AFTER ten months of “painful and frustrating” experience, the Government’s flagship policy on anti-corruption is finally up and running.
The event was marked by the swearing-in of the head of the newly-established Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC), John Hugani Kouni, in Honiara on Thursday.
The brief ceremony sealed Mr. Kouni’s five-year appointment as the first Director-General (DG) of the organization.
“… I congratulate you on being appointed the first Solomon Islander Director-General of the first Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption. The signing of your employment contract this afternoon seals the appointment,” the Commission’s Chair and former Governor-General Sir Frank Kabui told a small gathering.
But Sir Frank also issued a stern warning that the journey ahead would not be easy.
“It is not going to be easy. There is a long way to go. This is just the beginning of a long road in the search for solutions to corruption,” Sir Frank said, adding the Commission was aware of the pressure from the public in their concern for action against corruption in the Solomon Islands.
He said in this respect, the Government must play its part in supporting the Commission.
“Political rhetoric is useless without the faithful and determined implementation of government policies by government officials. Delays, promises, and general procrastination in the Government system are counter-productive to success,” he said.
In accepting the appointment, Mr. Kouni said he saw the appointment as a grand opportunity to demonstrate responsibility to take on the challenges.
“In saying that, I assure you I will try my best to lead SIICAC in a manner that is expected,” he said.
The SIICAC inaugural Director-General is a qualified Lawyer with the following qualifications;
a) LLB, Waikato University, New Zealand;
b) Post Graduate Certificates – IPLS, Waikato Branch, Hamilton, New Zealand;
c) Admitted as Barrister & Solicitor, Hamilton, New Zealand;
d) Master in International Maritime Law Institutes, Malta.
By FOLLET JOHN