about if someone influences the
immune from clause 6 sub clause 8 - the              Minister, I think that is what the MP for East
penalties prescribed there. Is that meant to be      Are Are is getting at.
true?
                                                     Mr Chairman: I think these things need to be
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, I do not think the            clarified. The Minister when he represents the
intention is to immune the Minister from being       Government in this organization is also the
part of any scheme of misleading a SOE or even       director. There is no such thing as the Minister
the government. But in this particular case we       and a Director different. If you hold the
are regulating the activities of the Directors. If   directorship on behalf of the government you are
any actions link to the Minister then the Penal      the director.
Code is there to link any case of an implication
that might imply the involvement of the Minister     Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, exactly yes, and also
to a particular Act that is in breach of this        vice versa if anybody influences the Minister.
particular provision. If it is something that is     The logic of this provision is getting submission
fraud, fraud is a chargeable offence under the       from the Board and so it is comes from the
Penal Code and nobody is immune from it.             bottom up, and it is not from top down but from
underneath coming up - from the bottom to the         Bill. If I have not answered your question then I
top. But if in the process of the bottom coming       might not understand you.
up and the Minister himself too is involved then
sub clause 4 applies. That is my point. This is a     Mr Chairman: One other legal aspect he was
bottom up approach.                                   raising was the Minister appointing himself.

Mr Huniehu: That is why we have the                   Attorney General: Does he want an honest
Attorney General here. We have raised a legal         answer or a legal answer. The Minister cannot,
issue. Very much so, we are talking about             he would have an abuse of office issue and he
directors on clause 6 but the Minister who is the     would also be caught as they should by the
shareholder appoints the directors. He does not       Leadership Code provisions of the Constitution.
sit in as a board, no, Mr Chairman, and that is       He will bring his integrity into question under
why we need clarification. In my view, this is        Section 94 of the Constitution which applies of
exempting the Minister, the shareholder from          course to leaders, and then of course you have
punishment share on sub clause 8.                     the Leadership Code Further Provisions Act,
                                                      which is another veneer of protection of and I do
Mr Chairman: Could we ask the Attorney                not see any prospect for that opportunity arising,
General to clarify that aspect of our discussion      certainly, not under my advice.
please?
                                                      Clause 8 agreed to
Attorney General: Mr Chairman, I think I am           Clauses 9, 10, 11 & 12 agreed to
completely mesmerized, is the right word this
time by the question because I do not see it as an    Clause 13
issue of ……………. The Constitution clearly
specifies the collective responsibility of Cabinet    Mr Tozaka: Mr Chairman, in regards to
in terms of administration of legislations by all     accountability, the Minister earlier on stated in
Ministers. And that collective responsibility         the interpretation that this Bill will start three in
principle extends to accountability to parliament.    month‟s time. What happens to the performance
                                                      of state enterprise before that? How would we
Mr Huniehu: Point of order. We cannot hear            take them into account when this Bill comes into
properly, can you speak up a bit more?                force?

Attorney General: Can I start again with the          Hon Lilo: We are in the process of going
elementary principle of collective responsibility     through the cleaning up of previous year‟s
contained in the Constitution. That is the first      financial report of all SOEs but we are
veneer of the principle of supreme veneer of          determine to move forward with the
accountability.                                       requirements of this Bill next year. That‟s why
         At the second level you have the             in the next three months we ensure that the Bill
ministerial responsibility for the administration     is put to force and all other requirements in
of Acts they are obliged or charged with. Then        particular the requirements under Clause 13 and
we come down, we descend to the Act itself,           others must be complied with within the time
which again Ministers are required to explain the     frame required before the commencement of the
decisions they make on the floor of Parliament        next financial year of most of these SOEs.
and outside it.        This is a super added                  As I stated earlier we will go through
responsibility by statue. It is an addition to what   the process of cleaning up previous years, and
is already there in other legislations. That super    we are going through that process now including
added responsibility has a punitive element now       even government accounts too are now going
to it. We are now criminalizing activity, which       through that quarantine treatment you know
previously was simply condoned and this is an         process of cleaning up. The same is with the
opportunity now to do that and therefore this         Solomon Islands Printers who is also going
through that process, and it will be of interest to   Finance to appear in the certificate. Can the
the MP for Small Malaita. Thank you.                  Minister also explain what sub clause 2 is?

Clause 13 agreed to                                   Hon Lilo: Can we ask the Attorney General to
Clauses 14, 15 & 16 agreed to                         make clarification on this?

Clause 17                                             Attorney General: Mr Chairman, I think the
                                                      question is misconceived. The use of the word
Mr Haomae: I thank the Minister of Finance. I         „described‟ in the clause is simply because that
think he knows that I can be appointed as             is how it ought to be. The word „described‟
director if I am not a Member of Parliament.          means the person who bears the description of
But the appointment was made.                         the Minister of Finance and the Minister of
        The question, Mr Chairman, is why is it       Finance is referred to by title.
5 days, within 5 days and not 6, 7 or 12 days or              If you read further on in Clause 23, it
1 month. Why 5 days Mr Chairman.                      says „legislations such as the Companies Act
                                                      which requires the perpetual, depending on how
Hon Lilo: Well simply because 5 days is there.        often governments change or Ministers of
Five days is ample time to table the documents        Finance change, and the practice is being
in Parliament. Even two weeks of tabling              arrested here through a statutory modification in
documents in here have not ended up in the            Clause 23. It is simply held in the name of that
parliamentary standing committees.          So it     person, the Minister‟s title rather than the
doesn‟t even make any difference if it is 5 days.     individual. This particular provision comes
                                                      about because there was a rather sad practice
Mr Haomae: In numerical terms it does make a          developing where people whose personal names
difference, Mr Chairman. Why did the Minister         were inscribed in documents that occur
select 5 days and not 6 days? Because 5 days          companies office, companies registry started
numerically is quite different from 1 day, 5          being a bit difficult and started demanding
months or 1 month like that. So it is that point      ransoms to release themselves and relinquish
of why 5 and not 6.                                   themselves from those responsibility.
                                                              This is a very advisedly proper step to
Hon Lilo: It is just basically to put pressure to     take to ensure that there is both continuity and
the Minister that they have to be accountable to      perpetuity in the ownership as described and
Parliament within 5 days, within a very short         therefore inscribed.
period of time we expect Ministers appointed to
Crown positions to respond effectively and            Mr Gukuna: If the description of that word is
efficiently. Right now we still have 14 days, 30      okay then that qualifies the name of the person
days and so on but we did not comply with it. I       and so I cannot see any need to put the name of
think by reducing the days would put pressure         the Minister there. Why should we not just use
on Ministers to act responsibly and in an             the name of the Minister of Finance so that the
efficient and affective way. Thank you.               next Minister who comes in takes over instead
                                                      of having to keep changing this thing,.
Clause 17 agreed to
Clauses 18, 19, 20, 21 & 22, agreed to                Hon Lilo: I thought the Attorney General has
                                                      already explained that. If you look at sub clause
Clause 23                                             2 that is exactly what clause 2 says and that is to
Mr Gukuna: Mr Chairman, just a concern on             ensure continuity and perpetuity of shares held
the word „described‟. Does it require the name        by the government in the name of the Minister
of the person to appear in the certificate? I         of Finance and the other responsible ministers
would have thought that the right word there          by title. Governments change but the shares
should be „prescribed‟ instead of „described‟ so      held by those two Ministers who will occupy
that it requires the title of the Minister of         them later on remains.
                                                      Mr Gukuna: I would have thought that when a
Mr Gukuna: Mr Chairman, I am still confused,          name is changed those things must be completed
excuse me. But the statement that says „not           because you are changing the holder of those
necessary to complete or register a transfer of       shares and those things must be also completed.
shares‟. Can the Attorney General explain it a        Are you only going to rub the name and change
bit more?                                             it?

