Anti-corruption television programmes raise awareness and understanding among citizens and public servants

Dili – Two television programmes, one about the misuse of public property by public servants and the other explaining the role and work of Timor-Leste’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), have been successful in raising awareness on issues related to anti-corruption among both the general public and public servants. These were the results of a survey commissioned by ACC to test the impact of the programmes on TV viewers. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

Each 15-minute programme was broadcast 20 times on Television Timor-Leste (TVTL) across the country from July to September 2013. They were televised during prime time (18:00-20:00) so that adults and youth could watch them after work and school. According to the Integrity Survey of Public Servants in Timor-Leste published in December 2013, 74% of the respondents recalled seeing one or both of the programmes.

Highlights

  • 74% of the respondents recalled seeing one or both of the TV programmes produced by ACC.
  • One of the spots programmes featured secretly taped footage of real public servants misusing government funds or property.

“After broadcasting the Anti-Corruption TV programs for two months, more people, including those in rural areas, came to understand the existence of the ACC,” said Mr. Florentino Gourlart, Media Officer of ACC. “Because of the success of the two TV programs, we have been encouraged to produce new TV programmes to further raise awareness of anti-corruption issues among viewers.”

One of the programmes deals with the misuse of public property by public servants. It features footage of real senior government officials who were secretly taped using state cars and fuel coupons for private purposes such as shopping trips and family picnics. The use of public equipment and funds is against the law.  

The second program offers an introduction to ACC and features senior officials explaining their roles and activities. One featured speaker, Jose Neves, Deputy Commissions for Education and Research, discusses the negative impacts of corruption.  

The survey, conducted between mid-August and early October 2013, was designed to provide a baseline understanding of the integrity of public servants. ACC staff interviewed a total of 1387 randomly selected men and women from 29 state institutions such as Ministry of Finance and PNTL. Questions covered a range of subjects including specific corruption cases related to bribery or nepotism and respondents’ satisfaction with their respective agencies.

Funding for the production and broadcast of the two 15-minute programmes was provided by UNDP’s Supporting anti-corruption initiatives in Timor-Leste project. UNDP also provided the Information Technology (IT) advisor who developed both the survey and the supporting IT.

For more information about the Anti-Corruption TV programs and the UNDP’s Support to Anti-Corruption Commission Initiatives, please contact Signi Verdial, Programme Officer  at signi.verdial@undp.org.