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Fiji Time: 3:22 AM on Saturday 26 July

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Zero tolerance on corruption

Tevita Vuibau
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TWO vital decrees being reviewed as part of the Marine Act are expected to be ready to be submitted to Cabinet by July this year.

The two decrees - Maritime Transport Decree (MTD) and Ship Registration Decree (SRD) are expected to supersede the Marine Act and plug loopholes in the maritime industry.

The two decrees were formulated after general consultations were held with the public and maritime industry stakeholders.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Neale Slack said the new legislation would ensure a number of changes for the industry.

"The changes in legislation will mean that all vessels must be registered and surveyed and all vessels must be certified," he said.

"MSAF will also be decentralising senior staff throughout the nation and also to the west including surveyors, management, and regional enforcement and compliance officers."

He said MSAF would be deploying an awareness team to travel Fiji-wide, including in the west, to ensure that the general public and maritime stakeholders understand the requirements of the new legislation.

Mr Slack said those in the maritime industry would be given six months to bring themselves up to date with the new legislation and fines would be levied against those who did not comply.

"The MTD and SRD are being amended with public consultation comments and recommendations and will be shortly issued to the Solicitor Generals office for final vetting," Mr Slack said.

"MSAF is drafting the regulations and rules."

He said the new legislation, coupled with the MSAF's new zero tolerance policy, would allow for full effectiveness.

"MSAF's zero tolerance policy is applied internally of MSAF and also espoused and expected of the maritime industry," Mr Slack said.

"The zero tolerance policy is intended to purge MSAF and the maritime industry of corrupt practices."


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