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Showing posts from October, 2014

Western media distorts Japan

"Those two favorite targets for Western moralizing about Japanese corporate corruption — Olympus (cameras) and Recruit (information) — are back in the headlines. Both typify the shallowness of much Western reporting in Japan."

Read the op-ed by Gregory Clark in The Japan Times.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (31 Oct 2014) -- Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands

[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 sharing these updates.] Fiji to strengthen working relations with UNODC.The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with the Director-General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Yury Fedetov, in Suva today. http://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Center/Press-Releases/FIJI-TO-STRENGTHEN-WORKING-RELATIONS-WITH-UNODC.aspx Fiji: 'Widespread abuse'.Public Accounts Committee chairman Professor Biman Prasad says it has now become abundantly clear there has been widespread abuse of public funds and blatant disregard of fundamental financial procedures, highlighted by the Auditor-General through his audit reports on State finances and ministries for the past seven years. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=284261 Fiji: $72k spent without quotations.The 2013 Auditor Genera…

Interior Ministry sets up corruption claim center across Thailand

Thai Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda has set up a committee to investigate corruption cases throughout the country. According to General Anupong, people can now also file a corruption complaint at the Damrongtham Center at any of its branches throughout Thailand. The committee will investigate the claims by working alongside provincial governors and chief district officers. People are encouraged to report any irregularities within a government project.

Read the story by the National News Bureau of Thailand.

Bangladesh court acquits all of corruption charges over Padma Bridge

A Dhaka court has acquitted all seven accused in the Padma bridge corruption case after accepting the final report by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). The World Bank suspended its $1.2 billion credit raising suspicion of graft allegations but the government denied the charges outright. After much ado, the Sheikh Hasina government in January last year withdrew its funding request and decided to bridge the Padma with domestic funds.

Read the story in bdnews24.

In Indonesia, community media important in fighting corruption

Community media plays a crucial role in preventing and eradicating corruption in Indonesia, an expert has said. “Only a community’s strength can control and prevent the spread of corruption. Families, for instance, have become part of the regenerative process of corruptors. We have seen many examples where husbands, wives and children commit acts of corruption together,” Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said in a discussion in Yogyakarta.

Read the story by Bambang Muryanto, in The Jakarta Post.

Myanmar’s opening up hasn’t loosened graft in courts

[Facilitator’s note: Thank you to Shervin Majlessi, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Thailand, for sharing this information.]

"Lawyers in Myanmar are well accustomed to paying out a stream of bribes to clerks and judges as part of a widely acknowledged culture of graft. But when word spread last year about a judge’s wife demanding $150,000 for a favorable decision, even the most jaded lawyers took notice."

Read the story by Thomas Fuller in International New York Times.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (31 Oct 2014) -- Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands

[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 sharing these updates.]

Fiji to strengthen working relations with UNODC. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with the Director-General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Yury Fedetov, in Suva today. http://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Center/Press-Releases/FIJI-TO-STRENGTHEN-WORKING-RELATIONS-WITH-UNODC.aspx

Fiji: 'Widespread abuse'. Public Accounts Committee chairman Professor Biman Prasad says it has now become abundantly clear there has been widespread abuse of public funds and blatant disregard of fundamental financial procedures, highlighted by the Auditor-General through his audit reports on State finances and ministries for the past seven years. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=284261

Fiji: $72k spent without quotations. The 2013 Auditor Gen…

India's anti-corruption agency pushes e-procurement to curb corruption

As the Modi government readies to cut red-tape and make processes simple and transparent for private entrepreneurship to flourish, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has also asked the government ministries, departments, PSUs and nationalised banks to use technology, especially e-procurement (electronic procurement), to crackdown on corruption to help the economy to grow. The commission has asked them to re-engineer government processes by limiting discretion and enhancing accountability so that their organisations and can effectively bring about transparency and efficiency in service delivery system.

Read the story in DNA.

Philippines willing to help China seize assets of fugitives

President Benigno Aquino said he would be willing to help Beijing seize illicit assets of Chinese who have fled to the Philippines if any cases were discovered and if Beijing requested cooperation. He said his government would help China in its efforts to seize such assets but "it has to be in conformity with our laws and procedures".

Read the story by Raissa Robles in South China Morning Post.

