Anti-Corruption

anti corruptionThis webpage is part of collaborative efforts to ensure the public has information on what Fraud/corruption looks like and have accessible avenues to the complaints process where they believe breaches have occured. 

Agency information is available including contact information for complaints to individual agencies.

The Cook Islands have ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (“UNCAC”) which acknowledges that “corruption hurts the poor disproportionately undermines a Governments ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign aid and investment.  Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development” (UNCAC, 2004, p.iii).  The Cook Islands Government is committed to the provisions of the ADB/OECD Asia Pacific Anti-corruption Action Plan Initiative in 2003 (“APACAP”).  Local anti-corruption legislation, which includes but is not limited to the bribery provisions of the Crimes Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, the MFEM Act and the PERCA Act.  The Government confirms the importance of collective leadership, teamwork and partnerships within and outside government to effectively combat corruption, and the need to involve the community and private sector.  However the Government acknowledges the limited resources and therefore the effectiveness of a cooperative approach in the fight against corruption as opposed to individual efforts.  The Government reinforces their commitment to promote and strengthen anti-corruption measures and practices (Cabinet Minute CM (11) 0369).

What is Fraud/Corruption?

The definition of fraud varies among countries, however in simple terms, fraud is any act or omission that intentionally misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation.  For the purposes of this communication, fraud includes: 

  • Corrupt practice, which is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party;
  • Fraudulent practice, which is any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation;
  • Coercive practice, which is impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to  influence improperly the actions of a party;
  • Collusive practice, which is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including influencing improperly the actions of another party;
  • Abuse, which is theft, waste or improper use of assets related to government activity, either committed intentionally or through reckless disregard;
  • Conflict of interest, any situation in which a party has interests that could improperly influence that party’s performance of official duties and responsibilities, contractual obligations, or compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Obstructive practices, which includes (a)deliberately destroying, falsifying, altering, or concealing of evidence material to an investigation; (b) making false statements in order to materially impede an investigation;  (c) threatening, harassing, or intimidating any party to prevent it from disclosing its knowledge of matters relevant to the investigation or from pursuing the  investigation; or (d) materially   impeding  contractual rights of audit or access to information
  • Retaliation against whistleblowers or witnesses, which is any detrimental act, direct or indirect, recommended, threatened or taken against a whistleblower or witness, in a manner material to a complaint because of the report or cooperation with an investigation by the whistle blower or witness.

Ministry of Finance and Economic Management

Ministry of Finance and Economic Management is responsible for effective economic, fiscal, and financial management by Government. 

It provides the accompanying accountability arrangements, together with compliance with those requirements. 

MFEM is also responsible for Revenue Management, Development Coordination, Treasury and the Cook Islands Statistics Office.

Contact Details 

Initial complaint to: Etuatina Drollett
Phone number: (682) 22878

  • Email address: etuatina.drollett@cookislands.gov.ck
  • Postal address: PO Box 120, Avarua, Rarotonga
  • Location: Ministry of Finance and Economic Management building
  • Takuvaine Road (opposite Ministry of Justice and above Post Office)

General Nature of Complaints

Generally complaints will be in relation to exercising the responsibilities imposed by the Legislation administered by the Ministry. They may also relate to the incorrect implementation of the Policies and Procedures referred to above.

Some examples of the type of complaints that may be made are:

  • Taxation Assessments
  • Purchasing and Tender irregularities
  • Financial mismanagement
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Staff conduct

Legislation Administered

Principal Acts:

  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Act 1995-96
  • Statistics Act 1966
  • Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012
  • Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012 Explanatory Notes
  • Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012 Regulations
  • Customs Tariff Act 2012
  • Income Tax Act 1997 (consolidated)
  • Value Added Tax Act 1997 (consolidated to 01/01/2006)
  • Departure Tax Act 2012
  • Legislation governing the application of taxes in the Cook Islands
  • Seabed Mineral Regulations 2013

Downloads

Financial Policies and Procedures Manual

pdfMinistry of Finance and Economic Management – Complaint submission form167.24 KB