Posts

Showing posts from November, 2018

Asia procurement reform / Indonesia election platform / Nissan governance lesson

Asia rising: the next frontier for open contracting (Blog).  “Big things are happening to open up public contracting in Asia and the Pacific. Here’s a quick regional tour, hot off the heels of the recent Open Government Partnership regional meeting in Seoul this month.”Open Contracting Partnership, UNDP and Hivos: https://www.open-contracting.org/2018/11/26/asia-rising-the-next-frontier-for-open-contracting/Indonesian election: with nod to Malaysia’s 1MDB, Prabowo makes corruption pledge.  Indonesian presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto is confident he can bring about the change that citizens desire and run a clean government that will still be business-friendly while improving the lives of ordinary people.Kok Xing Hui/The Star Online: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2018/11/29/indonesian-election-with-nod-to-malaysias-1mdb-prabowo-makes-corruption-pledge/The Ghosn Effect on Corporate Governance.  “Another “Ghosn lesson” is to confirm the vitality of the organization…

Singapore allegations censored / Hong Kong foreign bribery / Philippines budget scrutiny

Singapore probes website which exposed top-level government corruption.  TheOnline Citizen (TOC), a Singapore political website which carries news articles and comments critical of the government, has suspended publication after police it is being investigated for possible “criminal defamation” over an article alleging corruption among the city-state’s top leaders.AFP/Politiko: http://politics.com.ph/singapore-probes-website-which-exposed-top-level-government-corruption/Ex-Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho’s US$2.9 million corruption trial opens, as defence calls it a ‘bribery case with no bribes’.  “In addition to arguing that the sums Ho had given to various African officials on behalf of a Chinese energy giant were donations rather than bribes, the defence said that key prosecution witness Cheikh Gadio was testifying against Ho because he planned to run for president in Senegal.”Emma Kazaryan/Yahoo News: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/ex-hong-kong-minister-patrick-005038766.htmlPangi…

Thailand 'ghost' students / Chinese bribery abroad / CPI for business

School probe on 'ghost' claims begins.  The Office of Anti-Corruption in Public for Area 3 found there are between five and 38 ghost students in these schools, but at Kham Sakae Saeng School in Nakhon Ratchasima (northeastern part of Thailand), the number rose to 196 students.King-oua Laohong/Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/1582274/school-probe-on-ghost-claims-beginsChinese Officials Arrested for Bribery Amid Kenya’s SGR Corruption Inquiry.  Kenyan authorities have arrested seven officials with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (three Chinese nationals and four Kenyan) for bribing investigators looking into corruption tied to the Standard Gauge Railway; this marks the first time Chinese officials have faced charges linked to the railway controversial railway project.Salem Solomon/VoA: https://www.voanews.com/a/china-kenya-bribery/4673798.htmlShould the Corruption Perceptions Index be Used as an Indicator of Business Risks? (Blog).  “Actual …

India anti-graft mechanisms / Pakistan case management / Iran corruption remarks

India still awaits effective anti-graft mechanisms (Opinion).  “Such being the state of affairs, a lot of hope rests with the Supreme Court in the ongoing CBI case to again try and establish an effective anti-corruption mechanism, one which is autonomous and insulated from government interference.”Prasanna Mohanty/Asia Times:http://www.atimes.com/article/india-still-awaits-effective-anti-graft-mechanisms/NAB chairman directs officers to 'dispose of mega corruption cases on priority'.  The NAB chairman also called for transferring low magnitude cases to other anti-corruption departments so that cases of all nature could be disposed of within 10 months.Dawn:https://www.dawn.com/news/1447029/nab-chairman-directs-officers-to-dispose-of-mega-corruption-cases-on-priorityIran FM Faces Threat of Dismissal after State Corruption Remarks.  The fallout from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s contentious remarks on money laundering and corruption at Tehran institutions continue…

Malaysia Pakistan cooperation / Chinese companies corruption / Singaporean bribery charges

