Remove discretion powers from MPs - Solomon Star News

Remove discretion powers from MPs

13 February 2020
It is alleged that the MP for Gizo/Kolombangara awarded a Solomon Islands Government Scholarship to her husband.

THE use of ‘discretion powers’ by the members of parliament has given them more avenues to roam without fear of voter repercussion and should be totally stripped off.

Speaking in the condition of anonymity to this paper an officer within the government circle said that this ‘discretion power’ has created rooms for most ministers of the crown to abuse their powers.

The officer said that while we all agree that our laws have given certain powers to the MPs there should be no room for them to abuse it.

The officer made this remarks after the member of Parliament (MP) for Gizo/Kolombangara awarded the Solomon Islands Government Scholarship to her spouse which was reported in the local media.

The MP confirmed that she had given her husband one of the six Constituency Scholarship Award.

This issue have brought public debate amongst the MP’s electorate questioning her of nepotism and discrimination within her constituency.

Meanwhile, the officer said MP for Gizo/Kolobangara is not the only leader who was accused for such action under her discretionary powers.

There were examples of past national leaders for abusing their powers which are even bigger than what the MP for Gizo Kolombangara is being accused for in the media and social media.

The officer said therefore it is better to remove the ‘discretionary power’ from the MPs so that the responsible authorities mandated to act on behalf of the government can do their job according to the right procedures.

“This will enable the voters and the public to see that there is transparency and accountability in the way our system works especially with regards to awarding scholarships or even giving our projects,” the officer added.

Few years back a government audit discovered widespread document falsification and forged in the finance ministry and the opposition party alleged misuse of nearly $900,000 of $1.3 million in discretionary funds controlled by the prime minister leading to his resignation.

The officer said this is another example of giving more or absolute powers to the national leaders.

“It’s time our government take this very seriously if they want to curb corruption in the country because with more powers they have the courage to abuse those powers for their personal gain or to satisfy their cronies,” the officer told this paper.