Posts Tagged ‘YACV’

This is a plea to the Hon. PM. Moana Carcassesfor the welfare of all who live in and/or love Vanuatu.

It is also a plea in the interests of:

  • Good Governance
  • Leadership Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Accountability and
  • Justice

Paul Telukluk - Minister of Internal AffairsI am referring to the easily-recognizable politically-expedient appointment of Paul Barthemely Telukluk as the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Please note that I have not and shall not refer to this person as Honourable as only persons deserving of this title should be referred to as such and humbly suggest that the following supports this…..

FACTS and BACKGROUND

As quoted by the Vanuatu Government website –

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for implementation of the major and most essential policies relating to the internal administration of the entire nation. This Ministry is a crucial department as it services the entire population starts from Torba in the far north to Tafea Province in the far south that needs to be implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Nine departments are under the authority of the Ministry in ensuring that the following policies are implemented in terms of decentralisation, internal security and border control management and the national services. The nine departments Corporate Services Division (CSD), Department of Local Authorities (DLA), National Disaster Management (NDMO), Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Department of Immigration, Department of Labour and Employment Services (DoL), Electoral Office, Passport Office and Civil Status.

The Ministry is also responsible for some constitutional and statuary bodies like the Electoral Commission, Minimum Wages Board, Labour Advisory Board, National Housing Corporation, National Cultural, Provincial Councils and Municipal Councils.”

Bearing this in mind, it can be reasonably argued that this Ministry is THE most important in the land. And yet…….here’s just a little history and expose of the person now in charge of such an important post…….

“In the mid-1990s, Telukluk served as Minister for Lands in Prime Minister Maxime Carlot Korman‘s government. Later, he was investigated by the Ombudsman‘s office, which in 1999 published a report accusing him of having mismanaged the sale of deportees’ properties. The report recommended that Telukluk “should not be considered for a ministerial portfolio in any future Government” (Wikipedia);

“OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

PUBLIC REPORT ON THE GRANTING OF LEASES BY THE FORMER MINISTER OF LANDS MR PAUL BARTHELEMY TELUKLUK TO HIMSELF, FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS

PREAMBLE

This yet again we are confronted by evidence of leaders conspiring to defraud not only private individuals but the public by carefully plotting to increase their own personal wealth and assets by systematically pursuing dishonest courses of action and by misusing their public official positions to break the law, enrich themselves and to defraud others of their rights.

SUMMARY

Public Report is about how 15 land titles were improperly allocated by the Former Minister of Lands and now Minister of Ni-Vanuatu Business Mr. Paul Barthelemy Telukluk to himself, Members of his Family and wantoks (people of his island community). This report highlights the need for a proper policy governing the lease of Government Lands and Customary lands to ensure that they are done according to constitutional rights and Leadership Code obligations, and that actual market values are used.

The Ombudsman decided to investigate into this distribution of titles following several complaints lodged by members of the public. These complainants, having been allocated a block of land by the Department of Lands, had seen their land then given by Minister of Land Telukluk to members of his family or wantoks before the full process was finalised.

As Minister of Lands between 1992 and 1996, Mr. Telukluk had the legal power to sign land leases on behalf of the government, for public lands and lands under the management or control of the government. This also gave Mr. Telukluk the ultimate power to approve or determine the premium charged for leases.

During his term, Mr. Telukluk assigned 15 titles to himself, members of his family and wantoks.

The Ombudsman found that Mr. Telukluk’s conduct was unjust and contrary to Art. 5(1)(k) of the Constitution, because he gave himself and people close to him preferential treatment to obtain leases at cheap prices; other people of Vanuatu were not treated equally. With respect to 4 titles acquired for himself for free, the Ombudsman found this conduct to be misappropriation. The Ombudsman also found that Mr. Telukluk breached each and every section of the Leadership Code in the Constitution.

MR TELUKLUK’S USE OF HIS MINISTERIAL POWER TO GRANT LEASES TO HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS WAS ALSO CONTRARY TO ARTICLE 5 OF THE CONSTITUTION.

