The Palau Media Council on Monday held a training session on investigative financial reporting from the UNODC and the Pacific Anti-Corruption Network.
The council was also the recipient of a $USD$4000 equipment grant from PACJN and UNODC to help boost the “Palau media’s engagement in regional and international training as well as the technical quality of intra-Palau reporting.”
Building on previous PACJN engagement, PMC requested a dedicated training session on Investigative financial reporting.
The aim of the workshop was to get assistance from UNODC and PACJN and the Office of the Palau Special Prosecutor to “explore contemporary investigative reporting with a focus on reviewing financial reports; tabled Parliament Budget reports; grant funding; Ministry of Finance qualitative reports; company records – including hard to get private reports; and Foreign Investment Board annual reports and shareholder lists.”
PACJN Coordinator Gina Kekea provided insight to the members of Palau media on how Solomon Islands journalists make use of the existing processes to access financial information from the government.
Ms, Kekea said in the Solomon Islands there is information there that they can obtain but there are still challenges.
“The challenge is getting the people to really speak some of the challenges that we are faced with getting them on the record. But most of the information is out there for us. We just need to find the right people to give us the information, especially when it’s not online,” she said.
In Palau, the challenge of obtaining information is the lack of qualified people to handle its dissemination and explanation of the content information.
One of the Palau journalists also said that while the Open Government Act of Palau guarantees access to information, the processes on how to obtain that information are not clear.