Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) has successfully conducted a series of workshop in Taro, Choiseul province this week with public officials, community leaders, churches, women’s groups and youths.
The workshop is base on the topic of corruption and good governance and aim at empowering citizen to understand corruption and fight it.
During the workshop, participants discussed a broad range of issues including the nature and impacts of corruption, corruption offences and penalties, how to report corruption and what individual citizens can do to combat corruption.
On Tuesday TSI held a workshop for more than 20 key public officials representing critical provincial government department such as police, finance, health, education and including member of the provincial assembly and the provincial secretary.
It was also an opportunity for TSI to hear first hand views of provincial officials on national issues and good governance.
“TSI would like to thank the provincial secretary and all of the public officials who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the workshop. Corruption is a disease that is reaping us apart and we must do away with it”, TSI executive officer, Mr Daniel Fenua said.
On Wednesday during the civil society workshop a participant told TSI that understanding the topic of corruption and how to address it is lacking in the community although they’ve witness and been victimized by its negativities.
John Matapaza of Taro said that more awareness is needed to be done on the topic of corruption in the community because by only understanding it and its effects before we can effectively address corruption in our society.
Mr. Matapaza further call on both the provincial and national government to do more in terms of disseminating important information concerning governance in the rural areas because at this moment he personally think its lacking.
“Corruption and poor governance affects all of us and when information like this does not reaches us in the rural community it is possible for corruption to thrive without being held to accountable by those responsible for practicing it.”
He applauded TSI for making it to Taro, Choiseul province and sharing to them the message of corruption which is indeed an eye opening for many of them to take action against corruption in our communities.
“From the opinions and suggestions we received during the workshops, it is true to say that corruption is rampant and should be dealt with at all levels. It is clear that public officials, civil society groups, women groups and youths at the provincial level are willing to fight corruption,” Mr. Fenua stated.
“Participants exposed some of the examples of corruption happening at the provincial level and they would like to make things better in Choiseul province.”
Next week TSI will be traveling to Gizo, Western province to conduct similar workshop.
A Lawyer from TSI’s advocacy and legal advice centre (ALDC) will also be available in Gizo, to provide free legal advice on issues specifically relating to corruption.
Anyone who has a question about corruption and would like to speak to one of the ALAC lawyers should make an appointment by calling the TSI office on 28319, or by approaching TSI staff during the visit.
Since the program started last year TSI have already visited six provinces.
TSI’s provincial visits program is supported by the European Union under the non-state actors for development program for Solomon Islands.