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Vision: To be a modern Parliament that fulfills its constitutional duties and effectively serves the people of Solomon Islands.


Parliament is adjourned until 9:30 am on Wednesday 22 August 2018.  

Parliamentary Strengthening Project

 

WEDNESDAY 2ND MAY 2018

The Parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) will conduct a two days hearing into the Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 starting this Thursday 3rd of May 2018 until Friday 4th.

The Bill was reintroduced after it was withdrawn from the Business Paper on the floor of Parliament on Monday 28th of August 2017.
Former Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare then sought leave under Standing Order 31(1) to move the motion to withdraw the original Bill which was introduced back in 2016.

It was moved by the Prime Minister without notice under Standing Order 26 (1) due to the reasons, the Bills and Legislation Committee at that time had made some very good recommendations to improve the older version of the Bill.
Government had therefore seen the need to improve the Bill by including recommendations from the latter Bills and Legislations Committee thus the Bill was reintroduced in Parliament as a new Bill.

The object of the Anti-Corruption Bill is to give legislative effect to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by:
•Creating new corruption offences to capture the full range of corrupt practices that may occur within the public sector or in the interaction between the public and private sectors.
• Providing for the investigation and prosecution of corruption offences;
• Establishing the Solomon islands independent commission against corruption; and
• Introducing a wide range of measures to prevent corruption, including a national
Anti-Corruption Strategy, public awareness activities about the effects and
prevention of corruption, and assistance too public and private bodies in the
prevention of corruption.

The reasons for the Bill are that:

• Corruption in Solomon Islands appear to be widespread;
• Corruption undermine development and sustain poverty, inhibits economic growth,
drives politic instability, enable the unsustainable use of natural resources,
impact the delivery of service and undermines good governance and the rule of
law.

Solomon Islands acceded to UNCAC in January 2012 and is internationally obligated to have law in place to implement the convention. In 2014, the UN Office on Drug and Crime conducted a Review of Solomon Islands’ compliance with the UNCAC. It showed deficiencies in several areas in law and administration, in particular as regard the scope of the existing law and their effectiveness in preventing corruption.

The Government has accepted most of the recommendation in the UN Review, and the Anti-Corruption Unit in the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has developed a policy on Anti-Corruption, one component of which is this Bill.

There are existing corruption offences in the Penal Code, but they do not cover the range of conduct that constitutes corruption adequately, and they are not well expressed or well understood. The Bill creates new offences apply to both the action of public officers and actions of individuals and private sector organization in their interaction with public officers.

The UN Review also recommended that Solomon Islands should have an institution dedicated to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption. This will be achieved by the establishment of the Solomon Islands Independent Commission against Corruption (SIICAC) by the Bill. The commission will be independent, with its own finances and staff, and will have the power to instigate prosecutions with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Bill seeks to ensure that the new Commission liaises with existing bodies that deal with maladministration (the Ombudsman) and misconduct in public officer (the Leadership Code Commission) and amend the Panel Code to require various agencies to liaise with one another and share information for the purpose of investigation and prosecuting corruption offences.

Stakeholders that will appear before the Bills and Legislation Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mathew Wale include the Office of the Prime Minister, Legal Draftsperson, Transparency Solomon Islands, NCW, FSII, DSE, Law Reform Commission, Leadership Code Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Police (JANUS), Auditor General’s Office and Internal Audit.

The Bill in its current form is attached with Penal Code showing Amendments proposed by Anti-Corruption Bill 2017.

MONDAY 23RD APRIL 2018

The NSW MPs visiting the two communities. MP for West Guadalcanal Constituency, Hon. Moses Garu chatting with one of the MPs of NSW Parliament during the Constituency tour in Lambi.

The NSW MPs headed by President Hon John Ajaka on Thursday 19th April 2018 made a historic visit to two communities in the West Guadalcanal constituency.

Communities of Lambi and Verahue were so privilege and delighted to receive the New South Wales MPs right in their village.

The trip took approximately an hour drive from the capital Honiara to visale and then another hour boat ride from Visale to Lambi.

Although the weather was not so kind, the delegates who were divided in three boats insisted to go and they seem to enjoy most of it, especially boat riding on a rainy and bumpy swells of the west Guadalcanal Sea.

A group of men dressed in traditional warriors costume welcomed the delegates as they safely landed on the beautiful white sandy beach of Lambi. Following the warriors welcome, they were led to a hut by a group of women dancers who also dressed in traditional grass skirts made of tree barks.

Local chiefs of Lambi community presented to the NSW President Hon Ajaka a Guadalcanal traditional shell money and chupu (a traditional gift of local food and a pig) as a sign of respect to any leader (both local or foreign) who visited their community.

You can tell from the villager’s happy faces that they appreciated so much the visitation of the New South Wales MPs in their village.

“This is history for us since we hardly have such visits from any leaders or delegates overseas to our shores” a Lambi chief told the delegates.

All the rest of the NSW MPs were also presented with traditional woven baskets each to take back with them as souvenirs.

President Ajaka thanked the Chiefs and the lambi community for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation and for the gifts they received as well.

“I’m planning to make such constituency visit an annual thing, that’s once in a year” Hon. Ajaka assured the people of Lambi.

“I’d love to spend a night sitting by the fire and experience the rural setting however time did not allow me for that, probably next time.”

Hon. Moses Garu also took that moment to thank the Lambi community for their preparation to host the delegation and for that he donated a sum of $3000 for the community as a token of appreciation.

After the chupu ceremony at Lambi, the NSW MPs took another 15 minutes boat ride to Verahue community where they were also greeted to a heroic welcome.

At Verahue village, the NSW MPS were shown some of the assistance given to the community by their Hon MP Moses Garu. This include a new Church building, a new kindergarten classroom, a three tone truck and a coconut oil crushing mill.

Following the site visits around the village, the delegation were farewell with two hymns sung beautifully by the Verahue choir before they head to Visale to finally board vehicles for Honiara. Such a visit is basically to show the visiting NSW MPs to see for themselves what a rural constituency set up looks like.

It was made possible through dialogues between the National Parliament Civic department and the West Guadalcanal MP Hon Moses Garu who is also the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, to host the NSW delegation at his Constituency.

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