PERMANENT secretary of the Ministry of Lands Stanley Waleanisia has defended his ministry against public perception that it is one of the most “corrupt” government ministries.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with the Solomon Star, Mr Waleanisia said like any other ministry, there are policies and procedures that act as a compass for officers to work by.
“The biggest problem is with officers who failed to work alongside the standard operating procedures that have been set out clearly for them to follow,” he said.
“Failure of officers to work honestly has resulted in a lot of negative issues that impacted not only those concerned but the entire economy.
“And the wish of people to see tangible developments progressing to benefit this country has not been realised,” Mr Waleanisai said.
He said if only people in power make the right decisions, positive changes and benefits can be shared equally and fairly to all people.
He said in terms of land allocation in Honiara and throughout the provinces, it has been a real concern when officers who hold power work out of their standard operating procedures.
Mr Waleanisia stressed that the ministry of lands is currently working hard to improve and set things in order within his ministry to ensure citizens and investors in this country are equally benefiting from land allocations.
He said in the past, there has been a lot of mess within the ministry since officers in power were abusing their positions for their own benefits and their friends.
“But the new Lands and Title’s Act is a way forward to see there is transparency and accountability in the way allocation and distribution of land within the city and urban centres are concerned.
“Giving every citizen a fair and equal opportunity to apply and own land to develop. And we are also working on improving and amending existing regulations and policies of the ministry to be fair to everyone,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PS said with the current officers in his ministry, he is confident positive changes will soon to be realised because they don’t want to repeat the same mistakes of those who previously hold power and make a lot of mess within the ministry.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA