ASIA PACIFIC GOVERNMENTS MUST STRENGTHEN CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Transparency International calls on governments in Asia Pacific to strengthen their right to information systems and make information more accessible to the public. Laws need to be better implemented by public officials and used more widely by citizens, civil society and the media, according to a new report featuring 11 country-level case studies released to mark International Right to Know Day on 28 September.

Laws allowing the public to petition their government for information are currently in force in eight of the 11 countries assessed. However, existing legal provisions are full of restrictions and loopholes and do not promote transparency in most countries.

Vague, overly broad or controversial exceptions are abundant in the right to information laws of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Tests to balance the public interest of disclosing or withholding information are missing from most laws, or cover only a limited number of exceptions in Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan.

“Several of the countries assessed in this report have recently been rocked by corruption scandals involving senior officials and political leaders. Most continue to score poorly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. A well-functioning right to information system is critical for exposing and deterring abuses of power and for supporting the fight against corruption,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.

More than half of the countries assessed are yet to establish a standalone information commission or commissioners to safeguard this right, train officials, promote the law and monitor its application. Most of those that have been established need to be more independent, or given stronger powers.

The report also highlights that freedom of expression – which is vital for the effective use of right to information legislation – is limited or under threat in several of the countries assessed.

“This International Right to Know Day, Transparency International urges citizens to find out about the laws in their country and exercise their right to information. In countries where laws do not yet exist, governments must act quickly to grant their citizens this important human right,” added Ferreira Rubio.

Right to Information in Asia Pacific: How 11 Countries Perform on SDG 16.10 evaluates and makes recommendations for right to information systems in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT.
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Vanuatu

T: + 678 25715

E: transparency@vanuatu.com.vu

Transparency International Secretariat

T: +49 30 34 28 20 666
E: Press@transparency.org

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ACCOUNTING CONSULTANT NEEDED FOR SHORT TERM

 GENERAL INFORMATION

 Title of Consultancy: Transparency International Vanuatu Management Accounts

Application Closing Date: 30/09/2018

Duration: Approximately 15 days

Consultancy Start and End Date: approx. 01/10/2018– 31/10/2018

Location of Consultancy: Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Background

Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. In collaboration with more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany, TI raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it.

Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) is a non-governmental organization based in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and the accredited National Chapter of TI in Vanuatu. TIV is seeking an external consultant to assist in the production of its organizational financial statements for the period 2015 – 2017.  The production of yearly accounts, including total income and expenditure, and an external verification of these accounts, is a requirement for TIV’s continued accreditation as a National Chapter of the TI movement.

Currently, TIV does not have capacity to produce organization-wide accounts and is therefore seeking an external consultant to assist in their production.

The consultant will be appointed by TIV, through funding provided the Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S), in order to provide accounting services under the terms established below. The consultant will provide the deliverables identified below under a), b) and d) to both TI-S and TV during the month of October 2018.

Scope of the accounting services

The Compilation of a set of financial statements for the 36-month period beginning on 01-01-2015 and ending 31-12-2017 based on the following criteria, established by TI-S.

  1. The financial statements will be compiled on a cash basis, and include:                          
    1. Disclosure of the complete cash available, at bank and on hand, at the beginning and at the end of the period, agreed to the respective statements received from the bank and with a signed petty cash count.
    2. Complete disclosure of the transactions for the period, including:   
      1. All receipts of income, differentiated as Grant Income, Finance Income, Memberships and Donations, Other Income. In dedicated notes, any receipt of Grant Income and Donation Income higher than 12,500 VATU will be disclosed separately, with indication of the Donor and the related project. Any receipt of Other Income higher than 50,000 VATU will be disclosed separately, with indication of the origin and rationale.
      2. All payments occurring during the period, differentiating by nature in reasonable detail and at a minimum: Staff Costs, Office Running Costs, Finance Costs and Other Costs. With reference to project-related expenditure, in a separate note, the accountant will indicate the total costs incurred by project.

To support the financial statement, the consultant will:

  1. ensure that  a complete set of bookings, identifying each underlying transaction, is available and
  2. ensure that the transactions identified are traceable to supporting documentation that can be adequately substantiated in case of independent verification.

To collect the documentation under b.), the consultant will rely on the support provided by the staff of TV, and will have access to their premises. In the case of transactions being noted where adequate supporting documentation is not available, the consultant will produce:

  1. a list of inadequate substantiated transactions, indicating their amount, date, nature, documentation available (if any) and rationale for missing documentation as provided by TV.

Timeframe

The compilation of the financial statements is expected to take place in October, to allow an audit to take place in November/ December this year.

Qualifications of the consultant

  • The consultant is a professional with at least five years experience in bookkeeping.
  • The consultant has proven expertise in the preparation of fund accountability statements, of project-accounting and of liaison with external auditors for verification, which must be documented in their CV.

Application Process

Please send your cover letter outlining daily fees and expected number of days, CV and 2 references from previous clients to transparency@vanuatu.com.vu by 30 September 2018.