Showing posts from February, 2019

RTI law assessment / Cambodia laundering watchlist / China church corruption

Methodology for Assessing Right to Information Implementation in Pakistan (Resource).   “…until recently, no established methodology for measuring how well RTI laws are being implemented was available, either in Pakistan or internationally. This Methodology seeks to fill that gap by providing a structured tool for assessing the quality of implementation of an RTI law” Centre for Law and Democracy:   Cambodia put on money-laundering watchlist in move that may curtail foreign investment.  Cambodia inclusion on a “grey list” drawn up by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) could curtail international financial, investment and trade flows to and from the South-east Asian country. The Straits Times:   Transfer of priests highlight corruption in China Church (O

Extractive industries transparency / Viet Nam former ministers / Youth against corruption

Can transparency make extractive industries more accountable? (Opinion).  “Campaigns like Publish What You Pay and Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative have done a huge amount to gain greater transparency of revenues. Now they – and the donors who support them – can also do more help to convert information to action, support mobilisation from below, and help shape the larger political incentives that can give teeth to voice.” John Gaventa/Institute of Development Studies:   Vietnam arrests former ministers for corruption.   Two former communications ministers (Truong Minh Tuan and Nguyen Bac Son) were arrested in Vietnam for mismanaging public funds over their alleged roles overseeing the purchase of a loss-making TV firm that would have cost the state millions of dollars. The Phnom Penh Post:

India regulatory cost / Thailand military budget / Afghanistan integrity hackathon

Regulatory Cost Weighs on India's CEOs as Modi Fights Corruption.  Companies operating in India see regulatory compliance as the biggest cost overrun in the next two years, a sign that Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s efforts to curb corruption may be clashing with his plans to improve ease of doing business in Asia’s third-largest economy. Upmanyu Trivedi/Bloomberg:   Military jumps the gun (Editorial).  With key political parties vowing to downsize the military and defence spending as part of their campaign policies, the junta this week has tried to safeguard its interests by claiming transparency in its budget proposals and citing possible adverse effects if the country lacks an adequate defence. Bangkok Post:   Using Tech to Combat Corruption in Afghanistan.  In partnershi

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (23 February 2019): Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands

Pacific group aims to strengthen reporting on corruption.  A new anti-corruption regional media group which includes UNPRAC consultant on its committee, hopes to strengthen checks and balances around good governance in the Pacific by training journalists about their rights and tools for corruption reporting.   FIJI: Magistrate Transfers Water Authority Cases To High Court.  The case which involved processing false payments and forged documents was initially charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) and now transferred to the High Court.   PNG: Former PNG official warns Paladin scandal undermining corruption fight in Pacific.   A former Papua New Guinea official has warned the scandal revolving around Paladin, a little-known and inexperienced security firm

TRACE e-Gov portal / Chinese ex-military sentenced / Iran anti-laundering law

TRACE e-Gov Portal (Resource).  As the only global e-government directory, the Portal makes these resources easily available to companies doing business worldwide and promotes governments’ efforts to streamline the provision of administrative services over the internet. Colleagues working on procurement reform, citizen feedback, etc. may find this portal useful. TRACE International:   China's former military chief of staff jailed for life for corruption.   Fang Fenghui, who was appointed to the top post in People’s Liberation Army in 2012, was convicted of accepting and offering bribes, and having an unclear source of a huge amount of assets; the military court sentenced him to life in prison, stripped him of political rights for life and ordered the confiscation of all his personal assets to be turned over to the state treasury. The Guardian:

Bangladesh corporate governance / Singaporean Keppel officer / Philippines budget ministry

Poor corporate governance chokes foreign investment.   Poor corporate governance and a lack of quality manpower are major barriers to foreign investment in Bangladesh, analysts said at an International Finance Corporate seminar in Dhaka. The Daily Star:   Ex-exec admits taking over $740k in bribes.  A former Keppel Shipyard senior procurement officer has admitted to taking more than $740,000 in bribes from 2007 to 2014, and pleaded guilty to 26 corruption charges. Shaffiq Alkhatib/The Straits Times:   Palace defends DBM amid corruption allegations.  The Philippines presidential office defended the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from allegations that the government owes several private contractors billions of pesos because of corruption – pointing toward the

Singapore corporate governance / India procurement controversy / Philippines DepEd purchases

Singapore forms advocacy body to level up corporate governance standards.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the establishment of the Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC), whose role is to "level up corporate governance standards and practices and help to strengthen investors’ confidence in (Singapore's) capital markets and uphold (the country’s) reputation as a trusted international financial centre". Michelle Quah/The Business Times:   CAG points to several irregularities in Dassault’s Rafale bid during UPA.  The Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s report concluded that Rafale’s makers, Dassault Aviation, did not fulfill request for proposal (RFP) requirements at the stage of the technical evaluation committee with respect to air staff qualitative requirements, warranty clause and an option claus

Singapore anti-laundering law / Bangladesh RTI law / Nepal anti-graft official

Parliament: Law to tackle money laundering passed.  Dealers in precious stones and metals will have to register with the Law Ministry and carry out stricter checks on clients under new laws passed in Parliament, through a fully digital registration process. Zaihan Mohamed Yusof/The Straits Times:   Government's 'zero-tolerance policy' against corruption (Opinion).   “The difference between RTI and anti-corruption laws is that the former is enforced by citizens and the latter by the government. In fact, RTI is the only law in the country that citizens can use vis-a-vis public authority. Every citizen can, therefore, be a watchman for good governance.” Shamsul Bari and Ruhi Naz/The Daily Star:   Anti-graft official’s bribe case exposes how corruption thrives.  In an unprece

Maldives ministers suspended / Thai airport risk / Nepali graft song

Maldives president suspends ministers as corruption scandal spreads.   Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih suspended two government ministers over financial transactions conducted with a company implicated in a $90 million corruption scandal related to islands lease deals. Mohamed Junayd/Reuters:   ACT flags airport graft risk.  The Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand (ACT) has warned of the potential for foul play during the upcoming auction of Suvarnabhumi Airport's duty-free concession and the planned construction of a Terminal 2, due the lack of transparency, as the country counts down to the election. Bangkok Post:   Nepali singer pulls corruption song from YouTube after threats.  A popular Nepali folk singer says he removed a sat

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (16 February 2019): Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Group eyes trading votes for cash.  A group of voters in Ward 17 in East Kwaio Constituency, Malaita Province said they will not cast their votes in the April 3 national general election, unless they are paid with cash.   Solomon Islands MP Mua trial adjourned.  He is accused of diverting $3 million (US$376,000) shipping grant intended to purchase a ship for his constituency in 2013.   Money the focus of Solomons elections Transparency.  Transparency Solomon Islands says MPs should not have direct control over funds for their constituencies.   FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: Bribery case against FSM airport official details cash, cars and trips.  Federated States of Micro

Myanmar business ethics / Malaysia submarine probe / India-Bangladesh anti-graft cooperation

Govt asks companies to tighten anti-graft measures.  Myanmar ACC lays down “fundamental principles for businesses to develop a strong code of ethics and establish appropriate internal controls to prevent corruption.” - similar to the eight principles adopted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand which includes bribery risks assessment, accurate books and accounting records and setting up “trustworthy reporting mechanisms to report suspect behaviour”. Thompson Chau/The Myanmar Times:   French lawyer in Malaysia to aid in submarine graft probe.   Mr. William Bourdon, who represents local human rights group Suaram over the French submarine deal, was deported from Malaysia on his last visit in 2011 when Najib's scandal-mired regime was still in power; now he is set to aid officials’ investigation into the submarine deal scandal. The Straits Times: https://www.straitst

