As I look back and recall our achievements, I am proud to say that our accomplishments so far has earned us respect and trust from the public. The establishment of FICAC was done for a noble cause and we must maintain our Vision, Mission and Values, as these are, and will remain, our guiding principles.
As Head of the institution, I want to present my Intent for 2009 so that our efforts remains synchronised and remove any doubts as to the direction we are taking. I remain proud of what we have achieved since the establishment of the institution in April 2007 and I want you all to know that it is my intention to build this institution into a highly respected and professional institution that maintains integrity in the public and private sectors of this country.
In order to remain relevant and successful in dealing with the dynamics of corruption, FICAC must continue moving forward, improving the way we operate and think. Purposeful and considered change is essential if we are to mature into the type of organisation that I believe is necessary to achieve our objectives. By change, I mean an organisation that will enable us to do things better.
My immediate subordinates and I are committed to sustaining and enhancing the quality of FICAC staff through education and training. These essentials are necessary to enable us to carry out our tasks effectively and professionally now and into the future.
Over the past year, I personally, and we organisationally, have gone through some painful experiences but we remain proud of our successes.
The future shape of our organisation is contained in the FICAC Strategic Plan 2008-2012. Currently, our focus has been reactive and this is proof of the type of investigations that we are investigating. It is my intention to strengthen the delivery of our prevention and awareness programmes from now onwards.
I intend that FICAC becomes more respected and influential in ensuring that integrity is maintained in the public service. We must be recognised as a valued, capable and respected member of the law enforcement department that is legislated to fight corruption. I intend that we continue to develop professional mastery of investigations so that we can exploit the comprehensively networked corruption syndicates that have existed in our country for many years. To achieve this, we will progress the way FICAC trains and prepares the investigators so that we remain capable of fully utilizing our skills and knowledge to combat the sophisticated corruption cases.
Our theme for 2009 is "Developing Institutional Excellence" Overall, institutional excellence requires high level of quality work in all facets of our organisation. With institutional excellence in place, FICAC will be recognised as a reputable organisation that will gain the respect of the people.
I take great pleasure in leading FICAC where our members enjoy being part of a great team focussed on getting the job done, and who are not afraid to meet a challenge of any kind. We are already a team of talented, skilled and enthusiastic people and I want to grow your talent over the coming years.
With this intent in mind, my priorities for 2009 are:
Continue to eradicate corruption through enhanced investigative skills and knowledge
- Enhance our relationships with other relevant stakeholders through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- Professional development of staff through education and training
- Enhancing staff knowledge of the Promulgations
- Strengthen the prevention and public awareness programmes on anti-corruption
- Implementation of the FICAC Database
- Implementation of the FICAC Website
- Strengthen the information gathering system
- Implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) through consultancy process with UNODC
- Implement the FICAC Policy
- Establish a safe and secure communication link between the FICAC Regional Offices
Priority: Eradication of Corruption
- FICAC will maintain its vigorous drive to investigate corruption related cases and prosecute suspects. The political atmosphere of the country now is favourable to the situation and our attention is cast primarily towards the corrupt. Corruption shall find no door or window to flee. We will investigate corruption according to their severity in order to attain the cooperation and confidence of the mass of the people.
Priority: Develop Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- In our strategy to integrate with other law enforcement agencies, we will develop MOU's to strengthen the ability to mutually share information and solve problems.
Priority: Professional Development of Staff
- Excellence is achieved through education and training. Staff development remains a priority and efforts will be made to up-skill our Investigators and the Support Staff. Up-skilling provides an opportunity for the staff to continuously build their competency and proficiency at their work.
Priority: Enhanced Knowledge of Promulgations
- The FICAC and Prevention of Bribery Promulgations are our key documents. The contents and its meanings must be known by heart. Without this knowledge, we cannot fully execute the purpose and existence of our organisation. Promulgation sessions will be regularly carried out so that everyone is adequately familiar with its provisions.
Priority: Prevention & Public Awareness Programmes
- The office of the Public Affairs will hold seminars/workshops/visits on a regular basis to communicate the evils of corruption and take appropriate measures to fight it. A positive image of FICAC must be effectively displayed to the people of Fiji and internationally. Our interaction with media organisations must be improved. Media also has a role in the fight against corruption and we must utilize this means. Strategically, the result from positive reporting of the fight against corruption attracts foreign investment and improves the competitiveness of Fiji's economy
Priority: FICAC Database
- The database is to be implemented in 2009. The database will contain records dating back since the inception of the institution in April 2007.
Priority: FICAC Website
- A FICAC Website will be fully functional in 2009. The website will contain sufficient information for the public and will also be a source for communicating with FICAC. Since the website will be accessed worldwide, adequate information will be provided to allow researchers or other anti-corruption bodies gain information about our organisation.
Priority: Implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption
- Fiji have ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2007 and, accepted and published by the UN in 2008. FICAC will continue to enhance its engagement with the UNCAC Secretariat and will attend Conferences and Workshops on their invitations. Fiji is planned to be assessed in 2009 by a team of experts selected by the UNCAC Secretariat. The assessment will gauge how far we (Fiji) have progressed in implementing the UN Convention Against Corruption. FICAC will liaise closely with the Office of the Attorney-General to gather relevant stakeholders and brief on the implementation of the UNCAC.
Priority: FICAC Policy
- We have, since our inception, relied on the PSC Policy as our guiding document. We will, in 2009, do away with the PSC Policy and implement the FICAC Policy. This policy is tailored to our needs and will continue to be amended as we progress.
Priority: Communication Link With FICAC Regional Offices
- In order to make our office's accessible by the people, a regional office has been established in Labasa. Efforts are also being made to establish a similar office in Lautoka. An Intranet link will be configured to enable a secure link for communication between our headquarters and the regional offices.
We anticipate that through the achievement of our theme, FICAC earns the public's confidence and support in its fight against corruption. We are regarded as an effective agency that will rid Fiji of corruption. Other success will be:
FICAC offices will be easily accessible to members of the public at any of our regional offices who seek to give information or to complain about corruption. People will readily report corrupt behaviour with no fear or reprisal
Complaints and information received are attended to speedily and suspects are expeditiously dealt with by the law.
The FICAC Promulgations are effective
Strong culture against corruption develops
Members of the public will perceive FICAC as an effective and credible organisation and are prepared to come forward to assist positively because of its success rate in prosecuting suspects.
Though it can be said that no country can claim to be free of corruption, it remains our primary objective to manage and control this problem effectively. Our success will be attributed to:
Our national leaders are fully committed to fight against corruption
The FICAC Promulgations proves to be effective and provide sufficient deterrence
The relentless efforts of FICAC to investigate all cases of corruption without any fear or favour
The Intent provides guidelines that are to be achieved in 2009 and Heads of Departments will ensure that we remain focussed on these priorities.
George Westlake Langman
29 October 2008