Ba Town Council Joins the "I Don't Accept Bribes" Campaign

Media Team   |   14 Dec 2021

The Ba Town Council has become the second municipal council to join the ‘I don’t accept bribes” campaign, receiving their badges on Tuesday, 14 December 2021.

Chief Executive Officer Ms. Priya Pritika Singh thanked the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for considering Ba Town Council to be part of the campaign and the launched symbolizes the proactive approach in the prevention of crimes such as corruption.

Ms Singh said that it was the Council’s duty to adopt anti-corruption as part of the culture and operations as well as to ensure it is followed by every individual. “This also shows the needs for us (the Council) to start working on having an anti-corruption policy which will help us build the confidence in our employees, stakeholders and suppliers that Ba Town Council has a zero-tolerance for bribery and corruption” added Ms Singh.

Ms Singh reiterated that it was important to root out corruption and to have strong internal control processes in every department in ensuring the values of integrity, transparency and accountability are maintained.

Speaking at the launch, Manager Investigations West/North Mr Uwate Biutanaseva thanked Ba Town Council for volunteering to join the fight against bribery and being the second municipal council in the Western Division to join the campaign.

“Municipal councils in the country face a lot of challenges in finding avenues to eradicate corruption. In the past we have witnessed a number of council officers around the country convicted with corruption offences, this may be due to many factors such as greed, dishonesty, and lack of integrity among these officers. The call is on us now, to design viable strategies in order to strengthen our internal processes that have the capabilities and capacities to shut out all opportunities for corruptions” added Mr Biutanaseva.

Mr Biutanaseva further stated that bribery is a phenomenon which is difficult to tackle and a problem Fiji cannot afford to ignore. Fighting bribery and other forms of corruption is not possible through lone efforts. There is a need for stronger unified efforts to battle corruption and bribery.

Mr Biutanaseva said that the support shown by Ba Town Council is vital. “Ratepayers of Ba need to be aware that the Council is putting on this shield to embrace integrity and that the dealings are transparent. This will improve the delivery service the Council offer and garner wider support from the general public towards the organisation and its vision” said Mr Biutanaseva.

The Senior Managements and Officers of Ba Town Council will undergo anti-bribery awareness trainings conducted by the Corruption Prevention Department of FICAC.

“The aim of this meaningful initiative is to encourage civil servants to openly embrace integrity and build a culture of resilience against the incitement to bribery. By wearing the badge whilst on official duty we hope the civil servants will the motto close to their heart and act in a dignified manner. It also serves as a reminder to the oath that civil servants undertake when joining the civil service” added 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.