Anti-corruption Institutions powerless

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BY BEN BILUA

THE workshop on ‘Reporting Corruption’ for journalists that is currently underway at the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Cooperation highlights that most anti-corruption institutions in the country have no power to directly deal with corruption.

Presentations from the Ombudsman Office, the Attorney General Office and Leadership Code Commission proved that there are certain weaknesses within their institutions due to lack of provision in the respective laws.

Ombudsman, Frederick Fakarii said the role of the Ombudsman Office is to deal with administration misconducts and is subjected to LCC.

“Our office investigate reports but not prosecute perpetrators because the law does not allows us to do so.

“Our role focuses on administration misconducts and not criminal matters and we are answerable to Leadership Code Commission.

“Upon completion of our investigation we submit the report to the leadership code commission for further deliberation.

“Our role ends there,” he said.

Chair of the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) Mr Solomon Kalu also share similar sentiment saying that LCC has very limited power.

He explained to journalists that the power given to LCC is given to the Commission and not individuals as such conducts are based on commission decision.

Mr Kalu said LCC is a body established by an Act of Parliament and that all procedures and operation are subjected to the Act and not beyond.

He told the journalists that any request from media for information have to go through the Commission Board and not individuals.

Veteran Journalist George Atkin said, weak legislation cannot guarantee media with important resources to report corruption.

He suggests there is a need for stronger legislation that would empower anti-corruption institutions and the media to fight corruption.

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