If this news agency were to propose a way of kick-starting reform, it would look something like this:
draft overview proposing a new non-state actor, the NDC
National Development Commission
as a registered society and, or, a statutory body of the Cook Islands.
> background Civil society is evolving worldwide from long standing institutions in public and private sectors.
> status Associations and other Non-State Actors in civil society are attaining equality with older institutions, including Government.
> example One example is the equal footing enjoyed by NSA representatives with Government members on GFATM, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
> premise Cook Islanders may similarly benefit from a body that reflects and responds to these evolving world trends.
> proposal A National Development Commission is proposed. Initially as a registered society, NDC could potentially partner with government and develop into a statutorily recognised body.
> precedent Precedent for an NDC has been set. A commission as proposed here would build on foundations laid down by previous public administrators. NDC also builds on historically established, short-term, issue-based coalitions of civil societies. Some reference has also been set by manifesto in political party.
> functions Primary functions for an NDC include providing scrutiny for public and private sector development. Such scrutiny reflects the importance placed on monitoring as seen in 1998 surveys conducted by the Political Review Commission.
> mechanisms Interest groups meeting monthly in council e.g. tourism, environment, media; to discuss common issues, set national and industry priorities. Quarterly updates provide constant impetus towards annual commission reviews.
> outcomes Evolution from public sector directed development priorities towards greater sector equality in governance processes.
> effectiveness Possibly zero as yet another non-state actor. Potentially high as an agency for governance input from civil society. Disengaging from political processes including historic and periodic formulation and dissolution may allow NDC to achieve and maintain effective societal mana through independent comment, lobbying and influence on governance issues.
> governance Operations of the NDC could serve as testing ground for governance concepts promoted for public and private sectors. Transparency, accountability, contestability, freedom of information, regulation, consultation and cooperation are all governance values needing real world research and development.
> strategic profile NDC would be ideal for encouraging modern management concepts of perpetual evolution. Recognises status of NSA executives as the elected representatives of societal groups.
> sustainability Membership open to all registered societies. Entirely voluntary with funding from all sectors. Mixture of permanent and issue-based councils.
> implementation Questions and answers concerning proposal for NDC raised and circulated among initial focus group. Working committee self-appointed. Draft parameters established. Formal invitations extended to all non-state actors. Constitutional aims and objectives discussed, drafted, consulted, amended and approved. Government approached for partnership and statutory recognition. Permanent cycle of recommendation, implementation and review begins.
> promotion All NDC hearings open to public. NDC members would be among the first points of contact for news media on wide ranging issues. Funding could be sourced for training NDC members towards agreed goals, and, building capacity among civil societies towards governance input.
> conclusion Good governance on issues of public concern most frequently occurs during events of high scrutiny, debate and consensus. By establishing an NDC, civil society could formalise and dramatically improve frequency of such events.