7 Jun 2006

Solomon Islands civil society spokesman takes up government role

7:39 pm on 7 June 2006

The new Solomon Islands secretary to the prime minister and cabinet will be John Roughan, a prominent civil society spokesperson.

Mr Roughan, who's currently an adviser at the Solomon Islands Development Trust, says he was offered the role by the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

He says he's willing to take the position on because the new government says it will put the needs of the rural people at the forefront of its vision.

Mr Roughan says he's spent many years advocating that the needs of villagers should come first and sees the position as both an advisory and leadership role to the permanent secretaries who head up government departments.

"The permanent secretaries are basically managers of government's plans, and if the managers have a clear and accepting understanding of what the government is trying to do, then it makes government's plans that much easier to do."

Mr Roughan says he'll take up the job at the end of the month once a contract is signed.