5 Sep 2005

Solomon Islands Minister seeks more government control of reform programme

4:09 pm on 5 September 2005

The Solomon Islands Minister for National Planning and Aid Co-ordination says the government needs to be more involved at the forefront of the reform programme.

Fred Fono led the Solomons delegation at bilateral talks with Canberra on Friday, the first High Level Aid Consultations between the two countries since 1999, with both sides re-affirming Australia's existing development assistance programme.

Australia emphasized the need for political will on the part of the Solomons Government to carry out the reforms required, and for clearer prioritisation of development goals.

But Mr Fono says while there's considerable technical assistance from Canberra in the reform programme in finance and treasury, he's concerned that his government is not controlling it.

"As a cabinet we have not had any information coming to cabinet from that reform unit on what their strategies are, what their priorities are. And it's supposed to be government identifying the priority sectors for the reform. That's a concern that I've raised with them during the talks."

Minister for National Planning and Aid Co-ordination, Fred Fono