18 Jun 2013

UN rebuts claims it would not help with Fiji transparency laws

7:06 pm on 18 June 2013

A UN agency has confirmed the Fiji government called for help with drafting freedom of information laws but it has denied it was unwilling to assist.

Fiji's Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said in April that the United Nations Development Programme refused to help the Fiji government draft the laws including a code of conduct for public officials.

The UNDP's representative in the region, Knut Ostby, says the issue was raised informally with the agency which didn't have the capacity to do the job at the time.

"We are not unwilling to provide help for laws that might help with transparency but we have to do what we can based on our capacities and competencies and based on how it fits in to our existing programme."

Mr Ostby says it would consider, on a running basis, any request for assistance.