The Hon. Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, used the occasion of Anti-Corruption Day on Monday this week to give details of those that that had been appointed to head the soon to be functioning Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC).
The PM said the former Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, GCMG, also a former Attorney-General and High Court Judge, would head SIICAC and local lawyer, Anika Kingmele, would hold the deputy chair.
The Prime Minister said four other members of the anti-corruption body had been selected and appointed, Ruth Liloquala, OBE, the executive director of Transparancy Solomon Islands (TSI), Waita Ben Tabusasi, a former politician and one of the founding fathers of the nation, Jim Sendersley, head of the Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit within the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and John Tuhaika Sr, former long-serving top public servant.
Sir Frank Kabui, his deputy and the selected members of the SIICAC are known to have been sworn-in by His Excellency the Governor General, Sir David Vunagi, GCMG, last Thursday.
Prime Minister Sogavare also spoke about the purpose the SIICAC to wipe out corruption and gave details of some preliminary administrative steps in creating the Commission.
He said the Anti-Corruption Working group had already developed a recruitment structure for the SIICAC Secretariat and identified a suitable place for the SIICAC office.
He also announced, quote:
“We are hopeful to start the recruitment process of the Director General in the first quarter of 2020 and we anticipate the office will be fully functional by the second or third quarter of 2020.”
“I am also very happy to advise this august body that with support from the UNDP, we have reviewed the 2017-2019 national anti-corruption strategy.”
“Numerous consultations have been completed and key messages from the review have formed the basis for the new draft national anti corruption strategy.”
“The National Anti- Corruption Strategy Steering Committee has endorsed the new draft national anti corruption strategy which will be forwarded to present to the Cabinet in the next few weeks and ultimately to be tabled in the National Parliament pursuant section 32 (2) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2018.”
It was one year ago when the Anti-Corruption Act, 2018, was enacted and it is pleasing to know the SIICAC will soon become a reality and one must hope that the creation of the anti-corruption agency, with its specialist appointees, will have the capacity and the “teeth” to stamp out corruption and corrupt practices that have for so long hindered the progress of the nation and blackened its reputation.