National Integrity Office in planning stage

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 10 December 2021, 7:29PM

The Samoa Audit Office has launched the last phase of the project to establish a National Integrity Office which coincided with the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day.

The Audit Office also began its national integrity awareness and educational frame or brand with the title “We Stand for National Integrity”. 

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Fuimaono Afele Taimalelagi did a presentation on anti-corruption during a webinar on Thursday chaired by New Zealand’s Chief Auditor. 

A National Integrity Office system in other countries is a comprehensive approach to assessing a nation’s anti-corruption efficacy sector by sector. 

The approach assesses institutions and practices that prevent corruption in a country and identifies strengths and weakness in the integrity system and identifies areas for reform.  

The Audit Office has been working on the N.I.O. project since 2014 as a continuation of the Certified Fraud Examination Project. 

Over the last seven years, there has been financial and technical assistance from the Government and Australia through the Commonwealth Ombudsman to continue its national integrity activities. 

The funding received in the financial year ending 30 June 2022 is to continue the education and awareness activities that started in 2017 under the integrity project. 

The integrity work of the Audit Office is spread out in three phases with the first phase rolling out between 2007 and 2014. 

That phase comprised working and connecting with the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute, the U.S. government Accountability Office and affiliates like Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (A.C.F.E.). 

The second phase ran from 2014 to 2021 and looked at professionalising the staff of the Audit Office and other integrity organisations such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Public Enterprises, Office of the Electoral Commission and the Central Bank of Samoa.  

For the final phase the N.I.O. project will run from 2021 to 2024 undertaking more research and studies and implementing policy and legislative reforms. This will concluded with the establishment of the National Integrity Office. 

The Audit Office has published various educational and awareness videos on its website to launch the final phase of the N.I.O. project and in commemoration of the International Anti Corruption Day.  

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 10 December 2021, 7:29PM
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