MR TELUKLUK BREACHED EACH AND EVERY SECTION OF THE LEADERSHIP CODE IN THE CONSTITUTION: CONFLICT OF INTEREST, UNFAIR EXERCISE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES, DEMEANING POSITION, LACK OF INTEGRITY, USE OF OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN.” (www.paclii.org)

There are many, many more references to Paul Telukluk’s immoral and crooked dealings – way too many to cover here. And yet again….

He has now appointed a CONVICTED FRAUDSTER in the form of CLARENCE MARAE as his First Political Advisor (PA) and secondly, Wendy Myriam-Himford as another PA – a woman well-known as a religious zealot and self-appointed Apostle who once accused Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu’s Graon Mo Jastis Pati as the “Satanik Pati”.

To all the Citizens and Residents of Vanuatu and those who have their cultural roots in this country – “Do you trust such a person to hold such an important position in the running of this wonderful nation?”

I certainly don’t and as such implore our Honourable Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, to do the right thing and change this situation – before it’s too late.

FOOTNOTE: Telukluk was a co-founder of the Green Federation in 2000.

Advertisements

The following article was first published 25th August, 2012 with the heading – “RESPECT – A “Little” Victory Over a “Big Man” . I have decided to re-publish it here and now as memories are short, especially in the world of politics and the guts of the article I believe to be as relevant, if not even more so than when first published……..

VictoryOnce upon a time, there was a self-proclaimed “Big Man” who thought he could lord it over all and sundry – until he faced the power of some “little people”.

The little story I am about to tell you is “GOLD” and is the absolute truth……..and it’s about a “Big Man” getting his come-uppance………..at grass- roots level. It gave me the chuckles and I hope it does the same for you…..

There’s a little airport (Ulie) near a little place (Sameo) on a little island (Ambrym) in a little Archipelago of 83 islands called Vanuatu a few hours from places like Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

In fact, this little place attracts tourists from all around the world. Why? Because it usually means the end of an adventure for those same tourists – walking across the island onto and in some cases, into, active volcanos (Marum and Benbow). That is one Hell of a walk/ journey. Even for the fittest, It is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging…..in a big way, so I am told.

A very recent article in “The Independent” quoted – “…the Minister of Education was stranded in the island of Embrym (their spelling mistake, not mine) because he has finished his travelling budget”.

Now let me tell you the truth…..

Earlier this week, a group of international tourists who had pre-booked their flight back to Port Vila Bauerfield Airport, were in the process of boarding when along came a “Big Man” – the Vanuatu Government Education Minister. He insisted that he and his entourage which, included two heavily bejewelled women, a couple of minders and two chickens (?), be given priority passenger rights ahead of the tourists. Apparently, offered up were such options as leaving some behind to catch a later plane or leaving the tourists’ luggage behind to compensate for the weight of the Minister and hangers-on. And then the fight started……….

The tourists (including people in their 60’s) rightfully insisted that they as they had pre-
booked their flight arrange- ments and the Minister only had an open ticket, they should have priority. The Minister thought otherwise and put all sorts of pressure on Air Vanuatu staff and others in an effort to get his way.

End result? The tourists had their way, the Air Vanuatu staff and others who stood up to the Minister’s unsavoury bullying tactics also had a moral victory and the foolish Minister lost…..got his come-uppance!

The moral to this little story is that this was a BIG win by grass-roots people and is a great example of how the “little” people can be BIG champions of decency, common courtesy and most of all – RESPECT.

As you all know, this is just one example of “Big Man” attitude that still prevails in this country as well as in my birthplace (OZ) and other countries.

Hopefully, some of the Vanuatu “Big Men” will read this, reason being that they may choose to follow a BIG piece of advice and go about learning the meaning of the word – “RESPECT” because they sure as hell give the impression that they sorely need some education on the subject.

