Samoan investigators join regional public integrity workshop

Samoan investigators of misconduct in public office will join colleagues from six other Pacific nations for training by the New Zealand Ombudsman in Fiji next week.

The program is being co-sponsored by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and will feature representatives from Australian state and federal Ombudsman offices. 

Training material will focus on taking investigators through investigating allegations of misconduct in public office from the making of an allegation to its resolution, the New Zealand Ombudsman said. 

“The focus is on Pacific Island countries’ Ombudsmen Act jurisdictions, case examples and scenarios”, says said New Zeland Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier. 

“None of the offices have exactly the same models of investigation, but the underlying principles of fairness and transparency are common to all”.

Mr. Boshier will be joined by speakers from the United Nations, including from the U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crime and High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Investigators from Samoa will be joined in Nadi by representatives from other Pacific states: the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

“Our aim is to build the Ombudsman investigator officers’ capacity in the Pacific region and strengthen relationships and networks to promote ongoing engagement and support," Mr Boshier said. 

“Training this group of investigators is a good way for them to be able to implement what they have learned and also assist others in their offices grow their skills.”

The training follows a previous workshop on the principles of good governance and investigation held in Vanuatu in March. 

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