Showing posts from August, 2014

Bangladesh anti-graft agency to investigate retired judge over ‘corruption’ charges

Investigations are in the offing to find out whether Faruk Ahmmed, the judge of a Dhaka court, was involved in any form of corruption that prompted him to ‘hastily’ settle several cases before he retired. Description: Anti-Corruption Commission decided to initiate the probe after the Supreme Court wrote to the law ministry, advising action against the judge. Before retiring on June 26, Ahmmed allegedly delivered verdicts in 24 cases in 18 business days. "It's unusual [to resolve so many cases in such a short time]," Supreme Court Registrar AKM Shamsul Alam told local media.

Read the story in bdnews24.

APEC anti-graft network may forewarn China of fleeing officials

The establishment of the Network for Anti-Corruption and Transparency will tip off the Chinese government when corrupt officials are about to flee the country and help capture those that have already fled abroad, also allowing authorities to seize their illegal wealth, reports the party-run Beijing Youth Daily.  The first meeting of the network, which is part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), was held in Beijing in mid August. Officials exchanged information on the network and nominated contacts, and also discussed related procedures, precedents and international cooperation in hunting down corrupt officials and seizing their assets. Training to conduct international anti-corruption enforcement in the future was also discussed at the meeting.

Read the story in Want China Times.

Iran counts $22 billion in forex abuses under Ahmadinejad

An Iranian official tasked with fighting corruption has claimed that in the final three years of the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, $22 billion in exchange-rate abuses took place, with companies using access to government-subsidized exchange rates to to buy luxury items or resell goods at a free market rate and pocket the difference.

Read the story by Arash Karami in AL-Monitor.

Back-to-Back Events: a) 8th Regional Anti-Corruption Conference, ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia-Pacific; b) Workshop on Preventing Illicit Financial Flows: Financing Development in Asia-Pacific, UNDP/UNODC/ADB-OECD

The Kingdom of Cambodia will host the 8th Regional Anti-Corruption Conference of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific and the back-to-back Workshop on Preventing Illicit Financial Flows: Financing Development in Asia-Pacific co-organized by UNDP, UNODC and ADB/OECD in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 3-5 September 2014.

8th Regional Anti-Corruption Conference (ADB/OECD)

The Conference will have the theme “Fighting Corruption and Building Trust”, and will discuss the key levers for restoring trust in government and building trust by and in the private sector and civil society. To this end, relevant case studies and experiences will be presented and discussed by experts from the 31 member countries and jurisdictions of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific, Advisory Group and observer countries, as well as civil society, media and private sector representatives. A preliminary agenda of the Conference is attached.

Workshop on Preventing Illicit…

Cambodian graft agency says will prosecute ‘ghosts’ on State payrolls

Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) president Om Yentieng warned leaders of state institutions that they will face corruption charges if found to be paying salaries to people who do not actually work for them. Mr. Yentieng said in an effort to rationalize state payrolls the ACU was planning a joint campaign with the Finance Ministry against so-called “ghost workers,” who draw illicit government salaries.

Read the story by Hul Reaksmey in The Cambodia Daily.

Cambodian watchdog seeks to educate private sector

Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) held a meeting with a handful of Cambodia’s largest companies and business industry representatives. The purpose of the meeting was to seek the business community’s input into a guide book on an anti-corruption program designed for the private sector in Cambodia.

Read more in The Phnom Penh Post.

Bangladesh money laundering & terrorist financing risk-assessment report to be ready soon

Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is preparing a national risk assessment over concerns about money laundering and terrorism financing. The ACC expects to complete its report within the next two months, according to the ACC's National Risk Assessment Cell coordinator M Fanafillah.

Read the story in The Financial Express.

Why three Indonesian cities formed a joint secretariat

Three Indonesian cities, Sleman, Bantul and Yogyakarta, believe that they are better off tackling their urban problems together. Haryadi Suyuti, Mayor of Yogyakarta, the biggest of these three cities, said residents of Sleman and Bantul travel to Yogyakarta everyday for conducting their business, blurring the borders between these areas. The respective city governments had to take a fresh approach to manage increasingly common urban issues. They formed a joint secretariat to centralise urban management policies and their implementation across the three cities, Suyuti explained.

Read the story by Medha Basu in Asia-Pacific FutureGov.

Vietnamese gov’t may reward whistleblowers with bonuses of up to $250,000

According to draft regulations written by the Government Inspectorate and Ministry of Home Affairs, whistleblowers who help the state recover at least VND1 trillion ($47.6 million) due to corruption can receive a bonus of VND5 billion ($250,000), the maximum amount to given under the proposed reward system.

Read the story by Tran Cham in Vietnam Net Bridge.

Officials in 4 Asia-Pacific countries prioritise growth, sustainability and infrastructure, exclusive poll finds

Senior officials in Australia, India, Malaysia and Singapore are prioritising growth, sustainability and infrastructure, an exclusive FutureGov surveyhas found. The report -- ‘Government Connectivity, Citizen Engagement and Economic Impact in Asia Pacific’ -- commissioned by Cisco Systems, asked over 100 selected senior officials across the four countries for their effectiveness in these key areas. When asked to name the areas where they would like their agency to have the greatest economic impact, senior officials in all four countries rated growth (74.8%), sustainability (74%) and infrastructure (73%) highest.

Read the story by Joshua Chambers in Asia-Pacific FutureGov.

COMMENTARY: Staying Power

Countries that don’t have coups are often, but not always, stalwarts against corruption, according to an essay in Foreign Affairs. "Once states have credible legal systems in place, corruption plummets as well," writes the author. Citing TI's 2008 Corruption Perception Index, he notes that the least corrupt countries in the Index have experienced no coups from 1961 through 2010. "The connection between corruption and coups remains strong."

Read the essay by Ivan Perkins in Foreign Affairs.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (29 August 2014) -- Solomon Islands, Fiji, PNG

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Tony Prescott, Annika Wythes, Isikeli Valemei, Luisa Senibulu, and Samita Singh of the joint UNDP-UNODC Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project, for these updates.]

Solomon Islands: Taiwanese to take plea next. The Taiwanese national accused of trying to export millions of dollar worth of Tubi logs will enter his plea on September 10.

Solomon Islands: PM cleared of misconduct allegation. The Leadership Code Commission (LCC) has cleared Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo of an allegation of misconduct in office.

Solomon Islands: Gov't grilled on missing Beche-de-mer. It is over a year now and police investigation into the controversial missing beche-de-mer consignment has not answered the many questions surrounding the saga.…

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: From Selling Out of UAE to Ransoming Reporters (26 August 20104).

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: From Selling Out of UAE to Ransoming Reporters (26 August 20104). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: From Bieber Border Firing to Lagarde Probed (27 August 20104)

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: From Bieber Border Firing to Lagarde Probed (27 August 20104). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

Review on existing "Ethics and Integrity Infrastructure" in Bhutan

The Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan (ACC) being the lead agency to fight corruption, has an administrative mandate of reviewing system procedures and conducting system studies to plug their loop­holes that are prone to corruption, as part of its prevention and deterrence measures. Within this context the ACC approached UNDP to conduct a high level field mission to review the ethics and integrity infrastructure in Bhutan, and make recommendations on the implementation of its programmes.

The mission team led by Phil Matsheza, Governance Practice Team Leader for UNDP at the Asia Pacific regional Centre (APRC), and Elodie Beth, UNDP Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor, reviewed the institutional capacities in the government of Bhutan (regulations, policies, procedures) while taking into account Bhutan’s political, social and cultural context. Particular attention was given to understand the approach followed in Bhutan to promote a culture of integrity (whether rule based or value based)…

The Modernization of Supreme Audit Institutions and their Role in the Fight Against Corruption

As part of the activities to commemorate the 90th anniversary of its creation, the Colombian General Comptroller’s Office organized a regional event to analyze the role of supreme audit institutions in the fight against corruption with the background that  corruption remains a significant challenge for strengthening democratic systems in many countries and has also been identified as one of the obstacles to reduce inequalities.

The regional seminar brought together representatives of regional organizations (IDB, OAS, OLACEFS), representatives of supreme audit institutions (the Court of Accounts of Brazil, Chamber of Accounts of the Dominican Republic, General Comptroller of Ecuador), and the private and academic sectors, who analyzed  the measures taken by states to prevent and sanction corrupt practices.

UNDP was represented by the Governance and Decentralization Policy Advisor of the Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean Gerardo Berthin, who presented some of the initia…

Anti-corruption Kit: 15 ideas for young activists

Transparency International just released a digital anti-corruption kit on how to turn a plan into action for young activists.

Click here to download.

Gender and Corruption in Latin America: is there a link?

This Working Paper contributes to set the basis for policy dialogue and analysis on gender and corruption in Latin America. It defines a basic conceptual framework on corruption and gender, and develops an analytical methodology based on three case studies: Chile, Colombia and El Salvador.

Click here to download.

Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Latin America & the Caribbean - A Reflection by Gerardo Berthin

Since 2009, the UNDP anti-corruption, transparency and accountability effort in the LAC region has followed a progressive and incremental path that started with advocacy activities leading to programmatic and technical approaches. The Platform that permitted this synergic and integrated approach was the “Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments” (TRAALOG) initiative.

Read full blog here.

UNDP Global Anti-Corruption Initiative (2014-2017): Strengthening an Integrated Anti-corruption Approach

To achieve the objectives of UNDP’s Strategic Plan (2013-2017) and respond to the growing demand from programming countries for policy and programme support on anti-corruption, UNDP launched its Global Anti-corruption Initiative (GAIN) (2014-2017) in the first half of 2014.

GAIN builds on the successes of the Global Thematic Programme on Anti-corruption for Development Effectiveness (PACDE) (2008-2013) and focuses on strengthening systems, institutions and civic engagement to better manage and deliver public resources and services with an objective of preventing and combating corruption.
GAIN adopts an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach on anti-corruption through improved partnerships and coordination both within and outside UN system.

For more information about GAIN, click here.

Edu, health, local dev ministries most corrupt in Nepal - survey

A survey carried out by the National Vigilance Centre (NVC) has found education, health and the local development ministries as the most corruption-prone in Nepal. NVC, the anti-graft body under the direct supervision of the prime minister, named these ministries as the most corrupt institutions based on the complaints it had received.

Read the story in eKantipur.

Myanmar forms anti-money laundering central board

The Myanmar government has formed an anti-money laundering central board in a bid to effectively combat money laundering, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Board has 15 members and is chaired by the minister of home affairs with the chief of Police Force as secretary. It is tasked to formulate policies on anti-money laundering and combating financial support for terrorism.

Read the story in Shanghai Daily.

Chinese military's ability to wage war eroded by graft, its generals warn

As tensions spike between China and other countries in Asia's disputed waters, serving and retired Chinese military officers as well as state media are questioning whether China's armed forces are too corrupt to fight and win a war. A slew of articles in official media in recent months have drawn parallels with the rampant graft in the People's Liberation Army and how a corrupt military contributed to China's defeat in the Sino-Japan War 120 years ago.

Read the story by Ben Blanchard and Megha Rajagopalan, in Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (19, 20, 21 and 22 August 2014)

Wall Street Journal -- Corruption Currents (19, 20, and 21 August 2014)

FromShifting Strategies to ISIS Demanded Ransom (21 August 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.
From Diplomatic Dilemmas to Online Dating Scams (20 August 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.
From Buying Mansions to ‘Banana Republic Politics’ (19 August 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News - 21 August 2014

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News - 21 August 2014

'If you can't control corruption, legalise it'

A lawmaker in Bihar, India, has proposed the enactment of a new law to legalise corruption in the state. "The fair thing to do in the prevailing situation is to legislate and adopt a new law by the name of Right to Bribe, on the lines of RTI and right to service (RTS)", said Rajiv Ranjan, a senior MLA from the ruling JD(U). Ranjan said he had been driven to make this extreme and unusual demand out of frustration and anger he felt owing to the Bihar government's inability to control corruption.

Read the story by Rai Atul Krishna, in Hindustan Times

ASEAN Economic Community -- 12 Things to Know

By 2015, ten countries in Southeast Asia plan to launch a single market for goods, services, capital and labor, which has the potential to be one of the largest economies and markets in the world. Here are 12 things to know about the ASEAN Economic Community.

The Basel Institute on Governance releases 2014 Edition of the Basel AML Index

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Gretta Fenner, Basel Institute on Governance, for sharing this information.]

The Basel Institute on Governance releases the 2014 Edition of the Basel AML Index
The 2014 edition is the third release of the Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index. First published in April 2012, it continues to be the only rating of country money laundering/terrorist financing risk by an independent non-profit institution. The current Basel AML Index edition covers 162 countries and focuses on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) frameworks and other related factors such as financial/public transparency and judicial strength. The Basel AML Index does not assess the amount of illicit financial money or transactions, but is designed to assess the risk of money laundering, i.e., to indicate the vulnerability of a country to money laundering and terrorism financing based on selected indicators.

More at…

COMMENTARY: Asia’s budding reform trinity

"Asia is poised to enter a historical sweet spot, with three of its most populous countries — China, India and Indonesia — led by strong, dynamic, and reform-minded leaders. In fact, China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi and Indonesia’s Joko “Jokowi” Widodo could end up ranked among their countries’ greatest modern leaders… China, India and Indonesia are all well positioned to take important steps forward. A commitment by Xi, Modi and Jokowi to do what is needed would bring rapid, far-reaching progress to their respective countries, Asia and the global order."

Read the full commentary by Kishore Mahbubani, dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, in The Japan Times.

COMMENTARY: How technology is beating corruption - World Bank president

"Good governance is critical for all countries around the world today. When it doesn’t exist, many governments fail to deliver public services effectively, health and education services are often substandard and corruption persists in rich and poor countries alike, choking opportunity and growth. It will be difficult to reduce extreme poverty — let alone end it — without addressing the importance of good governance.

"But this is not a hopeless situation. In fact, a new wave of progress on governance suggests we may be on the threshold of a transformational era. Countries are tapping into some of the most powerful forces in the world today to improve services and transparency. These forces include the spread of information technology and its convergence with grassroots movements for transparency, accountability and citizen empowerment. In some places, this convergence is easing the path to better-performing and more accountable governments."

Read the full commentary by Jim…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (21 August 2014) -- Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands

[Facilitator's note: With thanks to Tony Prescott, Annika Wythes, Isikeli Valemei, Luisa Senibulu, and Samita Singh of the joint UNDP-UNODC Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project, for sharing these updates.]

Fiji: Audit variance. A number of discrepancies were noted in government's annual financial statements for 2008 including bank account balances totalling $1.3m for overseas missions and agencies that were not reconciled nor confirmed by relevant overseas banks.

Fiji: MOU for compliance. Two key border management organisations inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Suva to boost various integrated activities.

Fiji: 12 go out. The Fijian Elections Office has rejected 12 candidate nominations from political parties contesting the September 17 polls.

PNG: Opposition Leader feels betrayed. Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader Belden Namah s…

Myanmar and UNODC sign landmark agreement to strengthen the rule of law and counter crime and drug threats

Yangon/Naypyitaw (Myanmar), 18 August 2014 - Following a year of negotiations the Government of Myanmar and UNODC today signed a landmark integrated Country Programme for 2014-2017, agreeing to collaborate together to strengthen the rule law and address significant crime and drug issues. President Thein Sein and the Cabinet reviewed and approved the Country Programme which was signed by the Ministry of Planning and UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast and the Pacific, Mr. Jeremy Douglas.
The Country Programme comes at a critical time as Myanmar is the largest producer of synthetic drugs in Southeast Asia, and the world's second largest opium producer. Drug trafficking routes, which cross isolated border areas to move drugs to markets outside the country, are used in reverse to smuggle precursor chemicals in. Porous borders are also vulnerable to migrant smuggling and human, wildlife and timber trafficking. The significant financial proceeds generated by different forms of t…

Japanese container shipping line signs up to Anti-Corruption Network

Japan's Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has become a member of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), a global business network dedicated to achieving a shipping industry free of corruption and promoting fair trade. K Line has been accused of cartel behaviour on multiple occasions in cases across the globe, incurring millions in fines. MACN collaborates with key stakeholders, including governments, authorities and international organisations, in markets where the potential for corruption is prevalent, in order to identify and mitigate the root causes of corruption in the maritime industry.
Read the story in Handy Shipping Guide. Click here for more information on the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network.

