Ministry of iTaukei Affairs Commits to Anti-Bribery Goals

Media Team   |   01 Dec 2021

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs has joined the “I don’t accept bribes” campaign on 01 December 2021.

Speaking at the launch, Acting Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Mr Pita Tagicakirewa acknowledged and commended the representatives from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) and the United Nations Development Programme for considering the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs for the anti-bribery campaign.

“Bribery and corruption, are inter related. It could be said to be the “rotten potato that spoils the soup” for good ethical governance in any given organisation or society. Be it the civil service or private sector. It is something that has infiltrated societies throughout the world like a disease or virus” added Mr Tagicakirewa.

Mr Tagicakirewa explained that overcoming bribery in any society is a challenge as it has infiltrated the governing system through and through and in most instances, bribery is perceived as the norm or status quo in this day and age.

Mr Tagicakirewa encouraged the Senior Management present at the launch that it was their role to ensure the eradication of bribery during their tenure of service with the Ministry as well as to set the record straight for those Officers that will one day take up the executive positions in the years to come.

“A young nation like ours has seen our shares of ups and downs. We had ridden on the legacies of our founding fathers that brought Fiji out of colonial rule. However, let us not lose sight of the good ethical principles that they founded out island nation on” said Mr Tagicaki.

FICAC Manager Kolora Naliva thanked the Acting Permanent Secretary and its Senior Management for taking interest and initiative in actively participating in the anti-bribery campaign.

Ms Naliva stated that the launch today symbolizes the commitment by the Officers of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs as civil servants to act honestly while discharging their duties in a dignified manner.

Ms Naliva urged the Officers of iTaukei Affairs to take a stand to say NO to bribery and corruption as it was both their role and right as citizens of this beloved nation. “Don’t turn a blind eye to corrupt practices or activities happening around you. Don’t be silent about it either. By keeping a blind eye or being silent about corruption activities, it equally amounts to you being corrupt” added Ms Naliva.

UNDP Effective Governance Team Leader Revai Makanje Aalbaek while speaking at the launch said the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs commitment to join the anti-bribery campaign is important for two reasons.

Firstly it is to share the message of ensuring that all processes of the Ministry in developing, implementing and monitoring government programs focused on the governance and wellbeing of the iTaukei people are based on the values of integrity and are free from any form of corruption.

Secondly, as civil servants executing their key roles as custodians of and dealing with dispute resolution in relation to official records to iTaukei land, fishing grounds, headship titles, traditional knowledge and expressions of culture they will be enjoined to do respecting the values of integrity and anti-corruption.

“Fighting corruption is therefore not only an aim for itself, nut it is also the most effective way to progress in the country’s Sustainable Development agenda” added Ms Aalbaek.

The Senior Management and Officers of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs will undergo anti-bribery awareness training sessions conducted by the Corruption Prevention Department of FICAC.

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