The Ombudsman of Solomon Islands, Mr. Fred L. Fakarii, has joined representatives from other local Integrity Institutions in the country to participate on the Bills and Legislation Committee [BLC) hearing on the Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB) on the 3rd of May 2018.
During the hearing, Mr. Fakarii joined others to voice concern over the recently added Section 6 of the Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 particularly on the use of “Custom as Defence” against prosecution. This is an area of concern for the citizens given the diversity of customs as well as the prevalence of nepotism, wantokism and to certain extent bribery of public officers.
Another area of concern raised during the hearing is the absence of provision(s) in the Bill to cater for “unexplained wealth” by public officials and any person in the Solomon Islands for that matter. While Integrity institutions like the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) deals with the disclosure and declaration of properties owned by leaders in the public sector, it is important to include unexpected wealth provision(s) in the Anti-Corruption Bill that has general application to ensure there is no illicit enrichment in the country.
Solomon Islands is a party to the United Nation Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).