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Fighting corruption

Asset declaration is the key

UNDERSTANDING the roots of corruption in society will help communities address the issue. And parliamentarians must understand their roles in stopping corruption through their oversight of public institutions as well as the need to remain transparent and accountable to the electorate. Bakhodir Burkhanov, new country director and head of regional policy and program at the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, said the role of parliaments was to reduce corruption, undue influence and abuse of authority by certain parts of the executive and other branches of power.

“We have recognised the role of parliament and legislature in terms of their law-making capacity but also their oversight capacity,” Burkhanov said. “In addition to representation and law-making they also have oversight of other branches of power and as such they can call into question a particular institution or sector to be more accountable to the people parliament serves.”

Asked to comment on the view that MPs were often accused of corruption, Burkhanov said members of the legislature must always uphold transparency and ultimate accountability to the people. “Because of any office this is the most important in terms of being fair and transparent in the conduct of their duties and they must not be influenced by any public or private sector institution,” he said. Burkhanov said asset declaration was an important part of any electoral system but also for all appointed officials.

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