26 Jun 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands says corruption in logging industry is endemic

6:14 am on 26 June 2007

A spokesperson for Transparency Solomon Islands says corruption in the country's logging industry is endemic.

The Solomon Islands Leadership Code commission has said it wants provincial governments to reprimand executives who are being paid excessive allowances by logging companies.

Transparency's Joses Tuhanuku says its not just provincial executives who are being paid excessive allowances, as it's been going on in the forestry sector since the early 1990s.

He says many logging companies are also bribing landowners and chiefs.

Mr Tuhanuku says there's hope the Leadership Code commission will be able to crackdown on such corruption but it will also take the efforts of everybody involved.

"It has to be a joint effort by all organisations and hopefully the government. Now we have to start with the government. Ministries are also involved, provincial officers and so on. So the thing is corruption in the forestry sector in Solomon Islands is endemic. Its not just ministers of the government or bureaucrats and so on, its everybody."

Joses Tuhanuku says although logging is one of the most important industries in the country, with the government dependent on it for much of its revenue, it is also the most corrupt.