The Chairperson of CLCT Integrity Fiji Mr Jofiliti Veikoso admitted that the ‘letter’ came at an opportune time. In May, Fiji was reeling from the shocking news that the Indian variant of COVID-19 had spread through various parts of Vitilevu, the main island. The entire nation was in lockdown with everyone confined to their homes.
The email signed by Daniel Eriksson and received at this challenging time, provided positive news. It read, “It is my pleasure to inform you that in my function as Chief Executive Officer of Transparency International e.V. (TI), I have approved the application of Civic Leaders for Clean Transactions Integrity Fiji (CLCT IF) to be accredited as National Contact to the movement of Transparency International. This decision has been made pursuant to the terms of TI’s “National Chapter Accreditation and Individual Member Appointment Policy” and is subject to compliance with the conditions set out below.”
Mr Veikoso rang all Board Members and Youth leaders to inform them of the good news.
Executive Director Joseph Veramu was assigned to let Transparency International New Zealand know of this positive news.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the financial support and TINZ for the moral support and all the help provided in formulating and finalising policies, corporate plans and reports.
“There were times on the long, hard and lonely journey when we looked at ourselves and had self doubts; times when we thought of just giving up...but you were always there for us with your words of encouragement and your support. You spoke up for us to TI and provided a vehicle through Transparency Times where we could publicise our work. Your unwavering support means so much to all of us.”
In 2019, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZMFAT) provided funding through TINZ to enable CLCT Integrity Fiji to prepare policies, plans, reports in preparation of its application as National Contact for Transparency International.
Debbie Gee was the first to come to Fiji and took the staff, board members and youth leaders through stakeholder engagement, communication and media skills. Debbie also showed her customer service skills in other ways!!! There were problems with setting up the new CLCT IF Bank Account and Debbie played an important role in chatting to the Kiwi Head of ANZ to expedite the account opening so that NZMFAT Funds could be deposited.
Suzanne Snively came next and helped firm up all our policies. She also fired up our young people especially on fund raising strategies. To this day, youth leaders still talk of her affirming and down to earth style. They liked her very much because she made everyone think outside the box and try out innovative ideas. She even gave a workshop to CLCT IF partners – the Fiji National Sports Commission.
Claire and Ashley Johnstone helped firm up on the CLCT If Finance Policy. They shared important competencies with the Youth Leaders on Advocacy Skills.
Leonard Chan from NZMFAT also came to Fiji and provided valuable advice for CLCT IF.
Next Step - National Chapter Formation
Chairperson Jofiliti Veikoso said that now that CLCT Integrity Fiji has been accredited as National Contact, plans are already under way to work towards the next stage which is the application to be a National Chapter in Formation.
CLCT IF is making a difference
Although CLCT IF has part time staff and unpaid volunteers, it has punched above its weight. In January, CLCT IF in partnership with the Fiji National University offered the free MOOC anti-corruption course to 1,400 online students in Fiji and the Pacific region.
In February, CLCT IF worked with the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the National Sports Policy and the integration of integrity provisions.
In March CLCT IF worked with the Ministry of Economy and Vendors/Suppliers on Transparent Procurement Policies. This was a resounding success.
In April, CLCT IF’s Youths For Integrity leaders took the nation by storm by advocating against the draconian Draft Police Bill. The Fijian Government withdrew the Bill and the media noted that it was principally due to the Youths for Integrity advocacy and other non state agencies. A United Nations report implied that the withdrawal was also due to the advocacy of the Youths for Integrity network.
CLCT IF would like to acknowledge that publicity provided in Transparency Times greatly helped in its branding and in funding it received recently from the United States Embassy.
“We have become very well known due to the publicity provided in Transparency Times. It has given prestige to CLCT IF and helped us in research, advocacy and fundraising activities.”