-Country gets low score on corruption
-But, very, very hard to eliminate it here
By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands has a no single solution to eliminating corruption, a panel discussion has established.
Leadership Code Commission, Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC), Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI), Council of Women, Ombudsman, United Nations Development Programme and social media representative could not come up with one solution when they discussed the country’s approach on corruption and reflect on her Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking.
Solomon Islands ranked 44 out of 180 countries in the CPI ranking, announced by former Governor General and chairman of SIICAC, Sir Frank Kabui yesterday.
CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank nations, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
Sir Frank suggested one way is to improve internal procedures in the public service as a lot of officers cannot comply.
He said most public servants could not even make decision on legal basis.
“We need to think right to live right or think wrong to live wrong, “he said.
Sir Frank stated that when one public officer wants to do things, the other colleagues would take a soft measure.
“If you report us, for what reason.
“Or they may say the rules does not belong to your dad,” he said.
As such, Sir Frank said it is really hard to eradicate corruption.
Furthermore, Sir Frank believes corruption in the country may be attributed to certain factors like:
1. Decline in morale standard in population;
2. Poor, people don’t have money because most come from villages;
3. Environment, our wages are low and cannot sustain through out the month plus trying to feed many people in the house.
Sir Frank said corruption is not a new thing as it has been on the penal code since 1963.
He said the Anti-Corruption Act just expands the definition and scope of provision in the Penal Code.
In 2017, Solomon Islands ranked 39.
It moved up to 44 in 2018 after the government passed the Anti-Corruption Act, the Whistle-blowers Protection Act, and government working with civil society more openly welcoming people’s participation.
However, in 2019, it dropped to 44.
But last year, Solomon Islands made a huge jump to 77 out of 180 countries.
The theme for this year’s launch of the 2020 CPI is COVID-19 AND CORRUPTION.