President Hilda Heine delivered a detailed action agenda at Monday’s Nitijela opening based on her call to improve government service to the public — as well as encouraging service by people to their country.
The President’s talk also included delivery for the first time of a legislative agenda, highlighting 10 amendments or new bills that will be proposed by Cabinet during the current Nitijela session.
President Heine talked big and small picture, noting that V7AB was back on the air, road improvements around Majuro are nearly complete and, “in the spirit of customer service, the inter-island terminal building at Uliga Dock is soon to be completed.”
On the big picture, she said the Cabinet will present its plan of action, known as Agenda 2020, during this session. This is a “road map” for the 10 challenges that have been identified as urgent and 10 reform priorities, including things like the social security system and state owned enterprises.
Staying focused on “better customer service for the people, this Administration was able to successfully accomplish in the last six months some long over-discussed, inadequate and outstanding support services for the people,” she said.
Among other key areas, the President said the Public Service Commission and the Chief Secretary’s office “have started to address long-time obstacles and bottleneck issues affecting operation of the government and previous administrations. This includes fast tracking the process of hiring and firing government employees, updating all secretarial and agency heads’ job descriptions to clarify their mandate and initiation of changing their status from permanent to contractual in order to secure better performance and accountability.”
The national budget soon to be introduced to Nitijela will include funding to promote action on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the RMI. To meet its obligations to international human rights conventions to protect women and children, the RMI government is proposing in FY2017 to build “safe houses, known as ‘Weto In Mour,’ for abused women who face domestic violence in their own homes,” the President said.
Last week, Cabinet endorsed the nation’s National Action Plan for Combatting Trafficking in Persons and has declared August 30 as Anti-Human Trafficking Day, she said as part of the RMI’s efforts to improve its ranking in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons annual report.
Read more about this in the August 5, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.