By IAN M.KAUKUI
STATESMAN and former Governor General Sir Frank Kabui has been appointed to head the newly established Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC).
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced at an event held on Monday to mark International Anti-Corruption Day in Honiara.
Lawyer Anika Kingmele has been picked to be the deputy chair of the anti-corruption body.
Four other members are Ruth Liloqula, executive director of Transparency Solomon Islands, Waita Ben Tabusasi, former politician and one of the founding fathers of this 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.
Kabui, his deputy and members of the SIICAC have been sworn-in by Governor General Sir David Vunagi last Thursday.
Sogavare said the Independent Commission Against Corruption is an excellent body established to help wipe out corruption in the country.
He explained that the chair and members of SIICAC have been selected by a Nominating Committee chaired by the former chairman of the Law Reform Commission Frank Bollen Paulsen.
“I thank Paulsen and his committee for undertaking the difficult task of selecting and recommending the final list of commissioners from a very long list of eminent applicants,” Sogavare said.
He added the Anti-Corruption Working group has already developed a recruitment structure for the SIICAC Secretariat.
“We have also identified a suitable space for the new SIICAC office.
“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 anticorruption strategy.”
Sogavare said the National Anti- Corruption Startegy Steering Committee has endorsed the new draft national anticorruption strategy which will be forwarded to him 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.
“Exactly, one year ago on this day when the Anti-Corruption Act 2018 was launched and commenced, we now announce and launch of our inaugural Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC), under the stewardship and leadership of its inaugural chairman, Sir Frank Kabui,” he said.
Kabui is the nation’s first local Attorney General before moving on to become a High Court judge.
Upon retirement from the bench, he was appointed the first chair of the Law Reform Commission, a position he held for several years before he was elected governor general in July 2009.
He was re-elected again in 2014, to hold the position for two terms, finishing his second term in July this year.