Showing posts from November, 2014

COMMENTARY: Sight beyond sight - Perceiving graft characteristics

After sparking controversy due in particular to the delays in the announcement of his Cabinet, 34 names from various backgrounds were finally selected to assist [Indonesian] President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo in carrying out his duties. The delay was mostly caused by the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) assessment of the integrity of the ministerial candidates as requested by President Jokowi himself.

Read the full commentary by Hendi Yogi Prabowo, director of the Center for Forensic Accounting Studies at the Islamic University of Indonesia, in The Jakarta Post.

Fewer Filipinos give bribes to gov’t execs – poll

Fewer Filipino families give bribes or “grease money” to government officials and they do so usually only after being asked to, a 2013 survey commissioned by the Office of the Ombudsman shows. Based on the survey, one out of every 20 families or five percent had at least one encounter with a bribe taker in government. The figure represented a decline from 2010 figures – two of every 20 families. The 2013 National Household Survey on Experience with Corruption in the Philippines measured respondents’ actual experiences with small-scale corruption, particularly bribery.

Read the story by Michael Punongbayan, in Philippine Star.

Indian PM's transparent governance agenda triggers India Inc's war against corruption

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clean and transparent governance agenda reportedly has prompted corporate India to curb corruption in their operations, even as experts seek exemplary actions from his government against graft-wielding crony firms to spur a larger cultural shift away from shady B2B and business-to-government transactions.

Read the story by Vikas Dhoot, in Economic Times.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (27 Nov 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News: 27 November 2014

Today's top storyTanzania: Tanzania PM Mizengo Pinda caught in corruption row
Tanzania's prime minister is under pressure to resign over alleged fraudulent payments worth $120m (£76m) to an energy firm and top officials.

More newsGlobal: Private firms filling Latin America’s security gap
Associated Press
India: Indian official banned for three years by FIFA for taking bribe
Associated Press
Iraq: Iraq finance minister urges battle against graft in military
Portugal: Portugal’s detained ex-PM Socrates rejects ‘absurd’ corruption charges
Spain: Spain backs anti-graft laws as Rajoy tries to clean party image
Ukraine:Ukraine in anti-corruption pledge as parliament meets

Blogs and opinionAustralia: It’s hard for voters to trust leaders who won’t promise true integrity
The Conversation
Nigeria: Why is Nigeria’s Jonathan worried?
Al Jazeera

News from Transparency InternationalWeb feature: Slippery justice: the travails of a whistleblower in Cameroon
On the blog: Moldo…

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Islamic State Receives Millions in Ransom Payments (26 Nov 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Islamic State Receives Millions in Ransom Payments (26 Nov 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

Timor-Leste - UN expert warns dismissal of judicial officials may have ‘chilling effect’

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, warned that the audit of the justice sector and the dismissal of all international judicial personnel from Timor-Leste puts at risk the independence of the judiciary in the country. “I am troubled that the decision may have been taken in retaliation for court judgments which displeased members of the Government and the Parliament,” Ms. Knaul said, adding that she had already raised the issue with the authorities and urged them to reconsider their decision.

Read the story in the UN News Centre.

Wondering if you’re corrupt? In Indonesia there’s an app for that

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has launched an app that raises awareness on low-level and common graft. The app features a theme park and includes animated quizzes, graphs and explanations to teach the general public and officials what’s okay and what’s not in terms of receiving and giving presents. It also includes games, such as “catch the corruptor,” and one in which you have to avoid or catch gifts according to whether you think they’re bribes.

Read the story by Marie Dhumieres in Global Post.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (28 Nov 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 sharing these updates.]

Solomon Islands: $10m of AusAID funds stolen. Fraudsters in suspected collusion with Solomon Islands government officials have embezzled an estimated $10 million in Australian foreign aid funds destined for hospitals and clinics, some through a fake company called Joke Shipping Services.

Fiji: Speaker wants PAC to solve impasse quickly. Speaker of the House Dr Jiko Luveni says Public Accounts Committee need to resolve their impasse quickly and convene its meeting.

Fiji: Three former executives of Post Fiji Limited handed prison sentences. The three former executives of Post Fiji Limited, Mahendra Patel, Peni Mau and Dhi…

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (26 Nov 2014)

Today's top storyTurkey: Turkey bans reporting on corruption investigation of ex-ministers
A Turkish court has banned media from reporting on a parliamentary investigation into corruption allegations against four ex-ministers, a move the opposition says amounts to protecting thieves.

More newsGlobal: China seeks more US help to return fugitive corrupt officials
Global: US prosecutors show their hand in Guinea corruption probe
The Financial Times
Mexico: Elder statesman of Mexico’s main leftist party resigns
Spain: Judge says Spanish minister benefited from kickback scheme
Thailand: Thai police kept illicit fortune in hidden vaults
Associated Press
UK: FIFA corruption: Criminal probe may be launched in UK
The Telegraph

Blogs and opinionGlobal: Doing business with corruption
International Growth Centre

News from Transparency InternationalOn the blog: Moldova: Time to tackle corruption
Coming soon: 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index to be launched 3 December

WSJ - Corruption Currents: E-Cigarettes Become Malware Carrier (25 Nov 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: E-Cigarettes Become Malware Carrier (25 Nov 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

The Ethical Alliance Daily (26 Nov 2014)

Harsher penalties to be applied against Thai officials guilty of corruption

Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is pushing forward more stern punishment against politicians and government officials involved in corruption. The NACC has proposed a draft organic law on counter corruption, which will subject corrupt officials to lifetime imprisonment or the death penalty.

Read the story by the National News Bureau of Thailand.

Korea launches investigation team to fight defense industry corruption

Korea has launched a joint investigation team of prosecutors, soldiers, and government officials to root out corruption in the country's defense industry, prosecutors said. The special team -- composed of 105prosecutors, military prosecutors, police and other related government agency officials -- will conduct investigations into irregularities involving defense contractors.

Read the story by Yonhap News Agency.

Indonesia imposes moratorium on new logging permits

Indonesia's new Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar imposed a moratorium on the issuance of all new logging permits a little over a week after being appointed in late October. The move is being celebrated by conservation groups and signals that interest in reforming Indonesia's forestry sector has reached the highest levels of government, with direction coming from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Read the story by Robert S. Eshelman, in Mongabay.

New Zealand police commissioner in Tonga sent home

Former top commander in New Zealand, Grant O'Fee, who has been serving as Tonga's police commissioner since July 2012 has been told to go home, eight months before his contract ends. While in the job O'Fee reportedly had to deal with a wave of brutality and corruption in the Tongan police. O'Fee is said to be unpopular with the old guard in the Tongan police for trying to introduce promotion on merit.

Read the story by Michael Field, in Stuff.

Former Australian Supreme Court judge & a founder of Accountability Round Table talks about accountability

"To honour our commitment to lead by example in implementing international best practice for public sector transparency and integrity, Australia will need to attend quickly to two other major international commitments as signatories to the UNCAC and as an applicant to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP)…. Under the UNCAC, Australia is yet to complete its required National Anti-corruption Plan (NAP) and, under the OGP, its first Direct Action Plan."

Read the story in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Pakistan govt audit alleges malpractices by Foreign Office, foreign missions

A news story says the recently released audit report on the accounts of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ Foreign Office prepared by the Auditor General of Pakistan has found “serious misappropriation of funds amounting to billions of rupees, including corruption, unauthorised expenditures, excess payments, illegal award of contracts, financial embezzlements and other malpractices”. One example cited is the construction of a chancery by Pakistan’s Embassy in Bahrain, which allegedly awarded “an illegal and unauthorised [construction contract worth] Rs 240 million in violation of the country’s Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules”.

Read the story by Sardar Sikander Shaheen, in Daily Times.

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

By Jeffrey Young, Voice of America

WASHINGTON—When the G20 summit, comprised of the world’s 20 strongest developed and emerging economies, was held this month in Brisbane, Australia, how to deal with worldwide corruption was a key focal point.

But in the view of many working to curb corruption, a final communique put out by G20 nations fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic corruption problems.

That’s the reaction by a number of transparency and good-governance groups who say an important opportunity to “fix the system” was squandered.

Read the story in

Qatari Judiciary Official Describes Iran as UN Ally in Anti-Corruption Fight

TEHRAN (FNA)- Qatari Attorney General Ali bin Fetais Al-Marri described Iran as an ally of the United Nations in the international fight against corruption.
"Iran is one of the signatories to the anti-corruption campaign and it is also cooperating with the UN in this regard," Al-Marri said, addressing a group of Iranian university professors and students of Judicial Sciences University in Tehran on Monday, adding that he has been appointed by the UN as a special attorney for campaign against corruption, and is, thus, "speaking as representative of the UN".
Read the story in

The Ethical Alliance Daily (24 Nov 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (24 Nov 2014)

Today's top storyPortugal:Portuguese ex-PM Jose Socrates back in courtBBC
Jose Socrates, Portugal's centre-left prime minister between 2005 and 2011, has been questioned again in court on suspicion of corruption, money laundering and tax fraud.

More newsGlobal: FIFA left feeling flat after sponsors Coca-Cola slam World Cup corruption reportThe Daily Mail
China: China corruption watchdog launches inspections, eyes SinopecReuters
India: Doubts cast on Modi’s quest to find India’s black money overseasThe Financial Times (TI mention)
Iraq: Graft hobbles Iraq’s military in fighting ISISThe New York Times
Saudi Arabia: CEO suspended at Saudi telecoms group hit by accounting scandalThe Financial Times
Tanzania: Tanzanian lawmakers to debate on energy graft despite objectionsReuters

Blogs and opinionGlobal: Asia: Journalists killed, jailed and otherwise intimidated with governments complicitForbes (TI mention)
Global: Corrupting silence: Companies must speak up against bribesHarvard Business…

China’s aid to Africa funds corruption, says report

By Katy Migiro/Reuters, 24 November 2014, in Business Day
NAIROBI — China’s "no strings attached" aid is being abused by some African leaders who channel the lion’s share of funds to their home areas, US-led researchers found in the first georeferenced database of Chinese aid to the world’s poorest continent.
Read the full story in

COMMENTARY: Facilitation payments - stand your ground

By Wendy Laursen, in The Maritime Executive
"Sometimes [ship] captains face demands for bribes or facilitation payments at a port before shore passes are granted. Sometimes they are fined for fabricated issues relating to their crew’s nationality, their documentation or the inspection of their vessel."
. . . . . .

" 'This is not something you can tackle on your own as one company or as one shipping nation. It requires collective action by the industry and also close cooperation with inter-governmental organizations,' says Maria Bruun Skipper, senior adviser for the Danish Shipowners’ Association."
. . . . . .
"MACN and its members promote good corporate practice in the maritime industry for tackling bribes, facilitation payments, and other forms of corruption. MACN also collaborates with governments and international organizations to identify and mitigate the root causes of corruption in the maritime industry and to develop sustainable solutions.&…

COMMENTARY: “Never-ending corruption” – Korean editorial

“The list of malpractices committed by a subsidiary of state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) underscores how corrupt a state entity can be when it is left unsupervised. Police discovered that Kepco Knowledge, Data & Network Co. (KDN) lobbied lawmakers to block a bill unfavorable to its business. In addition, police found numerous documents were cooked so that executives could divert a handsome sum of money for nonexistent business trip expenses.”

Read the editorial by Korea JoongAng Daily.

Medileaks - new web platform to collate info on healthcare corruption

In response to rising instances of corruption in India's healthcare, two healthcare professionals have launched, a non-profit online platform to provide patients and others a mechanism to share their healthcare experiences. Inspired by Wikileaks, Medileaks allows patients, consumers and healthcare professionals to share information, documents and their experiences to enable others to be more aware of prevailing healthcare practises.

Read the story by Rema Nagarajan, in The Times of India.

Afghanistan’s legal system must change, anti-corruption committee says

A monitoring committee in Afghanistan has called for sweeping changes in the administration of President Ashraf Ghani in line with attempts made to tackle corruption in the country. “I think the legal system must change because the current administration has been set up by [former President Hamid] Karzai. And there must be a generational change, a whole renewal,” said Eva Joly, chair of the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in Afghanistan.

Read the story in Press TV.

COMMENTARY: Filipino US migrants see only corruption in home country, not adopted country

“If corruption is the main indicator for migration, [Filipino-American] critics of Philippine politics and government might consider taking a look at their backyard. And be surprised. Using the same ‘method’ - a Google search of corruption and political personalities and institutions and the country in general - yields figures indicating that the Land of Gold and Opportunity is not as politically pristine as it is imagined to be…. [Transparency International’s] 2012 survey of ‘money politics’ and corruption shows that the United States ‘scores the worse than many of its partners in the development world’ “.

Read the essay by Patricio Abinales, in MSN News.

28 weeks later - Thailand’s junta and the war on corruption

“The premise for the junta taking control of Thailand in May 2014 was to avoid civil conflict and to once and for all rid the country of corruption. The promise to clean up the country isn’t exactly new, it’s been used by successive governments and it’s generally welcomed because this is one problem which most Thais would like to see solved. As the junta came to power those people who supported the coup had high hopes Prayuth and the generals would be able to deliver on this promise.

“It’s now six months since Yingluck Shinawatra’s government was ousted and this is a good opportunity to look back to see how far Prayuth’s government has progressed in its attempts to wipe out corruption in the Kingdom.”

Read the article in Asian Correspondent.

China's 'Fox Hunt' nabs 288 economic fugitives abroad

According to a news report, Chinese police have captured 288 economic fugitives hiding overseas - including many corrupt officials - since Fox Hunt 2014 was initiated in July. The Ministry of Public Security said of those caught, 126 have returned to China and confessed to their crimes. Eighty-one were involved in financial crimes each valued at over 10 million yuan (S$2.12 million). Twenty-one of the suspects arrested had spent more than a decade on the run, the ministry said.

Read the story by Zhang Yan (China Daily/Asia News Network) in AsiaOne.

Top Afghan official calls for strict measures to tackle corruption

Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah called on acting ministers to take strict measures to tackle the growing corruption in government institutions. Speaking during a cabinet meeting on Monday, Dr. Abdullah insisted that reform in government institutions is one of the main conditions of the international community to financially support the Afghan government. Implementation of key reforms in government institutions and fight against graft are one of the main agendas of the national unity government.

Read the story by Khaama Press.

G20 credibility now depends on action... and accountability! Anti-corruption outcomes from Brisbane

[Facilitator’s note: Thank you to A J Brown, Centre for Governance & Public Policy, Queensland,
Dear friends and colleagues
Congratulations to all involved in shepherding our G20 leaders to adopt a more focused, structured G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan than ever before, last weekend in our home town Brisbane -- especially Australian and Italian anti-corruption working group co-chairs, Alex Taylor and Stefano Mogini.
In the international media centre (below), it became clear the new commitments were not just a side-story to the Summit.  Especially when US President Barak Obama listed the G20's new principles for cracking down on anonymous shell companies, the key vehicles for international corruption, tax evasion and other illicit activities, as number 3 on the list of summit outcomes.
Of course, the US Administration continues to face major challenges in getting the necessary corporate accountability reforms through the US Congress.  It's a major problem when it is US state…

The Ethical Alliance Daily (20 Nov 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (20 Nov 2014)

Today's top storyQatar:Qatar World Cup bid whistle-blower fears for her family’s safety
The Guardian
Phaedra Almajid, the whistle-blower who provided evidence of wrongdoing to the independent inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, claims she will live the rest of her life in fear after receiving threats against her and her children.

More newsChina: Former top China military officer hoarded cash, jade in basement - Phoenix
Czech Republic: Wife of Czech ex-PM faces trial for abuse of power
Associated Press
EU: Has the EU’s anti-corruption mission been corrupted?
Christian Science Monitor
Mexico: Anger over missing students, corruption grows in Mexico
USA Today
Philippines: Philippines sentences over 1996 Ozone Disco fire
BBC News
South Korea: Ferry firm head gets 10 years in jail over sinking
Associated Press
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka president seeks unprecedented third term as critics seek to unseat him

Multimedia of the weekZimbabwe: Stealing lives
Al Jazeera

Blogs and opinio…

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: Trafigura Signs Up for Transparency Drive (18 Nov 2014)

Wall Street Journal - Corruption Currents: Trafigura Signs Up for Transparency Drive (18 Nov 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.

New tools to unearth corruption in first-ever Asian investigative reporting conference

Uncovering Asia: The First Asian Investigative Journalism Conference will be held in Manila, Philippines, on November 22 to 24. Expected to participate are over 200 media practitioners, including “some of the best investigative reporters in Asia”, according to keynote speaker Shiela Coronel, academic dean at the Columbia Journalism School in the US. During the conference, reporters will be taught how to track down “dirty money,” dig hidden information online and present big data through interactive maps. Important topics like security, threats, legal protection and funding will be tackled.

Read the story by Kristine Angeli Sabillo, in Philippine Daily Inquirer.

How to use the Internet to end corrupt deals between companies and governments

“Every year governments worldwide spend more than $9.5 trillion on public goods and services, but finding out who won those contracts, why and whether they deliver as promised is largely invisible. Enter the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS)…The concept is simple. Under Open Contracting, the government publishes online the projects it is putting out for bid and the terms; companies submit bids online; the winning contract is published including the reasons why; and then citizens can monitor performance according to the terms of the contract.”

Read the story by Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Corruption tars drug industry drive to improve access for poor – report

The world's top drugmakers have improved access to medicines in developing countries, according to a report, but their good work is undermined by a sorry record of unethical behaviour. The Access to Medicines Index, which ranks the 20 leading pharmaceutical companies every two years on how well they get treatments to the poor, said the industry's progress had been "uneven". Eighteen of the firms monitored were the subject of settlements or fines for corrupt behaviour, unethical marketing or breaches of competition law in the last two years.

Read the story by Ben Hirschler, in Reuters.

Asian Devt Bank workshop to boost governance & performance of directors of Vanuatu’s state-owned enterprises

The directors of Vanuatu’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are participating in a two-day training workshop by the Asian Development Bank in an effort to boost the sector’s governance and performance. Vanuatu’s SOEs have weighed on the country’s economic performance in recent years. Between 2008 and 2012, government equity in eight of 11 SOEs fell from Vt2,840 million to just Vt851 million—a decline of 70%.  And while SOEs represent 17% of the Vanuatu Government’s total net assets, they paid just 0.05% of net assets in dividends back to government, according to the most recent data (2012).

Read the story in the ADB website.

International Conference on Business Case for Anticorruption: Call for Collective Action

The UN Global Compact India Local Network is organising an International Conference titled “Business Case for Anticorruption: Call for Collective Action” on Friday November 28, 2014 at New Delhi, India. The Conference will bring together spokespersons from public and private sector businesses, civil society, government, media and academia to deliberate on pressing transparency issues in the Indian context; viz. public procurement, supply chain sustainability, sports related hospitality, as well as challenges of ethical business conduct and bribery and fraud in the private sector and its trend in the country,

The daylong event comprises of a special CEO Roundtable around the title of the Conference and three panel discussions around specific transparency tools. The focus of the Conference would be to quantify the gains that emerge from implementing transparency tools and present a business case for anticorruption. For more information please contact Ms. Nazia Irshad at

Role of universities in the fight against corruption

"Last September, a declaration aimed at mainstreaming ethics and anti-corruption in higher education was endorsed by the 68 member universities of the Compostela Group of Universities and subsequently also by the World University Consortium and the World Academy of Art and Science, a global network of 700+ university professors. The Poznan Declaration is a first important step for higher education in joining governments, businesses and civil society in the global fight against corruption. And it is high time to do so."

Read the article by Marcus Tannenberg, in University World News.

Philippine prosecutors condemn corruption among ranks

The National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Philippines reminded prosecutors of their duty to give justice to everyone even as the NPS condemned corruption by some of its members. “The National Prosecution Service strongly condemns the ingrained practice of corruption that has permeated some of our members,” Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, chief of the Department of Justice NPS, said in a statement. He issued the statement following the arrest of an Assistant Prosecutor in an entrapment operation for alleged extortion.

Read the story by Evelyn Macairan, in The Philippine Star.

Fighting corruption the Indonesian way

"The Corruption Eradication Commission, better known by its Indonesian acronym KPK, is a force to be reckoned with. It reinvented itself after years of official tolerance on graft during the New Era. One of the most significant changes to Indonesia after the Reformasi was the new power for KPK demanded by the people. The new KPK was born out of that, especially by the political will of the man at the helm, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)."

Read the story by Johan Jaaffar, New Straits Times Online.

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

[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.]

Solomon Islands: Anti-corruption integrity pledge ahead of polls.The upcoming polls will be the first general election in Solomon Islands since an Australian-led security mission scaled down its military operation last year.

Solomon Islands: Independent commission needed to tackle 'endemic corruption', outgoing high court judge says. An outgoing Solomon Islands high court judge says an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is required in the country more than any other "on the planet".

PNG: Knight tribunal to head to Manus. The leadershi…

G20 fails to make substantive progress on black money

By Lalit K Jha, Business Today
The G-20 summit in Australia failed to make substantial progress on financial transparency and illicit flows, an eminent international think-tank famous for its pioneering work on black money has claimed.
"The G20 passed up a golden opportunity to begin tackling this global scourge by curbing the abuse of anonymous companies and instituting public country-by-country reporting for multinational corporations," said Raymond Baker, president, Global Financial Integrity (GFI). Considered to be a longtime authority on financial crime, Baker had recently co-authored an open letter to G20 leaderson the topic prior to the summit.
"Illicit financial flows, fuelled by anonymous companies and tax haven secrecy, undercut economic growth and tax revenues, drain roughly $1 trillion per year from developing and emerging countries and facilitate crime and corruption on a grand scale," Baker said. G20 summit noticeably lacked in responses to illicit financi…

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Thematic Policy Research on Governance and Public Administration in Vietnam

[Facilitator’s note: With thanks to Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, Policy Advisor, Public Administration Reform and Anti-Corruption, UNDP Vietnam, for sharing this information.]

UNDP Vietnam seeks proposals from qualified international and national firms/institutes for Thematic Policy Research on Governance and Public Administration in Vietnam (six policy research papers).

This research series will analyse situations in and provide concrete policy options for Vietnam focusing on:

- Citizen participation in policymaking processes and in the political life

- Transparency at the central and local government

- Vertical accountability for improved government responsiveness

- Control of corruption in the public sector

- Public administrative procedures and services

- Public service delivery for equal access for all

For more information, please visit

Deadline for proposals: Monday, December 08, 2014 (Hanoi time)

[Additional note from the Facilitator: AP-INTACT shares this …

Myanmar Parliament votes to boost pay for lawmakers, civil servants

Lawmakers in Myanmar unanimously approved a salary hike for themselves and civil servants for the next fiscal year at a legislative session, after a ruling party parliamentarian proposed the increases in an emergency motion. Lawmakers said underpaid civil servants was a main driver of corruption in the country.

