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Showing posts from August, 2017

UNDP launches research on links between corruption and violent extremism in Asia-Pacific

On 22-23 August 2017, the United Nations Development Programme's Anti-Corruption for Peaceful and Inclusive Societies in Asia-Pacific 2016-2020 Project gathered in Manila, country researchers, together with regional and global experts, to plan a new UNDP research report on the 'Linkages between Corruption and Violent Extremism in the Asia-Pacific Region'. http://www.ph.undp.org/content/philippines/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2017/08/22/undp-kicks-off-country-research-on-linkages-between-corruption-and-violent-extremism-in-the-asia-pacific-region0.html

Sri Lanka coalition government / Hong Kong extra powers / Vietnam graft directive

Corruption crippling Sri Lanka's coalition government (opinion).  "Marred by serious allegations of corruption and mismanagement, Sri Lanka's much-hyped coalition government appears to have very little to celebrate as it completes two years in power." Munza Mushtaq/Asia Times: http://www.atimes.com/corruption-crippling-sri-lankas-coalition-government/
Weigh pros and cons before giving ICAC extra powers (editorial).  "With extra powers come additional responsibilities."
South China Morning Post: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2107114/weigh-pros-and-cons-giving-icac-extra-powers
Vietnam tells officials to avoid graft and live modestly.  Top officials must display "no corruption or opportunism... and be determined to push back against the degeneration in political ideology," said the directive, agreed by the Politburo, the decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party.
Reuters/VN Express: http://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/v…

Vietnam crackdown / Hong Kong legislation change / Indonesia online apps

Vietnam widens crackdown on corruption-contaminated public sector. What's next? (commentary)  "In a country where many anti-corruption measures have been dismissed as window dressing, back-to-back critical developments in a week appear to exhibit the political will of Vietnam's higher echelons to restore shattered public trust in the anti-graft drive." Dien Luong/VN Express International: http://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-widens-crackdown-on-corruption-contaminated-public-sector-what-s-next-3623569.html
Hong Kong graft-buster calls for more power to probe misconduct at highest levels.  Anti-corruption watchdog says a change in legislation is necessary as current law makes it tough for officers to gather evidence of alleged wrongdoing by officials
Chris Lau/South China Morning Post: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2105640/hong-kong-graft-buster-calls-more-power-probe-misconduct
Indonesian anti-corruption agency urges local, regional gover…

Telling corruption's story / Fighting int'l corruption / Corporate trade-offs

Telling Corruption's Story, or Why is Corruption So Boring? (commentary)  "What makes it so much easier to capture an audience's imagination when speaking about issues like the refugee crisis or modern-day slavery than to tell the story of corruption, whose effects are similarly destructive?" Jimmy Chalk/Global Anticorruption Blog: (Part 1) https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/07/31/telling-corruptions-story-or-why-is-corruption-so-boring-part-1/  (Part 2) https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/08/04/telling-corruptions-story-or-why-is-corruption-so-boring-part-2/
The Obiang Trial Suggests Innovative Approaches To Fighting International Corruption (commentary).  "The case against Obiang is a visible step toward a more participatory form of international criminal justice."
Frederick Davis/Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/08/10/guest-post-obiang-trial-suggests-innovative-approaches/#more-9820
The Trade-Off Betwe…

New Zealand -- Student market / Fraud fears / Political "rot"?

New Zealand immigration officials target corruption in Indian student market.  Immigration officials are keeping watch on managers at 17 private training enterprises and five polytechnics who they suspect of corrupt activities in the Indian student market. Andrew Laxon/ NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11901067
Officials' tertiary fraud fears revealed.  Tertiary institution staff are suspected of fraud and corruption and their employers may be turning a blind eye to some offending, an Immigration New Zealand intelligence report says.
John Gerritsen/Radio New Zealand: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/336778/officials-tertiary-fraud-fears-revealed
Political Roundup: Rot in the NZ political system spreads (commentary).  "There are so many outrageous elements to the whole story, and enough unanswered questions about all of the institutions involved, to make the public doubt that New Zealand really is as free of corruption as w…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (18 August 2017): Fiji, PNG, Tonga, Solomon Islands

