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Community reps pass FIJI CSO code of accountability

Fiji Council of Social Services(FCOSS) district representatives endorsed the Fiji CSO Code of Accountability for implementation by January 2019 at a meeting in Lautoka yesterday.

FCOSS executive director, Vani Catanasiga says close to 50 representatives from Lami, Suva, Nadi, Nadroga, Lautoka, Savusavu, Labasa, Rakiraki district councils of social services (DCOSS) endorsed the Code of Accountability after a two day meeting in Lautoka.

The meeting which was supported by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti Corruption (UNPRAC) Project and the Australian government was opened by the Lautoka City Council chief executive officer, Jone Nakauvadra on Monday.

“After two days of discussions that begun with our commemoration of the International Anti Corruption Day, FCOSS is pleased to announce that close to 50 representatives from 8 community based organisations have passed the Fiji CSO Code of Accountability,” Catanasiga said.

Work on the Code begun in 2014 with the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) as part of efforts for promoting the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness and the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness in the region.

“The Code of Accountability sets out approaches for institutionalising accountability and transparency in the internal processes and operations of FCOSS.”

She said the Code builds on ideas from the PIANGO Organisational Development Matrix, Commonwealth Foundation’s Civil Society Accountability: Principles and Practice Toolkit and the experiences of its DCOSS.

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“The Code is divided into four main parts; accountability basics, accountable governance, accountable programmes and accountable resource management. Judging from the discussions, these are still key components of an NGO’s accountability to its communities,” she said.

“Participants at this meeting are community representatives that operate under DCOSS in various districts and are already engaged in strengthening democracy, promoting justice, supporting education, safeguarding development and improving public health.”

Catanasiga said participants recognised the need to improve FCOSS accountability was key to improving legitimacy and influencing positive change in their communities and at national level.

“The Code contributes to the development of effective systems and efficient processes for civil society and community based organisations so that our programmatic interventions remain responsive to the needs of communities,” she said.

Catanasiga also acknowledged the UN PRAC, the Australian people and PIANGO for their support towards this initiative saying their partnership demonstrates that building integrity systems begins from communities

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