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Solomon Islands Focused on Anti-Corruption Priorities

Solomon Islands Focused on Anti-Corruption Priorities

Despite the ousting of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last week in a Motion of No Confidence, the progress of the re-introduced Anti-Corruption Bill in Parliament last month remains a priority for the Solomons community who are keen for Parliamentarians to pass this Bill into law.

Solomon Islands government focal person for UNCAC, Derek Gwali Futaiasi, Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister, told the UN Convention Against Corruption biennial Conference of State Parties in Vienna this week that once the Bill becomes law, a new Anti-Corruption Commission will have authority and jurisdiction to investigate and refer for prosecution all corruption cases that arise from the moment of the Bill’s adoption into law.

“The Bill, when enacted, will amend corruption offenses in the Penal Code so these can be consistent with elements of corruption offences as clearly stated in UNCAC. All corruption cases occurring prior to the law will be investigated by existing law enforcement bodies already engaged in the important work of fighting corruption,” said Mr Futaiasi.

“This year as well, our government has signed an agreement with the UNDP to give effect to some of the anti-corruption activities in our National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Our government wants leverage from development partners to deliver on its National Anti-Corruption Strategy. For this reason UNDP is being requested to cost-share with Government on this anti-corruption project as well as to further mobilise resources from other development partners.”

Mr Futaiasi said that in late September this year, South Korea and Vietnam reviewed Solomon Islands’ compliance with the prevention and asset recovery chapters of UNCAC and that the Solomon Islands greatly appreciated South Korea and Vietnam for the support of their experts in overseeing the review process along with UNODC officials.

“In terms of Chapter II (preventive measures), Solomon Islands has progressed: Adoption of a National anti-corruption strategy at highest level, following extensive stakeholder consultations; a stand-alone budget for the Ombudsman’s Office to ensure its financial independence; and the mandatory nature of the Leadership Code and accountability and oversight provided by the Leadership Code Commission,” said Mr Futaiasi.

“In terms of challenges, we note the need to review and take appropriate measures to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public resources (and in particular Constituency Development Funds).”

The Solomon Islands has also supported other Pacific delegates to the UN’s peak conference on anti-corruption in urging States parties and other development partners to support Small Island developing States in their efforts to implement and monitor Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Solomon Islands participation in the biennial Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Vienna, Austria was facilitated by The United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project. The Australian Government is supporting the UN-PRAC Project, a four-year project in the 15 Pacific nations being implemented by UNODC and UNDP.

ENDS///

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