Bougainville Parliamentary Leadership Regional Workshops | Buin, Buka, Arawa
29 April - 3 May 2013
At the request of the Hon Andrew Miriki, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, CDI recently supported the House of Representatives in program of visits to all three regions of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB).
The program, devised by the Clerk of the House of Representatives Robert Tapi, was a significant professional development opportunity for members of the House of Representatives, bringing together political leaders from the three tiers of government in ARB – local, regional and national. It was the first time ever that they have come together in local settings, with local facilitators to talk about ‘enhancing and strengthening the performance of leaders at all levels of authority and promote political stability through a better understanding of parliamentary procedures and the roles and responsibilities of leaders in the ARB.’
The program, which featured one-day workshops in Buin (29 April 2013), Arawa (1 May 2013) and Buka (3 May 2013), was extraordinarily well attended and involved Ministers from the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG); the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Members of the House or Representatives; ARB members of the National Parliament of PNG; and Chairmen of local Councils of Elders.
Workshop sessions were led by the Speaker, the Clerk and senior officers from the House of Representatives and featured lively discussion of:
- the structure and authority of government in ARB
- the law-making, scrutiny and representational responsibility of members of House of Representatives
- mechanisms for enhancing linkages between the ABG and other levels of authority including the National Government and the Councils of Elders in each region of ARB.
Participants were especially interested in the opportunity to talk about the responsibility of each level of government and the way that elected members and the Chairmen of Councils of Elders could coordinate their efforts to improve representation and service provision for their communities.
Warren Cahill (CDI Associate) and Simon Johnston (Coordinator of the NSW Parliament’s Twinning Project), who had liaised with the Clerk in preparing the program, accompanied the House of Representatives presentation team throughout the workshops and were able to contribute their own perspectives on parliamentary and government processes.
CDI was also pleased to support the participation in the program of Ms Melanie Gibbons MP, a member of the NSW Parliament who was able to share her experience as a parliamentarian representing large and diverse community. Her insights were much appreciated by the participants and her presence helped consolidate what is a very productive twinning arrangement between the ARB House of Representatives and the NSW Parliament.
CDI has provided training and advisory support of the ARB House of Representatives for a number of years now (often in close collaboration with the NSW Parliament) and we were extremely impressed by the level of commitment displayed during these workshops. We were impressed also by the way in which the Clerk and his senior staff coordinated and facilitated the program. Their work was praised by participants and their commitment to strengthening representative government in ARB was clearly displayed throughout the program.
There is clearly much that remains to be done to improve the quality of governance in ARB but the discussions during the program have highlighted some important areas for future work. During the workshops the Clerk presented a number of clear and practical suggestions about capacity building assistance that could be provided for members of the House of Representatives – these suggestions and others raised by program participants are summarised in the Report on Regional Workshops.
Click on the links in the sidebar to access the full reports, program, lists of participants and more: