We are looking for an energetic, motivated, driven individual for the post of Project Coordinator.

View/download the Terms of Reference

I. Project Summary

Project Name: Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the area of Climate Governance

This project is a continuation of the Climate Finance Integrity Project (CFIP) undertaken by TM between 2012 and 2013. The project objective is to improve the governance of climate financing national levels, and will focus on following up on the recommendations of the Climate Finance Integrity Assessment undertaken in 2013 through wider advocacy and public relations work to disseminate the research results from the previous project and widen the scope of engagement with national stakeholders.
II. Position Summary

The Project Coordinator will be a core member of the Transparency Maldives team, and will be responsible for the implementation of the project components stated below.
a. Key Roles and Responsibilities
– Undertake 4 page review of the key national entities responsible for climate finance for mitigation and adaptation projects since the 2013 Assessment undertaken by TM.
– Organise sessions for youth groups on the global climate finance governance e-learning tool.
– Develop an advocacy action plan to follow up on the recommendations from the Assessment.
– Regular, timely and accurate financial and narrative reporting on project implementation including regular collection of information on pre-defined indicators.
– Undertake research, reporting and translation as needed including
– Develop and manage stakeholder relations to ensure that project activities are implemented.
– Coordinate the dissemination of Transparency Maldives’ key messages, advocacy tools and other products, including outreach activities for dissemination of messages and preparation of communication and promotional multi-media materials relevant to the project.
– Collate information related to corruption, good governance and climate finance governance in the Maldives; and keep informed of developments and trends in the field.

III. Closing date for applications: Sunday 1st February 2015

IV. Duration of Contract: An initial fixed-term initial contract of 3 months with the possibility of extension.
V. Application and selection procedures:
Please e-mail the following documents addressed to Ms. Mariyam Shiuna, Executive Director to thoriq.hamid@transparencymaldives.org. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you are shortlisted you will be notified via telephone/e-mail by 2nd February 2015. Interviews are expected to take place between 3-4th February 2015.
– Covering letter explaining your suitability for the role.
– Recent curriculum vitae.
– Names and contact details of two referees

 


Transparency Maldives is seeking a Bangla Service Consultant to support the provision of legal advice and assistance to the Bangla speaking migrant community in the Maldives.

View/download the Terms of Reference

I. Project Background

Funded by Transparency International, the Advocacy & Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) is a separate Centre established within Transparency Maldives office to provide free legal services on corruption related complaints. Since 2012 ALAC has been assisting migrant workers in the Maldives (one of the most marginalised groups in the country) in accessing justice for various issues including human rights violations, immigration and labour related issues. In order to widen its reach, ALAC plans to launch Bangla Services to provide direct assistance to Bangladeshis – the largest migrant worker group in the Maldives.
The Consultant will be responsible for the effective management of ALAC’s Bangla Services.
II. Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required:
• University undergraduate degree or diploma, or a final year degree student, in Humanities, Social Sciences or related field,
• Or three years of work experience in a related position.
• Experience in written and oral translation work from Bangla to English and vice versa.
• Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills in Bangla and English.
• Strong computer skills in MS Word and Excel.
• Ability to work in a team.
• Ability to work with people from various background and context.
• A legal background or familiarity with legal concepts is highly desirable.

III. Geographical Scope: 

The Consultant will be based in Male’, Maldives for the duration of the Consultancy, with occasional travel to islands.

Accommodation, Flight and Visa costs will be covered by Transparency Maldives.

IV. Duration of the consultancy: Three months, with expected start date in the first week of March 2015.
V. Application deadline: Monday 2nd February 2015

Interested applicants are kindly requested to submit a CV, covering letter, proposed fee, and names of two referees to Executive Director, Mariyam Shiuna at mariyam.shiuna@transparencymaldives.org

We are looking for an energetic, motivated, driven individual for the post of Project Coordinator.

View/download the Terms of Reference

I. Position Summary

The Project Coordinator will be a core member of the Transparency Maldives team, and will support the implementation of CPP.  He/She will also be responsible for the development and implementation of the project components, liaising with stakeholders, and will work in a team of three and headed by the Program Manager.

II. Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lead and organize workshops and trainings for diverse groups including youth, teachers and journalists.
  • Undertake research, reporting and translation as needed.
  • Organize logistics and outreach activities for 2 Democracy Camps and 5 Democracy Workshops in atolls.
  • Manage consultants, facilitators and interns of the project.
  • Develop and manage stakeholder relations to ensure that project activities.
  • Prepare timely and accurate progress (narrative and budgetary) reports for Senior Management and donor as required.
  • Coordinate the dissemination of Transparency Maldives’ key messages, advocacy tools and other products, including outreach activities for dissemination of messages and preparation of communication and promotional multi-media materials.
  • Collate information related to corruption and good governance in the Maldives and keep informed of developments and trends in the field.
Closing date for applications: Saturday 17th January 2015

Duration of Contract: An initial fixed-term contract of 8 months (with a three month probation period) with the possibility of extension.

III. Application and selection procedures

Please e-mail the following documents addressed to Ms. Mariyam Shiuna, Executive Director to thoriq.hamid@transparencymaldives.org. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you are shortlisted you will be notified via telephone/e-mail by 19th January 2015. Interviews are expected to take place between 20 – 22 January 2015.

  • Covering letter explaining your suitability for the role.
  • Recent curriculum vitae.
  • Names and contact details of two referees.

Introduction

The key political event in December was the removal of two judges from the Supreme Court bench after bringing amendments to the Judicature Act. In addition to this, several key legislatures were passed by the Parliament during the final sitting for this year 2014.

(1) Removal of two sitting judges from the Supreme Court

During the month of November a bill to amend the Judicature Act was submitted. The  amendment proposed to decrease the number of judges at Supreme Court from seven to five. The voting was held on 10 December 2014, and 46 MPs voted in favour of passing the amendment while 21 voted against it. The amended Judicature Act provided for the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to forward to the Parliament the names of two Supreme Court judges that the Commission deem as incompetent. On an emergency meeting held on 11 December 2014, JSC decided both Justice Muthasim Adnan and Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain as incompetent. During the extraordinary sitting of the Parliament held on 14 December 2014, MPs from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Jumhooree Party (JP) condemned the Speaker of the Parliament and secretariat for failing  to provide details of the JSC report which recommended removal of the two judges. MDP  issued a three-line whip against the amendment , whereas JP issued a free whip. A total of 53 MPs voted in favour of the removal of the two judges while 21 MPs voted against the removal. Despite issuance of a three-line whip, six MPs from MDP did not attend the session, which helped the ruling coalition get the two-third majority vote required to remove the two judges. Five MPs from JP voted in favour of removal and four MPs from JP voted against the removal of two judges. A total of two MPs opted to choose neither sides and one MP abstained.

The  US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal and international agencies such as International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) expressed serious concerns and disapproval citing the removal as arbitrary, unfair and unconstitutional. According to The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, not publicizing the grounds for removal of the two judges is not acceptable. She also added that it violates Article 154 of the Constitution which states that a judge may be removed from office only if JSC  finds the person grossly incompetent, or guilty of misconduct.

A joint statement released by Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA), Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA), and Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)  also condemned removal of the two judges as  unconstitutional and a breach  of Commonwealth standards.

(2) Newly passed Acts

During the month of December, several important Acts were passed.  These include the Extradition Act, the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, and the Transfer of Prisoners Act. These Acts contain provisions that brought Maldives inline with various areas of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption to which Maldives had acceded to in 2007.

  • The Extradition Act: The Act provides for the situations and procedures where people accused or convicted of crimes can be extradited to and from the Maldives. The Act classifies the types of offences for which individuals can be extradited and regulates the procedures to be followed in extraditing individuals.
  • The Mutual Legal Assistance Act: The main objective of the Act  is to mutually provide and get assistance pertaining to criminal proceedings, through establishing necessary relationships  and procedures. Such assistance include the provision of evidence and arrangements for travelling of persons who provide testimonials against transnational crimes. In addition to this, asset and financial statements from banks and freezing of assets are also covered under this Act.
  • Transfer of Prisoners Act: This Act provides for inter-state transfer of prisoners and allows them to serve whole or part of their sentence in their home country. According to the Act, the remainder of the sentence must be less than a six months and only the most recent sentence is considered.

(3) Constitutional amendments submitted

A constitutional amendment was submitted on 24 December 2014, which proposes to amend the Article 109 of the Constitution to bar the eligible age for contesting in the presidential race to 65 years. MPs from JP condemned such an amendment  is a  violation of a basic constitutional right. According to the prominent lawyer and former Attorney General Sood, a referendum is necessary before the Parliament decides to bring such an amendment. Amendments to the bill on security and benefits of ex-presidents was also sent to the Parliament on 25 December 2014. The amendments include various benefits entitled to ex-presidents and provisions for deprivation of security and benefits of the same.

Conclusion

The Parliament has concluded the final term of the year 2014 and the Parliament sessions for the year 2015 will commence during the first week of March. During the upcoming period, it is expected the Parliament will pass the amendments to the Prohibiting Threatening and Possession of Dangerous Weapons and Sharp Objects Act 2010. This Act comprehensively provides penalties against use of threatening and possession of dangerous weapons and sharp objects. Such penalties include capital punishment and life-time imprisonment.


Between 2013 and 2014, Transparency Maldives (TM) implemented a programme to promote democracy and by extension, support the strengthening of local governance through increased civic participation and capacity building of local councils. As part of the programme, TM conducted civic education workshops and civic forums in 16 islands, with the purpose of bridging the gap between local councils and the communities they serve. The objective was to create citizen awareness and knowledge on democratic values, norms and practices and inspire citizens to participate in community affairs. In addition, the project activities sought to create space for local councils and communities to interact and promote dialogue in addressing community issues through a participatory approach; and to promote transparency and accountability of local councils.

The purpose of this report is to capture TM’s experiences and the process that was followed in achieving the above mentioned goals. The intention is that the experiences, reflection and guidelines will provide practitioners and stakeholders with a useful insight into how community consultations can be conducted in a Maldivian context; and with the tools to design and implement future interventions to strengthen local governance in the Maldives. The first part of the report provides an overview of the local government system in the Maldives including its historical context and the legislative framework. The second part provides explanations and details of civic forums, TM’s experience and case studies. The final part provides details of citizen perceptions on community engagement, followed by a conclusion.

View/download the full report ‘Civic forum: A path to community engagement’ in English and Dhivehi

Download
Civic forum: A path to community engagement
Civic forum: A path to community engagement


The Maldivian Constitution requires the President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Parliament, and Judges to submit their financial and business interests. The principle goal of asset declaration is to combat corruption—in particular, illicit enrichment—and promote transparency and accountability of the governance system.

However, whilst these constitutional provisions are intended to promote transparency and integrity of public officials, this intention does not translate into reduced corruption due to various systemic deficits, including the failure of asset disclosure. For example, the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer survey undertaken by Transparency Maldives shows that 86 per cent of respondents perceive the Parliament—followed closely by political parties and the judiciary—as the most corrupt institution in the Maldives. The survey also reports that 97 per cent of respondents believe corruption is a problem at the public sector. Similarly, the 2014 Democracy at the Crossroads survey undertaken by Transparency Maldives finds the Parliament as the institution that holds the least public confidence.

This paper, structured into four parts, identifies asset declaration as a key anchor to sustain democratic reform. The first part of this paper outlines what asset declaration is and why it is important. The second part presents the asset declaration system as it is currently practiced in the Maldives; whilst the third part identifies problems in this system. The fourth part provides key recommendations to increase transparency, accountability, and integrity of the governance system.

View/download the full position paper in Dhivehi and English.


Positions title: Research Consultant
Minimum period of commitment: 15- 30 days (will be adjusted based on deliverables)
Application deadline: 4 pm, 4 January 2015
Location: Male’, Maldives

View/download the Terms of Reference

I. Project Background

Transparency Maldives is conducting a project targeted at increasing transparency and accountability of the parliament in the Maldives. The key activities of this project are designed to facilitate public participation in holding the parliament accountable. We believe civil society actors can play an important role in holding MPs accountable, as consultative agents in promoting issues of public interest and to support members of the parliament in making policy decisions and legislation.

II. Objectives and scope

Transparency Maldives will be conducting a mixed methods research survey to discern public attitudes and
perceptions towards floor crossing with the intention of using the data collected for advocacy purposes and to create a dialogue between members of the parliament, civil society organisations, media, and the public on parliamentary best practices on floor crossing. The researcher is expected to design the methodology and assist with reviewing survey questionnaires, and prepare a short paper on the main findings. The paper must explore floor crossing trends in the Maldives, and include regional/global case studies to highlight different floor crossing systems.

Closing date for applications: Before 4pm, January 4, 2015.

Application and selection procedures: Email 1) a cover letter stating clearly why you are suitable for the post, 2)
curriculum vitae and names of two referees, 3) proposed research methodology, and 4) samples of previous publications to Ms. Fazla AbdulSamad (fazla.abdulsamad@transparencymaldives.org).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you are shortlisted you will be notified by either phone or email.

Transparency Maldives (TM) notes with grave concern the increasing trend of undermining democratic practices and institutions by the State including the recent move to reduce the number of judges in the Supreme Court; the sudden removal of the Auditor General by the parliament; and the resolution  of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) calling to handover the presidency to Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Hon. Gasim Ibrahim.

Amendment to the Judicature Act and reducing the number of judges

TM fears that the recent amendment to the Judicature Act to reduce the number of judges from 7 to 5 followed by the recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to remove two sitting Justices will further undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The impartiality and independence of the Supreme Court (SC) is not solely decided by the number of Supreme Court Justices but rather by the upholding of judicial integrity and principles. Any move to reform the judiciary must be sincere and look at the entire judicial system, especially the judicial watchdog body, JSC, so that meaningful and real reform may take place.

The decision by the JSC to remove Chief Justice Abdulla Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan without publicising the criteria against which they were evaluated raises questions about the transparency and fairness of the process. The criteria used must be objective, based on merit, transparent and well-publicised so that any public concerns about the process may be addressed. TM also notes that the amendments to the Judicature Act allows JSC to override due procedure denying the right of Supreme Court Justices to defend themselves before their dismissal. TM calls on state authorities to refrain from any action that will further undermine the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

Amendment to the Audit Act and removal of the Auditor General

TM notes that the recent amendment to the Audit Act which abruptly ended the tenure of the sitting Auditor General, before the Constitutionally mandated seven-year term serves to undermine the independence of the Auditor General’s Office. Furthermore, the amendment circumvents Article 218 of the Constitution, which prescribes that the only grounds for removal of the Auditor General before the end of his term are misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. It must be noted that the passing of the amendment and the consequent removal of the Auditor General coincided with the release of an incriminating audit report against a Government Minister. TM calls on state authorities to ensure that heads of independent state institutions are given the autonomy to do their mandated work free from insecurity.

Decree by MDP on transferring power to JP leader

TM condemns the resolution passed by the opposition, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), calling to handover the presidency to the leader of Jumhooree Party, Hon. Ibrahim Gasim, in the midst of the water crisis, as it attempts to destabilize the elected government and infers overriding the electoral processes stipulated in the Constitution. TM reminds that any change in government should only be brought by a vote of the people and calls on state parties to not undermine the electoral processes of the country.

TM calls on all organs of the state, including political parties, to uphold, respect and operate within the boundaries of the Constitution, and democratic norms and principles.

ENDS

For media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed (790 8967).

View/download the statement in English and Dhivehi.


Introduction
Transparency Maldives intends to increase accountability of the Parliament and enhance public trust in the institution. The organization is currently identifying and covering important developments so as to disclose the recent parliamentary matters to the general public. In this regard, a series of updates will be published on the website in the upcoming months.

This particular report highlights the important events and discussions that took place in the Parliament from October to December 2014. These include important matters related to the budget 2015, decentralization, health sector reform, and key institutional appointments.
Budget 2015

The Parliament has finalized a budget of 24.3 billion for 2015, on 10th December 2014. While concluding committee discussion sessions on the budget for 2015, the Budget Committee had proposed eleven recommendations, which included controversial amendments to existing laws.

One of the recommendations is merging independent institutions, which were formed to enhance democratic governance in the country. The new Constitution was ratified in 2008, and it provided for the establishment of constitutionally-mandated independent institutions. To establish a modern democracy with accountability mechanisms, the ‘Roadmap for Reform’ advocated for independent state institutions.

The budget was finalized without considering the opposition party’s recommendations and opposition MPs abstained from voting. A green tax initiative, an acquisition fee on Special Economic Zones and leasing of ten resorts include some measures to increase government revenue in 2015. The finalized budget is relatively high compared to the current year’s budget. To minimize government expenditure, the government has already announced 2015 as a “job freeze” year. This means the government has to resort to private sector to create jobs for youth.

Decentralization and health sector reform

The Budget Committee has also proposed to bring changes to the Decentralization Act. Maldives, with many dispersed islands over a relatively large area where transport networks are still inefficient and disconnected, requires a more decentralized approach in providing resources and services. The proposed changes include making the council members part-time, except the President of the Councils. The part-time councillors, however, will be entitled a commission based on the number of meetings they attend.

The Committee has also recommended measures to increase the quality of health services provided by IGMH, decrease the number of expatriates in tourism sector, and establish a local development bank.
The Government is formed by a dominant ruling coalition with a clear majority in the Parliament. The opposition MPs accused the coalition of taking unfair advantage of having a majority.

Key institutional appointments
Also, on 24th November 2014 , the Parliament has approved Hassan Ziyath as the new Auditor General. The Auditor General’s position became vacant as the ruling coalition made amendments to the Auditor General’s Act. According to the MPs of the opposition, the amendment was against the Constitution. Article 268 clearly states that all laws of the Maldives must be enacted in accordance with the Constitution and any law or part of any law inconsistent with the Constitution is, to the extent of  its inconsistency, void and of no force and effect. Also, according to the Article 218  (a) of the Constitution, the Auditor General shall only be removed from office on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence.
On 4th December 2014, the Parliament approved the members nominated by the President for the Elections Commission. The opposition MPs highlighted that the removal of former President of the Commission and a Commission member was unconstitutional. The Article 177  (a) of the Constitution, states that a member of Elections Commission shall only be removed from office on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence.
Conclusion
The past month has been a busy month for the Parliament where important discussions were held. This included budget finalization, key appointments to important institutions and amendments to existing laws. Moreover, the amendment to the Decentralization is also a key amendment.

Position title: Research Consultant
Minimum period of commitment: 15­ 30 days (will be adjusted based on deliverables)
Application deadline: 4pm Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Location: Male’, Maldives

View/download the full Terms of Reference

I. Background

Transparency Maldives is conducting a project targeted at increasing transparency and accountability of the parliament in the Maldives. The key activities of this project are designed to facilitate public participation in holding the parliament accountable. We believe civil society actors can play an important role in holding MPs accountable, as consultative agents in promoting issues of public interest and to support members of the parliament in making policy decisions and legislation.
II. Objectives and scope

Transparency Maldives will be conducting a mixed methods research survey to discern public attitudes and
perceptions towards floor crossing with the intention of using the data collected for advocacy purposes and to create a dialogue between members of the parliament, civil society organisations, media, and the public on parliamentary best practices on floor crossing. The researcher is expected to design the methodology and assist with reviewing survey questionnaires, and prepare a short paper on the main findings. The paper must explore floor crossing trends in the Maldives, and include regional/global case studies to highlight different floor crossing systems.

III. Closing date for applications

Before 4pm Tuesday, 16 December 2014.

IV. Application and selection procedures:

Email 1) a cover letter stating clearly why you are suitable for the post, 2) curriculum vitae and names of two referees, 3) proposed research methodology, and 4) samples of previous publications to Ms. Fazla Abdul­-Samad (fazla.abdulsamad@transparencymaldives.org).

Only short­listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you are shortlisted you will be notified by either phone or email by Wednesday, 17 December 2014.

Transparency Maldives thanks friendly nations, the Government of the Maldives, local businesses, civil society organisations, and the public for their continued efforts to provide water aid to residents of Malé, in response to  the water crisis following the incident of fire at Malé Water Sewerage Company (MWSC) on 4 December.

In order to avoid further escalation of the social, economic and political repercussions stemming from the water crisis, Transparency Maldives calls on the Government and MWSC to be more transparent in their efforts to provide aid and to overcome the crisis.

The following issues must be addressed by the Government and MWSC (a joint venture company that has 80 per cent government shares and whose board is appointed by the government) in order to be transparent and accountable to the public:

  • The Government must publicly provide a breakdown of the estimated US$20 million (more than MVR300 million) needed to overcome the crisis, and how the government intends to spend it. Furthermore, the decision to seek donations from the public raises questions given that MWSC is a private, profit-making corporation with 80 per cent government shares.

 

  • Transparency Maldives calls on the Government and MWSC to conduct an independent, transparent, and technical investigation into the 4 December fire incident; make the findings public; and establish effective and preventative mechanisms to ensure such incidents do not occur again. The investigation must scrutinise MWSC’s risk mitigation policy and asset management plan.

The current situation demonstrates the interminable relationship between good governance and citizens’ right to essential human needs. Therefore, Transparency Maldives believes that it is the responsibility of the government to hold accountable and to ensure that MWSC and other companies that provide essential services, such as the State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) and FENAKA Corporation  Limited, have mechanisms in place to review their working procedures so that similar incidents can be avoided in the future. These accountability measures must incorporate company boards and relevant state regulatory bodies.

ENDS

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed (7908967).

View/download this press statement in Dhivehi and English


Position title: Parliament Project Intern
Minimum period of commitment: 1 month
Application deadline: 1400 hrs, 11 December 2014
Location: Male’, Maldives

Download full Terms of Reference

I. Position summary:
The intern will work closely with the Parliament Project team to assist with conducting a survey on public attitudes and

perceptions towards floor crossing

by members of the parliament.

II. Key tasks:
– Assist

in conducting the survey
– Assist

in compiling data

III. Application procedure:
Send mail to fazla.abdulsamad@transparencymaldives.org before the closing date, clearly stating why you are

interested and suitable for the post and an updated curriculum vitae with your contact details. Please contact Project

Coordinator, Fazla Abdul-Samad

(phone: 3304017, email: fazla.abdulsamad@transparencymaldives.org) for any

inquiries.