Biosecurity Authority of Fiji Fully Committed In The Fight Against Bribery In Fiji

Media Team   |   10 Feb 2022

Despite all practical challenges posed by COVID-19, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) remains committed in its nation-wide anti-bribery campaign and integrity efforts by embracing more stakeholders and spreading the message and knowledge as loudly as widely as possible.

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has joined the ‘I don’t accept bribes’ campaign, a joint nationwide initiative by FICAC with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) under the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project funded by the New Zealand Government.

The expansion of the anti-bribery and integrity campaign to the custodian of Fiji’s unique biodiversity began on yesterday Wednesday, 09 February 2022 at BAF headquarters in the presence of representatives from FICAC, and senior management team from BAF.

The launch together with the badging ceremony was significant as the campaign is aligned with the Agenda 2030 and specifically Sustainable Development Goal 16 which calls for countries to improve their governance systems and fight corruption.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Mr Surend Pratap in his keynote address stated that corruption poses an enormous obstacle to economic and social development and the global goal of ending extreme poverty by year 2030, to which he further stated that, we know that we can and must do much more to combat it.

“Corruption is quite simply, stealing from the underprivileged. It undermines growth and prosperity twice over. Corruption prevention can reduce the likelihood of its occurrence, and can contain its corrosive effects. Prevention means putting in place concrete anti-corruption measures and public sector management practices based on the rule of law, transparency and accountability.”

In confirming BAF’s full commitment in supporting FICAC’s mandate in curbing bribery and corruption in Fiji, Mr. Pratap stated that “like many other public enterprises and public listed companies in Fiji, BAF plays a special role in this process.

As such the awareness trainings facilitated by FICAC will strengthen our internal processes, highlight the do’s and don’ts and provide mechanism and ways to conduct ourselves when faced with challenging situations.”

FICAC Manager Corruption Prevention, Ms. Kolora Naliva, highlighted that fighting corruption is not only an aim for itself, but it is also the most effective way to achieve progress in the country’s Sustainable Development agenda. Ms. Naliva stated that the anti-bribery campaign led by FICAC in Fiji is about bringing long-term systemic governance change, which cannot be achieved without commitment and action of all relevant stakeholders.

Ms. Naliva further stated that the commitment from BAF to join this collective journey is very important for at least two reasons:

(i) “To share the message of ensuring that your mandated responsibilities focused on the governance and wellbeing of our people, our environment, our plants and animals, our livelihoods and our unique way of life for the benefit of our families, our visitors and our future generations are based on the values of integrity and are free from any form of corruption

(ii) As you execute your key roles as custodian to safeguard and protect Fiji’s unique biodiversity and as you deal with and facilitate international trade to and from Fiji, you will be enjoined to do this respecting the values of integrity and anti-corruption.”

In badging the Acting CEO, Ms. Naliva thanked Mr Pratap and his management team for taking great interest and initiative and in actively participating in this campaign. Ms. Naliva stated that “just like the delta variant, the vaccine acts as our protection. An evil like bribery and corruption, the only immunity is your honesty.”

Ms Naliva encouraged the Management Team to take a stand and say No to bribery and corruption. She reminded them that it is both their right and role.

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