Code of Accountability promotes CSO legitimacy – FCOSS

Transparency, accountability and integrity can be institutionalised in civil society organisations through a Code of Accountability says the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS).

FCOSS executive director, Vani Catanasiga says a Code of Accountability or Minimum Standards may help CSOs to institutionalise anti-corruption approaches at the organisational level.

“Since 2014, FCOSS has worked with the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) to initiate and progress discussions on a draft Code of Accountability,” Catanasiga said. 

FCOSS’ draft Code of Accountability attempts to provide guidelines and the minimum standards of maintaining and upholding the principles of good governance and CSO development effectiveness in its operations. Furthermore, it helps ensure that programmatic interventions of civil society and community-based organizations are indeed responsive to the needs of the communities they are supposed to serve.

She said FCOSS recognises the importance of demonstrating a sustained organisational commitment to transparency, multiple accountability, and integrity in its operations if it were to be taken seriously as an effective CSO development actor.

“Legitimacy is an important factor in our ability to influence national and regional governance processes, particularly if our goals are about achieving social justice for Fijian people. Legitimacy can only be achieved if demonstrating accountability and integrity in our internal processes and approaches becomes our organisational culture,” she said.

“This is why FCOSS is partnering with the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UNPRAC) Project to validate its draft Code of Accountability next week in Lautoka with representatives of its district councils of social services (DCOSS).”

Catanasiga says the Code validation workshop will be preceded by a panel discussion to spotlight; NGOs and Next Gen Leaders: Building CSO Accountability for Legitimacy in Anti-Corruption Advocacy.

“FCOSS and UN PRAC have organised the two activities to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day 2018 under the theme; United against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security.”

According to Catanasiga, the support of UNPRAC, PIANGO, and the Australian people shows how communities are where initiatives for building integrity systems begin. The activities will take place at the Sukanacagi Hall at the Ba Provincial Holdings office in Lautoka second week of December.#


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