Attorney General: Mr Chairman, currently the          Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, my understanding of
companies, if you are dealing with companies          this is that the requirement under the Companies
and I believe we are dealing with companies if        Act that you keep changing is what we are
the Members questions are directed towards that       saying here that we will exempt from that
problem, currently the requirement of companies       process. This provision allows us not to do that.
of a company‟s legislation mandate, so that is to     It is not really necessary to do what is required
say compels a form, a return to be filled out and     under the Companies Act where every time
submitted to the registry in compliance with that     shareholders change there is need to fill up a
requirement.                                          form, submit it and things like that. This Clause
         What this dispenses with in terms of the     says that it is not necessary to do that. That is
change of especially the filling out of those         what it is.
forms and secondly the change of ownership or                   The requirements under the Companies
transfer of shares to be done so without firstly,     Act, some of them, not all of them, and may be
completing those forms because you keep on            this is one of them where we will not necessarily
having under current companies law which is           follow those requirements.
not made for the kinds of situations we have
gone through, remembering that the Companies          Mr Chairman: Would it also be that the
Act is for public companies and not private ones      appointment is by office and not by name?
as well.
         Those situations are addressed by this       Hon Lilo: Not by name, yes.
necessity to dispense with that formalism. They
are prescriptions which have no necessity or          Clause 23 agreed to.
reality about them. That is prescription. The
discrepancy between prescription and practice         Clause 24
has been remedied in Clause 23.
         There is the other requirement but           Mr Haomae: Mr Chairman, where does this
because government is also the derivative             apply? Does this apply to other statutory
shareholder, the derivative owner of the transfer     authorities too or merely ICSI portfolio
of those shares or of those certificates, there is    companies and state owned enterprises, the
an artificiality currently about going to the         whole lot?      Who is going to make the
Ministry of Finance, the Inland Revenue               regulations? Is it going to be only the Minister
Division to put a mere stamp, a rubber stamp          of Finance or responsible Ministers too?
which says „exempt‟ from various requirements
because government does not need to pay stamp         Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, if you read Clause
duty and the stamp duty legislation is a              26(3) there is a saving provision there for the
requirement or a prerequisite to their registration   process of the appointment of existing SOEs that
in the companies registry. We are dispensing          are under statutory authorities with separate
with all that formality, making things simple,        legislations. That will not be disturbed. In fact
making things clear, making things transparent        those requirements will still be applied in the
and doing so by the accountable provisions of         way these regulations will be enforced or
Clause 23 for the good governance of                  enacted. So your big worry on the existing
companies.                                            statutory bodies is on Clause 26(3) and that is
                                                      why I kept saying read the Bill.
Mr Gukuna: Mr Chairman, the powers of the            Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, we have to make sure
Minister of Finance derived from this Bill is        where there are doubts in the way this Act is
based on shareholding. Here we have a situation      enforced, you have to make sure each area is
where 50% shareholder has been prescribed.           accommodated. That is basically what we are
What happens to the other Minister because he        saying here so that you save some of the good
also has the same shareholding power as the          principles out of this act and enforce them as
Minister of Finance and I thought that he should     part of the regulations too. But it does not take
be involved in the selection of these criteria       over or it does not undermine one part of the Act
because they are on equal shareholding?              over another. No, I do not see it that way.
         Why is the Minister of Finance given a
specific clause in empowering the Minister of        Mr Gukuna: Mr Chairman, I am concern about
Finance whilst the other one goes down? I can        this clause because this whole bill comes down
see some rooms for disagreement between the          to this clause. I interpret the whole intention of
Minister responsible and the Minister of Finance     this bill as giving more powers to the Minister of
in here.                                             Finance. He is going to become the most
                                                     powerful man in the government, and that is
Hon Lilo: The Attorney General has already           why I am concerned.
explained the collective principle of Cabinet that             Even though the other shareholders
when regulations like these have to be made, the     share the shareholding equally, why does this
Minister cannot act alone in making the              clause narrow it? It is the selection of the board,
regulations. The ones occupying those positions      the criteria that is important. Who is going to
do not hold those positions personal to them.        take the bucks here? Is it going to be the board
They hold them on behalf of the crown and we         or the Minister of Finance? If you are willing to
have a collective responsibility to the crown        take the responsibility for failures of these SOEs
through Cabinet. That is what the Attorney           it is acceptable, but if you are going to pass the
General has alluded to. I do not know how else       buck to the boards, as you did to Solomon
we are going to explain how the Ministers will       Airlines then this clause is wrong.
exercise all these responsibilities here.