These updates are provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Southeast Asia, and the joint UNODC - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with support of the Australian Government. If a link below does not work, please copy and paste the link into your browser's address bar instead.
FIJI:
Judge steps down.  Justice Thushara Rajasinghe has approved an application by 10 lawyers representing former workers of the Public Works Department to recuse himself from the case.
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=412771
Police and Financial Intelligence Unit investigate cases of fake notes.  Police are working with the Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate cases of fake notes that were discovered in the Eastern and Western Divisions.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Police-and-Financial-Intelligence-Unit-investigate-cases-of-fake-notes--9rks52/
Police investigate fake cheques.�…

New TI approach / Shipping industry corruption / Hong Kong graft-busters

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Watchdog planning new approach to fighting corruption (interview).  "TI is moving to become a more type of activist organisation – we are speaking loudly, we are now denouncing and naming those responsible for these types of cases and we are even getting engaged in a specific cases against the corrupt." Interview of Jose Ugaz, head of Transparency International/Radio New Zealand: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201853649/watchdog-planning-new-approach-to-fighting-corruption
Protecting from corruption in the Asia-Middle East shipping industry (analysis).  "Executives and shareholders must require their employees to conduct due diligence on all customers and clients and welcome independent audits of their companies' operations to ensure compliance with local and international regulations."
Logistics-Insight Asia: https://www.logasiamag.com/2017/08/protecting-corruption-asia-middle-east-shipping-industry/
How a small team …

Korea arms procurement / Malaysia public call / Pakistan forensics technology

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S. Korea's new arms procurement chief vows corruption fight.  Jeon Jei-guk, appointed to lead the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea's sole state arms procurement agency, took office with a pledge to root out corruption in defense acquisition programs and restore public trust in the organization. Yonhap News Agency: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2017/08/08/70/0301000000AEN20170808009000315F.html
Malaysia anti-corruption agency urges public to report civil servants living beyond their means.  MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Mohd Azam Baki said civil servants who lived a life of luxury usually held specific posts in the government and would be most likely involved in the abuse of power and corruption.
Malay Mail Online: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/macc-urges-public-to-report-civil-servants-living-beyond-their-means
Pakistan has latest forensic technology to combat corruption.  The National Account…

Mauritius convention / Bound to fail / Asia corporates

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A Step in the Right Direction: Lessons in Transparency from the Mauritius Convention (analysis).  "Signing the Mauritius Convention itself was a progressive move for Australia, particularly doing so ahead of the other international arbitration hubs in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore and Hong Kong." Bronwyn Lincoln (Partner) & Jaclyn Smith (Senior Associate)/Corrs, Chambers, Westgarth: http://www.corrs.com.au/thinking/insights/a-step-in-the-right-direction-lessons-in-transparency-from-the-mauritius-convention/
Governance Without Data Is Bound to Fail (opinion).  "Those who are familiar with the policy making processes in the country are aware that policy making in India is often arbitrary, seldom based upon prevalent trends, ground realities or data and mostly done in order to fulfil commitments to international conventions."
Manisha Shastri/The Citizen: http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/OldNewsPage/?Id=11420&Governance/Without/data/Is/Bound/To/Fail
As…

Afghanistan watch list / Vanuatu information law / India pending cases

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Afghanistan launches financial "Watch List".  The Afghanistan Financial Intelligence Unit has launched a database of High Risk Subjects (FinTRACA Watch List), which includes predicate offenses such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and corruption. For more details, please visit: http://fintraca.gov.af/News&Events/FinTRACA%20released%20%E2%80%9CWatch%20%E2%80%93%20List%E2%80%9D%20of%20High%20Risk%20Subjects.html
With appreciation to Nesar Yosufzai, Director General, Financial Intelligence Unit, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Afghanistan (FinTRACA) for sharing this information.
Information law further enforced in Vanuatu.  Seven government departments in Vanuatu are now formally obliged to provide access to information after a signing ceremony.
Radio New Zealand: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/336916/information-law-further-enforced-in-vanuatu
Over 6,400 corruption cases pending trials in India's courts.  A total of…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (11 August 2017): Fiji, PNG, Tonga

