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Showing posts from April, 2019

Transparency for inclusiveness / Singapore construction business / Thai corruption cost

Transparency is key to inclusive employment and government integrity.  “According to the Global Competitiveness Report….“corruption interferes with the allocation of resources to their most efficient uses and undermines growth in five main ways (citing three): it leads to a misallocation of human capital, because talent is incentivized to engage in rent-seeking activities rather than productive work; it results in loss of tax revenue; it pushes inappropriate public spending, because government officials are tempted to allocate expenditures less on the basis of promoting public welfare than on the opportunity they provide for extorting bribes”.Silvia Moschini, World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/transparency-is-key-to-inclusive-employment-and-government-integrity/Construction, building maintenance activities 'areas of concern' in Singapore’s fight against corruption.  Two construction industry business leaders bribed a former Resorts World Sentosa …

Business no-gift policy / C20 policy pack / Finance firms risks

No Gifts…No Problems (Blog).  “‘After joining [Thailand’s Private Sector Collective Action Coalition against Corruption] CAC, we have established a strict policy on gift-giving. We eventually decided to go above and beyond and institute a no-gift policy. Initially, gift expectations were still there but they significantly decreased after the announcement,’ one business owner said. The business owner added, “the company’s expenses for holiday gifts have been reduced by 50% compared to last year.”Pana Ratanabanangkoon:http://cctrends.cipe.org/no-giftsno-problems/Thank you to Phisanu Phromchanya for sharing this article.C20 Policy Pack 2019 (Resource).  See policy recommendations on anti-corruption from C20 (civil society organizations from G20 countries) outlined in pages 8-12C20: https://civil-20.org/2019/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/C20-POLICY-PACK-2019_web.pdfCorruption contagion: How legal and finance firms are at greater risk of corruption.  Companies with fewer levels of mana…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (27 April 2019): Solomon Islands, PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Micronesia and Nauru

SOLOMON ISLANDS:Development and the 2019 elections in Solomon Islands. Some of the reasons for this mismanagement are easily understood: the corrupting power of logging money, for example. Others are less simple. Not all Solomon Islands politicians are corrupt – many care for their country.http://www.devpolicy.org/development-and-2019-elections-solomon-islands-20190423/Protests erupt in Solomon Islands as Manasseh Sogavare elected Prime Minister for fourth time. Several MPs opposed to Mr Sogavare sought an injunction against the ballot and walked out of the vote when they failed to stop it.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/manasseh-sogavare-becomes-soloman-islands-prime-minister-again/11043578A Cultural Defense to Bribery? The Solomon Islands’ Approach (Blog).  “Instead of capping the monetary value or limiting the type of gifts which public officials are allowed to accept, the [Anti-Corruption Act passed in 2018] introduced a new cultural defense to…bribery of public offic…

China BRI image / Indonesia legal reform / SOEs and collusion

China's Belt and Road getting reboot to clean up its image.  Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grand Belt and Road Initiative is getting a makeover to tone down government rhetoric and tighten oversight, after allegations of corruption and a lack of sustainability dogged some of its highest-profile projects.The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/04/23/chinas-belt-and-road-getting-reboot-to-clean-up-its-image/Opaque deals threatening Indonesia’s resources.  The Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is promoting legal reforms to address complex corruption schemes that have been recently highlighted by investigations into alleged cases of corruption in politics, vote buying, bribery in exchange for mining permits, and environmental damages.UNODC: https://spark.adobe.com/page/NYK0B6dZlIBB7/Privatization Promotes Collusion and Corruption (Opinion).  “Privatization is expected by many to promote competition and eliminate corruption. In practi…

Maritime sector compliance / Thai concerns surveyed / UNDP business integrity

Stamping out corruption in the maritime sector.  “[International Chamber of Shipping] is hoping the current developments will result in [International Maritime Organization] IMO     guidelines or an inclusive IMO Code of Best Practice to implement and embrace anti-corruption practices and procedures. It notes: "Any such action would align IMO regulations and requirements for the maritime industry with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)…”David Hughes/Singapore Law Watch: https://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/Headlines/stamping-out-corruption-in-the-maritime-sectorThank you to John Hyde for sharing this article.Politics, corruption are biggest problems: Poll.  A poll asked what is worst about Thailand, 52.22% cited politics, the behaviour of politicians and corruption; 25.80% the lack of democracy and freedom; 19.82% the poor economy; 19.18% the lack of unity; and 15.34% air pollution, garbage and traffic conditions. (Wealth inequality did not appear to hav…

