Parliament adjourned debates of whistleblowers protection bill

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By Gary Hatigeva

PARLIAMENT has adjourned its debates into the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill 2016 after Prime Minister Rick Hounipwela moved a motion of adjournment of the house.

Following its second reading with moves to have it debated and placed for its third reading, members of the other side of the House requested for any debates into the bill to be suspended for a suitable timeframe.

The request according to the group, was to give them the ample time to thoroughly go through the bill, so to stir and bring about constructive debates and scrutiny especially when going into the committee’s proceedings of it (bill).

The Prime Minister, then accepted the group’s request and moved a motion of special adjournment with anticipation for a well debated proposed legislation.

The motion was voted on and got the support of members from both the government and opposition including the independent group, who suggested the bill was a crucial one as it will accompany the recently passed Anti-Corruption Act.

In accepting the special motion’s votes, Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for South Guadalcanal, David Day Pacha adjourned Parliament to today, but the Bill is unlikely to be set down for debates because Fridays according to Parliamentary Standing Orders and Proceedings, is a Private Members Motion day, and the Bill can only be debated if the Committee of the Whole House permits.

On Monday, Prime Minister Hounipwela brought the Whistleblowers legislation, which was tabled in Parliament, and was put up for its second reading yesterday with hopes for it to be debated and possibly passed, but it will have to wait for another sitting date.

The whistleblowers protection bill aims to protect people who come forward with information on corruption.

The proposed legislation also covers people who report misconduct and maladministration.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister explained that the bill is expected to contribute to the effectiveness of the proposed anti-corruption law which the prime minister is also seeking to have enacted.

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