29 Aug 2016

Tonga works on developing anti-corruption measures

9:59 am on 29 August 2016

A noble representative in Tonga's parliament is hoping major anti-corruption measures can be implemented in the kingdom by the end of the year.

The Tongan parliament buildings

The Tongan parliament buildings Photo: Tonga Parliament

Last week Lord Fusitu'a submitted a number of recommendations into the House which were all accepted.

He said an Anti-Corruption Commissioner will be appointed to head an investigative commission.

Lord Fusitu'a said Tonga will also move to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption and parliament is working on a National Leadership Code.

He said corruption has impacted the whole region so it is important for Tonga to put in place measures to prevent it rather than address it after it has happened.

However Lord Fusitu'a said cultural context is needed because traditional gifts given to MPs or government members can be seen as corruption in the strict Western sense.

"We have to make provision for these kind of gifts so they are recorded and they're put on record and disclosed so we don't discount particular cultural practices that we have and we respect and honour them while still being as transparent as possible about the way we go about our job," he said.