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Extra Protection Sought For Whistleblowers

The parliamentary standing committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights has been told that more protection should be given to whistleblowers under the Code of Conduct Bill No 33 of
18 Jan 2019 15:15
Extra Protection Sought For Whistleblowers
Aren Nunnik during the Public Submissions in Savusavu on January 17, 2019. Photo: Yogesh Chandra

The parliamentary standing committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights has been told that more protection should be given to whistleblowers under the Code of Conduct Bill No 33 of 2018.

The suggestion has come from a real estate businessman in Savusavu during public submissions on the Bill in Savusavu yesterday.

Aren Nunnik, who has been a  Fijian citizen for the past 10 years, suggested to the committee that the Bill be strengthened to allow dissemination of more information against all civil servants.

“I feel that the Act is quite weak in that regard and I would like to see it strengthened in order to protect our whistleblowers,” he said.

“If we want a modern Fiji, we should set high standards for everyone who has powers and special privileges.”

Mr Nunnik also raised concerns relating to ordinary Fijians and on their protection and security in reporting against government officials.

“I hope that the Code of Conduct Bill will address this to maintain a balance,” he said.

“Members of the public should feel safe if they want to make accusations against government officials.”

Mr Nunnik added that he was pleased to see that the Bill was finally coming into effect after four years in the making.

“We want to see that this Bill enables the commission to work independently and implement the various provisions,” he said.

Responding to Mr Nunnik, standing committee chairperson Alvick Maharaj said that all matters raised would be taken on board and deliberated upon by the committee in the finalisation process of the Bill.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: yogesh.chandra@fijisun. com.fj

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