RespectIf you aren’t a “Big Man”, then frankly, it’s up to you to ensure that they “get the message”, sooner rather than later. So what is “respect”? To quote Wikipedia (any highlights are mine)………

“Respect” gives a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honour somebody or something indicate respect. Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures. Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified……as one of five fundamental moral
values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals. In recent times, ‘respect’ has become synonymous with subordination, submission, or obedience”.

The antonym and opposite of respect is CONTEMPT.

Got that? Let’s return for a moment to the Minister of Chickens and others of his ilk, such as the Minister who thinks that he is so important and deserving of “respect” that, with total impunity, he can beat up people whose opinions he doesn’t like and threaten others with violence (such as throwing them out the window) and getting drunk and aggressive in public. Then of course there are the other Ministers who also love being passengers on the gravy train and who also show their outright CONTEMPT for the “little” people and DISRESPECT for the positions of authority that they hold by ripping off the system via providing “jobs for the boys”, dodgy (read – ‘dishonest’) land deals and so on it goes.

At the time that this goes to print, it will only be 66 days to 30th October.

Folks, I ask that you please remember the actions of the “Big Men” at election time. No matter where you live, get rid of any whose traits are to be disrespectful, contemptuous, self-serving, full-of-themselves antithesis of “servants of the people” – as soon as you can.

It’s not that hard! There are some truly honourable, decent men and women waiting in the wings, ready, willing and able to do their bit – for Vanuatu, not for what they can do for themselves in keeping their position at the trough. Pigs at the Trough

May I also humbly suggest that, when you get to cast your vote in a little over nine weeks’ time, you give serious attention to looking at the records of the established parties and their parliamentary representatives.

I have done just that and I must say that every one of them has “come up short”, for one reason or another. Every Party has had and in many instances, still has, people totally undeserving of the “little” peoples’ vote come October. I am referring to the constant “ship-jumpers” and those who speak with forked tongues – the crooks.

SOCIAL MEDIA is, I believe and hopefully not just wishful thinking on my part, likely to have a BIG effect in the forth- coming elections – here in Vanuatu, Australia and the US.

Political DinosaursThose “dinosaurs” who under- estimate its power are doomed to fail – to be replaced by more contemporary-thinking, well- educated, articulate and intelligent people.

It really pleases me to see the high level of activity on social media sites such as Facebook.

 

Youth Against Corruption VanuatuI say this because the posts on sites such as “YACV” (Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu), “YUMI TOKTOK STRET”, “ME HAREM SE ???”, “ELECTION SPOTLIGHT 2012” and “PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC POLICY” are great show-cases displaying the full depth of feeling on issues such as corruption and transparency. It’s terrific to see and be able to enjoy the repartee between serious participants, their impassioned arguments cum discussions about current affairs.

As a constant watcher and user of social media, it’s interesting to note that only one political Party has bothered to keep up with the times – the GRAON mo JASTIS PATI, headed up by the Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu.

At this point, I need to make something perfectly clear before going any further. I am NOT, I repeat – NOT making a “political statement” NOR attempting to “influence politics” in this country NOR wishing to appear to be recommending any one Party versus another.

However, the very fact that the GJP has its own website is worth noting because as far as I am aware (and I am prepared to stand corrected!), it is the only Party that has one as pro- active, as informative and as transparent (there’s a first for Vanuatu for a start!). Good grief, they even publicize, on their front page, what activities they have been involved in and wait for it – how they have been spending their Ministerial Allocations (tax-payer monies)!

Come to think of it, I cannot recall seeing ANY other website
for any other Vanuatu-based political party! Sacre Bleu!

But “what the heck has this got to do with money?” you may well ask. Well, in a way, it has to do with RESPECT.

If we are to have true LEADERS, then we must ensure that those designate will need to show RESPECT for others, regardless of their social status, their race, their age, colour or religion.

They will need to show RESPECT for the opinions of others. They’ll also need to show that they have the ability AND desire to PRESERVE, PROTECT and RESPECT cultural “kastom”.

Such leaders would inevitably find themselves leading a nation of happy and “life-rich”, enterprising, healthy people.

When people live in such an environment, they tend to evolve and acquire skills that help them make their way in the modern world.

One of those skills is that of MAKING MONEY, having the human and technical resources, ably backed by a healthy living environment in the first instance (clean air, clean water), to develop financially favourable trade opportunities with others, be they local or international.

Nevertheless, MAKING MONEY is one thing. MANAGING MONEY is altogether another matter. The purpose of the MAKING (the betterment of people’s lives – financially and spiritually) can be readily defeated by corruption and greed. We see and hear examples of it everywhere. In the newspapers. On the TV. On the radio. By way of the very efficient “coconut drums” wire.

As we have seen VERY recently, people are becoming more concerned about and conscious of the need for MANAGING MONEY in a no-holds-barred atmosphere of………….

ABSOLUTE TRANSPARENCY & ABSOLUTE PROFESSIONALISM.

To sum it all up and as I’m sure my father would have said –“It takes an honest man to do that!”

POSTSCRIPT: In case you haven’t already worked it out, the “Minister of Chickens” is the same “Big Man” being touted by the Opposition as the next Prime Minister of Vanuatu. Go figure!!!

SEVIS BULETIN

Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu

Wenisdei nekis wik, lo Namba 18 Disemba, “Ol Yangfala Agensem Korapsen” (YACV) i kat wan AGM (Annual General Meeting) long Anambru long Hill Antap.

Evriwan i welkam lo kam…olfala, yangfala, man o woman…welkam.

Hemi bigfala janis blo yu lo maekem kontribujin long kantri blo yu.

Sapos yu o sam narafala man o woman yu save wea yu ting ting i gud blo jonem YACV Boad, plis kam lo Wenisdei lo nominaetem nem blo yu or narafala.

Sapos you wanem mo ditael, lukluk long YACV website – www.facebook.com/groups/youthagainstcorruptions.

Tankyu tumas

????????????????A reader of The Watcher has passed information to me that potentially implicates an ex-pat and various government agencies.

The “bad news” is that I cannot approve a post of this nature without “hard evidence” per se. It may just be a spurious allegation and if so, it would be unjust to post information leading to the identity of an individual if untrue.

I have suggested that she pass along this information to the relevant Authorities, that is, VFSC, VIPA and Labor Dept.

The “good news” is that I encourage her and others to contact the VACC (Vanuatu Anti-Corruption Commission) at vacc@vanuatu.com.vu in such situations also.

If you feel it is appropriate to do so, you may also wish to contact YACV (Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu) on matters of corruption.

Vanuatu GovernmentWe in Vanuatu now have a new Government and here’s the line-up, straight from the new Minister of Lands, the Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu (thanks Ralph [RR] for keeping us informed, especially on Facebook and on your www.graonmojastic.org website)……….

1. Prime Minister : Moana Carcasses Kalosil
2. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade : Nipake Edward Natapei
3. Finance and Economic Management : Willy Jimmy
4. Education : Bob Loughman
5. Lands, Geology, Mines, Energy and Water Resources : Ralph Regenvanu
6. Infrastructure and Public Utilities : Esmon Sae
7. Internal Affairs : Patrick Crowby Manarewo
8. Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity : David Tosul
9. Tourism and Commerce : Marcelino Pipite
10. Health : Serge Vohor
11. Justice And Social Welfare : Maki Simelum
12. Youth Development, Training and Sports : Tony Wright
13. Planning and Climate Change Adaptation : Thomas Laken

* Ministry of Ni-Vanuatu Business Development and Ministry of Trade have been merged into a new Ministry of Tourism And Commerce
* Ministry of Youth Development, Training and Sports has been re-instated and the Ministry of Civil Aviation removed
* A new Ministry of Planning and Climate Change Adaptation has been created.

Additionally, the new Government has released its “100-Day Plan”, initially via the “Independent” newspaper. At some later time, I shall comment further on this “Plan”.

