By ANDREW FANASIA
SOLOMON Islands is the only country in the Asia Pacific region that improved its score the most from 2017-2018 with plus 5 points in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
That’s according to Transparency Solomon Islands ‘Iron Lady’ Ruth Liloqula.
The CPI is a compilation of the results of several surveys carried out by global prestigious organisations that conduct these surveys for clients or their stakeholders.
“Given this result and the country is approaching the national election, it is likely that political parties and intending government will be making a lot of propaganda around it,” Liloqula told reporters, Tuesday.
“It is for this reason the TSI wants to share and clarify some of the positives and negatives of our score and ranking in the CPI this year,” she added.
“TSI gives credit to the authorities and the government for this improvement but urges them to stay motivated and keep the fight against corruption.
“We still have a long way to go such as passing the Right to Information Law, the Regulations for the two anti-corruption Acts, the announcement of the enforcement date of the CDF Act or the total repeal of CDF.”
Liloqula further stated that there are many things still missing in this fight and things will take huge steps back if we do not move even faster.
“We have to admit and acknowledge that in two years we have done some positive improvement of our CPI.
“For example the fact that an anti-corruption bill was passed in the parliament sends a strong signal that finally the authorities are paying attention to the issue,” she added.
Liloqula acknowledged the government for its willingness to involve the civil societies in legal reforms program to fight corruption.
She also said that media and social media played a very important role with less threat from the higher authorities like in other countries.
“In the work of police never before there have been many investigations, detentions and prosecution to corrupt individuals which also shows that justice is doing its job.”
Liloqula said these activities and engagements have contributed to improving Solomon Islands CPI score.
But she added that while the increase of 5 points is welcomed, we should not forget that 44 out of 100 is not something to feel proud about.
“The real improvement will come when laws are enforced adequately and when the democratic institutions are able to operate with autonomy, are well resourced and do not depend on political powers,” Liloqula said.
She added that citizen engagement and social accountability must perform to its best with a good anti-corruption system in place.
“What really matters now is the strength and functionality of institutions,” she said.