In a new undertaking, the MRD and RSIPF collabrate to tackle fraud in CDF program, a much talked about program activity of the government.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have engaged in discussions to strengthen their collaboration in eradicating fraud and corruption within the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) program. The CDF program has faced many criticsms over the past years as it failed to meet expectations with regards to public finances.
The MRD team made a presentation on the CDF to detectives and investigation officers from the RSIPF’s National Crime & Investigation Department (NCID) on June 28, 2023. The presentation was part of the RSIPF Serious Crime, Fraud, and Corruption Course conducted at the Rove Police Academy in Honiara from June 26 to June 30, 2023. The objective was to familiarize the investigators with MRD’s roles and responsibilities in combating fraud and corruption in the country.
During the presentation, both MRD and RSIPF explored potential areas of collaboration. These included:
- Reporting and investigating cases of official corruption and misappropriation of CDF funds.
- Promoting community awareness campaigns to educate citizens about the CDF program.
- Ensuring the safety and security of CDF-funded projects, assets, and infrastructure.
Deputy Secretary Technical (DST) of MRD, Hugo Hebala, emphasized the importance of establishing a coordination system among relevant ministries, such as the Ministry of Finance, MRD, RSIPF, and other pertinent institutions, to facilitate information sharing. He highlighted the ministry’s ongoing efforts to reform the CDF program to enhance its delivery mechanism and governance, making the need for such coordination even more crucial.
Mr. Hebala commended RSIPF for the opportunity and stressed that tackling fraud and corruption required collective action not only from relevant ministries and organizations but also from citizens themselves.
Detective Constable Edward Vilaka, speaking on behalf of his detective colleagues participating in the Serious Crime, Fraud, and Corruption Course, expressed gratitude to the MRD team for their informative presentation. He expressed eagerness to collaborate closely with MRD to enhance the delivery mechanism and governance of the CDF program, ensuring it fulfills its intended purpose of improving the social and economic livelihoods of rural people.
The presentation covered various aspects of the CDF program, including its objectives, medium-term development focus areas, legislative framework and guidelines, governance structure, program requirements and modalities, implementation pathways, as well as the challenges faced.
The CDF program, managed by the Ministry of Rural Development, is a crucial initiative of the Solomon Islands Government, aimed at enhancing the social and economic wellbeing of all Solomon Islanders through development projects implemented by the 50 constituencies across the country.
Source: Ministry of Rural Development