China to audit govt land sale

China will do a nationwide audit of government land sales and related deals that may shed light on rent-seeking and corruption. The National Audit Office (NAO) will conduct ‘rigorous’ checks on funds from land sales, as well land requisition, reserve and supply that occurred from 2008 to 2013, the newspaper said, citing unnamed government sources. The audit is likely to ‘disclose the rent-seeking and corruption phenomenon in various areas’, the NAO said.
Read the Reuters story in The Himalayan Times.

Ex-head of state-owned Chinese bank charged with graft

Chinese authorities say the former head of one of China's largest banks has been charged with corruption. Tao Liming, ex-president of the Postal Savings Bank of China, is accused of crimes including bribe-taking and embezzlement of public funds, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said in a statement. The state-owned Postal Savings Bank claims to be China's fifth-largest banking institution by client and deposit numbers. Tao became head of the bank in 2007 but came under investigation for graft in 2012.
Read the story in Channel News Asia.

Thailand wants tougher money smuggling laws

Thailand's Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) will propose stricter laws to allow any cash over the legal limit of US$20,000 (Bt642,000) that is brought into the country and not declared to be seized and forfeited to the state. Secretary general Seehanat Prayoonrat said his office would seek amendments by the National Legislative Assembly of three laws on money laundering to bring them up to international standard and prevent money laundering and terrorism more effectively.

Read the story by Piyanut Tumnukasetchai in The Nation.

China Expands Anti-Corruption Drive

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting officials who have family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate in China, on exactly how many corrupt officials take that route, and how likely it is they will be caught. The story of a local official in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, who resigned after reports said her husband had emigrated to the United States, highlights the challenges and confusion surrounding the so-called “naked officials” in China.

Read the story by Rebecca Valli in Voice of America.

Consultants indicted in Japan for paying bribes in Vietnam

Following on the heels of Japanese trading company Marubeni’s recent admission that it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, again a Japanese company is in the crosshairs of anti-corruption regulators, but this time in Japan, not the United States. On July 10, 2014, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office indicted the railway consulting firm Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC) and three of its current and former executives on charges of paying bribes to foreign officials in Vietnam. JTC allegedly paid a total of JPY 69.9 million (approximately USD 690,000) to various Vietnamese government officials in order to win consulting contracts related to a rail project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)–the agency responsible for administering the Japanese government’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) projects.

Read the advisory by Charles Duross, James Hough, Daniel Levison, and Andrew Meyer in JD Supra Business Advisor.

UNODC in India to launch on-line sensitization modules on anti-corruption

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is launching two on-line sensitization modules on anti-corruption. The modules are interactive knowledge tools providing an overview on Indian laws, international legal regime, UNCAC provisions, and good practices to mitigate vulnerabilities to corruption in the private sector. The modules have been developed for Government officials including law enforcement and officials from the private and public sectors.

These modules titled 'Probity in Public Procurement' and 'Business Integrity' will be launched in three cities across India:

New Delhi - 20 August 2014

Bangalore - 25 August 2014

Mumbai - 29 August 2014

Read the announcement in the UNODC website.

Iran’s oil minister accuses former officials of $2.7 billion oil fraud

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh accused officials from Iran’s previous administration of giving $2.7 billion worth of oil and loans to former businessman and billionaire Babak Zanjani with an understanding that revenue from the sale would never be returned to the Oil Ministry. “Some took [the oil] and did not give the money back, and it was never even agreed for them to give the money back,” Zanganeh said in a television interview. “They didn’t make a mistake. It was intentional.”

Read the story by Arash Karami in Al-Monitor.

Greens lodge complaints about alleged corruption in New Zealand government

New Zealand's Green Party lodged a series of complaints with the Police, Parliamentary Service, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Privacy Commissioner after revelations in Nicky Hager’s new book, Dirty Politics, which alleges corruption and abuse of power. Hager is a best-selling author and investigative reporter based in Wellington.

