6 May 2003

Transparency International calls on Vanuatu government to uphold good governance

10:37 am on 6 May 2003

Transparency International in Vanuatu is calling on the government to respect its stated commitment to good governance.

It follows the appointment of George Kalo as the acting manager of the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board.

Mr Kalo is a member of the Union of Moderate Parties which is part of the governing coalition.

His appointment has been criticised as a political move rather than one based on merit.

The Vanuatu Daily Post newspaper says there are already reports of companies closely associated with government ministers receiving favourable contracts from the Board.

The spokesperson for Transparency International, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says when this sort of thing happens it makes the recent efforts at good governance a waste of time.

She warns that Vanuatu could go down the same road as Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

"Political appointment is the reason why we are falling apart while also political interference that goes automatically with corruption. You have what has happened in Solomon Islands, what is happening to PNG, with not a downfall but a falling apart of a government and here we are on the same road."

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson