‘Network of laws vital’

A NETWORK of laws complementing each other is necessary to address the issue of corruption.

This was one of the main messages conveyed by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during an anti-corruption workshop for Pacific parliamentarians organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nadi yesterday.

He said one of the ways this was done in Fiji was through the Companies Act.

“So for example, under the Companies Act, when companies file the annual returns, you need to file it on an annual basis. But if you didn’t, the penalty was $20,” he said.

“Now, companies have been broken down into different categories so you have to disclose your financials with the annual return so the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority can actually cross reference that in terms of what you file in tax returns.”

He also told participants that Fiji was willing to assist in terms of sharing its experiences on fighting corruption.

“We are willing to help in terms of sharing our experiences, however, we have to be mindful of the financial limitations that some countries have.

“I know some countries struggle with getting prosecutors for normal prosecution cases, to then have another body doing prosecutions may be a bit too much.”

He said anti-corruption practices needed to be tailored specifically to each country.

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