BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
A Parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) two-day hearing into the Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 commences on Thursday, according to a press statement by Parliament Media.
The press release statement explains that Anti-Corruption Bill aims to give legislative effect to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) by creating new corruption offences that will fully capture a range of corrupt practices within the public sector or in the interaction between public and private sectors, providing for the investigation and prosecution of corruption offences, establishing a national independent commission against corruption and introducing a wide variety of measures to prevent corruption.
Also stated is that corruption appears to be widespread in Solomon Islands and impedes development, sustains poverty, hinders economic growth, induces political instability, enables unsustainable use of natural resources, affects service delivery, undermines good governance and the rule of law.
The reasons stated above are why the bill which was originally introduced in 2016 and reintroduced after being withdrawn from the Business Paper in parliament on Monday, August 28, 2017 is important.
Moreover, the statement expressed that the UN Review had recommended Solomon Islands to have an institution dedicated to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption.
In relation, the bill will achieve this by the establishment of an independent Solomon Islands Independent Commission against Corruption (SIICAC) that will have it’s own finances, staff and power to instigate prosecutions with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Parliament Media furthered that stakeholders who will appear before the Bills and Legislation Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon Mathew Wale include the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO), Legal Draftsperson, Transparency Solomon Islands, NCW, FSII, DSE, Law Reform Commission, Leadership Code Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Police (JANUS), Auditor General’s Office and Internal Audit.