THE Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) Act clearly stipulates the selection process and criteria upon which members of the board of the bank are selected and how loans are processed and approved compared to the previous DBSI.
This statement was revealed in a press conference by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Treasury McKinnie Dentana when responding to a question on the independence of the bank from political influence.
The demise of the former DBSI was believed to be the result of too much political influence and a lack of good governance.
But Dentana said that like any other State Own Enterprises (SOEs), there are processes and criteria to be followed and satisfied in the selection of the members of the board.
“The process includes an advertisement which was already done.
“Also specifies under the DBSI Act is the establishment of an independent committee to make recommendations as to the board’s composition.
“Under the selection processes, the committee makes sure that people with different skill sets are represented on the board.
“Here we are looking at banking, accounting, economics, and technical support,” he stressed.
Mr. Dentana iterated that these guiding principles and well-structured processes were lacking under the former DBSI.
“We believe that because of the absence of these structures and processes, the former DBSI was susceptible to political influence resulting in its demise.
It was understood that the Minister of Finance and Treasury appointed the Interim Board of the bank according to section 49 of the DBSI Act 2018.
The composition of the Board will be made public as soon as the appointments are gazetted.
When asked who made the decision to award loans or projects to say political figures Dentana said the act is very clear on the process.
“The decision will strictly come from the board and the bank management based on what is stipulated under the DBSI Act,” he added.
Dentana stressed that the bank is here to ensure that those projects that are not bankable to be bankable so that it supports rural areas and other key sectors.
More on that he said the Bank is to facilitate the economic and social development of the Solomon Islands within the overall development plans and strategies of the Government.
“With particular emphasis on the participation of Solomon Islanders in economic development as well as stimulating industrial activities that may strengthen the economic independence of Solomon Islands,” he added.
By ANDREW FANASIA