[Member Survey highlights] AP-INTACT network members feedback highlights

A warm thank you to all AP-INTACT Network members who had taken the time to provide us with your feedback through the quick survey circulated earlier. We are happy to share with you the highlights of the responses below: 4.29/5 stars satisfaction rate   Approximately 43% say they prefer to receive our updates every day, while about 30% prefer to read them just a few times a week.  Therefore, we will keep up with the daily updates, but for maximum reach of resources and highlights, these will be in our Monday, Wednesday and Friday circulations.   Members are most interested in anti-corruption instruments, government-related news, and notable investigations including asset recovery & money laundering (preference popularity in this order).  Additional suggestions also include judicial integrity , linkages with environment and human right issues , as well as news about intergovernmental cooperation . An effort will also be made to monitor more of the developments

Indonesia subnational corruption / Hong Kong construction recruitment / Huawei foreign bribery

Corruption down, but incompetence remains problem: ICW.   Despite the decrease, however, Indonesia Corruption Watch researchers noted that incompetence among lower-level local leaders was a worrisome fact that explained the rampant level of corruption at the subnational level. The Jakarta Post:   The unscrupulous recruiters charging Hong Kong builders HK$500 a day to get them a job.   Grace Yee Hin-lai, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) chief investigator, said the most common cases involved recruiters asking workers for a regular “referral fee” or “tea money” after the workers had been hired. Some victims, earning about HK$1,100 a day, had to hand over more than a third to a middleman. Christy Leung/South China Morning Post:

Further CPI analysis / India anti-graft timing / Nepal corruption stats

Some Good News and Bad News About Transparency International's Interpretation of its Latest Corruption Perceptions Index (Blog).   "Admittedly, it isn't really about the CPI—it could have been written as a standalone document, frankly—but it's still useful and insightful, and the care and caution with respect to drawing bold conclusions from the limited quantitative data is something TI would do well to emulate in its other materials." Matthew Stephenson/The Global Anticorruption Blog:   The BJP has got its timing on corruption all wrong, writes Barkha Dutt (Opinion).  "When case files that have only been gathering dust are suddenly taken out, the BJP's weapon of attack gets blunted." Barkha Dutt/Hindustan Times:

India political risk / Effective corruption battles / Malaysia circular leaked

If political risk of using CBI, ED is so high, why would BJP do it? (Opinion).  “ The answer is two-fold: A signal of authoritarian control, to scare off opponents…It wants to shift the onus back onto the idea that it is the incorruptible party amongst the corrupt.” Pratap Bhanu Mehta/The Indian Express:   Battle corruption more effectively (Editorial).   Asia News Network papers commend recent efforts to tackle corruption, and call for more. Here are excerpts from Malaysia and Indonesia. The Straits Times:   Hanafiah questions how graft cases circular was leaked.  Malaysia’s Solicitor General III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria has questioned how an internal email circular instructing the Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPP) to object to the postponement of several high profile corruption cases was leaked.

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (9 February 2019): PNG, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Samoa

UN-PRAC Newsletter – stories from June-December 2018.   Highlights include Anti-Corruption Excellence award for PNG Phones against Corruption, private sector engagement against infrastructure sector corruption, media training on corruption reporting, International Anti-Corruption Day, and integrity education curricula advocacy.   PNG: Law students learn to fight corruption with TIPNG.  Three law students from the University of Papua New Guinea have gained a broader understanding in addressing corruption through an internship programme with Transparency International PNG. Transparency International report: PNG highly corrupt.   A new report by the global watchdog Transparency International has again classified Papua New Guinea as one of the most highly corrupt countries in the world.

Myanmar ministries' CPU / Thailand ASEAN meeting / Indonesia regent sentenced

14 ministries form anti-corruption units.  From February 5 to 7, course instructors from the Myanmar Union Civil Service Board, the UNDP and the ACRC from South Korea conducted the course on the formation of the CPU in 14 ministries. Eleven Myanmar:   Thailand to Host the Meeting of the Southeast Asia Parties against Corruption.   As the Chair of ASEAN for 2019, Thailand is pushing for greater cooperation among ASEAN countries in all dimension. In response to this policy, the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand (NACC) will host the 15th Meeting of the Southeast Asia Parties against Corruption in October 2019. The Government Public Relations Department:   Suspended regent sentenced to 7 years for corruption.  The Indonesian Semarang Corruption Court has sentenced suspended Purbalingga regent Tasdi to sev

