BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ONE achievement DSE (Development Service Exchange) and its members can sit back and be proud of is their unwavering support for last year’s controversial Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB).
DSE, mandated under its Strategic Plan (2017-2022) is the voice of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Solomon Islands.
With this position and responsibility, from August 2017 to Dec 2017, DSE took the lead in mobilising members of CSOs as well as concerned citizens to put together a work plan and a terms of reference for a working committee (taskforce) comprising of its members to push for the bill’s return to parliament.
Different strategies were used to ensure that the Bill, also termed by then Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare as “People’s Bill” be prioritised by parliament.
The committee was formed, the media were involved, petitions were signed and peaceful protest march took pace to the Prime Minister’s office.
Since then, the Anti-Corruption bill has been revisited and submissions to the bills and legislations have been made.
The bill is being discussed nationally through social media, has generated much interest from development partners and donors and returned to Parliament in Nov 2017.
As expressed in DSE’s July 1, 2017 to June 30 Annual report by General Secretary, Jennifer Wate, the campaign to bring the Anti-Corruption Bill to parliament in Nov 2017 is a significant achievement DSE members and stakeholders worked together to achieve.