Fijian Broadcasting Corporation joins the 'I don't accept bribes' campaign

Media Team   |   29 Jul 2022

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) continues its nation-wide anti-bribery campaign and integrity efforts by embracing more stakeholders taking up the campaign and spreading the message of anti-bribery across the nation.

The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation has become the first media organisation to join 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 launch of the anti-bribery campaign took place in the presence of the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Management of FBC and representatives from FICAC and UNDP on 29 July 2022 in Suva.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the initiative was a great opportunity for the organisation to further enhance its commitment to supporting the fight against corruption in the workplace and in Fiji.

“FBC is very pleased to be part of this fight to make a difference at work, in our communities and to inspire other organisations as well. Corruption and especially bribery are a very reprehensible crime that does take place in many workplaces around Fiji.” said Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum stated that the launch of the anti-bribery campaign came at an opportune time for the organisation.

“FBC has a reputation for making a very strong stand against any form of corruption and this opportunity to be part of this campaign comes at an opportune time, as just about two weeks ago, we launched our whistleblower policy which was developed earlier in the year,” added Mr. Sayed Khaiyum.

Further elaborating on the whistleblower policy, Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum stated that the policy explains the basic reporting procedure on how to respond to suspected violations or questionable conduct within FBC and suspected violations which include but not limited fraudulent transactions, thefts, bribes and conflicts of interest.

Speaking at the launch, Manager Corruption Prevention Mrs. Kolora Celua stated corruption or the risks of corruption impacts all sectors of society. Therefore, the participation of all sectors of society is crucial to prevent and fight corruption efficiently and effectively, in the promotion of integrity and accountability in the management of public affairs and public property.

“As a media organization, you have an important role in the fight against bribery and corruption, as you can demand accountability and transparency from the public and private sectors” said Mrs. Kolora. She further stated the crucial role that media organization plays in exposing corruption to public scrutiny confronts unethical people or practices and in detecting incidents of corruption, that are often hidden from view.

“Your contribution to this global fight is to spread the message and knowledge of anti-bribery and anti-corruption as loudly and as widely as possibly and help us in our anti-corruption efforts in keeping every Fijian informed and educated of the evils of bribery and corruption, and how it negatively impacts on the livelihoods of all Fijians and in terms of sustainable development in all its dimensions.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Anti-Corruption Adviser Dr. Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska stated that independent media organisations are essential cornerstones and play a central role in a healthy society in terms of providing information, holding power to account and offering platforms for debate and dialogue.

“In addition to the important role of demonstrating and being seen to deliver an impeccable level of integrity, media organisations such as FBC can help inform and educate the population about the detrimental effects of corruption and, through their exposure, increase the political and criminal risks of those involved in corrupt practices.

Dr. Trajanoska added that it was important for stakeholders especially media stakeholders to work together in keeping the citizens of Fiji well informed and prepared to act in the nation-wide fight against corruption.

“This is the essence of what we call ‘a whole of society’ approach to combating corruption. It is also noteworthy that because of FBC’s prominence, and the critical role that you play in the fabric of the nation, the public demonstration of your determination to deliver with the utmost integrity and participate actively in combating corruption sends a powerful message,” added Dr. Trajanoska.

During her concluding remarks, Manager Corruption Prevention Mrs. Kolora Celua encourage those present not to turn a blind eye but to report incidents of bribery and corruption to the Commission.

“Help us in informing all Fijians not to turn a blind eye to corrupt practices or activities happening around them. They must not be silent about it either. By keeping a blind eye or being silent about corrupt activities, it equally amounts to the person being corruption. Incidents of bribery and corruption has to be reported to FICAC. The protection of a person’s identity is guaranteed when reporting or by being an informant. This protection is mandated under Section 30A of our Prevention of Bribery Act,” said Mrs. Celua

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