Solomon Islands anti-corruption efforts have been highlighted at the 6th Implementation Review Group (IRG) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister, Derek Futaiasi, who is also the Government’s focal point for UNCAC, is representing Solomon Islands at the meeting which is underway in Vienna this week.
Mr Futaiasi informed the meeting that Solomon Islands has completed its UNCAC Review in 2014 and has held a follow-up workshop last week in Honiara, with the support of the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project.
Recommendations from the workshop were considered and prioritized by a wide range of stakeholders including the private sector and grassroots community groups.
Mr Futaiasi informed the meeting that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has prioritized anti-corruption reform as one of his main objectives during his term in office.
“Our Prime Minister is committed to tackle corruption within the Government, and within the programs government agencies implement for service delivery with the full force of laws, policies and service delivery processes that Government is managing,” Mr Futaiasi said.
He also highlighted that Prime Minister Sogavare wishes to develop a national anti-corruption strategy and to establish an anti-corruption body to be called the Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC). Setting up the SIICAC is one of the main objectives of the Government under its fundamental reform programme.
At last week’s anti-corruption meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands has benefited by learning from Papua New Guinea and East Timore on how these two countries have established anti-corruption strategies and institutions to fight corruption.
Mr Futaiasi also informed the meeting that Solomon Islands is moving towards establishing an anti-corruption steering committee - consisting of relevant stakeholders to deal with issues relating to the Government’s anti-corruption strategy and the establishment of an anti-corruption body.
He added that the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands has also benefitted from a Financial Intelligence Unit Attachment Programme with the Financial Intelligence Unit of Fiji last month as part of the Government’s anti-corruption efforts.
Mr Futaiasi said although Solomon Islands still has a long road ahead, the Government is committed to fighting corruption in a holistic manner and is pleased with the ongoing support from Regional and International Organizations for guidance.
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit