According to the POA Acting Chair, Alison Larkins, the meeting provided an opportunity for participants to discuss the unique governance and accountability issues faced by Smaller Island States and develop terms of reference to guide the design of future activities.
‘The Working Group’s decision to support ongoing dialogue and coordination on work under the Good Governance Pillar of the Pacific Plan demonstrates the POA’s commitment to assisting all governments that have an interest in accountability and complaint handling,’ Ms Larkins said.
‘In discussing the terms of reference, the Working Group emphasised the importance of political and public support for policies and strategies that promote accountability and good governance.
‘Given the POA’s access to regional knowledge and resources, the Group agreed that activities to provide technical expertise and support public awareness could be an area for their immediate focus.’
in 2008. Recognising the risk that,
States without an ombudsman could become
overlooked in an ombudsman-
based alliance, the founding POA members made specific reference within the Charter to a Smaller Island States Working Group.
The Working Group is supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The Working Group will report through the POA Board to the PIFS; activities will be discussed at annual Smaller Island States Leaders’ and Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ meetings.
The inaugural Working Group meeting was attended by:
- Mr Justin Kamupala, Head of Department of Justice, Lands and Survey, Niue
- Mrs Gillian Itsimaera, Senior Examiner of Accounts, Department of Audit, Nauru
- Mrs Tautongo Kaiteie, Assistant Secretary, Public Service Office, Kiribati
- Mr Fakavae Taomia, Smaller Island States Program Officer, PIFS
- Dr Henry Ivarature, Governance Adviser, PIFS
commitment to fostering integrity in government services delivery and providing mutual support to members in their efforts to fulfil responsibilities
and improve effectiveness.
They agreed that country-level representation would be open to all Smaller Island States, including those with established ombudsman offices, such as the Cook Islands and Palau.
The next meeting will be held in conjunction with the POA members’ meeting in
November in Wellington, New Zealand.
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