SURVEY REVEALS FEW MPs ARE REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS TO BILLS

Members inside the National Parliament during the debates. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

Members inside the National Parliament during the debates. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

A Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) survey has shown that very few Members of Parliament regularly contribute to debate on bills that comes before parliament.

Last week TSI published the MPs’ attendance list which showed the number of days that each MP has attended Parliament.

A statement from the Corruption watchdog said its findings have shown that many MPs have very good attendance records, however, when it comes to contribution to bills presented in parliament the majority did poorly.

The survey has shown that only seven Members of Parliament have contributed to more than half of the bills debated in the Ninth Parliament.

The study looks at MPs’ contributions from the 1st Meeting, beginning on 1st October 2010, until 28 May 2014, the closing date of the sixth meeting.

The survey does not cover the recent seventh meeting. In the period of the 1st – 6th meetings, a total of 37 bills were debated.

TSI Executive officer Daniel Fenua said it is important to note that this research only looks at the number of contributions made by MPs on Bills debated on the floor of parliament but it does not take into account MPs’ contributions on motions, questions and answers.

Meanwhile, the study showed MPs that contributed more than 50 percent on bills debated are MP for North East Choiseul, Hon. Manasseh Sogavere, who attended all 37 bills and has contributed 36 times.

MP for West Are’are, Hon. John Maneniaru has contributed 24 times to 37 bills and MP for North East Guadalcanal, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua who contributed 24 times.

Prime Minister and MP for Gizo Kolombangara, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo contributed 22 times when his Finance Minister and MP for Small Malaita Hon. Rick Houenipwela contributed 22 times.

The study also showed that MP for Aoke Langalanga Hon. Matthew Cooper Wale has contributed 20 times while Central Guadalcanal MP, Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka has contributed 18 times.

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