Commitment to transparency and accountability must be reflected in the new constitution
"Fiji’s new constitution must reflect the nation’s commitment to transparency and accountability, to ensure that the legislature, judiciary, law enforcement agencies and businesses can remain effective and independent" said Mr. Apisalome Tudreu, Chairman of the Board of Transparency International (TI) Fiji. Mr. Tudreu was presenting TI Fiji’s recommendations on the new constitution at the Constitution Commission’s consultation session held at the Suva Civic Centre on 12 September 2012.
Mr Tudreu said that the new constitution should also recognize the important role that communities, the media and civic society organizations play in ensuring transparency and legitimacy of our public institutions. "To support the role of these organisations, the constitution should recognize the involvement of these organizations. To ensure that they can operate effectively, the constitution should stipulate that the activities and budgets of government and its agencies are audited and reported in a public and timely way."
Continuing with the theme of transparency and accountability, Mr Tudreu said political integrity would be maintained with some key actions, including the introduction of transparency in political financing for politicians and political parties, and the implementation of a code of conduct and integrity pledge for Members of Parliament.
In total, Mr. Tudreu presented six issues of concern to the Constitutional Commission and identified specific inclusions in the new constitution for each of these issues.
Speaking after the submission, Mr Tudreu said "TI Fiji is committed to the development of a new constitution that builds on the principle of integrity and supports the fight against corruption. TI Fiji is working to mobilise youth and women to be involved in the constitutional consultation process, and to consider these issues when they make their submissions. Our submission today was part of our ongoing commitment to saying yes to integrity and no to corruption."
TI Fiji Chair, Mr. Apisalome Tudreu, presents to the Constitution Commission in Suva