Malaysia, Pakistan pledge cooperation on anti-corruption, tourism.  Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad met his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan as the two leaders pledged cooperation, following which the two said they had discussed several topics of mutual interest especially on anti-corruption and tourism.The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-pakistan-pledge-for-cooperation-on-anti-corruption-tourismChina’s Craigslist, 58.com, Fights Internal Corruption.  Chinese online classifieds giant 58.com launched an internal anti-graft campaign that has brought down at least two senior executives for alleged corruption; a number of other Chinese tech giants including Baidu Inc. and JD.com have also initiated internal inspections in recent years to root out corruption among employees.Han Wei/Caixin Global: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-11-21/chinas-craigslist-58com-fights-internal-corruption-101350088.htmlInsurance agent charged over bribery of I…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (24 November 2018): PNG, Fiji, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG police chief says parliament unrest politically motivated.  Papua New Guinea's police commissioner has suggested the unrest at parliament by members of his force and other disciplinary forces this week was politically motivated.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/376624/png-police-chief-says-parliament-unrest-politically-motivatedPapua New Guinea unrest continues with gunfire in Port Moresby.  Unrest has continued in Port Moresby following the weekend’s Apec conference and the storming of parliament by “disgruntled” police and corrections officers on Tuesday.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/papua-new-guinea-unrest-continues-with-gunfire-in-port-moresbyPublic servants dismissed over alleged fraud.  Though Bougainville is on the verge of creating political history through the process of self-determination, it is not immune to the systematic corruption that is destroying PNG.http://www.looppng.com/png-news/public-servants-dism…

China BRI argument / Malaysia 1MDB repercussions / Philippines Ombudsman retaliation

It’s in China’s Interest to Fight Corruption on the Belt and Road (Blog). “…if China is serious about using the BRI to create a new set of Chinese-led international norms for the 21st century, it’s in China’s long-term national interest to make anticorruption one of those norms.”Jason Kohn/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2018/11/19/its-in-chinas-interest-to-fight-corruption-on-the-belt-and-road/Goldman Sachs gets downgraded on worries over fallout from 1MDB scandal.  Adding insult to injury, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was downgraded by fellow broker Morgan Stanley, which cited “risks and uncertainties” surrounding the investigation into Goldman’s role in the 1MDB scandal.Tomi Kilgore/Market Watch: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sachs-gets-downgraded-on-worries-over-fallout-from-1mdb-scandal-2018-11-21Ombudsman files complaint vs lawyer who accused gov't prosecutors of corruption.  Ombudsman Samuel Martires filed a complaint at …

Malaysia state committee / Japan automaker scandal / Blockchain for construction

Anti-corruption committee plan to build integrity.  Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said it aims to be the first state to have an anti-corruption committee consisting of representatives from Malaysian Institute of Integrity, MACC and related agencies, as a platform for civil servants to report wrongdoings that could hamper the state’s bid to be clean and transparent.Ivan Loh/The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/11/19/anticorruption-committee-plan-to-build-integrity/Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested in corruption case: Report.  The Japanese automaker said that Ghosn had used company money for personal use and that it had been investigating possible improper practices of Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for several months.Hindustan Times: https://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/nissan-accuses-chief-carlos-ghosn-of-misconduct-proposes-firing-him/story-jjdqm3FtVFzqPwD1Egsi9O.htmlAutodesk CEO tips blockchain to cut constr…

Indonesia open contracting / Korea test scandal / WEF Judicial Independence

Developer-to-Developer Mentorship in Bandung, Indonesia: A Blueprint for Open Contracting Success (Blog).  “As of November 2018, Bandung City has published around 40,000 procurements from the past 3 years, and [Development Gateway is] glad to be a part of the process.” Andrew Mandelbaum and Mihai Postelnicu/Development Gateway:https://www.developmentgateway.org/blog/developer-developer-mentorship-bandung-indonesia-blueprint-open-contracting-successCheating scandal erupts as South Korean students face their toughest test.  “In a statement, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said the case "damages the absolute value of academic achievement, which is fairness. It is a serious incident of corruption which crumbles the people's trust in public education."Jake Kwon/CNN:https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/14/asia/korea-csat-test-cheating-intl/index.htmlJudicial Independence in Asia.  The judicial system in Japan ranked highest in Asia, and is considered to be free from…

Sector-specific CurbingCorruption / Malaysia ex-minister bribery / Cross-border investigation tips

New “CurbingCorruption” Website on Sector-Specific Anticorruption Reform Strategies (Blog/Resource).  “The brainchild of Mark Pyman, and developed by him with assistance from several other distinguished anticorruption specialists, CurbingCorruption seeks to provide concrete anticorruption advice tailored to specific sectors (such as construction, education, health, fisheries, etc.)”Matthew Stephenson/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2018/11/15/new-curbingcorruption-website-on-sector-specific-anticorruption-reform-strategies/Ex-ministry sec-gen and son jailed and fined for bribery.  Former Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman and his son have been sentenced to a total of eight years in jail and fined RM12.6mil for bribery related to a hybrid solar system project in four remote islands off Sandakan, Sabah.Nurbaiti Hamdan/The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/15/exministry-secgen-…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (17 November 2018): PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands

China seen as key for reducing illegal logging in Melanesia. Civil society is looking at China as the best bet for reducing illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/375990/china-seen-as-key-for-reducing-illegal-logging-in-melanesiaPAPUA NEW GUINEA: Papua New Guinea PM's firm won $32m contract despite 'serious irregularities'. A company owned by Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, won a $32m (£25m) government contract to build bridges in the country via a process with “serious procurement irregularities” that may have violated anti-corruption guidelines, the Guardian can reveal.http://www.msn.com/en-xl/australasia/top-stories/papua-new-guinea-pms-firm-won-dollar32m-contract-despite-serious-irregularities/ar-BBPDbRH?ocid=DELLDHPMaseratis and cruise ships: PNG prepares for global summit. Papua New Guinea (PNG) might be the least likely place to spot world leaders shaking hands. But that…

Viet Nam state-run business / Malaysia sex bribery / Chinese officials implicated

Vietnam arrests two more officials of state-run MobiFone in graft crackdown.  Pham Thi Phuong Anh, deputy director of MobiFone Corp., and former general director Cao Duy Hai were accused of “violating regulations on the management and use of state capital,” the Ministry of Public Security said, as the company allegedly caused losses to the state budget by overpaying for a stake of 95 percent in a loss-making pay-TV provider.Tuoi Tre News: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20181114/vietnam-arrests-two-more-officials-of-staterun-mobifone-in-graft-crackdown/47697.htmlMalaysia anti-graft body says has unearthed cases of sex for grades.  There have been instances of teachers asking students for sex in exchange for good examination scores, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull has said, warning that such cases are dangerous for the country's future generation.The Straits Times:https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-anti-gra…

Myanmar city construction / Korean conglomerates fraud / 1MDB recovery overseas

Transparency in Delayed $2B Development Project Requested in Lower House.  Despite the agreement of the Eco Green City project in Myanmar being signed two years ago, no start appears to have been made on it and the revenue-sharing deal between the government and the private company remains unclear.The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/transparency-delayed-2b-development-project-requested-lower-house.htmlTwo Employees of South Korean Conglomerate Charged with Defrauding U.S. Government in Army Base Construction (Press release).  “Two employees of SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (SK), a large multinational corporation based in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), were charged with participating in a scheme to defraud the United States by submitting fraudulent subcontracts to conceal bribes and kickbacks paid to an American public official, in relation to U.S. Army construction contracts in South Korea.”US Department of Justicehttps://www.justice.gov/opa…

Bangladesh corporate governance / Viet Nam labor minister / Malaysia foreign investors

Improve corporate governance.  Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith has called for more efficiency and transparency to improve corporate governance for sustainable businesses in his speech at 5th ICSB National Award 2017 for Corporate Governance Excellence, organized by The Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh.The Daily Star: https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/improve-corporate-governance-1659280Vietnam arrests former deputy minister as part of graft crackdown.  Police in Vietnam arrested Le Bach Hong, former deputy labor minister, on allegations of economic mismanagement, as the communist-led government presses on with a crackdown on corruption.Khanh Vu/Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-security-arrests/vietnam-arrests-former-deputy-minister-as-part-of-graft-crackdown-idUSKCN1NE1FFForeign investors will be protected, says Dr M.  “Malaysia will protect foreign investors keen to invest in the country, but who may be mistreated due to corr…

Philippines ex-lady disqualified / Myanmar lawyers object / 1MDB resist extradition

Imelda Marcos disqualified from holding office after corruption conviction.  The former first lady of the Philippines, who became renowned for her lavish collection of shoes, has been finally found guilty of seven counts of corruption during her twenty years in office and is now perpetually disqualified from holding public office.Hannah Ellis-Petersen/The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/09/imelda-marcos-disqualified-from-holding-office-after-corruption-convictionDefence lawyers submit objection letter in landmark judicial corruption case.  “Lawyers representing former Yangon Region advocate general and four other judicial officials accused of accepting bribes to pervert justice submitted a letter to the Yangon Region High Court objecting to the testimony of the Anti-Corruption Commission.”Ye Mon/Frontier Myanmar:https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/defence-lawyers-submit-objection-letter-in-landmark-judicial-corruption-caseEx-Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng fights U…

Mongolia SME fund / Singapore business bribes / Malaysia logging contracts

A scandal in Mongolia: heads roll in government after US$1.3m SME fund embezzlement.  Mongolia’s anti-corruption authority is investigating reports that senior government officials and parliamentarians channelled more than US$1 million in government money to their families and friends, with one minister resigning and another expected to step down soon.Khaliun Bayartsogt/South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2171965/scandal-mongolia-heads-roll-government-after-us13m-sme-fundTown council GM graft trial: Company director told business partner not to keep receipts of KTV sessions.  A Singaporean company director on trial for alleged bribery had told his business partner not to keep any receipts of the drinking and karaoke sessions that he took a town council's former general manager to.Adrian Lim/The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/town-council-gm-graft-trial-company-director-told-business-partner-not-to-keep-receipts…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (10 November 2018): Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands

FIJI: Complaints against lands office.  Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said there had been a lot of allegations of corruption and bribery which have led to the removal, termination and transfer of some people.https://www.fijitimes.com/complaints-against-lands-office/Rabuka case heard at Fiji High Court.  A Fiji court has heard that politician Sitiveni Rabuka deliberately omitted information in relation to his assets, income and liabilities.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/375489/rabuka-case-heard-at-fiji-high-courtFormer commanding officer appeals conviction and sentence.  The court heard that between September 2013 and March 2014, Keni, while being a public servant employed by the Fiji Police Force failed to assist FICAC by refusing to provide information relevant to a bribery case against the former Acting Inspector of the Fiji Police Force, Timoci Naulu.http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/70408/former-commanding-officer-appeals-conviction-and-sentenceMARSHALL ISLANDS: 'It i…

Bottom Up Anti-Corruption / Sri Lanka turmoil / Pakistan corruption address

“Bottom Up” Corruption Prevention (Blog).  “A bottom up approach enables each agency to create and modify procedures in ways appropriately tailored to its activities, and to learn from one another’s successes and failures.”Jennifer Widner and Tristan Dreisbach/Public Administration Review: https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/23/698/Bribery Accusations Deepen Turmoil in Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka’s politics plunged into deeper turmoil when a majority of the country’s parliamentarians refused to recognize the appointment of the new prime minister amid rising tensions and accusations of millions of dollars in bribes.Dharisha Bastians and Jeffrey Gettleman/The New York Times:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/world/asia/sri-lanka-prime-minister-bribery-crisis.htmlCorruption biggest hurdle in way of development: PM Khan. Prime Minister Imran Khan said ‘corrupt practices of the country’s political leaders’ were the biggest hurdle in way of development and that timely measure…

Communicating with SMEs / NAB Anti-corruption day / Chinese financial probe

Communicating with SMEs on anti-corruption (Blog).  “Our experience clearly emphasises that the effectiveness of communications is much greater, when written materials are supplemented with face-to-face training/mentoring for small groups of SMEs, especially when the trainers/mentors are themselves from business and can discuss the issues in practical business language.”Brook Horowitz and Jan Dauman/Public Administration Review: https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/23/communicating/NAB to create public awareness against corruption.  Pakistan National Accountability Bureau Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director general Farmanullah Khan asked the provincial government to arrange awareness sessions and public events across the province, especially in the tribal districts, to mark Dec 9 as the Anti-Corruption Day.Dawnhttps://www.dawn.com/news/1443224/nab-to-create-public-awareness-against-corruptionAnti-graft authorities to inspect financial firms.  The inspections were a respo…

PPP anti-corruption opportunity / Malaysia asset declarations / Chinese police investigated

Public/private partnerships – an opportunity or risk for anti-corruption? (Blog).  “Part of the value of the partnership approach is that law enforcement and private sector compliance analysts can work together, to understand and evaluate financial crime threats and their footprint in the financial system.”Nick J Maxwell/Public Administration Review: https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/23/689/Come clean and be transparent, watchdogs tell PH reps.  Transparency International-Malaysia President Datuk Akhbar Satar said that there is no acceptable reason for anyone in the government not to declare their assets to the government, so that the information can be made public by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion (MACC).The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/02/come-clean-and-be-transparent-watchdogs-tell-ph-reps/Chinese police chief kills himself after two former colleagues come under corruption cloud.  A top public security official in China’s r…

