Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) Members Join the Global Fight against Corruption on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2016
During the PASAI 19th Congress in August 2016 in Pohnpei, Federated State of Micronesia, Pacific Auditors-General and Public Auditors as Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) unanimously agreed for SAIs to participate incelebrating the “International Anti-Corruption Day”, 9th December 2016, as part of the global fight against corruption. This was in line with the PASAI Congress Theme, “Fishing Together for a Pacific Free of Corruption and Poverty”.
Today, all around the Pacific, PASAI members will be taking part to show their support and commitment to this important day, contributing towards achieving SDG 16 of the 2030 Agenda. Activities that SAIs are planning to undertake will include school essay writing competitions, float competitions, market days, press conferences, media releases, publication of audit reports and many more as SAIs join many other organisations around the Pacific on International Anti-Corruption Day.
The United Nations stated, “Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 percent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of the official development assistance”.
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) play an important role in the fight against corruption not only in the Pacific but globally as watchdogs of the public purse. Pacific SAIs can also contribute by advocating for legislative changes to strengthen national systems and institutions to fight corruption, working more closely with other government agencies, increasing public awareness of the issues through its audit reports and engaging with stakeholders in the fight against corruption and poverty.
PASAI Chairman and Public Auditor of Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia, Mr Ihlen Joseph, commented that “the fight against corruption starts with our youth, if we can educate them early, they can contribute to building a culture and a society free of corruption and poverty”. Mr Joseph leads the way in this initiative with the Pohnpei State Office of the Public Auditor (OPA) hosting an essay contest for high schools, and a float/parade contest for youth groups on the 9th December 2016. Pohnpei OPA received financial assistance from the United Nations Development Programme Funding specifically for “International Anti-Corruption Day”.
PASAI Secretary-General, and Controller and Auditor-General of New Zealand, Ms Lyn Provost emphasised that, “the fight against corruption requires collaboration and co-operation between SAIs, national institutions, anti-corruption agencies, civil societies, media organisations and the public at large. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune. We therefore have to be vigilant and to work together as a region and as organisations to do our part to address this epidemic that stifles economic development, prosperity and democracy”.