The Watcher(W)Nevertheless, have no doubt about my personal commitment and continued hard-line on corruption within the political and public sectors. Same goes for YACV and the VACC (Vanuatu Anti-Corruption Commission) of which I am part.

Personally, I intend to scrutinise the actions and deeds of the new government even more diligently. Why? Simply because perhaps for the first time since the early days of post-independence politics, the people of Vanuatu have a shared sense and vision of hope for the future – theirs and Vanuatu’s as a whole.

So, to all the new MP’s – DON’T MESS UP! We are relying on you to do the “right” thing – by us and by the nation.

 

Vanuatu GovernmentpatunvanuNeither the Vanuatu Government nor its Public Relations Officer, Jeff Joel Patunvanu, have made any effort whatsoever to address the PRO’s defamatory article of 1st February, 2013 other than to take the offending posting off the Vanuatu Government’s Internet site – “vanuatu2u”.

Not only do I take this as a personal affront but also as a true indication of the lack of integrity on the part of those mentioned above.

The Government and its “servants of the people” have shown their true colours, as anticipated – they have failed to display even the slightest shred of common decency in the matter, let alone R-E-S-P-E-C-T or H-O-N-O-U-R.

Ah well, looks like a busy “legal” week ahead…….

 

OPEN LETTER TO HON. PRIME MINISTER SATO KILMAN

Dear Sir,

I have been defamed in the media by and at the instigation of the Vanuatu Government’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Jeff Joel Patunvanu. This is an act for which I hold both Mr. Patunvanu and the Vanuatu Government responsible and therefore – accountable.

THE FACTS:

On 1st February, 2013, the web site www.vanuatu2u.com had as its lead story one entitled “This Smells of Conspiracy against Vanuatu”. Note: A transcript of Mr. Patunvanu’s article was also published in the “Daily Post”, Issue No. 3774, on Wednesday, 6th February, 2013.

Since the initial publishing on the www.vanuatu2u.com web site, the Government’s PRO’s false allegations have been repeated many times over in the media. Note: This particular web site has ALL news items directed to the Vanuatu Government’s PRO for vetting/administration.

The very first posting of the article by the Government’s PRO also contained a photograph of the members of the newly-appointed Steering Committee for the “Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu” NGO, one of whom was myself. It was quite clear who the allegations were directed at, namely, me. The following is a copy of the www.vanuatu2u.com article (the italics are mine), as it was then (it’s been changed on a number of occasions over the past few days since by the Government’s PRO):

  1. 3.            “An Expat working for an NGO in Vanuatu – Youth against Corruption is the former Wealth Manager of Mr. Saken Company in Vanuatu – Agari (as reported by The Independent Newspaper) I am currently getting this confirmed by VIPA and other agencies.”

The Government’s PRO, Jeff Patunvanu, further repeated these same allegations on radio on Sunday evening 3rd February, 2013 and again on Monday morning, 4th February, 2013.

The Government’s PRO, Jeff Patunvanu, when requested by me, on two separate occasions by email, to supply me with the relevant documents in accord with his directions and I quote –

Because this issue is now officially entering the official investigation stage all attachments now require password to view please contact me on jjpatunvanu@gmail.com and jjpatunvanu@vanuatu.gov.vu   if you are a member of the Media or Public who has a special concern to read this further and I will consider granting you password to read. “, he has chosen to ignore my requests completely.

In view of the foregoing, I wish to draw your attention to the following Vanuatu Law, one to which everyone in Vanuatu is bound:

CAP135:                                “Offences against Reputation

120. Criminal defamation

No person shall by spoken or written words, gestures or any other method maliciously expose any other person alive or dead to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or otherwise harm the reputation of that other person.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.”

By association, it concerns me greatly that the organizations and people with whom I actively work, including the Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu NGO, have also been adversely affected by these scurrilous and defamatory allegations that serve no other purpose other than to harm my reputation and hence – the reputation of those I serve, work with, socialize and live with. This is untenable.

