” When I was appointed Speaker by the House in June 2015 I said my first priority would be to provide our Members with the necessary assistance, proper services and facilities to enable them to perform their duties and responsibilities to serve their constituencies better.
We are on track to meet this undertaking. I’m extremely pleased with the progress we have made in the last 19 months. While funding is limited, there is no limit to the ideas and ways and means we can pursue improvements for our elected representatives.
I envisage a modern, well-functioning Bougainville House of Representatives comparable to any in our Pacific Region in the foreseeable years ahead. Our primary responsibility is to the people through their elected Members in the House. “
Statement by the Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives Simon Pentanu
Pictured above with the Clerk of the House inspecting Members’ new computer room and work station.
The Bougainville House of Representatives will commission a new Members’ Resources Centre adjacent to the Parliament House at Kubu.
The Centre will have ten work stations with desktops and Internet access for to Members to use. For some Members the facility will further their skills in computer use, access information, respond to queries and for research.
The Centre will also have a Conference room, providing additional space for parliamentary committees.
Meanwhile, four haus wins that were built in 2015 have now also been fitted with lights and Internet access for members to use.
These addition of the haus wins in 2015 and now the Research Centre in Parliament precinct are welcome but they are temporary reprieves for our parliamentarians who have been left to fend for themselves without even basic office accommodation since the inauguration of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville House of Representatives in June 2015.
As former Chief Ombudsman it gives me particular pleasure to witness the Ombudsman Commission having now established an office in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. I urge the Commission to exercise its jurisdiction with responsibilityb to promote good governance in the Region.
As Speaker I have been very keen to establish close contacts, consultations and meaningful partnership with the National Parliament. We will continue to vigorously pursue this following the elections and into the future.
The fruitful contact has included discussions at the level of Speakers and Clerks and some exchange visits between our parliamentary committees.
The UNDP Peace Building Fund has been a welcome facility in our legislative institutional strengthening efforts at Parliament House during the last 15 months.
It is important that we promote the role of Parliament and give representative democracy a practical meaning for everyone.
To this end I am keen to see a better coordinated approach for better outcomes to strengthen the role of the Parliament with our traditional aid donors and partners in this part of the world.