India polls canceled / Thai monk jailed / Malaysia Road Department

Polls cancelled in Indian city over £1.2m cash bribe.  Polling was cancelled in Vellore, a city in southern India following the discovery of suitcases containing approx. US$1.56 mil in cash which investigators believe was to bribe voters taking part in the world’s biggest election.Hugh Tomlinson/The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/polls-cancelled-in-indian-city-over-1-2m-cash-bribe-vb0wlwftsSenior monk gets 26 years in jail for helping ‘embezzle’ temple funds.  Phra Khru Kitti Patcharakhun, an abbot/monastic chief received a 26-year jail term for colluding with a former National Buddhism Office (NBO) chief to embezzle more than US$752,500 out of 878,000 of funds given to 12 temples based in Thailand.Kesinee Tangkhieo/The Nation: https://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367932After MACC swoop, JPJ sets up internal taskforce on corruption.  Malaysia’s Road Transport Department (JPJ) has set up an internal task force to study procedures within the department …

UNCAC Handbook available / UNODC Southeast Asia update / Open Contracting channel

At Last: An UNCAC Handbook (Blog/Resource).  “With the publication of The United Nations Convention Against Corruption: A Commentary, those looking for authoritative guidance on UNCAC no longer need to sort through the voluminous literature the convention has spawned: UNODC guides, StAR publications, academic commentary, and international and municipal court decisions.” Rick Messick/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/04/17/at-last-an-uncac-handbook/Corruption investigations in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Newsletter).  An update of the work UNODC Southeast Asia has support in the first quarter of 2019.UNODC: https://spark.adobe.com/page/UIExmYAJZ6sFP/Open Contracting: Boosting Transparency, Accountability And Impact of Government Contracting (Outreach/Tool).  An introductory video to a new YouTube channel of the Open Contracting Partnership. Open Contracting Partnership: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbOkfZwN7A

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (20 April 2019): Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands

FIJI: UniFiji Registrar’s Trial Starts in High Court.  Arya is charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count each of abuse of office and general dishonesty. https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/04/16/unifiji-registrars-trial-starts-in-high-court/Fijian national and lover embroiled in NZ Ports fraud.  The lover of a senior Ports of Auckland manager turned fraudster will likely join her partner in crime behind bars after they stole more than $368,000 of ratepayers’ money.https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/news/fijian-national-and-lover-embroiled-in-nz-ports-fraud/PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG MP points to official corruption in Paladin contracts.  A Papua New Guinea MP says an official Australian inquiry into government contracts for the Manus detention camp should consider the possibility of official corruption by senior PNG politicians and bureaucrats.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/387139/png-mp-points-to-official-corruption-in-paladin-contrac…

India RTI lessons / Transparency initiatives direction / Corporate tax transparency

Fiscal Futures: When the people demand transparency for accountability (Blog).  “India provides an outstanding example of how social movements have creatively and effectively used the People’s Right to Information (RTI) to enforce a form of fiscal accountability that demonstrably connects allocations, expenditure, and policy with people and their priorities.”Nikhil Dey/International Budget Partnership: https://www.internationalbudget.org/2019/04/fiscal-futures-when-the-people-demand-transparency-for-accountability/Transparency: From revolution to evolution (Blog).  “Taking this next step – starting with problems, engaging with political economy dynamics, taking incentives seriously, and considering whether and how a richer informational environment can support the emergence of winning coalitions for reform – has the potential to transform not only the transparency and accountability agenda, but the wider anti-corruption and governance agendas.”Alan Hudson/Global Integrity: http…

Indonesia democracy dangers / Maritime anti-corruption agenda / Charities transparency effect

Discourse: Corruption endangers, hijacks our democracy: KPK spokesman.  “Through our internal discussions, involving experts, and from the cases handled by the KPK, it has been confirmed that the oligarchy is the culprit that hijacks our democracy, although not all of the cases can be uncovered and be prosecuted as corruption cases.”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/04/15/discourse-corruption-endangers-hijacks-our-democracy-kpk-spokesman.htmlIMO Sets New Anti-Corruption Agenda.  The decision to include an anti-corruption agenda came at the latest meeting of the [International Maritime Organization’s] Facilitation Committee in response to a submission from Liberia, Marshall Islands, Norway, United Kingdom, United States and Vanuatu; the IMO will now work on a guidance document to address maritime corruption, expected to be completed by 2021.The Maritime Executive: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/imo-sets-new-anti-corruption-agendaTransparency f…

