Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama with Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
8 October 2014 (Suva, Fiji) – Members of the Fiji Parliament will today start an induction programme to look at key issues of how the legislative process will work in the Parliament and which mechanisms will be available to MPs to provide oversight and hold the Government to account.
The induction programme is being delivered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since January 2014, UNDP has been working to provide support to Parliament of Fiji through a project funded by the European Union and the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Ambassador Andrew Jacobs, Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, stated “The European Union is delighted to support this important initiative, which comes at an exciting and critical time for the country. Following the successful democratic elections and with re-establishment of Parliament, Fiji will have a new, open and transparent process for proposing, debating and approving legislation.”
“This induction programme for MPs will focus on how the law-making process can work most effectively, on the roles of Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees during the process, and on opportunities for citizens to provide direct input to the process. Effective and consultative law-making is a fundamental characteristic of a functioning, democratic parliament,” said Ambassador Jacobs.
The UNDP project is also being supported with US$1.2 million funding from the New Zealand Government. Mark Ramsden, Acting Head of Mission, New Zealand High Commission said “The New Zealand Government is strongly supportive of the project to assist the Parliament of Fiji. Building the capacity of Fiji’s new Members of Parliament is clearly a critical step moving forward and so we are delighted to see the induction programme taking place this week.”
The Induction Programme for Members of Parliament is part of a wider UNDP-led project to provide support to Parliament in a number of areas including: undertaking an assessment of the needs of the new Parliament building and outlining the steps that need to be taken to make the building ready for the first sitting of Parliament, provision of ICT and technical equipment to the new Parliament, the provision of technical assistance for the development of revised Parliament Standing Orders and laws relevant to the functioning of Parliament; and the development of a training programme and provision of training for Parliament secretariat staff.