         Where provision requires the exercise of    Attorney General: Those concerns in the
these responsibilities, obviously it is incumbent    conclusion, from a legal point of view, require a
on the Ministers to make sure they widely            rather large leap of imagination. Mr Chairman,
consult the Ministers concern and then finally       the purpose of Clause 24 is clearly what it states.
the Cabinet. These regulations cannot be made        Regulations are made for the selection,
just by the Minister out of his own mind. It has     appointment and reappointment of directors to
to be endorsed by the Cabinet.                       SOEs. It is to do with criteria. It is to do with
                                                     qualifications. It is to do with all the things that
Mr Fono: Mr Chairman, I think why the                have not been done till now because of
colleague MP raised that concern is because that     discretion. I cannot as I say it requires a rather
clause only gives the Minister of Finance and        large leap of imagination to come to the
not the other responsible Ministers. There is no     conclusions expressed just a while ago.
information to say that the Cabinet sanctions the             As regards to the Leader of Opposition‟s
regulations the Minister is making, and that is      earlier concerns to articulate the duties of
why the point was raised. There is no mention        directors, here is an opportunity by regulation to
of Cabinet having the authority to approve those     at least codify some of those duties as regards to
regulations made by the Minister of Finance.         making of directions. What is the form of those
                                                     directions? What are the principles of those
Mr Haomae: Mr Chairman, if the Minister of           directions?     That is the modality or the
Finance reads it that way then it means that         principles which need to be made transparent
Clause 26 makes Clause 24 obsolete - there is no     which have hitherto been rather of ache to take
need of Clause 24.                                   away discretion and subject it to sunlight. Take
                                                     it away from the dark cupboards where they
have been vesting and growing and expose them                 Where it is not prescribed in the other
to sunlight. So this is a sunlight principle.         Acts where it says in Clause 21(1) will be
                                                      exercised jointly in here, and remember what the
Sir Kemakeza:          Mr Chairman, I am not          Attorney General said earlier on that all
convinced at all with the explanation by the          regulations will have to go to Cabinet. The
Attorney General. Clause 24 is really the color       Cabinet will have a say on what the regulations
of this bill. It will be heavily politicized. The     will look like. For you to continue to say you
behavior of this administration really shows out      are suspicious about the Cabinet, how can you
in this clause. They can hire and fire the board      be suspicious about the Cabinet? The Cabinet
of directors. That is actually going to happen        has given the mandate, it is lawfully elected to
here. All the clauses have accountable Ministers      run the government and you must have
but when we come to this clause it supersedes all     confidence in the Cabinet. The responsibility of
the accountable Ministers. This is the real color     the Cabinet is to run the affairs of the Crown.
of this Bill, and it has been happening since day             Through that explanation on a layman‟s
one of this government. Here you are going to         view there is no way we can change our colors.
nationalize the SOEs saying only the                  The situation of the Airlines is very simple. The
government can do it better than the private          problem of the Airlines started off under
sector. This is what is actually happening. You       yourself. Expenditures were posted to the
are saying that the Government does it better         balance sheet instead of profit and loss and you
than the private sector. This is the color of this    declared false profits in 2004 and 2005. I will
bill. Yet here you are you coming back and that       come to that later on. But these are the things
is why I am not convinced for one inch with the       we are trying to avoid in this Bill.
explanation of the learned Attorney General.
                                                      Mr Kengava: The concern about Clause 24 is
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, this Bill is brought           that some are asserting the fact that the Minister
here by only one Minister and not two Ministers,      of Finance will make regulations which will
and the Minister who brought this Bill too has to     make him become very powerful and also
be the prescribed Minister making the                 having this hire and fire attitude. But my
regulations.                                          question which I want to clear my mind on is
        Every other law that we brought in here       that I understand the Minister may make
has the same wording where there is a                 regulations for the SOE but I am sure after
requirement prescribed by those bills to make         making consultation with the respective SOE
regulation says that. The Tobacco Bill that will      and the Minister responsible and therefore the
come in will say that it is the Minister for Health   hire and fire may not be the Minister of Finance
who will make the regulations.                        but the board or the management of the
        As the Attorney General had already           respective SOE.
