WHILE constituency offices keep a tight lid on who manages and spends constituency funds, West Honiara constituency initiated a new approach that see five communities in the constituency receiving a $100,000 cheque each.
The West Honiara Constituency Office after setting groundwork for the new support approach last year, dished out today a total of $500,000.
“What happen is, the constituency office have decided to delegate the management and use of constituency funds to communities,” says the constituency Development Officer Brian Taupiri.
Mr Taupiri says since around October last year, five large communities in West Honiara were asked to get organised, form executives, formalise constitutions and open bank accounts.
“Only upon fulfilling the requirements of establishing executives, producing a constitution and opening up bank accounts, will funds be released.”
Last year, the communities formalised and launched their constitutions.
Today, the long awaited funds were dished out.
The funds will go towards community projects initiated by the communities themselves such as improvement of their roads.
The community executives will manage the funds, expend it within the community through the engagement of members of the community on their respective community projects and retire reports on usage of the funds in line with regulations set out in their constitutions.
“It takes a lot of trust but it is good to ensure this responsibility is shared to communities and constituents,” the Constituency Development Officer says.
Mr Taupiri urged the communities to use the money for their intended purpose to ensure trust and continuous direct funding to communities in the future.
“This model of support can continue if communities are responsible and use the funds for their purpose.”
He adds that the constituency office will conduct an evaluation to ascertain the usefulness of the funds.
The five large communities in West Honiara that received $100,000 each today are, Forest Valley, Wind Valley, Namoruka, Tolu and Tasahe B.
The funds were part of the Transport grants which was used last year by the constituency to support schools in West Honiara with pick-up trucks.
Representatives of the five recipient communities all expressed great appreciation to the Member of Parliament for West Honiara Namson Tran, for trusting in constituents.
“We are grateful we have a visionary leader that trust us. No constituency would release such a huge money for people to use and manage.
“This is a first of its kind and the long wait has finally paid off,” community representatives commented.
Mr Tran through his CDO thanked people for their patients and maintained that what belongs to people must be given back to people.
The new model once work out, will be expanded to include other communities in the constituency.
© Solomon Fresh-Beat Online