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These updates are provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Southeast Asia, and the joint UNODC - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with support of the Australian Government. If a link below does not work, please copy and paste the link into your browser's address bar instead.
FIJI:
"No cover ups and it is a transparent process."  Those are the words of Fiji Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho as he spoke about some Police officers breaking the law.
http://fijivillage.com/news/No-cover-ups-and-it-is-a-transparent-process---Police-Commissioner-k52sr9/
12 Police officers charged.  TwelvePolice officers are among 86 people who were charged by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in July this year alone.
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=411978
Joint Statement by the Fiji Police Force and the Embassy of the People's Republic Of China.  …

Open Government initiatives for improving public services discussed at Manila workshop

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From August 7 to 8, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Support Unit, the United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub (UNDP BRH), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) co-hosted an Open Government for Improving Public Services in Asia workshop at ADB Headquarters in Manila, Philippines. The workshop welcomed nearly 70 representatives from six Asian OGP-participant countries. Presented were various open government initiatives, such as the Philippines's citizen monitoring Governance Hubs and Indonesia's LAPOR! public service complaint mechanism. Participants also reverse-engineered some of the initiatives to see how best practices could be applied to their own context and discussed how to ensure the sustainability of these programs. For more information on the workshop, visit http://www.asia-pacific.undp.org/content/rbap/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/08/04/open-government-for-improving-public-services-in-asia.html
Thank you to Kamolwan "Ling" Pa…

Combating customs corruption / Bangladesh hot line / Indonesia gov't corporations

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Ways of Combating Customs Corruption Scrutinized (commentary).  "Battling corruption in any organization requires the creation of an ambience where interactions between clients and officials are minimized." Financial Tribune: https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/69284/ways-of-combating-customs-corruption-scrutinized
Bangladesh corruption Hot Line.  With a view to intensifying drive against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will introduce hotline 106 to receive complaints directly from the people.
Dhaka Tribune: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/corruption/2017/07/26/acc-open-toll-free-hotline-thursday-corruption-complaints/
Indonesia's anti-corruption agency urged to target gov't corporations.  Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) supports the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) which will target a number of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) as suspects of corporate corruption.
Netral English: http://www.en.netralnews…

Hong Kong message / New Zealand "extraordinary" report / Korea president's proposal

ICAC sends message to book fans.  Graftbusters in cartoon outfits have transformed the Hong Kong Book Fair into a fun-packed classroom, where children are asked to help story characters make choices in ethical dilemmas. The Standard: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=185418
"Extraordinary" report on corruption and whistleblowing expected in New Zealand (opinion).  "All the signs, so far, suggest that it might be an extraordinary account with the potential to shake up politics and governance in New Zealand."
Bryce Edwards/NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11894365
S. Korea president proposes new investigative body.  President Moon Jae-in said that he himself would be included as a target of monitoring by a separate body he aims to create to investigate corruption involving high-ranking public officials.
Kim Rahn/The Korea Times: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/07/356_233629.html

Accountants vs corruption / Taipei military personnel / S. Korea raids

Accountants are on the front line in combatting corruption (opinion).  Accountants globally are leading the fight against corruption, and locally every accountant has a part to play. Mark Phillips/In The Black: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2017/07/18/accountants-combatting-corruption
Taipei prosecutors detain military personnel in corruption case.  The New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office detained six people and released nine others on bail after launching an investigation into alleged corruption at the army’s Automobile Maintenance Base on Monday. Wang Ting-chuan & Jake Chung/Taipei Times: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/07/19/2003674858
S.Korean defense firms raided as president orders elimination of defense corruption.  South Korean prosecutors raided defense firms after President Moon Jae-in ordered the elimination of defense industry corruptions.
Xinhuanet: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-07/18/c_136452604.htm

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (5 August 2017): Fiji, PNG, Tonga

