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MRD & RSIPF Discuss Potential Areas Of Collaboration To Stamp Out Fraud In CDF

The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) through its National Crime & Investigation Department (NCID) have discussed potential areas of collaboration to stamp out fraud and corruption in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme.

This was after a team from the ministry (MRD) made a presentation on CDF to detectives/investigation officers from the NCID of the RSIPF on 28 June 2023.

The presentation was on an invitation by the RSIPF NCID to guarantee investigation officers who are part of a RSIPF Serious Crime, Fraud and Corruption Course being conducted at the Rove Police Academy in Honiara between 26 and 30 June 2023 understands the roles and responsibilities of MRD within the Fraud and Corruption space in the country.

It also provided an opportunity for both government organisations to start mapping a way forward – especially how they can collaborate to assist investigators with criminal investigations if a referral is received by Police.

Other potential areas of collaboration discussed are;

  • Reporting/investigation of official corruption cases/misappropriation of CDF funds
  • Promote Community awareness/campaigns to educate citizens on CDF program
  • Safety and security of CDF-funded projects/assets/infrastructures

Deputy Secretary Technical (DST) of MRD Hugo Hebala said establishing a coordination system amongst relevant ministries like Ministry of Finance, MRD and RSIPF and other pertinent institutions is important for ease of information sharing.

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He said with the momentum that the ministry is now taking by reforming the CDF program to improve its delivery mechanism and governances, it is more than important that such coordination system must be recognised.

Mr. Hebala acknowledged RSIPF for the opportunity and said such undertaking requires collective action not only from relevant ministries and organisations but from citizens as well.

The MRD team also took the opportunity and informed officers on the current reforms that the ministry is undertaking towards improving the CDF programme.

Meanwhile, Detective Constable Edward Vilaka acknowledged the MRD team for the important presentation.

Constable Vilaka was speaking on behalf of his detective colleague officers who are part of the Serious Crime, Fraud and Corruption Course.

He said they are looking forward to working closely with MRD to improve the delivery mechanism and governance of CDF and make sure the CDF program serves its intended purpose by improving social and economic livelihood of rural people.

The presentation covered the overview of CDF, its objectives, medium-term development key focus areas, legislative framework & guidelines, governance structure, program requirements and modalities, implementation pathway – funding process, pros and cons of CDF and its challenges.

CDF is a programme of the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and is implemented by the 50 constituencies in the country through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) purposely to improve the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.

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