explained where the criteria for selection and
something like that is not prescribed in the other    Mr Haomae: Mr Chairman, I could follow the
SOEs but which is contained in some of the Acts       rather outburst by the Minister for Finance,
it is saved under Clause 26 and 23 and they           unnecessary as it is. Mr Chairman, if you read
exercise it jointly. Clause 26(1) says it.            Clause 24, 25 and 26 together, Clause 24 has the
        What do you mean by changing colors?          upper hand because under Clause 25 it is this
I do not know what sort of color are you going        Act that will prevail in the event there are
to change here?       We are not changing any         conflicts.   Clause 25(2) says “Where the
colors here but we are simply ensuring the law        provisions of this Act or any regulations made
prescribes it better so that you and I will not       under this Act conflict with the provisions of
need a person like the learned Attorney General       any other enactment, the provisions of this Act
this time who really knows the law, can read it       or regulations made under this Act shall
well and do it in a way that will be good for this    prevail”. This means it is the Minister of
country. That is what it says here.                   Finance who is the mighty big man, and that is
                                                      the point.
        Why is the clause not saying, “the           governance and transparency in the way
Minister of Finance and the responsible Minister     regulations are made.
of that SOE”? Why is that not stipulated in                   There is no need for us to continue
Clause 24. That is the concern. That is why I        making up stories to frighten people that such
said the Minister of Finance will become more        and such will happen. Some of you may be
powerful because he is going to interfere into the   frightened because very shortly we will be
ministry of everyone of you by virtue of Clause      digging into some of these SOEs. But this Bill
25.                                                  is not to dig into the SOEs. It is to improve the
        I am not saying the Minister of Finance      SOEs to move forward. Later on we will dig
should not be involved, the Minister of Finance      into them.
is responsible for money and so he must be                    All the avenues for us to safeguard one
involved but another Minister who is responsible     particular person acting into the position to
should be included so that is in line with Clause    enforce regulation that is required by law by
26. If not, you mark my words, Mr Chairman.          himself, is a very remote situation, as what the
                                                     Attorney General said in the first place. You
                       (laughter)                    cannot have that kind of situation. No! You
                                                     cannot have that kind of situation. Even if the
The Minister of Finance will be the most             regulations are made and because they just
powerful.     The Minister of Finance said           regulations they can be revoked and thrown out.
yesterday that he cannot mark my words. He           That is how flexible regulations are.
was mistaken on what he said yesterday, Mr                    The most important and substantive part
Chairman that in this Parliament I only              of this bill is Section 26 which gives collective
mentioned „mark my words‟ two times. The             responsibility to the two Ministers to act in
first time was on the program of reforms when I      accordance with the provision of this Bill to
said pre-requisite for the implementation of         ensure the interests of SOEs are advanced.
reforms ….
                                                     Mr Haomae: That is one way of looking at it.
Mr Chairman: Could we keep to questions on           There is also another way of looking at it too in
Clause 24.                                           view of the shortcomings of human nature, we
                                                     are mere human beings. So I am not afraid.
Mr Haomae: That is a point. Clause 25 is             What should I be afraid of? I am only
making the Minister of Finance to be very            concerned. I am expressing a concern in view of
powerful. Why not include the other Minister,        the limitation of human nature.
for example my Minister for Mines and Energy?                 What if the Minister of Finance and the
                                                     Prime Minister both agree? If that happens is
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, the administration of         the Prime Minister going to dismiss the Minister
this Bill when it becomes an Act has to be           of Finance? No. This is human shortcomings.
vested on one Minister and the implementation        We are expressing these concerns and we have
of the various parts of this Act will be on two      nothing to be afraid fo.
Ministers.
         For you to think the Minister of Finance    Hon Tosika: If this provision is read properly it
will make regulations and puts all the criteria to   says “make regulations for selection”. The
suit himself would be the first man the Prime        regulations are yet to be made and that is why it
Minister will sack. The Minister of Finance will     gives the Minister of Finance power to formulate
be the first man the Prime Minister will sack if     regulation. This is not power to appoint but it is
that is what he is going to do.                      power to make regulations and set criteria before
         There are all the safety nets to ensure     appointment can be made on the basis of
the regulations must be done by the Cabinet in a     reappointment or removal. This is a provision of
collective way to safeguard the other interest       setting criteria in place. There is no point
that everyone has to ensure we promote good          arguing to say the Minister has power to hire and
                                                     fire because the regulations are yet to be made.
                                                      Mr Fono: Point of order. I think we should
Sir Kemakeza: Mr Chairman, I respect your             take into context that this is a law of the nation,
order as your Deputy Speaker. But yesterday I         and it is not for yourself. You will be there only
did not have time to debate the principles of this    for a term and whoever comes after would
Bill and so allow me to ask some more questions       implement this law. Therefore, to think that
because it is unfair to the people of                 somebody going there is for personal interest is
Savo/Russells that I did not contributed to the       not acceptable. This is a law for the nation and
general debate of this Bill.                          is not meant for you yourself and this
        The Minister of Police is totally             government but it is for any future governments.
confused. We just want to tell you that it will be
the Minister of Finance who is going to make          Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, we are getting into
the regulations. He is going to make the              illogical debate. You have allowed the debate
regulations and it will be the regulations that       yesterday and this is the committee of supply
will safeguard appointments, qualifications and       and I think we should follow the Standing
whatever. We are to know the baby that will be        Orders.
born out of this Act. It is that power that will be
given to the Minister, and this is the point we are   Mr Chairman: In relation to any amendment
concerned about as it is already stated in Clause     Standing Order provides for amendment with
26. That is why I am not convinced at all with        one clear day‟s notice. It cannot be allowed
the explanation of the Attorney General.              without notice.

Mr Chairman: Honorable Members we must                Mr Gukuna: Clause 24 is okay when we have
allow our time in terms of specifics. I should        a benevolent Minister of Finance but this is
also remind the House that you have the right to      Solomon Islands but some crazy people can
make amendments if you are so concerned about         come in and abuse it. Having said that, I reject
specific issues. That obviously has not come in       the Attorney General‟s explanation as he was
and so we simply enter into general debate            explaining from the prescription side of it and
again.                                                does not relate to interpretation, and that is why
                                                      I am concern about this clause. The prescription
Mr Fono: Mr Chairman, in that regards can we          side of it can be fine but when we come to
make an amendment to Clause 24 to read, “the          interpret it, it will be interpreted in different
Minister of Finance may make regulations for          ways.
the approval of Cabinet” and the sub clauses.
                                                      Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, that comment has
Hon Lilo:        Mr Chairman, that is totally         nothing to do with Clause 24. I think we should
unnecessary.      Do not make that kind of            move on to put a vote on this particular clause
suggestion here. The principle of how this            right now.
particular clause will operate is very clear, well
canvassed and all public interest well safe-          Attorney General: Mr Chairman, I must take
guarded. For anyone to think that any particular      the floor on this particular point.          The
individual that gets into the position of             comments which have been made somewhat
constitutional power is only there for personal       derogatory of my advice need to be redressed
interest is what you are nagging on. What you         now. There is no prospect of regulations being
are nagging on is that every one of us in here        made ultra vires power in Clause 24. If you
gets into that position for personal interest and     need me to explain that further I can, and I will
therefore in the exercise of this position on         do that over lunch adjournment. The question
behalf of the Crown, we think it is only for our      simply is: Regulation 24, for a regulation to be
personal interest.                                    made under regulation must be valid in law.
         I think you have to rule against that kind   The question of the validity of that regulation
of imposition, Mr Chairman.                           can be tested in a court of law. And what does
                                                      law means, it means, is it lawful. If you go
beyond the powers to make regulations for the         right to stand up and express your opinions in
purposes specified in Clause 24 then of course        here. No one says so. Who says so? You are
you trespass those powers and the regulations         wrong.
made will be held to be unlawful by a court                   Mr Chairman, the Member for
when you test it. I do not see how the comments       Savo/Russells says no one has the right to stop
you are making presuppose that the laws will be       him from talking. And on one is stopping you.
made whether drafted by the Attorney-General‟s        The law also allows, the constitution allows the
Chambers or anybody else for that matter will         Attorney General to express his views in here.
trespass the requirements of law. It is quite clear   So what are you talking about? Thank you, Mr
that the Constitutions says there is a Supreme        Chairman.
