Staff from regional Parliaments now have a better understanding about corporate management following a recent two-week extensive training, facilitated by the McGill University of Canada.
The training which was also supported by the United Nations Development Fund and Fijian Parliament, featured participants from Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall and Solomon Islands.
During the graduation ceremony, Speaker Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni said; “Continuing education in administration skills in the areas of corporate governance, leadership, human resources and financial management that we have just completed, keeps us abreast with modernisation and further strengthens our capacity to deliver services with the confidence we need to always strive for and achieve excellence in our performance”.
“It also enables Parliament staff to be responsive to the changing work environment and the peculiar challenges created by MPs in their quest for recognition that could mould parliamentary services to some extent.”
“I would also like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Mr Paul Belisle, our Course Coordinator from McGill School who has been teaching, mentoring and sharing his knowledge and experience with the participants for the past two weeks. I must also commend him for the initiative to have a university-level professional development course on parliamentary management and parliamentary services in general.”
Hon. Dr Luveni also told the participants that graduation was about endings and beginnings, a celebration of achievement and the commencement of a transition to a higher chapter.
“I would also like to acknowledge the Governments of Japan, Australia and New Zealand for their continuing generous support to Pacific Parliaments through our development partner UNDP without whom we would not be able to organise this course to such professional standards.”
Fijian Parliament participant, Manager Monitoring, Evaluation and Compliance, Lois Vakarau said that apart from learning about good corporate governance and the management tools and techniques that go along with it for the effective delivery of services, it was also interesting to learn about the experiences from other Pacific Parliaments.
“By learning and networking with them, we can understand and appreciate how far we have come as an institution after 8 years of not having a Parliament, where we are today and where we would like to see ourselves in future,” Ms Vakarau said.
Chief Accountant for the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Lynette Neleta, said the training was very useful, interactive and relevant to the day to day operations of Parliament.
“Coming from the financial side of parliament and my role as the Chief Accountant, the training really helps me to learn and understand more of good government practices that other Pacific islands Parliament adopt and how it impacts their parliament.”
“Learning from each other’s jurisdiction is the significant part of this training. Talking on realistic issues that affects us and discussing ways to improve is one of the many things that make this training beneficial for me.”
“The two weeks training enables me to understand the whole operation of Parliament, knowing our roles and the people we serve even as we operate in various jurisdictions, we serve one purpose, that is to serve our own Pacific island countries,” Ms Neleta added.