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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Commonwealth To Provide Effectiveness Training To Tonga
Governor officials, MPs to get public administrative training

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 25, 2013) – Tonga's Prime Minister announced at the end of a Government Retreat held in Vava'u from January 21-24 that an agreement in principle was reached with the Commonwealth Secretariat to provide training to improve the effectiveness of government officials and Members of Parliament.

Lord Tu'ivakano stated in a press release, that the Commonwealth Secretariat would support government to improve the effectiveness of its officials by offering training in public administration targeted at the needs of small island states.

The training will be provided jointly with the Government of Malta, another Commonwealth small island by providing expertise to tackle the problems of the public service because of its smallness and limited capacities in the ministries.

In addition, he stated that the Commonwealth Secretariat would find ways of assisting government in its effort to improve the effectiveness of Parliament by offering training for MP's in the Rules and Procedures of the House.

They would also provide government with guidance on how the problems they face in improving its public services are addressed by other small states of similar size and level of development in order to strengthen their institutions.

Prime Minister's Office

Strengthening of the Prime Minister's office was an area of concern by CEO's and accepted by Ministers in order to provide efficient and effective support to the Prime Minister and operation of Cabinet.

Ministers are said to have agreed to further develop purposed administrative processes such as standardizng cabinet submission, developing tracking system of decision made in cabinet, among other things.

The Vava'u Retreat held a number of discussions on how to improve the coordination of the public administration.

The retreat was attended by all Cabinet Ministers, Mishka Tu'ifua the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission and CEO's, and supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank under a theme, 'Strengthening Relationships at the Centre of Tongan Government'. It was held at the Puataukanave Hotel in Neiafu.

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