IT’S natural to think of elections when we think of political corruption.
People or business organization with their own agendas can twist voting and influence results.
They may secretly give candidates big financial donations which in turn enables candidates to buy votes instead of winning them.
But political corruption isn’t just about election rigging.
When decisions on key bureaucratic position are being politicized, this also means political corruption.
In general, politicization of recruitment process refers to a number of different outcomes but related phenomena associated with political intervention in administration.
The term commonly refers to the practice of placing loyal political appointees or cronies on the basis of political connections into important bureaucratic posts.
Transparency Solomon Islands understands that very soon,the government will make decision to recruit a new chairman of Leadership Code Commission and the appointment of a new Land Board Members of the newly established Land Board within the Ministry of Lands.
The LCC Chairman will be responsible to administering the Leadership Code and keep leaders accountable to the Solomon Islands people.
The office of the LCC performs a vital role in defining, promoting and managing integrity, disclosure, government contracts, and conflicts of interest and undertake investigation of misconduct of leaders.
Though given its important role to keep leaders on constant check, there is wide public perception that the LCC need to step up and effectively enforce its duties to hold leaders accountable to their action.
TSI understand that this is a technical issue that requires the review of the LCC Act in order to make it more effective.
On the other hand, the Land Board Members which will be responsible to make decisions relevant to the administration and allocation of registered lands in the country.
Land management is truly a controversial and complex issue.
The sale of land in Solomon Islands is an issue which often involves controversial conduct and allegedly corrupt acts.
Many of the decisions made in State Owned land dealings do not reflect the public interest and at times cause public anger.
Often the sale of public land points to a well-coordinated system of selling and re-selling of land titles that is influenced by personal interest and not the interests of the State.
Therefore, making sound and fair decision on land matters must be the priority.
It is understood that there is often a general public perception saying that the Ministry of Lands is corrupt.
Such perception is very tarnishing indeed and rings a bell that a lot needs to be done to gain back public trust on the ministry.
Given the key respective responsibility of each of these new appointments, TSI strongly believe that any decision made on appointing potential candidates for these position must be free from political interference.
Candidate chosen must be made based on merits and must have the capacity to deliver desirable outcomes.
When decision are been politicized it distance fair decision and only benefit political cronies.
In other words, the public interest comes second whilst political interest takes head.
Also when we do have political appointees serving as head of government agency it can leads to greater politicization of decision making.
It has on-going effects on the organization, decreases intensity of policy-making by civil servant, reduces the agency effectiveness and erodes public trust.
By TRANSPARENCY SOLOMON ISLANDS