NATION

FICAC On Lookout For Corrupt Practices On The Back Of Cyclone Winston

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption has fostered partnership with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Divisional Commissioner’s office. This is in order to help maintain transparency and accountability
05 Mar 2016 10:53
FICAC On Lookout For Corrupt Practices On The Back Of Cyclone Winston
Many in Ra have returned home to rebuild and start their life all over again. Cyclone Winston has damaged many houses in Ra. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption has fostered partnership with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Divisional Commissioner’s office.

This is in order to help maintain transparency and accountability throughout its rehabilitation operation post Cyclone Winston.

FICAC Officers take on roles as liaison officers acting in advisory positions, providing support at a time when human resource is stretched.

This is a proactive approach taken to minimise the likelihood of abuse by public officers during the rehabilitation process.

The need to engage with DISMAC and its operation stems from what FICAC has established from previous audit reports about reported allegations of abuse.

This also includes mishandling of funds and resources for past disaster relief operations.

While weather alone does not create corruption and fraud, studies have shown it creates conditions in which those crimes can thrive.

Corruption is also aided by the relaxed procedures to ensure speedy delivery of aid and services.

Kickbacks and advantages have emerged as a common corrupt practice during disaster procurement of items as logisticians and warehouse managers during this time have discretionary powers to influence purchasing and contracting decisions.

Our presence is to ensure that the system is transparent and accountable so that aid will reach the people who really need it.

We will be mindful during the reconstruction of infrastructure where opportunities to inflate contracts and using substandard material may arise.

Also, false delivery dockets may be made which indicate high number of materials being purchased while in fact lower number of items may be delivered to the required areas.

Supplies may be diverted to areas where the officials would want it to go first giving rise to favouritism.

The above are some of areas where mismanagement is likely to occur, however, there are numerous unethical practices that may find its way in many forms when handling large sums of money and aid.

Hence, in taking this approach, FICAC tries to proactively safeguard the DISMAC operations and its systems from getting exposed to any allegation of mismanagement or abuse.

As such a lot of verification will be needed to counter check materials and allocations to reduce the mismanagement of relief funds and to ensure that the people in affected areas receive fair and adequate attention.

FICAC will make every effort to eliminate the grey areas where corrupt practices may tend to occur, which then guarantees people in need are attended to and resources and aid received are not mismanaged or abused by public servants.

 

 

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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