WASHINGTON, December 12, 2023 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$6.5 million grant to support the Government of the Solomon Islands in improving the transparency, data collection, and accountability of its statistics and auditing functions.
The Building Capacity in Statistics and Audit Project will provide strategic planning and technical guidance support to the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office and the Office of the Auditor General. This project will strengthen their operations and enhance community engagement and transparency, ensuring the public has greater access to information on public spending.
“Up to date and timely statistics, data, and audits are essential for the government to make decisions, consider investments, and identify where more support and spending may be needed,” said, World Bank Resident Representative for Solomon Islands Annette Leith. “Ultimately, greater accountability, information and transparency will deliver better decision-making by authorities and better outcomes for Solomon Islanders.”
The project will provide technical training and information technology enhancements to the National Statistics Office to facilitate the regular publication of high-quality data and statistics. Support will include introducing innovative methods for conducting the Solomon Islands' Household Income and Expenditure Survey. This will further contribute to the government’s understanding of household needs, pressures, and income levels nationwide. It will also help improve information gathering in business surveys, which currently face low response rates.
The project will enhance the capacity of the Auditor General's Office to deliver timely and precise audits by providing strategic and technical support and institutional capacity building. The project will help improve communications to ensure non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, other government bodies, and citizens have more frequent access to government spending data.
“We welcome this partnership with the World Bank, which will enhance the statistics and auditing functions to support the duties of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and other arms of government,” said Hon. Minister Harry Kuma, Solomon Islands Minster of Finance and Treasury. “All Solomon Islanders will see impacts from this work, which will provide better access to social data, information on income levels and poverty, and clear and timely information about how public funds are being used to address their needs.”