OECD integrity shift / Malaysia no kickbacks / India reporter killed

Focusing efforts and blurring lines: the OECD’s shift from ethics to integrity (Blog).  “The OECD’s shift to integrity is symptomatic of a wider change in the anti-corruption community, which – after years of promoting control and sanction – is growing weary of assertions that these approaches have failed.”Sofia Wickberg/Public Administration Review:https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/23/662/Development projects in PD which have corruption or kickbacks will be cancelled says Anwar.  Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has warned that he will cancel any projects in the constituency found to have elements of corruption or kickbacks by developers; he also set three conditions for companies looking to develop hotels in PD: cleaning up the beach, creating local jobs, and providing employees accommodation.  The Star:https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/31/development-projects-in-pd-which-have-corruption-or-kickbacks-will-be-cancelled-says-anwar/Local rep…

Malaysia business optimistic / Technology enabling corruption / Doing Business report

FMM: There’s positive effect in war against graft.  The war against corruption is having a positive effect on Malaysia as fairness and equality will attract a higher level of investment in Malaysia, said Fede­ration of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Datuk Soh Thian LaiThe Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/31/fmm-theres-positive-effect-in-war-against-graft/Could technology be an enabler for corruption? (Blog).  “…organized or white collar criminals are experts in using data for corrupt things. It’s really about new ways of using data for corruption or anti-corruption and whoever is getting better in that will have the upper hand.”Manasseh Azure Awuni/Transparency International: https://voices.transparency.org/could-technology-be-an-enabler-of-corruption-f19738e3583aDoing Business 2019 (Resource).  Doing Business 2019 is the 16th in World Bank’s series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constr…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (3 November 2018): Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands

FIJI: FLP to consider reinstating PWD to be responsible for roads infrastructure and terminate role of FRA.  The Fiji Labour Party manifesto also says that they will appoint an independent commission with powers to inquire into allegations of corruption and to prosecute offenders, both in private and political office.http://fijivillage.com/news/FLP-to-consider-reinstating-PWD-to-be-responsible-for-roads-infrastructure-and-terminate-role-of-FRA-sr9k52Fiji Attends AIBA Congress.  “This is a critical time in the history of amateur boxing, as it sees itself on the brink of expulsion from the Olympics as a political battle and governance issues threatens the sport exclusion from Tokyo 2020,” he said.http://fijisun.com.fj/2018/11/02/fiji-attends-aiba-congress/Senior FRCS staff fronts court on corruption charges; Court hears of alleged $4.1m loss caused.  Shameem Khan, 48, charged with two separate counts of abuse of office and general dishonesty causing loss was granted bail by the Su…

Corruption gendered dimension / Bangladesh ex-PM jailed / KPK palm-oil raid

Add women and stir? Exploring the gendered dimension of corruption (Blog).  The inherent danger of instrumentalizing women in key positions as a tool to combat corruption, coupled with the lack of institutional effort to include gendered dimensions (such as sextortion) as part of the fight against corruption, cannot result in more than a kind of ‘add women and stir’ strategy.Rrita Ismajli and Miranda Loli/Public Administration Review: https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/22/651/Bangladesh court jails ex-PM Zia for seven years for corruption.  Bangladesh's imprisoned opposition leader Khaleda Zia was handed another seven years in prison on corruption charges her supporters say are politically motivated to prevent her running in general elections due at the end of the year.Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/bangladesh-court-jails-pm-zia-7-years-corruption-181029065602070.htmlKPK raids Sinar Mas subsidiaries’ offices in bribery investigation.  KPK …

Pakistan financial integrity / Blockchain in Thailand / Hong Kong denies influence

Fighting corruption through strengthening financial integrity: Reflections on Pakistan’s experience (Blog).  “Based on our current research that examines the role of Pakistan’s financial system in preventing the laundering of the proceeds of grand corruption, we suggest that bolstering financial integrity in source countries of corruption-related financial flows is integral to law enforcement efforts, indispensable to building a sustainable domestic anti-corruption framework, and a necessary first line of defence against corruption and capital flight.”Tom Keatinge and Anton Moiseienko/Public Administration Review:https://www.publicadministrationreview.com/2018/10/22/647/ Blockchain tech seen as a tool to curb corruption.  Thai experts and social entrepreneurs have placed high hopes on benefiting from the advanced blockchain technology that would be able to, for example, be used with asset declarations or public procurement-related information to enhance the transparency, as wel…