THE Parliamentary Opposition has welcomed and acknowledged the announcement made by the Prime Minister to establish an independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).
Leader of Opposition Jeremiah Manele in a statement on Monday said the Parliamentary Opposition Group fully supports the establishment of an ICAC.
Mr Manele said for many years, undetected and unchecked corruption in the public sector has caused serious damage to this country.
As a result, the Opposition Leader said corruption has caused inefficiencies in operations, it has undermined public trust in government, and it has exhausted public resources and money as well as causing injustice through advantaging some at the expense of others.
“We welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister and the DCC Government as it is a step in the right direction to reducing the tide of corruption in our country,” he said.
He said the initiative is overdue and the need is inevitable.
However, the opposition leader said prompt action must be taken now and the Prime Minister and his Government must live up to their words and put it into action.
“This is a timely assurance for our country when the nation is entangled with corruption-undermining the effectiveness of a vibrant government and private sector machineries for quality delivery of service to the citizens of Solomon Islands,” he said.
Mr Manele added that ICAC when established should not take over the responsibilities of existing government anti-corruption agencies.
He said while ICAC should complement the responsibilities of the other agencies, other anti-corruption institutions should also be strengthened.
- Reviewing and developing the new leadership code regime and legislation and strengthening of all existing legislations and Penal codes to combat corruption,
- Reviewing and strengthening the role of the ombudsman office,
- Establishment of a code of ethics for politicians and leaders and
- Strengthen the mandates and linkages between other anti-corruption institutions including the Police and the Director of Public Prosecution. This should also be done at the provincial level with similar provisions.
Mr Manele encouraged the Government to prioritize the establishment of ICAC if they are serious about tackling the issue of corruption head-on.