Singapore business bribery / Indian probe protest / Nepal CIAA survey

Two Korean engineers charged for corruption in Singapore.  The two are expected to plead guilty to charges of accepting bribes from another company to further business interests through their employer company. Channel News Asia:   Indian state chief stages sit-in against Modi over graft probe.   Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal state led a sit-in in a standoff with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over a corruption investigation she condemned as a vendetta, as political tension rises ahead of a general election. Subrata Nagchoudhury/Reuters:   Corruption at high level: Political will lacking to control it (Opinion).   According to a survey recently conducted by the Commission for the Investiga

Vietnam new law / Public work survey / Chinese FDA official

Vietnam Enlists the Private Sector in the Fight Against Corruption (Blog).   “By my count (nations with anticorruption compliance laws January 2019), Vietnam is now the 25th nation to require some or all of the companies that do business in its territory to have some type of anticorruption compliance program.” Rick Messick/The Global Anticorruption Blog:   From gender gaps to corruption: 5 lessons from the first public work survey (Analysis).   “The gender pay gap is seven percentage points lower in the public sector than the private sector. Better-paid public servants aren’t necessarily less corrupt. And working for the state accounts for 38% of formal employment worldwide.” Jennifer Guay/Apolitical:   Former seni

Behavioral insights blog / OECD behavioral resource / Philippines Economic Freedom

Where Is the Behavioral Insights Revolution in Anticorruption? (Blog).  “For behavioral insights to trigger a genuine revolution in [anti-corruption] area, we need more published data-backed cases of success and guidelines on how to structure effective behavioral interventions.” Ruta Mrazauskaite/The Global Anticorruption Blog:   Behavioral Insights for Public Integrity – Harnessing the Human Factor to Counter Corruption (Resource).  This report describes how behavioural insights can help make integrity and anti-corruption policies more effective and efficient. It includes concrete policy applications and provides guidance for policy makers on how to use behavioural insights in designing integrity and anti-corruption policies. OECD:  

Chinese anti-graft AI / Malaysia citizen survey / Mongolia house speaker

Is China’s corruption-busting AI system ‘Zero Trust’ being turned off for being too efficient? (Analysis).  “ Some officials have questioned the machine’s right to access a sensitive database because there is neither a law nor regulation authorising a computer or robot to do so.” Stephen Chen/South China Morning Post:   MACC: Eight in 10 M’sians think corruption is a serious problem.   Based on a nationwide survey conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on International Anti-Corruption Day, 82% felt the level of corruption was serious. The Star:   Mongolia speaker expelled amid ongoing battle against corruption.  The Mongolian parliament voted to expel House Speaker Miyegombyn Enkhbold in an unprecedented move capping

Transparency International findings / CPI visualized / Goldman-1MDB executives repercussions

Tackling the crisis of democracy, promoting rule of law and fighting corruption.   “Our findings suggest that strengthening institutions that provide democratic checks and balances, bridging the gap between laws and their implementation, and supporting public accountability and press freedoms, are interventions that can contribute to not only fighting corruption but also to the preservation and consolidation of  democratic institutions and norms.” Coralie Pring and Jon Vrushi/Transparency International:   Visualizing corruption around

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (1 February 2019): Micronesia, PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa

Asia Pacific: Little to no progress on anti-corruption.   At the top of this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), New Zealand scores 87 out of 100, making it the leading country fighting corruption in the region and second across the globe. New Zealand is followed closely by Singapore and Australia, with scores of 85 and 77 respectively.   FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: FSM government 'disturbed' by bribery allegations.   The Federated States of Micronesia government says it's disturbed by allegations that officials were bribed by a Hawaiian businessman.   PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG Highly Corrupt: Report.   A new report by the global watchdog Transparency International has again classified Papua New Guinea as one of the most highly corrupt c