28 Sep 2005

Proposal to merge key regional organisations defended

7:47 pm on 28 September 2005

The author of a report proposing that key regional organisations be merged says there is too much duplication of services and overlap of programmes.

Former Solomon Islands Central Bank governor, Tony Hughes, was commissioned by the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat to look at existing regional institutions and see if there were ways to improve their co-operation and efficiency.

The report covered the roles of the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, SOPAC, the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, and the Pacific community.

Mr Hughes says a merger would be an appropriate way forward.

"There's a certain amount of duplication, of capacity among them. They don't all need to have all the services that they've got at the moment. They could amalgamate these, they could share services. I've suggested that as perhaps as a halfway stage to what I regard as the better solution which is actually to bring them together, to merge them as one organisation."

Tony Hughes.

The report, called Strengthening Regional Management, is part of background papers for the proposed Pacific Plan.