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Press Release

ONPA represents FSM in the Pacific Stakeholder Consultation on Corruption

Ms. Sophia H. Pretrick, CFE, an Investigative Auditor from the Office of the National Public Auditor (ONPA) represented FSM in Suva , Fiji Islands at the Pacific Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on Corruption. Held on November 14-15, 2006 , the workshop was sponsored and funded by the United Nations Development Project's Regional Center overseeing Asia Pacific.

Representatives from Papua New Guinea , Fiji , Samoa , Vanuatu , Cook Islands , Niue , Solomon Islands , and Marshall Islands came together for consultation and network for the upcoming report which is targeting corruption and how it's affecting human development in the region. Apart from the government agencies, non-government organizations (NGO's) also took part in this workshop.

Presentations were delivered by each member islands including interactive discussions which led to the identification of similar problems facing these island countries. Majority of the islands discussed how the political systems are vulnerable to corruption. Other issues discussed were cultural-related (election fraud), access to information (media), natural resources (water, land, and forests), economic growth (business environment), corruption in social services (health, education, and water-sanitation), anti-corruption agencies, and the role of NGO's and traditional chiefs. The recommendations and outcomes are to raise awareness for the public on the nature, extent and impact of corruption on people's lives, to encourage and empower citizens to demand and expect high standards of public service with integrity and productivity, to empower people to oversee decisions and actions of those with entrusted power, and to promote anti-corruption measures that take human development fully into account. These are issues that will be incorporated into the report. The participating island countries are mutually finding ways to fight and curb corruption in the Pacific way.

The two days consultation workshop is believed to be very significant to the FSM, which is a part of the networking group to put together the report which is targeted to be released in December 2007.

ONPA appreciates UNDP and the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs for recognizing and inviting us to attend this very important workshop.



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