Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (28 July 2017): Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands

These updates are provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Southeast Asia, and the joint UNODC - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with support of the Australian Government.

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FIJI:
PIPSO code of conduct discussed at workshop.  Participants at the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation's regional capacity building workshop in Nadi were presented with a draft Code of Conduct earlier this week.
Regional workshop on anti-corruption.  Natural disasters have greatly impacted private sectors in the Pacific in the past few years.
Claims Fiji govt's financial mismanagement getting worse.  Financial mismanagement in Fiji's government departments is getting worse, according to a civil society organisation.
Police investigate fake cheque used to buy $44,940 worth of alcohol.  Police are investigating an incident where an Asian man and a local presented a forged cheque and managed to take more than $44,000 of alcohol from Tappoos Nadi warehouse.
Fiji police charged with aiding prison escapees.  Two police officers in Fiji have been charged with helping two prisoners escape.
FRCA approves $250,000 for a Whistleblower.  The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority Board has approved a payment of $250,000 to a whistle blower whose information led to the successful recovery of some $8 million dollars in taxes and penalties from a company in the Western Division.
Call for OAG to use power to ensure compliance.  Fiji taxpayers cannot afford to cover for the losses incurred by the Ministry of Education since 2015 as highlighted by the Office of the Auditor General.
OAG finds breach.  The Office of the Auditor-General has recommended the Health Ministry ensure contracts are signed before indents/purchase orders and payments are processed.
OAG: No formal deal on grant.  The 2016 Auditor General's report has highlighted that the Ministry of Education did not sign a grant agreement for $931,086 paid to Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) last year.
Audit flags $26m grants.  Two statutory authorities failed to provide audited financial statements for the operating grants it received from the Ministry of Industry and Trade amounting to more than $26 million, the 2016 Auditor-General's Report revealed.
No record.  TheAuditor-General's 2016 reports have identified eight instances where government agencies and grant recipients are yet to submit audited accounts for funds totaling about $245 million.
OAG unearths unaudited accounts.  The OAG 2016 report further found that since 2015, the Fiji Museum, Fiji Arts Council and Fiji Higher Education Commission had not submitted audited accounts for total grants of $2,310,183.
Selective reporting on the Auditor General’s Report undermines role of PAC - Sudhakar.  The Public Accounts Committee is deeply concerned by the recent media reports in the Fiji Times, that have sensationalized the review and recommendations contained in the Auditor General’s reports and preempted the objective assessment carried out by the Committee.

PNG:
A petition to establish ICAC within 100 days of new parliament
Community advocacy group Act Now has launched a petition calling on newly elected MPs to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) within 100 days of parliament resuming on Friday week.

SOLOMON ISLANDS:
Call for more autonomy for Solomon’s Ombudsman.  The leader of the opposition in Solomon Islands has called for more autonomy for the office of the ombudsman.

To know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact the team members:
Maria Adomeit, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC, maria.adomeit@unodc.org
Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist - Pacific, UNDP, mihaela.stojkoska@undp.org
Luisa Senibulu, Governance Programme Associate, UNDP/UNODC, luisa.senibulu@undp.org

Maria Lee, Peace & Development Administrative Assistant, UNDP/UNODC, maria.lee@undp.org

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