BY ALEX DADAMU
THE Government along with the Transparency Solomon Islands, other civil organizations and intergovernmental organizations that are at the forefront of the fight against corruption has been reminded to take into account the scrutiny of the ordinary Citizen of Solomon Islands.
Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI), Legal officer, Joy Abia made the statement at the launch of the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International recently in which Solomon Islands score dropped by two points and is ranked 42/100 from the precious score recorded in 2018 (a record low of 70/100).
CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank nations, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. The Solomon Islands score is below 50 indicating the widespread and the existence of serious levels of public sector corruption.
The TSI Legal officer highlighted that ordinary citizens are the ones that are greatly affected by the negative impacts of Corruption in the public sector and they will probably denounce the stakeholders who are taking the lead in the of the fight against corruption accusing them of doing very little to maintain the country’s 2018 scores or improve on it.
“Our CPI score should highlight where stronger anti-corruption effort is needed in the public sector.
“Lest we forget the ordinary citizens of this country that are affected by the negative impacts of corruption will inform us that the situation is not improving but is getting worse especially with regards to political corruption,” Joy Abia said.
Transparency Solomon Islands given our 2019 CPI score of 42 and ranked 77 appealed to the government to:
- Reinforce checks and balances and promote separation of powers.
- Tackle preferential treatment to ensure budgets and public servants aren’t driven by personal connections or biased towards special interests; or own agenda.
- Address political financing to prevent excessive money and influence in politics
- Manage conflicts of interests and address “revolving doors”
- Regulate lobbying activities by promoting open and meaningful access to decision-making
- Review, reform strengthen electoral system integrity and prevent and sanction misinformation campaigns
- Empower citizens and protect activists, civil society space, voice and activism, whistle-blowers and journalists
The Legal officer, however, stressed that the 2018 scores show what that can be achieved if everyone combine their efforts in the fight against corruption.
“The insignificant change we see in 2019 scores shows that we still have elements of that combined effort.”
The TSI Legal Officer Joy Abia in the Meantime acknowledges the Executive Government’s efforts in the fight against corruption including the efforts from the Media, Journalists and every concerned citizen.
“In starting the Journey for 2020, Transparency Solomon Islands believes that working together will roll back corruption in the public sector thus improving our score for this year.”