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Foster A Culture Of Transparency To Keep Corruption In Check: A-G

Foster A Culture Of Transparency To Keep Corruption In Check: A-G
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with key stakeholders and participants at the International Anti-Corruption Day event in Suva on December 5. Photo: DEPTFO News
December 06
10:58 2017

Creating a culture of transparency is the only way to deal with corruption in a comprehensive manner, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Attorney-General referenced several constitutional provisions, including the Political Parties Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures Act which were put in place to discourage corruption at all levels.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment when he delivered a keynote address at an International Anti-Corruption Day event in Suva yesterday.

He also cited Fiji’s ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption – a multilateral treaty – as an example of the nation’s commitment against eradicating the problem.

“Corruption is a bane on any society; it drains our resources and undermines the rule of law,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“It also sets in a place a culture that ultimately benefits a handful of people, to the detriment of the majority.”

Since the treaty was implemented in 2005, Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually on December 9.

It is a show of defiance against what former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said was “deceit and dishonesty that threaten our efforts to achieve peace and prosperity for all.”

The UN estimates that US$1 trillion (FJ$2.06 trillion) is lost every year to bribes, as well as a further US$2.6 trillion (FJ$5.37trillion) annually through corruption.

“Corruption also means the deterioration of the quality and standards of service that the ordinary Fijians or citizens of any country would receive,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

The A-G also sat down to answer questions from a mostly youthful audience at the event, which also had a regional representation.

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community were also present to engage in conversation with the Minster.

The Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption has recently ramped up efforts to fight corrupt practices in Fiji.

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service have also implemented stronger policies to protect and reward whistleblowers.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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