MOU signing to pave the way for strengthening coordination for improved anti-corruption results
August 28, 2023
Honiara, Solomon Islands: The Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC) signed new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with integrity institutions to pave the way for coordination and collaboration on corruption prevention (Part 3 of the Anti-Corruption Act) and investigating and prosecuting corruptions – Part 4 of the Act.
Global experiences elsewhere have revealed that coordinating anti-corruption efforts is one of the most challenging of anti-corruption work, with various integrity agencies established, with a diversity of mandates, and competing agendas that contribute to the general absence of systemic clarity.
The Inter-institutional anti-corruption coordination made possible with the signing of the MOUs is in line with the overall country’s international and regional anti-corruption commitments, including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the 2030 SDGs Agenda and specifically SDG 16 which recognizes peace, justice and strong institutions includes key elements to reducing bribery and corruption; and the Teieniwa Vision-Pacific Unity against Corruption.
Through Section 10 of the Anti-Corruption Act, SIICAC is required to cooperate with the Office of the Auditor General, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Leadership Code Commission, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. Under Section 91, it also states that cooperation with these institutions entails sharing information for the purpose of investigation and prosecutions of corruption offences.
Facilitated by UNDP as part of Japan and Solomon Islands-funded Transparency and Accountability Project and UK-funded Pacific Anti-Corruption Project, the MOUs provide the frameworks to guide the relationship between the parties through exchanging of information, joint investigations, staff trainings and capacity building activities, resources sharing of expertise with another agency, and generally, participation in inter-agency fora on a frequent and ongoing basis.
Opening the signing ceremony, Chairperson of SIICAC, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui, expressed his gratitude to the signatories, partner agencies, development partners and donors and highlighted “the MoUs' role in fulfilling the requirements of section 10 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2018 that requires SIICAC to liaise and cooperate with the eight integrity institutions, five of which are being represented here today.”
On behalf of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Madame Rachel Olutimayin added that “The signing symbolizes a collective determination to safeguard the rights of every person by empowering various institutions to investigate, uncover and prosecute those who engage in corruption through inter-agency cooperation.”
Chairperson of Solomon Islands Leadership Code Commission, Stevenson M. Bekalame, explained what this agreement supposes for both entities as “a significant step forward and the beginning of the collaborative work amongst all integrity institutions to support each other to fight misconduct in this country making the fight fiercer for the benefit of this country.”
Mr. Fred Fakari, the Ombudsman, emphasized that: “Corruption in this country is real and we must find ways to fight it. This MOU is a positive step forward to commit ourselves, all integrity institutions, in this battle. It is the confirmation for all integrity institutions who are prepared to lead the way, calling everybody, involving everybody to face corruption but also overseeing everybody for the good of all citizens of this country”.
Echoing what was said by his colleagues from other agencies, Auditor General, David Dennis, welcomed the MoU saying “I feel excited by the possibilities that the new agreements that we are signing today enable us to collaborate within the formal framework that the Anti-Corruption Act provides for working together.”
The anti-corruption efforts implemented in Solomon Islands are funded by the Government of the United Kingdom through the Pacific Anti-Corruption Project, and the Governments of Japan and Solomon Islands through the Transparency and Accountability Project, both implemented by UNDP.
For more information or media enquiries, please contact:
Daniel C. Gonzalez, Strategic Communications Specialist, UNDP Solomon Islands Office, email@example.com, +677 7740 740/ +34 65 65 65 270
Tomoko Kashiwazaki, Communications and Advocacy, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, firstname.lastname@example.org, +679 781 5465
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