Australia court freezes bank accounts of Malaysian suspected of money laundering

Western Australia's Supreme Court has granted an application to freeze bank accounts belonging to two Malaysian citizens following alleged links to international money laundering. The accounts, which had a combined value of more than $2 million, were established with a deposit of $5,000 each but have since received regular transfers from third parties. Most of the transfers were below the $10,000 threshold, which forces financial institutions to notify federal authorities.

Read the story by Jacob Kagi, in Australia Broadcasting Corporation.

EDITORIAL: The Rule of Law in China

"As long as the Communist Party remains in overall control of the judiciary and decisions for launching corruption probes on high-ranking officials continue to be in the hands of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China will be unable to establish a true rule of law."
Read the full editorial of The Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/10/27/editorials/the-rule-of-law-in-china/#.VE7lyIdgsSE

Spanish police arrest dozens in $300 million corruption case

MADRID, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Spanish police have arrested 51 people as part of a graft investigation involving local government construction contracts, the anti-corruption prosecutor's office said on Monday.
Read more: http://www.trust.org/item/20141027135125-lc1w1

Nigeria's Jonathan brushes off scandals to lead 2015 election race

By Tim Cocks
ABUJA, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Not many presidents could survive three multi-billion dollar government oil corruption scandals and a wave of cold-blooded killings and kidnappings of civilians by Islamist militants still holding hundreds of schoolgirls after six months.
Read more: http://www.trust.org/item/20141027133925-u9b7z/?source=fiTheWire

The Ethical Alliance Daily (27 Oct 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (27 Oct 2014)

Today's top storySpain: Spanish police arrest dozens in $300 million corruption case
Reuters
Police in Spain have arrested 51 people across the country, including senior members of the ruling party such as former secretary-general Francisco Granados, in the biggest anti-corruption sweep in the country's history.


More newsGlobal: World Bank vows to toughen fight against transnational corruption
Voice of America (TI mention)
China: China bans private clubs in parks, historical buildings in graft crackdown
Reuters
Hungary: Tens of thousands of Hungarians protest against planned internet tax
Wall Street Journal
Kazakhstan:Kazakh border guard chief detained on corruption charges
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Nigeria: Nigeria's Jonathan brushes off scandals to lead 2015 election race
Reuters


Blogs and opinionBangladesh: How long must Rana Plaza workers wait for justice?
The Guardian
India: India embraces soft power – or maybe it’s bakshish power
Global Post (TI mention)


News from Transpa…

Chinese military brings tough audit system to curb corruption

China has introduced a result-based management system to ensure efficiency of its huge military spending, which this year amounted to a whopping USD 132 billion. Under the new rules of scrutiny, individuals or units will be held accountable for inefficiency. The rules urged accurate formulation of military budgets, strengthened monitoring of budget execution, and strict accountability for those who failed to achieve the goals set.

Read the story by the Press Trust of India, in Business Standard.

What Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau can learn from Indonesia

"Singapore and Hong Kong are specific examples [in anti-corruption reform] and we have to be careful about extrapolating from them to other places. First, they are both very small. Second, they are both fairly affluent. Third, neither of them was democratic when they tackled corruption. These elements make Singapore and Hong Kong much different from Ukraine. If you have a well-meaning autocrat, it is easier to address societal problems, not just corruption. This sort of national reform is more challenging in a democracy, though it [also can be] more sustainable in a democracy. [In] Indonesia, the government decided to create [an] anti-corruption commission in 2003. Since then it [has] had tremendous success in investigating and prosecuting top-level corruption cases. But corruption cannot be tackled by one elite agency; it should be what the whole country does."

Read the story by Olena Tregub, in KyivPost.

UN rights experts says clear connection exists between torture and corruption

A UN human rights expert urged UN member states to make a greater effort to tackle domestic corruption, stating that a clear link exists between torture and corrupt practices. The chair of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) presented the SPT's annual report to the General Assembly's Third Committee. According to the report, torture and ill-treatment are less likely to be discovered or prosecuted in states with higher levels of corruption, making it more difficult for the SPT to prevent it. Evans went on to stress that the protocol that the states need to follow in addressing torture is not a set of abstract legal obligations, but rather an established set of practical tools. The SPT was established pursuant to the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 2002. Its role is to prevent and eliminate torture and cruel treatment and punishment of detainees.

