Lautoka City Council joins the 'I don't accept bribes' campaign

Media Team   |   25 Nov 2021

The Lautoka City Council becomes the first municipal council in the country to receive their ‘I don’t accept bribes’ badge on Thursday, 25 November 2021.

Lautoka Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Annes Khan expressed his gratitude towards the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for the launch as it demonstrated the council’s commitment in the fight against corruption and bribery.

Mr Khan emphasized on the importance of having its Management and staff undergo anti bribery training and upholding the values of integrity, transparency and accountability in relation to the requirements of the operations of the council.

Mr Khan reiterated the council’s commitment to root out corruption from all levels of operation as well as revising SOP’s to ensure there are no avenues for corruption to thrive.

FICAC Manager Investigations West/North Uwate Biutanaseva thanked Lautoka City Council for being the first municipal council in the country to take the bold step in joining the national campaign to fight bribery.

Speaking at the launch with Lautoka City Council, Mr Biutanaseva said “FICAC believes that an economic recovery plan and a roadmap for sustainable growth and development will not flourish without due consideration to anti-corruption measures and strategies”.

“Therefore, our anti-corruption strategies must be holistic. It must encompass a variety of measures that are integrated and mutually supportive. Reforms should be prioritized to target systemic weaknesses or areas where the risk of corruption is the greatest” added Mr Biutanaseva.

Mr Biutanaseva stated that there are high risks of bribery for any organisation that is involved with greater public or customer contact and therefore it becomes crucial to have these organisations formulate their policies and processes with careful considerations on mechanisms to tackle corruption and bribery.

Mr Biutanaseva further stated that the badge and by wearing the badge, the Commission aims to encourage civil servants to openly embrace integrity and build a culture of resilience against bribery.

The management and staffs of Lautoka City Council will undergo anti-bribery awareness training sessions conducted by the Corruption Prevention Department of FICAC, to which the Council is aiming to have the trainings conducted to its stakeholders as a national effort to minimise bribery within the public sector.

“As a nation we need to stand united to tackle corruption and bribery. All efforts to tackle corruption and bribery will ensure that our ability to escalate growth and development is reinforced together with our ability to take good care of all those who call Fiji their home”, stated Mr Biutanaseva.

The campaign is supported by UNDP under the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project funded by the New Zealand Government.