30 Aug 2010

Speaker in Marshall Islands calls for sweeping reforms to cut costs

11:23 am on 30 August 2010

The Speaker of the Marshall Islands Parliament is calling for sweeping reforms to step up accountability and cut costs in a country with a huge government bureaucracy.

Alvin Jacklick says a radical course change is laid out for steering the Nitijela and the Marshall Islands efficiently and effectively into a better, sustainable future.

Mr Jacklick wants a smaller Parliament and improved accountability through a requirement that elected and other government leaders give full financial disclosure.

He also wants the establishment of a special prosecutor as a watch dog, an environment that's supportive of business development, opportunities for outer islands communities, and encouragement for women to become leaders.

Mr Jacklick says it's apparent many government entities are underperforming or not performing.

He has expressed worry about the country's heavy reliance on foreign aid that now accounts for two-thirds of its annual budget, and a bloated government workforce that is not producing results.

Mr Jacklick says future leaders must put politics aside and support his plan.

He says to do otherwise puts the future of the country and its people in serious jeopardy.