Retired bishop on corruption - Solomon Star News

Retired bishop on corruption

22 January 2014

AN Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) would only function if it’s not politicised.

That’s the view of retired Anglican bishop Canadian Bishop Terry Brown.

There have been recent discussions for the government to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption to fight graft.

Bishop Terry, who served here for many years as Bishop of Malaita, and is now living in his home country, said ICAC can work well but at the same time it can also be used for political ends.

“My fear is it may become politicised and becomes corrupt itself,” he said.

“But I think it would be possible to find some responsible and honest people to staff the Commission.

“There would have to be an approval process, perhaps in a hearing conducted by a parliamentary committee.

“If appointed only by the Prime Minister there would be the potential for corruption” Bishop Terry said.

He suggested developing a better anti-corruption unit in the police, who would then investigate and prosecute breaches in the Criminal Code (bribery, etc.).

Bishop Terry added strengthening the fraud office of RSIPF to investigate government fraud without interference from Prime Minister's office or politicians would be another option.

“It is important to strengthen anti-fraud legislation, with strong penalties and commitment by the police and judiciary to enforce them.

“I believe it is better that funding for prosecution of fraud cases is done without political interference.

“There must be strict financial procedures, audited, nothing secretive, no virement or borrowing of designated funds for an additional purpose.

“A proper national budget that reflects national priorities that is strictly adhered to. No over-riding of this budget by the Prime Minister's office (for example, no virement of funds from one unrelated budget line to PM's office for travel.

“Strengthening of the Auditor General's office to produce public reports is vitally important.”