Tonga increasing transparency, says ADB expert

The Asian Development Bank says Tonga is leading the way in the Pacific in increasing transparency in government.

Christopher Russell, an expert in reform, made the comments after the launch of a website  that provides information about state-owned enterprises.

“Tonga is the first to have their website up and running,” Russell said.

“So they really are ranking very high within the Pacific realm and also internationally.

“There are not many countries around the world that will have the amount of information.”

Russell said Tonga was one of the first countries to require a publication summarising financial information on public enterprises in 2010.

A 2014 report on Tonga by Transparency International said the government had taken significant steps in recent years to improve the country’s governance.

The report said Tonga was now ranked around the global average in terms of its performance on governance indicators.

However, it said political corruption and nepotism were still a problem.

It said these issues were rooted in the kingdom’s political  and demographic structure, strong sense of kinship, and late democratic awakening.

For more information

Tonga becomes first Pacific nation to publish SOE information online

Transparency International Tonga report

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