Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (27 April 2019): Solomon Islands, PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Micronesia and Nauru

SOLOMON ISLANDS:

Development and the 2019 elections in Solomon Islands. Some of the reasons for this mismanagement are easily understood: the corrupting power of logging money, for example. Others are less simple. Not all Solomon Islands politicians are corrupt – many care for their country.

http://www.devpolicy.org/development-and-2019-elections-solomon-islands-20190423/

Protests erupt in Solomon Islands as Manasseh Sogavare elected Prime Minister for fourth time. Several MPs opposed to Mr Sogavare sought an injunction against the ballot and walked out of the vote when they failed to stop it.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/manasseh-sogavare-becomes-soloman-islands-prime-minister-again/11043578

A Cultural Defense to Bribery? The Solomon Islands’ Approach (Blog).  “Instead of capping the monetary value or limiting the type of gifts which public officials are allowed to accept, the [Anti-Corruption Act passed in 2018] introduced a new cultural defense to…bribery of public officials. According to this defense, a public official who accepts or solicits something of value, as well as the individual who offers or gives it, is not guilty of bribery if the defendants can prove that their respective acts were conducted: (1) “in accordance with custom,” (2) “openly, in the course of a traditional exchange of gifts,” and (3) “for the benefit of a community or group of people and not for an individual.”

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/04/15/a-cultural-defense-to-bribery-the-solomon-islands-approach/

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA:

Governance and Corruption in PNG’s Public Service: Insights From Four Subnational Administrations (Resource).  “Findings [from interviews with public servants] suggest that policies that aim to support and inform the less enfranchised (women and junior staff) are particularly important for addressing corruption in PNG. However, this paper argues that efforts to shift the status quo must take into account the contextually-specific relationships between bureaucrats, politicians and citizens, which vary across time and space.”

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3365319

Call to end delays around corruption in PNG. A long-touted Independent Commission Against Corruption could be finally about to fly in Papua New Guinea, but the government's critics remain skeptical.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/387762/call-to-end-delays-around-corruption-in-png

Political Meddling, Poor Training Spur Graft in Papua New Guinea. A newly-published discussion paper on corruption in Papua New Guinea’s public sector found that low-level officials are often poorly informed about laws and regulations and are under intense pressure to grant favors to businesses, politicians and clan affiliates, contributing to existing patterns of corrupt behavior in the developing country.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/9639-political-meddling-poor-training-spur-graft-in-papua-new-guinea

NGO wants PNG anti-corruption body to be strong. Transparency International says it's waiting to see how strong the Papua New Guinea government's planned Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will be.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/387367/ngo-wants-png-anti-corruption-body-to-be-strong

 

FIJI:

Man admits to committing corruption offences. A man charged with offences regarding the misuse of funds under the Help for Homes initiative pleaded guilty in the Suva Magistrates court.

https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/news/man-admits-to-committing-corruption-offences/

 

SAMOA:

Samoa caught up in cryptocurrency scam - Central Bank. Samoan businesses, churches and individuals have been implicated in a multi-billion dollar global cryptocurrency scam.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/387800/samoa-caught-up-in-cryptocurrency-scam-central-bank

 

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA:

Bid to expel journalist from Yap puts spotlight on Micronesian ‘free’ media. Traditional chiefs are trying to expel a US journalist from the Federated States of Micronesia island of Yap.

https://asiapacificreport.nz/2019/04/26/bid-to-expel-journalist-from-yap-puts-spotlight-on-micronesian-free-media/

 

NAURU:

Nauru denies former president's claim offshore detention deal led to corruption.  The government of Nauru has branded claims by its former president that the country’s offshore detention deal with Australia had led to corruption and greed on the island “pure fiction”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/25/nauru-denies-former-presidents-claim-offshore-detention-deal-led-to-corruption

  

  

To know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact the team members:

Annika Wythes, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC, annika.wythes@un.org

Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist - Pacific, UNDP, mihaela.stojkoska@undp.org

Maria Lee, Peace & Development Administrative Assistant, UNDP/UNODC, maria.lee@undp.org

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