29 Jun 2010

Fono opposed to rural Solomons funds decentralisation

2:19 pm on 29 June 2010

The Solomon Islands caretaker rural development minister says progress has been made under the last government, and he rejects calls to decentralise some responsibilities to provincial administrations.

Fred Fono, who's also caretaker deputy prime minister, says improvements have been made in the provision of water supplies, health services, classrooms, and solar energy in some constituencies, including his own, during the last parliament.

But he accepts not all MPs have the skills to manage the 800,000 US dollars in development funds they were given to distribute to their constituencies.

Mr Fono says the People's Congress Party, which he leads, believes ministries should assume responsibility for managing the money, and not the provinces

"The Ministry of Rural Development and Constituency Development would be administering the funds but allocations are based on constituencies so that it's equitably distributed throughout the country. You give it through the provincial government it will end up in the provincial headquarters and nothing would reach the remote rural villages."

Fred Fono