Transparency Solomon Islands welcomes the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government and RAMSI which paves the way for a series of national consultative workshops by the Anti-Corruption Taskforce.

The Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, announced the Government's Anti-Corruption Taskforce will conduct a series of workshops to consult the community as it develops a national Anti-Corruption Policy.

The Chairman of Transparency Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, said the workshops are an important government-led initiative which will enable Solomon Islanders to put forward their views and directly influence government policy.

The Taskforce was established in February 2009, tasked with developing the Anti-Corruption Policy and making recommendations to Cabinet on anti-corruption reform, including the establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The MoU between the Government and RAMSI will allow RAMSI funding to support the Taskforce undertake a total of five workshops in Honiara, Gizo and Auki. It was signed by the Prime Minister and RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson. The Taskforce in their meeting this morning, decided on the first workshop to be held in three weeks time.

RAMSI support for the Anti-Corruption Taskforce and development of the Anti-Corruption Policy is provided for in the joint SIG-RAMSI Partnership Framework.

The Partnership Framework commits the Government and RAMSI to work together in the fight against corruption.

TSI understands that the Partnership Framework will enable RAMSI support for a range of key Government anti-corruption reform priorities including development of the national Anti-Corruption Policy; establishment of a permanent Anti-Corruption Taskforce; supporting the Government to become a state party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC); establishing an independent and effective anti-corruption agency; and working together to mainstream anti-corruption across all Government and RAMSI programs.

"The MoU signed late last week between SIG and RAMSI, along with the anti-corruption objectives of the SIG-RAMSI Partnership Framework are positive steps in support of the government's initiatives to combat corruption in the country" said Mr Pollard.

The Anti-Corruption Taskforce is co-chaired by Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr John Keniapisia, and Auditor-General, Mr Edward Ronia.

Taskforce membership also includes senior representatives from the Leadership Code Commission, Ombudsman's Office, Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, Law Reform Commission, Attorney-Generals Chambers, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Service, Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Transparency Solomon Islands.

TSI commends the Government and RAMSI for the joint efforts and their continued commitment to fighting corruption in Solomon Islands Mr Pollard said.

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