Read the story in Wellington Scoop.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (15 and 16 August 2014)

WSJ Corruption Currents: From Targeting Casino Money to DOJ Drops Layne Probe (15 August 2014)

WSJ Corruption Currents: From Targeting Casino Money to DOJ Drops Layne Probe (15 August 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

Net tightened on Asia-Pacific corruption with network launch

Issued by the First APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) Meeting

Anti-corruption authorities and law enforcement agencies from the 21 APEC economies have opened a ground-breaking new channel for the exchange of sensitive case information, significantly enhancing their ability to combat large scale corruption and bribery affecting the Asia-Pacific market.

Officials shared detailed insights into on-going criminal investigations and prosecutions for the first time on an APEC-wide basis during the inaugural meeting of the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies, or ACT-NET, which just concluded in Beijing. A secretariat, to be initially hosted by China, will manage information-sharing in an institutional capacity. 

“As domestic anti-corruption efforts intensify, corrupt officials flee abroad and remain at large by taking advantage of legal differences between our jurisdictions,” said Fu Kui, Vice Minister of Chin…

Members of Australian Parliament admit to corruption

Two members of the Australian Parliament have resigned after admitting to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that they accepted prohibited political donations. Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell accepted USD $10,000 each from Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy. They were suspended from parliament during the inquiry, but Premier Mike Baird told them to resign after their admissions, according to a local media report.

Read the story in HETQ.

In Indonesia, UNODC Conducts Training on Forest Crime Investigation using Anti-Corruption and Anti-Money Laundering Techniques

With financial support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, UNODC has been assisting the Government of Indonesia to counter forest crimes and their connection to corruption and money laundering. This assistance has been provided in the form of training that is aimed at strengthening the capacity of law enforcement institutions, namely the police, prosecutors and provincial and district Forestry Services investigators.  The training sessions, titled 'Forest Crime Investigation: Using Anti-Corruption and Anti-Money Laundering Approaches', were held over June and July. A total of sixty people participated in the training sessions, which were held in Central Kalimantan, Papua and West Papua.
Read the story in the Global Anti-Corruption for Development Portal.

European website offers easy access to global aid data

The European Commission has unveiled "EU Aid Explorer", a website designed to offer easy and transparent access to global data on development and humanitarian aid. The developers of the EU Aid Explorer say their site will, for the first time, bring together data from several major aid databases. The site tracks donors’ activities, using infographics to show how much money was given by which organisations or nations in a given year and where it was spent.

Click here to link to EU Aid Explorer.

COMMENTARY: "Indonesia: A Beacon of Hope"

"In the midst of all the mayhem and life lost in the Middle East, the standoff with Russia, missing Nigerians schoolgirls, and now an Ebola epidemic spreading, I was trying to avoid writing something depressing about the state of the world today. I came up empty until I watched Fareed Zakaria on CNN this past Sunday. Apparently, he was reminiscing about the same dilemma. But then he managed to drum up a bit of good news: Indonesia, a shining beacon in this frenzied world."

Read the commentary by Scheherazade Rehman in U.S. News & World Report.

Philippine city has dedicated team to respond to Facebook comments

Naga City, the Philippines, has set up an office to look after its Facebook profile, monitoring the page and downloading comments so that residents’ concerns can be used in decision-making processes, said John Bongat, Mayor of the city. “We actually established an office - the City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office - to administer Facebook and download all the comments for appropriate action,” he said. The team responds to posts and messages “on a daily basis”, and the government includes these inputs in its decision-making.

Read the story by Medha Basu in FutureGov.

Scheme equips locals with skills to spot aid abuse

AidData’s Summer Fellows programme dispatches student researchers to train civil society organisations in the developing world in data handling skills so that they can track aid and development spending in their locality is expanding this year. This training is designed to help local people hold donor organisations to account, according to the programme’s organisers. AidData has 21 fellows this working with 12 organisations in Mexico, Nepal, Senegal, Timor-Leste and Uganda.

Read the story in SciDev.

Vietnam official rejects rumor that his $77,000 -- reported lost -- came from corruption

A Vietnamese official in Ho Chi Minh City has denied rumor that the cash amount of over US$70,000 he had reported disappearing from his desk drawer came from corruption or a slush fund. The official, Dao Anh Kiet, director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment, made the denial while talking to Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper in an interview on Monday about his reported loss.

Read the story in Tuoi Tre News.

The Ethical Alliance Daily - 9 August 2014

The Ethical Alliance Daily (12, 13, and 14 August 2014)