In view of the foregoing, I hereby request that your Office, Mr. Prime Minister, respond to this letter as follows:

(1)    The Vanuatu Government makes a full and total retraction of these allegations in the form of a full-page public apology to me and to the “Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu” NGO members with such apology to be published in all three of Vanuatu’s newspapers as follows – the “Daily Post”, the “The Independent” and the “Vanuatu Times”. Additionally, this letter is to be published in its entirety on the home page of the www.vanuatu2u.com web site for a minimum period of one week. This apology is to be received by the herein-named media organizations by no later than 3.00 p.m., Friday, 9th February, 2013.

(2)    The Vanuatu Government publicly commits to the formation of an independent Anti-Corruption Agency. Note: The previous Government, under your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister, was presented with a petition for the formation of an anti-corruption body, in accord with the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), an action that had been ratified by the Parliament of Vanuatu on 14th March, 2010 but as yet un-acted upon by your Government. Consequently,

  1. This public commitment is to first take the form of a public announcement from the Prime Minister’s office via all Vanuatu’s recognized media organizations that it WILL legislate the formation of an Anti-Corruption Agency with similar operating principles and powers to those of Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) but naturally modified to suit Vanuatu’s own particular culture and circumstances and that the Government will list this action as a top priority upon its return to Parliament In March, 2013 – or earlier by way of an Extraordinary Sitting of Parliament;
  2. Secondly, the public announcement is to include a commitment, on behalf of the Vanuatu Government, to allocate sufficient operational funds for the Commission’s establishment and thereafter, its annual operations. The initial budget considered appropriate is to be no less than twenty five million vatu and is to be included in the 2013 Budget to be handed down by the Government in March, 2013;
  3. Finally, the announcement is to also attest to the fact that, subsequent to the legislated formation of said Commission, a qualified independent Chairman having the appropriate and relevant legal qualifications is to be appointed by the Vanuatu Government as soon as possible;
  4. This commitment is to be announced within seven (7) days of the publication of this letter in the media.

I call upon you, Mr. Prime Minister, to take up this challenge for the advancement of the Vanuatu Government’s stated commitment to the elimination of corruption at all levels in Vanuatu.

In closing, should a satisfactory response to this letter not occur in a timely fashion as qualified herein, I shall initiate civil and/or criminal action against the Vanuatu Government’s PRO, Jeff Joel Patunvanu and the Vanuatu Government itself.

I await your response accordingly.

Respectfully yours,

PHIL MANHIRE

7th February, 2013

Phil Manhire

Phil ManhireHello. My name is Phil Manhire.

I was brought up by intelligent, caring and honest parents. They taught me about moral and ethical “values”. They did this through “leading by example” and I am truly grateful to them for that.

My father lived by the adage – “A man’s word is his bond”.

Mark Twain once said – “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”

Ayn Rand – “Integrity does not consist of loyalty to one’s subjective whims, but of loyalty to rational principles.”

I do my utmost to live the creed acknowledged by the above persons.

It’s my belief that a person’s integrity level is the very essence of “soul”, if you will.

The current attack on my personal integrity is, in effect, also an attack on any people or groups or businesses associated with me. This, to me, is a highly offensive attack, however, for the moment at least…… that is not the “meat” of this message.

The defining issue is the fact this Government is dedicated to hanging onto power, no matter the cost (to Vanuatu and its citizenry) or means taken to achieve that end. One of its chosen communication means is to lie, deny or ignore and throughout the process, act as if they consider themselves to be untouchable, per se.

The Vanuatu Government, including it’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) – Jeff Patunvanu have chosen to use their normal tactics of attention-diversion from their mis-deeds via the PRO’s Press Release on 1st February 2013.

It is my intention to hold both the Vanuatu Government and the PRO accountable for their actions. As the title says….

“You have picked on the wrong bloke this time, mate!”

What follows is the Press Release from the newly-formed  unit dedicated to the task of ridding this country of corruption…..

“The NGO’s and CBO’s comprising VANGO have united to form a Task Force of committed organizations and individuals determined to eliminate political and public service corruption”, according to a Task Force spokesperson. The name of this new anti-corruption force is the Vanuatu Corruption Commission (VCC).

The VCC spokesperson went on to state – “Vanuatu Political Authorities continue to ignore civil society’s calls for better governance of the public sector. Political and administrative corruption is as widespread as ever. Nepotism, cronyism, embezzlement of public funds, bribery and vote buying persist.

It is the citizen who pays the price, as demonstrated by the recent multiplicity of scandals reported in the media. For example, consider the mega yacht Phocea saga involving State Ministers, one of whom was also recently questioned by PNG Authorities in relation to possible Trans-National crimes committed. Then there is the outstanding Lands Department and Ministry scandal for which no-one has yet been held accountable.”

The Vanuatu Corruption Commission’s strategy is to:

  • Engage people, particularly the grassroots, including youth, women, church leaders, chiefs  more widely than ever before, for ultimately, only people can stop corruption
  • Speak out more boldly about corruption
  • Work more closely with our coalition partners and the media in the anti-corruption fight
  • Use our influence to exercise more pressure on political decision-makers to implement anti-corruption reform

Civil Society Organizations are a pillar of Vanuatu’s development and as Institutions dedicated in the fight for the Rights of all Vanuatu people, it is important that the government fully engages with these interest groups in its development plans as well as the implementation of its Priority Action Agenda.

Desk reviews on the government’s implementation of its Priority Action Agenda will be carried out by this group as well as closely monitoring the performance of those in public affairs. It is time for NGO’s to start holding the government accountable for the implementation of its policies and if failure of quality performance is detected, then this group has every right to pursue further legal assistance from legal Institutions in the region and even international, where appropriate.” 

Looking back on 2012, what would you rate as the most important/significant events of the year? What about yourself? Did you have a good year…or something else? For some thoughts from yours truly, check out my first diatribe for 2013 – “The Certified BULLS**T Club – New Members Welcome!

Globally, I feel it’s fair to say that the major events of the year were the US Presidential elections, events in Syria and the London Olympics. Whatever the world events, it’s the things that happen in YOUR close world of friends, family, business colleagues and community that affect you most and therefore are most likely to hold priority for you.

For most of the people I know, it’s been a financially challenging year and for some – devastating. Businesses closed down, bank re-possessions, jobs lost, no money for school fees and so on.

Sure, there have been some individual successes as well. I wish I could name some of these great people, men and women who are quietly achieving….in the true sense of the word. I won’t though, as they are unequivocally entitled to their privacy. I can say this – I’m eagerly awaiting the next 12 months as these people continue to grow their successes, more often than not because of the challenges faced by them. The most personally gratifying factor for me is that each and every one of them is, without exception, a good person and human being!

2012 was an interesting year for yours truly. Apart from a couple of temporary “nasties”, it was a pretty good year from a health perspective. I have worked with some really cool and successful people this past 12 months. Had some fun too…..small stint on radio, my regular shell (or two) with my nakamal mates, some special occasions with my wife and social occasions with friends. Overall, I consider 2012 to have been a good year ending in a foundation for an even better 2013.

Okay, now let’s leave the beer & skittles and roses behind for a spell…….

My perception is that there is a distinct air of “change” omnipresent. I have heard it said many times recently, in many different quarters, that people are looking to 2013 as a year of change – for the better. Perhaps we are on the verge of an era that will bring with it a greater participation, numbers-wise, in meeting the challenges ahead, in concert with others and for the benefit of all. I hope so. It’s not going to be an easy task but one that is ”do-able”.

Gold Medal Award-January 2013I plan to keep up my writings to you, dear reader and with a bit of luck, keep you entertained as well as informed. I’ll also be doing my bit on the anti-corruption front, particularly locally, so you can expect to read/hear more on this subject. On that note, I ask that you check out the “Certified BULLS**T Club” site and please, if you feel you have a possible contender for an award, send in your nomination for the inaugural January Awards.