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Friday, July 21, 2006

Sogavare appeals for teamwork and cooperation from new Permanent Secretaries

By George Tausiria

The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare yesterday accented the need for better team work and co-operation between Permanent Secretaries themselves and politicians.

In a meeting between the Prime Minister and the newly contracted Permanent Secretaries yesterday, Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr John Roughan related Mr Sogavare’s appeal to the Permanent Secretaries that it was essential for them to reinforce the team approach as managers of government departments and ministries.

“For instance, when the ministry of agriculture wants a cheque processed, both finance and agriculture should make sure there’s no delay in processing such a request,”.Dr Roughan explained.

During the meeting Mr Roughan said the Prime Minister was also not happy that despite the country’s tremendous resources, Solomon Islands is still being classified as a Least Developed Nation and donor-driven.

The Prime Minister felt that for Solomon Islands to be donor-driven in the first 15 years was acceptable “but not after 28 years of independence”.

He said the problems faced by the country – break away movement in 1978, Guadalcanal bona fide demands in 1988, and the ethnic tensions at the end of 1998 were the same problems dressed up in different rhetoric.

Dr Roughan then quoted the Prime Minister as saying: “Why aren’t we responding to the problem of lack of decentralization in decision-making and development?”

The Secretary to the Prime Minister said the ship of the state had been heading in a direction towards a reef and “we have to change the course of the ship.”

“Next few years we divert a few degrees from the reef, we’ve accomplished something,” he said.
The crunch of the Prime Minister’s message according to Dr Roughan was: “How important permanent secretaries are important to this state of the ship analogy, leaders set the policies, but the nuts and bolts of how policies work is up to permanent secretaries, that is why co-operation among themselves and politicians is vital.”

Source: Government Communication Unit


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