Read the article by Taylor Gilla…

WSJ - Corruption Currents: U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Buyers of Islamic State Oil (24 Oct 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Buyers of Islamic State Oil (24 Oct 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld. http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/10/24/corruption-currents-u-s-threatens-sanctions-against-buyers-of-islamic-state-oil/

Somalia says reviewing oil deals U.N. says lack transparency

Somalia said it was reviewing several oil and gas deals that U.N. investigators say lack transparency and risk hindering development of the country's energy industry. The Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), an eight-member panel of investigators that monitors compliance with U.N. sanctions, said Mogadishu had signed a series of contracts and cooperation agreements that "highlighted transparency and accountability issues" in state petroleum institutions.
Read the storyby Drazen Jorgic and Louis Charbonneau, in Reuters.

Gambia: 'C-Budget to Ensure More Govt Financial Accountability'

By Yunus S. Saliu

The government of The Gambia has launched a new budget concept dubbed 'Citizens' Budget', a tool the Finance and Economic Affairs minister, Kebba S. Touray, said will ensure more financial accountability of the government to its citizen.
The new concept, launched Wednesday morning at a local hotel in Banjul, among other things, will further ensure that citizens are in a better position to determine if their needs and interests are adequately catered for in the national budget as well as affording them the opportunity to better relate with and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
The Finance minister, in his remark, said the introduction of this new concept is fitting given that accountability has been a hallmark of President Jammeh's administration. He said with time and experience, the government will be more informed and therefore increases the depth and scope of its budget process.
Minster Touray said very few countries in the…

Has globalization made corruption worse?

By Leonard McCarthy"This summer I contacted 25 anti-corruption leaders and asked them what had been the biggest change in the anti-corruption movement in the past 15 years. Most of them pointed to the shift in thinking that placed fighting corruption on the global agenda, along with the work of international bodies and NGOs to raise awareness about corruption. Indeed, the past few decades have seen a rise in international anti-corruption legislation, such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention, as well as regional and national laws. International civil society – such as Transparency International, Global Witness, Global Financial Integrity and more recently the Volcker Alliance – have all had a great influence. However, many also cautioned that while increased international attention has helped move the anti-corruption agenda forward, globalization is responsible for an increasingly sophisticated form of corrup…

Malaysia anti-corruption agency declares war on structural graft

Following the arrest of a state customs director and several other officers from the department in the recent bust of a liquor and cigarettes smuggling syndicate, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has decided to declare war on structural corruption. MACC deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) Datuk Mustafar Ali said structural corruption, or institutionalised corruption, refers to people from a unit, or even the whole department, colluding to derive benefits through corrupt means, with those highest in the ranks benefiting the most. He said although corruption has yet to reach epidemic proportions in Malaysia, it is feared that it would continue to worsen if tougher action is not taken to check it.

Read the story by Kong See Hoh in The Sun Daily.

Afghanistan anti-corruption task force shuttered amid U.S. troop drawdown

The Pentagon this month will terminate a task force responsible for combating corruption in Afghanistan as it tries to reach the U.S. government's target force of 9,800 U.S. troops in the country — adding to concerns about oversight and accountability. Shuttering the Combined Inter-Agency Task Force-Afghanistan is likely to have dark consequences, according to a growing number of analysts wary that Washington lacks a comprehensive strategy to control rampant corruption in Kabul.

Read the story by Maggie Ybarra in The Washington Times.

Bangladesh anti-corruption advocates push for full right to information

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Hasibur Rahman, Executive Director, Management and Resources Development Initiative, Bangladesh, for sharing this information.]

Massive awareness campaign about the Right to Information Act is very urgent to ensure its effective implementation, and to get benefits from the law, said discussants at a seminar in Dhaka.
Most of the people do not know about the law, though five years have already passed after its enactment. The government, mass media and NGOs should work together to encourage the people to use the law, they viewed.
Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) in cooperation with Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) organised the seminar titled "Section-7 of the Right to Information Act, 2009" at Brac Centre Inn in the capital.
The function mainly discussed section-7 of the act that listed 20 types of information which are not mandatory to be provided by any authority.

Read the story in The Daily Star.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (24 Oct 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (24 Oct 2014)

Today's top storyUkraine: Poroshenko in anti-corruption drive ahead of general election
France24
Ukrainians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament in its first general election since the "Euromaidan" protests ousted pro-Kremlin former president Victor Yanukovich in February.


