The RMI government wants to ramp up anti-corruption efforts here, a member of the Auditor General’s office told a global meeting last week in Europe.
Full engagement with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and its country review process has helped to develop the Marshall Islands government’s anti-corruption program, one of the nation’s UNCAC experts, Jaston Anjain, told delegates at the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation last week. Anjain heads the investigations division at the RMI Auditor General’s office.
“In my own native tongue, ‘Tuwaak bwe elimajnono’ literally means ‘Face Your Challenges,’” he said in remarks to last week’s anti-corruption conference. “However, we use it as meaning that even in challenges there are opportunities. This is relatable to how one can fight corruption – there are numerous setbacks, but there are opportunities and it is well worth the effort.” Anjain joined with some 1,500 participants from 164 countries.
“UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with UNDP and the Australian government held workshops for relevant government officials as well as civil society organizations on the key findings from Marshall Islands’ review,” Anjain said.
Anjain said that due to UNCAC review cycle engagement, Marshall Islands now has a baseline from which it can consider technical assistance needs and areas to prioritize. One such priority is to improve the capacity of all government offices that are tasked with preventing corruption.
Speaking in Majuro this week about the RMI’s membership in the UN Convention Against Corruption, Auditor General Junior Patrick said the initial review of the RMI’s basic systems shows there is a framework in place for preventing corruption. But, he added, he would like to see the UN anti-corruption review go a step further “to see if implementation is effective, what is the time frame for investigations and prosecutions, and what resources are available (for accountability efforts). We have a framework, but is it functional?”
Read more about this in the November 13, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal