The news that corruption and fraud is rife within the very fabric of our government institutions and organizations is very alarming.
According to an Advisor to the Internal Audit Division within the Ministry of Finance, Solomon Islands is ranked 143 amongst 186 countries on an international index if countries effected by fraud and corruption.
This is something that we all should seriously consider doing something about it.
Many civil servants are very hard working, honest citizens who want a better life for their families, communities, provinces and the country as a whole, but due to institutional weaknesses, corruption continues to thrive.
Weak institutions can create an environment that reduces motivation and productivity. When employees face challenges such as low salaries and promotion unconnected to performance it is easy to become disheartened.
Staff members have also been demoralized by dysfunctional government budgets, inadequate supplies and equipment and loss of organizational purpose.
Also the motivation to remain honest has further been weakened as a result of senior officials and political figures using official power for private gain.
Senior officials and political leaders should set the right precedent for civil servants by valuing and respecting government institutions because these institutions have a very crucial role in the running of the state’s affairs.
If the recent report that bags of bech-de-mer confiscated by Police and Fisheries officials from Ontong Java have been removed from the fisheries office under the discretion of an MP is true, then this is a classic example of using official power for private gain.
Transparency Solomon Islands understands that the Ministry is the legal authority to stock illegal fisheries products and can sell them for state’s revenue and not MPs.
If MPs think that they have the power over the fisheries product, then why did the government finance the operation to Ontong Java to confiscate that illegal bech- de-mer?
Thus, it is a government operation and the confiscated products are government property which means it belongs to the people of Solomon Islands.
In addition, the weakening of government institutions has flourished mainly because of the ineffectiveness of responsible authorities to enforce our laws to hold people accountable for their own actions.
The laws are there but responsible authorities don’t enforce them effectively enough to bring fairness and justice to the citizens which the government represents.
When corruption is rife within government institutions or organizations the citizens will be left out and are distanced from the benefits of government services.
We would want to know what you think about this issue. You can call us on +677 28319, or report any corruption case to our Advocacy Legal Advice Centre on phone +677 20391. We are located in Chinatown, Stephen and Sons Building.
Weak Government Institutions = Sick Governance
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Transparency Solomon Islands and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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