Law where a person cannot discriminate against
someone else. Therefore, if the Minister of           Hon Lilo: We should move on. What I am
Finance says that a person born in Fiji could, for    saying is that I think the system is well
example, occupy the post of a director that is        canvassed to ensure whatever regulations will be
discriminatory and will not be allowed. Because       enforced under Clause 24 do not in anyway run
as you know there should be no discrimination         into facilitating any personal interests. It is the
on the basis of a person‟s place of origin, color,    interest of the Crown. However, anyone in this
creed etc. These kinds of issues will be, of          Chamber would want to try and construe that
course, brought to the attention as the Honorable     this will be the ultimate outcome of this
Member for Savo has very difficulty                   particular clause, I must say that you are
understanding my advice. I want to make this          expected to go to Rove. Who wants to go to
very clear. We will not, in the Attorney              Rove by make regulations to cut his road in
General‟s Chambers allow something unlawful           going down to Rove.
to leave us to be gazetted before it is made.
There is no way as long as I am Attorney              Mr Huniehu: Point of order. I think the
General that will happen.                             Attorney General has every right to clarify legal
                                                      issues in this Chamber but not to make speeches
Sir Kemakeza:            The Attorney-General         in this Parliament, if I may seek your indulgence
specifically mentioned the Member for                 on this. If he is asked on a legal issue he has
Savo/Russells. I have every right on this floor       every right but not to make speeches.
of Parliament to make comments, especially
when I am not discriminating here. I am               Hon Sogavare: Mr Chairman, can the Member
describing the statement put forward by the           give an example because all the Attorney
Attorney General on this floor of Parliament. I       General is doing here is explaining legal
am simply saying that I am not convinced by the       positions on the sections. I do not think the
learned Attorney General‟s explanation. That is       Attorney General is making speeches here.
what I am saying and I am not discriminating
any color - yellow or blue.                           Mr Haomae: Point of order. The Attorney
         I term this particular clause as having      General has every right to express an opinion to
colors, and it will become yellow after it has        advise the government on matters of law. But
gone through this floor of Parliament. Who is         my understanding is that he cannot go beyond
the Attorney General to stop the Member for           that one. When he said „withdraw‟ then he has
Savo/Russells to say his mind? Who is he? He          no right to do that because he is not an elected
has no right to stop the Member for                   Attorney General to Parliament. He cannot say
Savo/Russells. I have been elected to this floor      those things. I think that is what has caused this
of Parliament and I can say anything.                 slight row. Whilst the Attorney General has all
                                                      the right to make clarification on points of law
Hon Sogavare: Point of order. I do not know           and advice the government on matters of law he
what these outbursts are all about. Obviously,        has no right to go beyond that.
the feelings that come out from the other side are
very clear. No one is saying that you have no
Mr Dausabea: Mr Chairman, I just want to say          Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, there is a process that
that there is no problem with this clause. The        will be followed in terms of privatizing any
real problem here is because we assume things         entity identified to be privatized. This Act does
will happen. Let us allow it to work and if there     provide for that provision and so there is no need
is any problem to it then take it to court and        to come back to Parliament to amend it. In the
challenge it. I think that is what is right.          case where any entity is to be privatized then it
                                                      is privatized. What more should we come back
Mr Gukuna: Mr Chairman, the MP for East               here for if it is privatized.
Honiara was one of those people who
complained to me about this Bill outside.             Mr Fono: Mr Chairman, who has the power to
                                                      decide on that? Is it the Cabinet or the Minister?
Mr Haomae:          We are doing our job in
scrutinizing the Bill.                                Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, we keep coming back
                                                      to this question of how the government operates.
