Premier of Niue recommends peer review to other FICs

Alofi, Niue– The Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi, MP recommends that other Forum island countries undertake a peer review as part of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Cooperation (Forum Compact) after inviting a peer review of his government’s planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management processes last June.

The Niue Government, endorsed the 12 recommendations of the Peer Review Team consisting of two senior officials from Forum Island Countries – Nauru and Samoa and Australia representing the development partners assisted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Government of Niue selected the members of the Team and endorsed its Terms of Reference.

“I would recommend to other Forum Island Countries to undertake a peer review because I think it’s good for other people to review what you have done, to see whether you are taking the right path. I was pleased with the caliber of the people who were on the team. The group did an excellent job. I was also very pleased that they endorsed what we have done,” said Premier Talagi.

Premier Talagi said: “The peer review is an excellent forum for us to take stock of what we do because sometimes you become introverted in your thinking.

“I agree with the recommendation by the peer review team that we were trying to do too many things with the limited capacity. What we needed to do was to rationalize the process to determine what limiting factors and work according to these limiting factors. We are, as also recommended by the team, setting up an aid management unit to be responsible for the management, administration and monitoring of projects and to make sure we’re not doing too many things. We need to prioritise.” But Hon. Talagi added: “If there was any caution on my part, it’s basically that the peer review in our case anyway, was too focused on donor assistance. They should be looking at a more expansive role in respect to the government’s performance with respect to its commercial operations and how government could generate more revenue with the resources it has and its partnerships with the private sector.”

“I would suggest that the peer review teams take somebody from the private sector with the same capacity and caliber of the government representatives to assist the team’s consideration of what happens in the private sector because that’s an extremely important part of whatever any government in the region is doing at the present moment.”

A team from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is in Alofi from 28th April to 6th May to record the progress of implementation of Niue’s Peer Review recommendations, discuss remaining challenges and how development partners, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and neighbouring Forum Island Countries could assist Niue to further progress their peer review recommendations. Six Forum Island Countries have so far volunteered and undertaken the Forum Compact peer review process; Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Niue and Republic of the Marshall Islands. Five more have volunteered to undertake the peer review process; Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia in 2012 and the Cook Islands in 2013.

ENDS.

For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone 683 5525 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj

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