Revenue mobilization strategies training to aid provinces

Solomon Islands government coat of arms

A three days Revenue Mobilization Strategy Training programme to help Provincial Governments will commence in Honiara tomorrow (Monday 10th April).

Organised by the Ministry of Provincial Governments and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and funded by Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP), the workshop will be attended by 35 participants from Makira Ulawa, Isabel, Western and Central provinces.

The objectives of the revenue studies being conducted by MPGIS include:

  • Assessing the current revenue generating powers and practices of the Provincial Governments with the view to update (the existing revenue database) and develop revenue mobilization strategy and policies that will enhance the revenue raising and mobilization capabilities of the Provincial Governments;
  • Develop an implementation framework and a strategy that specifically indicates when, by whom and how the new strategies should be implemented by MPGIS;
  • Develop training manual and conduct training for Provincial Revenue Collectors with a view of strengthening their capacities for enhanced revenue mobilization for effective service delivery;

The training will be facilitated by David Solomon, a revenue specialist from South Africa who has been engaged by the MPGIS to continue the revenue studies that was started by Dr. Weimer in 2013.

The three-day workshop shall focus more on: principles of sub-national revenues, what makes good provincial tax, context of Solomon Islands Provincial Revenue such as basic rate, property rate, business licenses etc.

Participants will be engaged in discussions on challenges facing sub-national revenue collections such as legislative frameworks of provincial own source revenue, strategy for effective revenue collections, and the key success factors in administration of revenue.

By end of the workshop provincial participants will draw up action plans that they are expected to implement on their return.

Provincial Governments are supposed to generate revenues to finance a greater part of their own development priorities. This may only be achieved through efficient and effective local revenue collection systems.

Revenues do not only have to be collected but they must also be fully accounted for. Currently most provinces seem to be doing well in terms of own sources of revenue but there is quite a number of them who are struggling to improve own sources of revenue as a significant part of their annual appropriations.

The initial trend was that all provinces relied more on fixed service grant transfers from the National Government to finance over 90% of their annual recurrent budgets.

Recent statistics have shown that since the introduction of PGSP in 2008 and with continued capacity building coordinated by the MPGIS, most of the provinces have stepped up revenue collection efforts and have learned how to effectively account for own source revenues to the extent that few of them now finance over 85% of their appropriated expenditure through own source revenues.

As part of its efforts in implementing the DCCG Policy to directly assist PGs to increase and enhance their provincial revenue collection system’’, the MPGIS is completing the revenue mobilization studies by conducting training for all Premiers, Provincial Secretaries, Provincial Treasurers, Revenue Officers in all provinces, Provincial Capacity Development Advisors and Ministry Officials.

Since his arrival in country on the 10th of March this year, the Revenue Specialist travelled to Central, Malaita, Makira Ulawa, Guadalcanal and he also consulted officials from Rennell & Bellona and Temotu provinces.

These are the provinces that were not visited in the initial studies. Revenue data from Choiseul, Isabel and Western province have been also updated.

The second group of provinces to be trained from the 18th to the 20th of April includes Malaita, Guadalcanal, Temotu, Rennell & Bellona and Choiseul Provinces. This would be followed by one day training and briefing session for all nine provincial premiers on the 21st April 2017.

-Gov’t Communication Unit