As Fiji observes the UN Anti-Corruption Day on 9th December, FLP recalls that the 2006 coup was executed to carry out a “clean up campaign” to rid Fiji of corruption.
This is an appropriate time to assess how effectively this has been carried out and whether we now live in a less corrupt society.
In this respect, FLP calls on the regime to explain:
1. Why government’s financial statements and the Auditor General’s reports have not been published since 2008 for public scrutiny?
2. Why the salaries and perks received by the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and other members of Cabinet are kept secret from the people of Fiji? There are reports that the PM and AG’s salaries exceed $1 million a year. They have refused to disclose their salaries despite repeated calls to do so.
3. Why consultancies and construction contracts for multi-million dollar government projects are being handed out without public tenders being called as required under public service regulations
4. Why a Code of Ethics has not yet been established for people in high office and Freedom of Information legislation not put in place despite repeated promises that these will be enacted?
The people of Fiji have a right to demand honest answers to these
questions in the lead up to the much-promised 2014 general elections,
The Bainimarama government has put in place stringent decrees to demand accountability and transparency from everyone else, political parties in particular, but has not adhered to these fundamental rules of good governance themselves.
FICAC was set up to weed out corruption but appears to only prosecute critics of the regime while ignoring the obvious corrupt practices of the regime’s officials and their supporters.
In surveys conducted by Transparency International since 2008, Fiji remains unlisted because as TI says: there is no way the people of Fiji can determine how its government spends public funds. Fiji remains excluded from its 2013 survey list because of the non-availability of relevant data.