Read the story by Nyein Nyein, in The Irrawaddy

Clean government - not about high salaries, but 'realistic' ones, says Singapore PM

In a half-hour interview on Beijing Satellite, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the world is watching China’s anti-corruption drive as it could be a tremendous boost to its development and stability, and described it as an admirable effort. He also addressed the notion of clean government in Singapore. He said it is not about high salaries, but ones that are "realistic and correct", in order to find the right people who are “most capable”, and “most trustworthy”.

Read excerpts of the interview in Channel News Asia.

COMMENTARY: Fixing aid - we can’t turn off the tap at the first sign of corruption

"In a country where public officials such as police, teachers, health workers and administrators whose work underpins a stable society can’t rely on their government to pay them on time, the thing we call corruption may be the only thing that stands between their families and destitution. 'Petty' corruption - ostensibly the focus of the [Independent Commission for Aid Impact] report - often isn’t about the rich stealing from the poor, but about the poor using what little power they have to gain something from those who are even worse off."

Read the commentary by Heather Marquette, in The Conversation.

New Zealand Financial Markets Authority releases Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Monitoring Report

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand recently published its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Monitoring Report (Report), summarising the FMA’s monitoring results. The purpose of the Report is to help reporting entities gain a better understanding of the FMA’s expectations around anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance, and to suggest how reporting entities can make improvements to their systems and processes to ensure compliance with the AML/CFT Act.

Read the news alert in Minter, Ellison, Rudd, Watts.

COMMENTARY: After Aquino - Time for 'Effective Governance' in the Philippines

"No democracy can survive without possessing an effective, impersonal Weberian bureaucracy, which is capable of delivering public goods, ensuring public safety, and autonomously pursuing collective interest. This is precisely the lesson that many developing democracies such as the Philippines tend to overlook. Charisma, free elections, and freedom of expression can't make up for weak, fragmented state institutions and the absence of rule of law."

Read the commentary by Richard Javad Heydarian in The World Post (A Partnership of The Huffington Post and Bergruen Institute on Governance).

Thailand revives star-crossed graft cases

[Facilitator's note: With thanks to Orawan Phuwatharadol, International Affairs Officer, Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand, for sharing this information.]

According to a Bangkok Post story, Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) have revived a pair of drawn-out graft cases, and have decided in principle to indict and put on trial the former tourism director Juthamas Siriwan and Thailand's top-rated newsman, Sorayuth Suthassanachinda.  Both cases go back to 2005.

Read the story in Bangkok Post.

Myanmar aims to join the Open Government Partnership

The Myanmar government has set up two committees in preparation for joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP). According to a press release from the President’s Office, the two committees will prepare a programme to ensure fiscal transparency, to take over the role on public information, to fight against corruption and to realize a responsible government, ns to promote the cooperation of citizens in policy-making and administrative processes.

Read the story by Phyu Phyu Zin, in Mizzima.

OECD Working Group on Bribery - Public consultation on the Parameters for Phase 4

Public Consultation on the Parameters for Phase 4

The OECD Working Group on Bribery is launching a Public Consultation on the next phase of country evaluations, Phase 4, for implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Your views will help shape the Phase 4 evaluation process and ensure the effectiveness of the Convention in the fight against foreign bribery. This consultation is comprised of two elements:
An online consultation (, soliciting your views and contributions on the parameters for Phase 4.  In this respect, please find here attached the Call for Comment from the OECD Working Group on Bribery. We invite you to send your written submission  by 1 December 2014.
A face-to-face Consultation will also be held at the OECD in Paris on 9 December 2014 (…