25 Jul 2018

Solomons NGO raises concern over corruption clause

9:04 am on 25 July 2018

New anti-corruption legislation tabled in the Solomon Islands Parliament suggests legislators have something to hide and needs to be modified according to Transparency Solomon Islands.

The Whistleblower Protection Bill and the long awaited Anti-Corruption Bill are currently before parliament.

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

Transparency International executive officer Ruth Liloqula said while the proposed laws are an important step in the fight against corruption clause six of the Anti-Corruption Bill limits the powers of any investigation to events after the bill is enacted.

"The fact that it is in portrays to the public that legislators have something to hide and that they are protecting themselves from being investigated. This is the interpretation for the public," Ruth Liloqula said.

In tabling the whistle blowers bill on Monday the prime minister Rick Hou said it aims to protect people who come forward with information on corruption or report report misconduct in office and maladministration.

Mr Hou said the bill is also expected to contribute to the effectiveness of the proposed anti-corruption law.

Unlike its sister bill the Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 had already passed its first reading but its progress through the house has stalled and it has proven politically divisive despite widespread public support.

Ruth Liloqula is urging government to pass both laws and to commit to a date when they will come into effect.

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