THE review of the Leadership Code Commission (Further Provisions) Act must be prioritised.
Early this year Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo announced his Government’s 10 priority areas for this year 2014.
The second priority affirmed the commitment to improve Governance process by introducing the Political Parties Integrity Bill in Parliament and the new Leadership Code Act which aims to keep leaders in constant check.
This week Parliament passed the Political Parties Integrity Bill even though it faced much criticism from the opposition.
The passage of this Act clearly demonstrates the political will needed to effect changes.
However, if the government could display the same attitude to amend the accountability legislation to effectively curb corruption legislation would be highly applauded.
Transparency Solomon Islands understands that a total of twelve Bills came before the Parliament for this current sitting, eleven have been considered and passed and only one is still before the House.
The eleven Bills already passed in this current sitting are:
1. Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Bill 2014
2. Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2014
3. 2013 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2014
4. Constitution (Status of Magistrates) (Amendment) Bill 2014
5. Constitutional Offices (terms and Conditions of Service) (Judicial Reform) (Amendment) Bill 2014
6. 2014 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2014
7. Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2014
8. Mines and Minerals (Amendment) Bill 2014
9. Political Parties Integrity Bill 2014.
10. Sales Tax (Amendment Bill 2014.
11. Land and Titles (Amendment) Bill 2014.
The last Bill before the Parliament is the Business Names Bill 2014.
What about NCRA’s stated priority to improve the current Leadership Code Commission?
How serious is the Government in its priority to review the relevant Act?
Reform of the LCC has been one of TSI’s central campaign themes over the last year and even the Chairman of the LCC himself has expressed a view that the Act needs to be changed.
It is extremely important to review the LCC Act in order to effectively hold leaders accountable to any act of misconduct.
We have seen how quickly the NCRA government has been able to introduce debate and pass other key pieces of legislation. What has happened to this stated priority?
TSI understands that a draft Leadership Bill has been completed.
We are concerned that the current Parliament is due to be dissolved soon and there is no indication of whether or when the Leadership Bill will be tabled for debate.
It would be sad if the Government ran out of time to achieve this vital stated priority.
It is important to note that our leaders know very well how damaging corruption can be to our society and addressing it must be a priority.
But when it comes to important legislation to such as the reviewing of the Leadership Code Commission Act to curb corruption there seems to be less political will from our leaders to support it.
Making no further progress to review the act is the same as allowing corruption to flourish in our society.
TSI will continue to call for strong and independent accountability institutions.
We want to know what you think about this issue, please call TSI office on 28319 or leave a comment on our facebook page, www.facebook.com/Transparency SI or email, [email protected]
By TRANSPARENCY SOLOMON ISLANDS