FICAC signs agreement with Basel Institute on Governance

Media Team   |   03 Mar 2022

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has signed a partnership agreement with the Basel Institute of Governance based in Switzerland.

The Basel Institute on Governance is an independent not-for-profit competence centre working around the world to strengthen governance and counter corruption and other financial crimes.

Speaking at the signing, FICAC’s Deputy Commissioner Rashmi Aslam stated that the Commission was established in 2007 with a small number of investigators and however over the years, has since grown exponentially and investigates corruption and fraud cases.

Mr. Aslam stated that the Commission is indeed grateful and appreciative of the initiative and the partnership created with Basel Institute and the signing of the agreement is a historic moment particularly at a time where the Commission will be celebrating its fifteenth (15th) year anniversary.

“For Fiji as I have mentioned, right now we are at a juncture where we are investigating more multi-jurisdictional cases with higher financial values involved and we have realized that we need support and assistance from stakeholders such as Basel Institute”, added Mr. Aslam.

Mr. Aslam stated that the Commission looks forward to maximizing this newly created partnership with Basel Institute not only for its reactive functions but also for its proactive functions in areas such as policy matters.

“It is an important juncture, not only for FICAC, it’s for Fiji as well because we are one of the key stakeholders in the criminal justice system in Fiji, said Mr. Aslam. Through the partnership, the Commission aims to improve its delivery to the criminal justice system and obtain better results.

Senior Asset Recovery Specialist Mr. Andrew Dornbierer stated that the partnership with FICAC is a big moment for Basel Institute as this would be the first partnership with an agency in the South Pacific Region.

Managing Director of Basel Institute on Governance, Ms. Gretta Fenner stated it was indeed a great pleasure to be connected with Fiji being the hub of the South Pacific and possibly overtime with the Commission’s expertise and the support from the institute to reach other Pacific Island Countries.

Ms. Fenner further stated that the Basel Institute is very much looking forward to working with FICAC to strengthen their capacity to trace and recover assets stolen through corruption, in particular where they have been hidden abroad. Fiji is considered an economic hub of the Pacific region, and we believe there is great potential in this new collaboration to strengthen the regional and global fight against corruption.”

At the conclusion of the event, Mr. Dornbierer stated that the partnership is a great opportunity for the two organisations and is an interesting region to work in.

The agreement enables the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) within the Basel Institute on Governance and FICAC to cooperate to strengthen the Commission’s capacity to identify and recover assets obtained through corruption.

The signing took place via zoom on Tuesday 01 March 2022.