ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY CELEBRATION POSTPONED

THE OBSERVATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY in Vanuatu has been postponed confirms a statement from Office of the Prime Minister.

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PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

This year, the Vanuatu Government partnered with Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) to plan a significant event to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.

However, this has regrettably been postponed as promised funding for the event did not arrive in time to enable the event to go ahead. Neither of the organisations wished to put individuals and businesses in the position of providing services such as catering, equipment and entertainment without being guaranteed proper payment for the service.

While the planned event will not proceed, this does not mean that the Government is sitting idle. Vanuatu acceded to the United National Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2011, and has been  working to strengthen the institutions and laws needed to address corruption. A 2013 review of Vanuatu’s review progress to implement UNCAC found that some of the significant progress has been made, acknowledging work particularly in the areas of anti-money laundering, international cooperation and initiatives in Correctional Services.

There is currently a review underway of the Ombudsman and Leadership Code acts to ensure that they meet international standards and are able to be used effectively as tools in the fight against corruption and maladministration. This is just one of many initiatives currently in train across government, targeting specific issues, as with the Ombudsman Act, but also more general initiatives to hep create a more open and transparency government, such as the Right to Information Policy.

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The event planned to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day in Port Vila has been postponed to next year 2016.

Transparency International Vanuatu appreciates the collaboration with the government for working together to organize this event, and even though the event has been postponed the recent working relations confirms a stronger working relationship for 2016. TIV also acknowledges the support of civil and youth groups who have committed their time and willingness to be part of the event.

Now that the event has been postponed to 2016 TIV looks forward to work together to host the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day.

 

 

 

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Anti-Corruption Day To Be Observed In Vanuatu

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU (TIV) and the Office of the Prime Minister will be hosting the international anti-corruption day in Port Vila on Wednesday December 9th 2015.

December 9th is the annual international anti corruption day set by the United Nations Conventions against Corruption since 2003. Transparency International Vanuatu has been observing this day every year.

This year we will be observing this day at the Ifira Trustee Green Space beside the Market House in town with the theme, Fight Corruption. Use the right Information. Enough Hearsay”. The theme falls in with the work being done on the Right to Information in Vanuatu.

Once the Right to Information becomes a law it will be symbol for an open society, a key to good governance, and it will strengthen the foundations of democracy in Vanuatu. It will also empower citizens to be a part of decision making and promote accountability and transparency in public offices. And most importantly it will boost up the fight against corruption by supporting and protecting the rights of citizens.

The Anti corruption Day event will begin with a parade led by the VMF band from Moorings to the Ifira Trustees Green Space beside the market. During the day there will be speeches from the care taker Prime Minister, representatives of stakeholders and the Ombudsman.

AC Day

There will also be drama performances by the Rainbow Disability Theatre group, and live music performances by DROPVKAL and other bands. Furthermore, there will be several other activities that will happen throughout the day including corruption quizzes, discussions and the launching of a corruption film by Transparency International Vanuatu in collaboration with Natongtong Theater.

Transparency International Vanuatu will also be using the event to advocate on what is corruption and its effects in Vanuatu. The recently established Right To Information Unit, which is under the Prime Minister’s Office, will also be giving out information on the Right to Information bill which is under review.

Furthermore, there will also be representatives from the Regional Rights Resource team present during that day to give awareness on human rights.

The anti-corruption day event will be an informative and exciting day with a lot of useful information and ideas to be displayed, presented and discussed on throughout the day. TIV is inviting the public to come and be a part of that day. Learn more about RTI, corruption and how it affects us. Give yourself the opportunity to discuss with other people.

Every Year Transparency Vanuatu celebrates this day to campaign against corruption in Vanuatu and to remind us to say no to corruption.

In 2013, Transparency Vanuatu successfully hosted the anti corruption day at the Freswota park with the theme “Zero corruption, 100% development”.

 

 

 

 

TIV Team Tour In Santo For The Right To Information

DURING THE LAST two weeks Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) had a team of lawyers, media officers and Civic Education Trainers stationed in Santo. While in Santo the team visited several communities in Luganville and in east and south Santo to talk to people about the Right to Information (RTI) as well as to conduct voter awareness programs.

The tour to the island of Santo found out that people are becoming more eager to understand and be aware of the laws that exist in Vanuatu. On the first day of the awareness program which took place at La Plage over 500 people visited the Information Booth that was set up throughout the day. The next day, the 20th of November, the team set up tent at the Market area, and by the end of the day information resources (brochures, booklets and etc.) prepared for that day had run out.

From all the events that were organised in Santo one particular fact resonated throughout; the peoples interest to own a copy of the Vanuatu National Constitution. “The last time I saw a copy of the National Constitution was in the early 80’s,” explained an individual when given his own copy of the Mama Law, “this is my second time to see the Mama Law, and now I have my own copy.”

MArket

Transparency International Vanuatu delivered a total of over 500 free constitution books in Bislama to members of the public in Luganville and the surrounding communities. TIV also distributed copies of the Corruption and the Rights and Duties Booklets that were published by Transparency International Vanuatu.

The main activity of the Santo tour took place on the 23rd of November at the VNPF conference room, over twenty people attended the event including the former Secretary General of Sanma Province Mr. Joel Path. The activity was the first of a series of Right to Information public consultations that will be held in several other locations around Vanuatu from February to the month of June in 2016.

Transparency International Vanuatu works to share with the public the contents of the Right to Information (RTI) bill which is still under review and for the public to express their thoughts. Once the bill is passed by parliament and gazetted it promises to bring about a legal path for transparency and accountability in the government.

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The Right to Information means that persons and organizations have a legally recognized right to request and obtain access to information, subject to limited exceptions, from public, and in some in-stances, private bodies performing public functions.

Furthermore, individuals will have the right to access and correct all personal information held by public and private bodies about themselves. Information means any materials such as; records, documents, memos, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, proceedings, decisions, policies, financial information, services,  priorities of government and etc.

The Right to Information is derived from the fundamental rights and freedom of an individual stated in article 5 (1) (g) of the Constitution of Vanuatu; freedom of expression. The RTI Policy was approved in 2013. It commits the Government to release information to the public, subject to certain exceptions protective of a number of interests such as national security, personal information and privacy, and certain commercial information.

Visitors take time to read their copies of the Vanuatu Constitution in Bislama

As mentioned, a RTI bill has been drafted and the Government is now taking steps to implement the Right to Information Policy. Evidently, If citizens have information on how the government and the public institutions work, then we can express our views and strategically make a contribution to the development of Vanuatu.

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The TIV team also visited the community of Port Olry in the east of Santo and Mavunlep in south Santo. For more information regarding the mentioned topics please contact us at Transparency International Vanuatu; Tel; 25715, Email; transparency@vanuatu.com.vu, P.O 355 Port Vila.

Port Olry

TIV Team talking with villagers at Port Olry, Santo.

The RTI campaign program is supported financially by the Pacific Leadership Program. The  Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) supports Transparency International Vanuatu’s work with Government’s Right to Information (RTI) Unit to raise awareness and promote public interest in the RTI Policy and Bill.  PLP’s support has enabled TIV  to campaign in communities and schools and host public forums on the RTI Policy and Bill, using its strong networks in the provinces. This process has built the public’s knowledge and understanding of the principles of good leadership and the importance of government transparency and given the RTI Unit insights into how the Policy can be effectively implemented.

The Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) is a regional initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that recognises the pivotal role of leadership in development. PLP builds, applies and shares knowledge on developmental leadership (i.e. individuals, organisations and other stakeholders working together on inclusive policy and institutional change for the public good).