Mr Mohammed Saneem
Signing of Terms of Reference
Electoral Security Advisory Group
Fijian Election Office, Fiji Police Force and Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption
15 November 2016
Commissioner of Police
Deputy Commissioner, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption
Colleagues of the Electoral Security Advisory Group
Members of the Media
Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all.
I would like to welcome you all to the signing of the Terms of Reference, Electoral Security Advisory Group [ESAG] between, Fijian Elections Office [FEO], Fiji Police Force and Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption [FICAC].
This group “Electoral Security Advisory Group” stemmed after the Electoral Risk Management Workshop, which was conducted by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, IDEA, in April this year.
The workshop was attended by Fiji Police, FICAC and FEO and they collectively agreed that a working committee, Election Security Advisory Group be formed and be responsible in planning for electoral security for the next General election.
After the formalization of this Terms of Reference, the working group will have regular meetings to discuss and evaluate the security situation specially reflated to electoral activities only and provide necessary recommendations to FEO and SoE.
It is an internationally recognized electoral principle to have peaceful elections. Security is inescapable in this process and can affect both the actual, and perceived, legitimacy of the electoral outcomes. An equitably secure environment for electoral participants is fundamental to their engagement in the process, and by extension, the goal of an election itself.
Thus it is imperative to draw on information and expertise from security agencies and develop communications and coordination among the agencies responsible for the administration and security of an elections.
This is a strategic endeavor between FEO and the security partners, Fiji Police and FICAC in anticipating and pre-empting security risks, mitigating their impact or probability of occurrence.
The core responsibilities of the ESAG will be:
- Review and analyse the FEO Operations Plans to identify and highlight security issues that are likely to arise;
- Based on the issues highlighted in (1) above, provide feedback and recommendations to resolve the security issues;
- Utilize the FEO Operations Plans to make necessary arrangements to properly discharge their respective duties under the Electoral Decree;
- Make use of the most latest technology and methodology to ensure efficient and secure conduct of elections; and
- Establish an appropriate communication mechanism between all the organizations during the election period.
The FEO will provide the necessary facilities for the proper functioning of the ESAG. FEO will also provide equipment and secretariat services to the ESAG.
It is expected for ESAG to meet as necessary during key periods of operations. ESAG operations team may meet on a monthly basis and even at more regular intervals closer to elections. The group may also create ad-hoc working committees on specific topics to ensure proper delivery of this TOR.
ESAG aims to provide all organisations a common platform for information exchange whilst fully maintaining their utmost independence.
I wish ESAG all the best in the planning for electoral security for the 2018 General election.
Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu