“Government is committed to consider the views of every person in all important decision making affecting the people. We now have a Government that listens. Our people’s perception and experiences are important to us and are necessary for any progressive policy making”
This was highlighted by Fiji’s Attorney-General Siromi Turaga while delivering his opening remarks at the Transparency International Pacific Regional panel event – Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) Pacific 2021 held in Suva.
The A-G highlighted that Fiji has been included in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 2022 after a lapse of 17 years.
“The CPI and the Global Corruption Barometer – Pacific 2021 Report (Report) provides valuable indicators as to the existence of corruption and rated Fiji within the first 50 least corrupt countries.”
“Fiji has made progress in this regard, but there is still much more to be done, and we must never become complacent.”
The A-G further outlined indicators from Fiji that were reflected in the report and this included;
Personal experiences with corruption in accessing public service – Fiji scored the lowest level of bribery rate of five percent amongst the countries surveyed. This is a remarkable achievement as bribery prevalence is the root cause of institutional and systemic corruption.
Misuse of personal connection
-The misuse of personal connection or the “who you know” practice, was also a criterion to measure corruption. The public service users who used their personal connections or called in personal favours was the specific issue surveyed and Fiji scored the lowest rate of 17 percent, though higher as compared to that for bribery.
Corruption by Institution
-Overall, all institutions scored less than 20%. The perception that people had was that Members of Parliament and the Police were institutions with the highest corruption rates (17percent) whilst business executives rated 15%. This is another indication of issues of corruption within businesses, and ultimately how decision making is affected.
Vote buying and electoral bribery
-Fiji scored one of the lowest levels of electoral bribery rate of four percent being the second lowest in the Pacific. It is a priority for this Government to ensure that the integrity of the electoral process is upheld.
The A-G reassured the participants that Government is committed in considering the views of every person in all important decision making affecting the people.
“We now have a Government that listens. Our people’s perception and experiences are important to us and are necessary for any progressive policy making.
“This includes strengthening institutional laws and policies for responsible reporting of corrupt practices (whistleblowing), capacity building as well as increased awareness focused programmes in communities.”
“With the support and cooperation by all members of society – not just a few sectors or groups; with government support, meticulous planning and commitment and of course with assistance from organisations such as Transparency International, we can – collectively – eradicate corruption,” said AG Turaga.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS