A major project for the maintenance of the Rove and Gizo Correctional Centres and Correctional Services officers’ houses in Auki was carried out this year, Minister for Police and Correctional Services, Hon Stanley Festus Sofu told Parliament.
He spoke of the project on Wednesday 7th December 2016 when contributing to the debate on the 2017 Budget. In this budget, the Recurrent Budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services stands at $251,934,738.00. This is a reduction of 4,976,378 from this year’s budget.
Despite the reduction in the level of Recurrent Budget allocation, Minister Sofu said his ministry is blessed to be allocated $22.2 million dollars which it did not bid for and has commenced discussion with the Budget Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury on how best these funds can be better utilised to meet its priorities.
On that note, he went on to highlight a ‘major’ project which saw the construction of staff houses for Correctional Services officers in Auki and renovation of the Rove and Gizo Correctional Centres this year.
Minister Sofu said the appropriated budget from much this project is implement is part of the bilateral agreement between the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support the maintenance and construction of Correctional Services’ houses.
As the agreement will end in June 2017 and would require transition of this critical maintenance project into the Solomon Islands Government Budget, the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services hailed a $4.3-million allocation under the 2017 Budget for the maintenance correctional centres and correctional officers throughout Solomon Islands.
He also hailed the level of 2017 Development Budget allocation to his ministry. The Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services is allocated a total of $26.5-million under the 2017 Development Budget, which is an increase of $10-million, as compared to the 2016 Revised Budget.
Minister Sofu said this $26.5-million allocation will cater for the National Security Policy Development Programme, CSSI (Correctional Services of Solomon Islands) Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programme, RSIPF Strengthening Programme and the ongoing CSSI and RSIP Infrastructure Programme.
He said in 2016, the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services has expended more than 50 percent of its Development Budget allocation on infrastructure projects for both the Police and Correctional Services.
However, Minister Sofu said the major hindrance to the completion of these projects was land disputes as a good number of police stations are situated in customary land.