Ministry of Agriculture joins the fight against Bribery

Media Team   |   16 Nov 2021

The Ministry of Agriculture has become the first Ministry to join the ‘I don’t accept bribes’ campaign currently underway.

The launch together with the badging ceremony was of remarkable significance as it demonstrated the high level committed leadership that embodies the core values of good governance with Senior Management being committed to transparency, integrity and accountability as well as setting the tone for younger Officers.

'Don't Accept Bribes' was the message relayed by Ministry of Agriculture Head of Human Resources Development and Services, Mr Ben Chand at the launch of the Anti-Bribery Campaign with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) today.

Mr Chand said the campaign had begun in December last year and was a joint effort by FICAC and the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti- Corruption Project where they worked around the theme of 'I don't accept bribes'.

"We have already begun two training programs with the staff within the Ministry. However, today we would like to get this message out and support the cause with the team from FICAC together with the Leadership Team in the Ministry of Agriculture," he said.

Mr Chand added the message to the Team within the Ministry was to be aware of their contractual obligations under the positions they held in the Ministry.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Manager Corruption Prevention Ms Kolora Naliva acknowledged the proactive support and steps taken by Ministry of Agriculture and stated that bribery is one of the commonest forms of corruption, often hidden from the view because it is illegal, unlawful and immoral.

Ms Naliva stated that to win the war against corruption there is a need to have concerted efforts and cooperation of the citizenry and fighting bribery and corruption must be a priority on each and every civil servants agenda.

“Your initiative today demonstrates high level committed leadership that embodies the core values of good governance. Direction starts at the top. Leadership can make good governance become a reality. When senior management is committed to transparency, integrity and accountability, and lives by these standards, it will set the tone for staffs,” Ms Naliva said.

Ms Naliva stated as civil servants they have two important tasks at hand, that is, being a person of integrity and having the civic duty to report matters of bribery and corruption to FICAC.

In her final message to the senior management team of the Ministry, Ms Naliva further stated “the message that we are trying to put across to you is that integrity must be inculcated and ingrained into your minds and lives, and that of every other civil servants and citizens in this country. Integrity must live within and you must be committed to it. By being a person of integrity, you show the type of character or the type of person that you are”.

She encouraged the Senior Management to take pride in their organisation and to take a stand against corruption and don’t accept to bribes.

The Senior Management and Officers of Ministry of Agriculture have undergone two sessions of the anti-bribery trainings conducted by the Corruption Prevention Department. The training will also be extended to all Offices of the Ministry across the country.

The ‘I don’t accept bribes’ campaign is a joint initiative by FICAC and the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project aimed at educating civil servants about the evils of bribery and enlisting their support to create workplaces with zero tolerance to bribery and corruption.