Integrity Fiji working to fight corruption

Claire Johnstone
Pacific Programme/ Maori Caucus

Claire Johnstone
TINZ Member with Delegated Authority Pacific Programme

Integrity Fiji, the national anti-corruption NGO for Fiji has been making solid inroads into working with their government and citizens to stem the flow of corruption.

Indicative of this is that the Deputy Commissioner of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), George Westlake Langman, has asked Integrity Fiji to meet and discuss ways they can collaborate to fight corruption.

FICAC’s primary responsibility is to conduct investigations on any alleged offences of corruption and bribery in accordance with the Act and Prevention of Bribery Act No.12 of 2007.

 Chairman of Integrity Fiji, Joseph Veramu, said that working with FICAC on their common issue will be a huge bonus to the chapter.

 “While we don’t investigate corruption because we simply don’t have the resources, we do hear from people who have experienced corruption first hand. Often they are frightened to tell the authorities – but we are a neutral party that can pass information on to FICAC.”

 Mr Veramu said there is a need for more proactive public education on the definition of corruption in Fiji. He said Integrity Fiji can help triage complaints.

 “With good information, FICAC will be better able to successfully litigate in the Courts”.

 Mr Veramu said Integrity Fiji can also help FICAC to provide a more focused outreach to a wide range of groups including business people and public companies that deal with government procurement.

 “This will not only help FICAC to get their message out and also increase the corruption related allocated complaints and allegations.”

 Mr Veramu said the Freedom of Information Bill has just been passed by their parliament and it is currently debating the Code of Conduct Bill (for politicians and government workers.)

 “These acts should empower the public to seek information and demand transparency for public officials through FICAC”.

 Mr Veramu said that Integrity Fiji is also working closely with Fijian Youth. Last week they helped lead discussions on corruption with 500 young Fijian’s about the ways and means that they could be empowered and supported by Government and stakeholders in the UN, NGOs and civil society.

 “Youth are the key to our future. But we need to find ways that give them a voice at the table. We want them to speak out against corruption and we want them to vote. It is essential for Fiji that we expect a better future and that we have control of our own destiny – our youth must play a part in this and as the leading corruption NGO we are determined to help them to do this.”

Joseph Veramu Integrity Fiji (front light blue shirt) with youth group