More newsBrazil: Petrobras corruption scandal overshadows Brazil presidential campaign
LA Times
Egypt:Egyptian political parties stand with NGOs against new draft law
Al Ahram
India: BMC babus' bribe rate card for builders: Rs 1,200 a square feet
The Times of India
Indonesia: Indonesia’s graft body probes several former ministers
Bloomberg
Turkey: OECD ‘seriously concerned' about how Turkey investigates bribery
Today’s Zaman (TI mention)


Multimedia of the weekUS: The cost of campaigns
The New York Times


Blogs and opinionUS: Where is the investigation into financial corruption at the NSA?
The Atlantic


News from Transparency InternationalNew report: Exporting corruption
On the blog: No impunity…

Anti-Corruption Research Newsletter (Issue 17, Oct. 2014)

Dear colleagues in anti-corruption,

The latest issue of the Newsletter of the Anti-Corruption Research Network (ACRN), with a spotlight article on the revolving door issue is now available online here (http://corruptionresearchnetwork.org/acrn-news/issue-17).

It also contains reviews of anti-corruption research articles, calls for papers and events announcements.

Best regards,

Marie Terracol, Knowledge Coordinator, Advocacy and Research Group, Transparency International

Australia slow to tackle international corruption

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Charmaine Rodrigues, Constitutional Assistance and Political Dialogue Specialist, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP New York, for sharing this information.]

Most of the world's developed economies have barely moved on tackling international corruption, and while Australia has begun 21 investigations in the past two years, only two have resulted in penalties to companies. Only four of 34 OECD countries are actively investigating and prosecuting international bribery, a Transparency International investigation has found.

Read the story by Ben Doherty, in The Guardian.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (25 Oct 2014) - Fiji, Solomon Islands, 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 sharing these updates.] Fiji: Auditor General confirms sighting Cabinet Ministers’ salaries for 2013. The Auditor General Tevita Bolanavanua has confirmed that his office has sighted the details of the cabinet ministers’ salaries in 2013 [but said that] the contract documents detailing the terms and conditions for the salaries of cabinet ministers were not made available for audit. http://fijivillage.com/news/Auditor-General-confirms-sighting-Cabinet-Ministers-salaries-for-2013-ksr952/ Finance scrutiny. Inadequate systems of internal control of cash at bank was highlighted by the Auditor-General Tevita Bolanavanua in the executive summary of the 2013 Audit Report on the Whole of Government Financial Statements. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=283766 Military overspends. The Republic of Fiji Military F…

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (23 Oct 2014)

Today's top storyGlobal: Exporters fail on pledge to curb bribery: watchdog
Reuters (TI mention)
Big exporting nations are breaking their pledge to fight corruption in global trade, with more than half of the countries that have signed an anti-bribery convention failing to implement it, a report by Transparency International (TI) showed on Thursday.


More newsChina: China vows to strengthen judicial system
The Wall Street Journal
India: Fears for tough penalties grow as India cleans up business
Reuters
Malawi: Malawi’s anti-corruption body arrests more officials in Cashgate scandal
Voice of America
Spain: Spanish elites feel wrath of corruption backlash
Agence France-Presse (TI mention)
Ukraine:Ukraine pins hope on a new-look parliament
Associated Press
UK:UK fraud prosecutor seeks more cash for big cases
Reuters


Blogs and opinionGlobal:Grappling with graft
Foreign Affairs
US: The money midterms: A scandal in slow motion
The New Yorker


News from Transparency InternationalNew report: Exporting co…

The Ethical Alliance Daily (23 Oct 2014)

Swaziland Chief Questions UN Stand on Culture of Giving Gifts

By Musa Simelane
EZULWINI – Chief Kekela expressed worry about the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) that it will rule, as corrupt, the cultural practice of giving gifts.
The senator, who was one of the politicians who attended a UNCAC capacity building workshop at Sibane Hotel yesterday, wanted to know from two experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) how they interpreted the act of gifting.
The experts are Tania Santucci from UNODC Vienna, Austria and Tim Steele from UNODC South Africa.
They are here to assist in the kingdom’s self assessment review exercise with regard to the UN Convention.
The three-day workshop was attended by Members of Portfolio Committees on Gender, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Chief Kekela said it was embedded in the culture of Swazis that they sometimes offered each other something tangible as a token of appreciation.
Since he spoke in vernacular, Linda Dlamini, S…

