Thursday the 17th of July marked another achievement for Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV). In front of members from the diplomatic community, NGOs and government officials the Interim Chairperson of TIV, Dr. Willie Tokon, launched the National Integrity System Assessment Report (NIS).
“It is good to see that the Leader of the Opposition is here”, began the Interim Chairperson in his statement, “at least one MP (MP
Robert Bohn) is here. I am very disappointed that we do not have the Prime Minister here or his designated representative” explained Dr. Tokon. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, everybody who has done this, been part of it. Everybody who is here today to see the launch…
…in this few words I now give you the people of Vanuatu, the National Integrity System report”, the guests applauded the moment before stepping outside for refreshments.
It had taken the research team just a year and a month to complete and publish a report that usually takes more than twice or thrice that amount of time to complete. One of the speakers of the event, former TIV Chairperson, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, emphasized on this point and acknowledged the research team for their tireless effort.
Among the speakers was the Leader of the Opposition, the NIS Lead Researcher Anita Jowitt, and Dr. Srirak Plipat who is the Transparency International Regional Director for Asia Pacific. He mentioned that Vanuatu is among other countries like Nepal who have recently launched their NIS report; he continued to state that political instability is one of the biggest challenges being faced today by national governments.
The NIS is a tool with recommendations that addresses facts that affect the integrity of Vanuatu, these recommendations can be adapted by leaders in their decision making to make sure that institutions are strengthened, and that effective anti-corruption laws be introduced and thoroughly implemented.
On page 58 of the report it explains that ‘changes in government make it difficult for the executive to embark on and adhere to a comprehensive anti-corruption law reform agenda, and also make it difficult to assess the degree to which there is commitment for such an agenda.’ In other words, it describes that the political instability that we are continuously experiencing is a barrier to achieving a corruption free Vanuatu.
The following page in the report provides some recommendations to this context, the ‘liberal use of motions of no confidence without sound reasons based on national interests is the mechanism that creates instability with the executive. However, a blanket limitation on motions of no confidence for certain periods of time prevents their legitimate use in cases of bad governance.”
Basically, the report simply identifies areas within the national and civil institutions that need to be strengthened, and then it provides recommendations on how to do it. Paragraphs after paragraphs of thoroughly researched data are carefully laid out in this 236 page report.
“We have not come here to finish something; we have come to start something,” stated one of the speakers during the launch. That is definitely what TIV is looking forward to because the launch marks a beginning which TIV and other institutions can walk forward together.
The National Integrity System Report is available to the public, TIV would like to advice the public that if you are interested in getting yourself a copy of this report please send your request to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can come to the office with your flash drive to get an e-copy.