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National Parliament of Solomon Islands

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BLC CHAIRMAN CLARIFIES STATUS OF THE 2 NEW BILLS

FRIDAY 15 APRIL 2016

BLC Chairman Hon. Connely Sandakabatu
BLC Chairman Hon. Connely Sandakabatu

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee, Hon Connelly Sandakabatu has come out to clarify an article carried by the Solomon Star on Wednesday the 13th April on the status of the Anti-Corruption Bill 2016 and Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2016.

Solomon Star Newspaper has reported that BLC had thrown back or returned the two new Bills to the Prime Minister’s Office for further details.

However, the BLC Chairman Hon. Sandakabatu told Parliament Media that the statement was not true.

“In actual fact my committee received all six Bills and we have never returned the other two new Bills back to the Prime Minister’s Office as was reported”

Hon.Sandakabatu said his Committee had only requested the Prime Minister’s Office through a check list to give his Committee supplementary information on the two new Bills.

“For instance, what are the report background information of the Bills, how they were drawn up, the consulted report on the bills, what people have they consulted on to get their views and so on” he explained.

“This will give us a broader understanding of the background to the Bills so that it gives the Committee members good information as to what background and what exactly is the aim so that we can do our job well as a committee scrutinizing the Bills” Hon. Sandakabatu further explained.

However, it was also reported in the Forum Solomon Islands International face book page that the Anti-corruption Bill 2016 was never deliberated on by both the caucus and cabinet thus they jointly requested the Prime Minister to return the Anti-corruption Bill 2016 for their scrutiny before forwarding it to the BLC.

The BLC has already called for written submissions from individuals, groups and organizations who wish to express their views, knowledge or experiences on these 2 new Bills that are now before parliament as well.

They will then collect these submissions as evidences of its inquiry into the Bills and present them in a report to Parliament.

The Committee also examines subsidiary legislation to ensure that it is compliant with the Act under which it is made. The functions of the Committee are specified under Standing Order 71.

The Bills and Legislation Committee have therefore requested the Prime Minister’s Office to quickly provide them as per their checking list and they are still waiting for the information prior to their check-list to give them a good standing when they come to scrutinize the Anti-Corruption Bill 2016 and the Whistleblowers Bill 2016 next week.

“In fact we are very happy to receive these two long awaited Bills which are now ready before us to scrutinize and deliberate on” Hon. Sandakabatu said.

Currently the BLC has already deliberated on the following four Bills:
• Penal Code (Amendment) (Sexual Offences) Bill 2016
• Police and Transport Legislation (Amendment) (Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016
• Valuers (Amendment) Bill 2016
• Lands and Titles (Amendment) Bill 2016

The Parliament refers most bills (proposed law) to the Bills and Legislation Committee. The Committee therefore is responsible for reviewing all the draft legislation before they are introduced into Parliament and makes a written report to each meeting of Parliament containing the observations and recommendations arising from the Committee's deliberations.

Meanwhile, BLC has scheduled the Anti-Corruption Bill 2016 and the Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2016 to be heard by mid next week.

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