Corruption in the country is extremely rife in the country but there is no independent body to directly deal with the issue.

This is according to Solomon Islands' Auditor General, Edward Ronia, in a Corruption Reporting Forum with local journalists earlier this month in Honiara.

"We are not empowered to prosecute individuals involved in corruption, not even the Leadership Code Commission," Mr. Ronia said.

The Auditor General pointed out that lack of an anti-corruption body is a missing link to address corruption in the country.

Mr. Ronia adds that "a breeding place of corruption" is the national election, from the campaign trail leading up to the general elections.

He said that the Auditor General's Office, who is mandated to audit public accounts such as government ministries and provincial government, have found out there is no strong accountability, poor management and lack of transparency over government funds.

Mr. Ronia told local media that such failure of government officers to comply with financial instructions, even on documentation of financial records, is a clear symptom of breeding corruption.

Meanwhile, also addressing the forum, Chairman of Transparency Solomon Islands, (TSI), Bob Pollard, adds that corruption is getting worse and it must be dealt with at its early stage.

Mr. Pollard said that development in the country is becoming stagnant because corruption remains unaddressed.

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