Leadership Code Commission penalises former MID Minister $12k for misconducts in office
THE Leadership Code Commission (LCC) has penalised Hon Jimmy Lusibaea with a fine of $12,000 for three counts of misconduct in office.
In two counts, Lusibaea had placed himself as a Minister in situations of ‘conflict of interest’, and in the third, he gave false or misleading statements to the LCC. Each penalty costs $4,000, which is the Commission’s highest.
First, for being the owner of the Lion Heart Company (LHC) which was awarded a government contract during Lusibaea’s time as Minister of Infrastructure Development (MID), the Ministry which administered the contract.
Second, also during his time as MID Minister, the LHC entered a profit sharing arrangement with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) regarding side-lifting service. SIPA is also a SOE under the MID.
Third, Lusibaea gave false information to the Commission in 2015, declaring that ‘he had no shares in any company’.
He was given 14 working-days from August 28, 2017 to pay up, and also has the right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.
In a media statement, the LCC explained; “The Leadership Code Commission finds the three counts of misconduct against Hon. Jimmy Lusibaea (the leader) substantiated and therefore penalizes him with a total fine of $12,000.
“On count 1, the Commission finds that the leader failed his duty under section 94 of the Constitution in that he conducted himself in a way that places him in a conflict of interest, demeans his office or position and allows his integrity to be called into question.
“At the relevant time the leader is the owner of Lion Heart Company (LHC) and the Minister responsible for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID). In March 2016, LHC was awarded a government contract by the Central Tender Board for the maintenance of the Silolo to Fouia road in North Malaita. This contract was administered by the MID for which the leader was then the Minister responsible.
“On count 2, the Commission also finds that the leader failed his duty under section 94 of the Constitution. In January 2016, LHC entered into a contract with SIPA for the former to provide side lift services for the later on profit sharing arrangement using a side lifter truck that LHC sold to SIPA. The Commission finds that this placed him in a conflict of interest.”
The LCC adds that Lusibaea had admitted to these two allegations in his written response.
“On count 3, the Commission finds that the leader provided information in his declaration Form furnished to the Commission in 2015 as false or misleading in that he declared he had no shares in any company. Providing information to the Commission which is false or misleading on a material particular is misconduct in office. The leader breached section 10 (c) of the Leadership Code (Further Provisions) Act 1999.”
Lusibaea, according to the LCC, had not denied this allegation in his written response.
Meanwhile, LCC thanks Lusibaea for cooperating and accepts his apology and explanation in that he had misunderstood the LCC’s requirements, thinking he had not breached any.