These updates are provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Southeast Asia, and the joint UNODC - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with support of the Australian Government. FIJI: Nearly a thousand traders charged with non-compliance.
In the last financial year, 938 traders were taken to task for cheating customers by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission. http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/53117/938-traders-taken-to-task-for-non-compliance Woman Linked To $560K Probe.  A 53-year-old former Fijian citizen in Australia on domestic duties wired FJ$560,000 to her bank account in Fiji over time, it has been revealed. http://fijisun.com.fj/2017/08/01/woman-linked-to-560k-probe/ FICAC withdraw charges against Dhansukh Lal Bhika.  FICAC has decided to withdraw the charges against former Naboro Mart Limited Manager, Dhansukh Lal Bhika. http://fijivillage.com/news-feature/FICAC…

Australia anticorruption model / Malaysia police pledge / Afghanistan radio programme

State-Level Anticorruption Commissions: What the U.S. Can Learn from Australia’s Model (commentary).  "In true laboratories-of-democracy fashion, Australian states have tried, solidified, and publicized the model of creating an independent investigatory group focused on the issue of corruption." Kaitlin Beach/Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/07/24/state-level-anticorruption-commissions-what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-australias-model/
Malaysia police force signs anti-graft pledge, targets zero corruption.  The Royal Malaysian Police, aiming to achieve zero-corruption status, took the Anti-Corruption Pledge (IBR) before Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Malay Mail Online; http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-force-signs-anti-graft-pledge-targets-zero-corruption
Afghan youth’s role in eliminating corruption the focus of UN-backed radio programme.  To eliminate corruption from Afghanistan,…

Asia legal lessons / Japan PM scandals / Corruption jurisdictional barrier

Improving Mutual Legal Assistance: Lessons from Asia (commentary).  "The findings of a recent report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)/Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific…entitled 'Mutual Legal Assistance in Asia and the Pacific: Experiences in 31 Jurisdictions,' provides examples of various obstacles to effective MLA…sorted into two general categories: legal and practical." Sarah Grant/Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/07/21/improving-mutual-legal-assistance-lessons-from-asia/
Scandals Undermine Effort to Revise Japan’s Pacifist Constitution.  The Japanese leader’s popularity recently plummeted in one national poll because of allegations that he helped a friend secure free land and approvals to establish a veterinary college, and that his wife made secret donations to an ultra-nationalist kindergarten that is accused of promoting bigotry against Chinese…

Myanmar age limit / Malaysia university survey / Indonesia corruption survey

Myanmar Parliament pushes up age limit for Anti-Corruption Commission members.  The age limit for Anti-Corruption Commission members has been increased from 70 years to 75 years to put focus on experience and ability. Htoo Thant/Myanmar Times: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/nay-pyi-taw/26901-parliament-pushes-up-age-limit-for-anti-corruption-commission-members.html
Survey finds one in every three Malaysian students thinks corruption is okay.  A survey on Students’ Perception of Corruption carried out by the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) reveals that one in every three local university students thinks that receiving a present in the form of money, goods or service in return for services rendered is not corruption. MalayMail Online: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/survey-finds-one-in-every-three-students-thinks-corruption-is-okay
Public Trustin KPK Remains High, Pollster Says.  Eighty-six (86%) percent of respondents of the Anti-Corruption National…

Indonesia House of Representatives / Bangladesh financial market / Malaysia firearms allowed

Parliament commission says establishment of Anti-Corruption Special Detachment not meant to dissolve KPK. Indonesia's House of Representatives says its plan to establish a Special Detachment of Anti-Corruption in the police agency intends to strengthen the handling of corruption in various parts of Indonesia and has nothing to do with efforts of the House of Representatives' inquiry right against the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Netral News: http://www.en.netralnews.com/news/currentnews/read/8556/house.commission.iii.establishment.of.anti.corruption.special.detachment.not.to.dissolve.kpk
Impact of corruption in the financial market of Bangladesh.  The legacy of corruption and malpractice in the banking sector of Bangladesh can be traced back to the pre-liberation era. Helal Uddin Ahmed/The Financial Express: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/07/22/77702/Impact-of-corruption-in-the-financial-market-of-Bangladesh
Malaysian anti-graft officers can use firearms wh…