UN Awards Tunisia First in Africa for e-Governance

By Natasha Turak | Oct 22 2014
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has named Tunisia as the recipient of its award for best services in e-administration, making it the number one in Africa. The UN’s E-Government award recognizes innovation and excellence in online government services and e-content delivery.
”This prize will contribute to improving the business climate and will be able to attract foreign investments”, Anouar Ben Khalifa, Secretary of State for public administration, saidin a press conference on Monday.
Every two years the UNDESA publishes its E-government Survey to monitor e-government development and citizen access to public services in countries around the world. Its results are based on a “quantitative composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment,” accordingto UNDESA’s website. 2014 is the first year in which it is awarding countries based on the survey’s fin…

Sustained response to Somalia piracy requires effective State governance – UN political chief

22 October 2014 – While noting the progress made to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, the United Nations political chief today said that a sustained long-term solution must include the presence of effective Government and State institutions that provide basic services and alternative ways for people to make a living.
Briefing the Security Council on piracy off the coast of the east African nation, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman today said that this multi-pronged approach may be “a daunting, but unavoidable task, for it will enable Somalia to effectively address, and ultimately defeat, piracy.”
“We should not only ask what more needs to be done to ensure that the scourge does not return, but also what kind of support could be provided to Somalia so that the country is able to respond to the threat of piracy without dependence on the countries support of international navies,” he said. 
The decline in pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia is an opport…

WSJ - Corruption Currents: From New Jersey Mafia Hangouts to Medical-Device Hacking (22 Oct 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: From New Jersey Mafia Hangouts to Medical-Device Hacking (22 Oct 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld. http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/10/22/corruption-currents-from-new-jersey-mafia-hangouts-to-medical-device-hacking/

Kiwi banks want gov't to run AML public awareness campaign

The New Zealand Bankers' Association says it would like to see the Ministry of Justice, alongside the three anti-money laundering law enforcers, run a public awareness campaign to boost understanding of how anti-money laundering laws affect bank customers and the public in general.

Read the story by Gareth Vaughan in interest.co.nz

ANALYSIS: Terrorist financing - how does ISIS get funding?

"There are generally three significant baskets of terrorist financing taking place in respect of IS that engage external states and their financial institutions.

"The first is the sale of crude oil from Iraq and Syria from oil fields acquired by the IS, sometimes referred to as terrorist oil; the second is funding from individuals in developed countries to IS directly and indirectly; and the third is self-funded activities such as ransom payments from the kidnapping of foreigners, taxes imposed on businesses, Christians and financial transactions in captured territories [including sex slavery of teenage girls and the sale of captured women and children], stolen currency and gold from banks and the sale of looted goods.

"According to experts, IS has over $2 billion in cash in the coffers and as well as an unknown amount in banks."

Read the analysis by Christine Duhaime, in Duhaime's Anti-Money Laundering Law in Canada.

Demise of the Philippines's Commission on Good Government

"The recent seizure of works of art believed to have been acquired through ill-gotten wealth by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos are a reminder of the enduring political legacy of the Marcos family. Leading the seizure were representatives of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, whose mandate to recover the Marcos family's plundered wealth can be traced to the first executive order issued by the late President Corazon Aquino, immediately following her election in 1986. Many Filipinos blame the late dictator for having stolen billions of dollars from state coffers and for making the Philippines the "Sick Man of Asia", during and for the decades following his reign."

Read the article by Edsel Tupaz and Daniel Wagner in Huffington Post.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (22 Oct 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (22 Oct 2014)

Source: http://www.transparency.org//news/dcn_news/daily_corruption_news_22_october_2014 Today's top storyIndonesia: Indonesian cabinet delayed after anti-graft body blocks candidates
Reuters
Indonesian President Joko Widodo failed to finalise his cabinet on Wednesday after the country's anti-corruption agency rejected eight candidates, underlining the challenge he faces in fulfilling election promises of a government free from graft.


More newsBrazil: Petrobras in securities probe adding to kickback case
Bloomberg
Burkina Faso: Burkina Faso opposition rejects referendum plan, calls for protests
Reuters
India: Anti-Corruption Bureau taken out of RTI purview, activists cry foul
Indian Express
Tunisia: Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy
Reuters
UK: RBS avoids £87m fine by blowing whistle on Libor-rigging cartel
The Huffington Post
US: Hacker group Anonymous releases video alleging South Texas corruption
San Antonio Express News


Blogs and opinionUkraine: Ukraine’s …