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, the pressing issue in          Ministers do not operate in stand alone as
this Bill is the interest of this country. The        alluded to by the Attorney General. They do not
debate so far and the points of orders you have       act alone. They must act collectively through
been allowing have drawn us out of the interest       the Cabinet principle of government that we
of this Bill. We are in the committee stage           have.
discussing this particular Bill. Can I impress on              Look at clause 28, and I am telling you
you, Mr Chairman, to move on with the                 to read the Bill. Let us read this bill. We have
deliberation on this bill?                            spent the last two weeks planning the motion of
                                                      no confidence and that is why we never read this
Mr Chairman: We have been trying to say that          bill. The Cabinet through the responsible
many times already but everyone wants to have         Minister may from time to time by notice in this
their say too. I just want to make it clear that as   gazette add or remove from the schedule the
far as the chair is concerned we have not heard       name of a company or statutory corporation.
anything about withdrawal said by the Attorney        This is Cabinet that decides on privatization and
General. That is just for the record.                 divestment of any SOEs regulated under this
                                                      Bill.
Clause 24 agreed to.
                                                      Clause 26 agreed to.
Clause 25
                                                      Clause 27
Sir Kemakeza: This is where it is even
stronger. I just want to make a point on this         Sir Kemakeza: Just a general point on the point
clause referring to my earlier statement.             raised by the Minister of Finance. He said we
                                                      were busy with the motion of no confidence and
Clause 25 agreed to.                                  not reading this bill. It is our duty to examine
                                                      this Bill and to hear from the Minister our
Clause 26                                             concerns. So stop saying that we were busy
                                                      with the motion of no confidence. Likewise you
Sir Kemakeza: I know that there perhaps               were so busy with many things that you cannot
would be privatization or corporatization             bring in any plan at all.
according to government policy on the SOEs. In
any event the government thinks otherwise to          Mr Chairman: We are getting out of the Bill
privatize any of them, will the Minister bring it     again.
back to Parliament for amendment of the
schedule or regulations that will dictate what        Hon Lilo: That is what I am saying. I could
power the Minister has?                               not relate that particular comment to this
                                                      particular bill. But in the same way I am
worried about his capacity to participate in the      That is for the sake of completeness in clarity.
deliberation of this Bill and that is why I raised    Thank you Mr Chairman.
that comment.
                                                      That the Schedule stands part of the Bill
Clause 27 agreed to.
                                                      The Preamble agreed to
Clause 28 agreed.
                                                      Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, point of order. We             that the State Owned Enterprises Bill 2007 has
may have overlooked the schedule.                     passed through the Committee of the Whole
                                                      House without any amendments.
Mr Chairman: I thought the schedule was
covered earlier on.                                   BILLS
                                                      Bills – Third Reading
Sir Kemakeza: Point of order, Chairman.               The State Owned Enterprises Bill 2007
Whilst the Minister is interested on the schedule,
is it intentional to omit the CBSI because it is a    Hon Lilo: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the
profit making state owned enterprise too. After       State Owned Enterprises Bill 2007 be now read
this Bill is passed include the CBSI. That is just    the third time and do pass.
a point for consideration to the Minister.
                                                      The Bill is carried.
Hon Lilo: Mr Chairman, I have already made
the point about the difference of the status of the   Mr Speaker:        I have indication that the
Central Bank, and why it cannot qualify under         honourable Minister is still working on his
this particular Bill, and it will never fall under    motion, and so I suspend sitting until 3.30 pm
the requirement of this bill because it has a
wider international overseeing role over it as               Sitting suspended for lunch break
well. It is not only the Government that is
overseeing the operations of the CBSI but the         Parliament resumes
International Monetary Fund as well. In the way
it is established it is quite different from any      Mr Speaker:     I adjourn Parliament until
SOEs that would normally fall under the status        tomorrow morning at 9.30 am
of companies registered under the Companies
Act.      It is covered under the Financial                   The House adjourned at 3.36 pm
Institutions Act as well.

Mr Chairman: For clarity sake financial bills,
we would normally vote for the schedules. For
normal bills I thought it is covered in the body
of the bill when the body of the bill is discussed
and in this case Section 2 of the Bill. I wonder
whether the Attorney General could advise us
whether or not we should vote for the schedule
too as well.

Attorney General: Mr Chairman, I think for
clarity sake having regard to Order 52, sub
clauses 8 and 9, which says „schedules shall be
disposed of and a schedule may be replaced or a
new schedule inserted in the same say as
clauses, and I read that to mean after the clauses.

				
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