Philippines monitoring app / India FCPA case / Vietnam ex-TV chairman

Año urges installation of DevLIVE mobile app to keep track of infra projects.  The Philippines Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año has strongly pushed for the installation of the Development LIVE or DevLIVE mobile application, developed with the support of UNDP, to allow an easier monitoring and feedback on local infrastructure projects.Chito Chavez/Manila Bulletin: https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/04/12/ano-urges-installation-of-devlive-mobile-app-to-keep-track-of-infra-projects/Uber not alone in facing US probe for India ‘graft’.  Companies based and listed in the US are coming under scrutiny over allegations that they’ve been paying bribes to officials in India. Pavan Burugula/Economic Times:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/uber-not-alone-in-facing-us-probe-for-india-graft/articleshow/68898109.cmsBrother of richest Vietnamese man held for alleged bribery.  The latest ensnared in the anti-corruption drive i…

TI tracks IMF / Higher education corruption / Bangladesh airline report

The trillion dollar question: the IMF and anti-corruption one year on.  [Transparency International] looked at 60 of the reports published since the announcement of [IMF’s] new enhanced anti-corruption framework and compared them to the most recent previous report available for each country.Transparency International: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/the_trillion_dollar_question_the_imf_and_anti_corruption_one_year_onCall to fight the spread of corruption in HE globally (Opinion).  “[A] report found that, although in general [Accreditation and quality assurance bodies] AQABs have a range of sanctions they can apply to institutions to persuade them to address any evident corruption and malpractice, “most methods adopted for evaluating institutions are unlikely to uncover evidence of corruption”.Brendan O’Malley: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190412095537415Why is Biman marred by a litany of corruption?  The state-owned Biman airline faces a litan…

IMF urges measures / India political raids / Pakistan NAB prosecutor

IMF Encourages Tackling Corruption to Promote Growth.  An IMF report calls for governments to combat instances of national companies bribing officials in other countries, to be aggressive in anti-money laundering efforts, and to reduce the number of ways individuals or companies can use opaque methods to hide the gains of their corruption. It particularly cites the need to increase transparency in sectors such as oil and mining, where companies often operate abroad.VOA News: https://www.voanews.com/a/imf-encourages-tackling-corruption-to-promote-growth/4869719.html"Legitimate Action Against Corruption Not Vendetta": Arun Jaitley On IT Raids.  Taking note of the raids which India’s Income Tax Department has carried out, the Election Commission in its letter to Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had "strongly advised" that any action by its enforcement agencies during election time should be "neutral" and "non-discriminatory" and official…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (13 April 2019): Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Samoa

VANUATU:Former Vanuatu civil servant convicted of fraud. The former director of Vanuatu's public works department has been found guilty of defrauding the state.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/386754/former-vanuatu-civil-servant-convicted-of-fraudCOOK ISLANDS:Concern over lawyer in petition case. Questions are being raised whether the legal representation of a political aspirant in the High Court by the associate minister of Justice is a conflict of interest and breach of ethics.http://www.cookislandsnews.com/national/politics/item/72404-concern-over-lawyer-in-petition-case/72404-concern-over-lawyer-in-petition-caseSAMOA:Terminated Samoa CEO faces no criminal charges. The former chief executive officer was suspended by the Public Service Commission last year over allegations of corruption filed by a representative of a foreign company.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/386531/terminated-samoa-ceo-faces-no-criminal-chargesTo know more abo…

Viet Nam PAPI report / Corruption Challenges Index / Malaysia rejects Najib

Citizens are more satisfied with public services but concerned about environment, poverty and corruption: 2018 PAPI Report (Resource).  “The 2018 [Viet Nam] Public Administration Performance Indicator Report reveals general improvement in provincial and local government performance, with citizens reporting less corruption in health care and education, greater satisfaction with most basic public services, and more interactions with local officials.” UNDP Viet Nam: http://www.vn.undp.org/content/vietnam/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/PAPI2018.htmlCorruption Challenges Index 2019 – Corruption danger spots for business in 2019 (Resource).  “Top 3 sectors [in Asia] exposed to corruption according to our analysts: Construction and development, Infrastructure, Energy Generation and Distribution”.The Risk Advisory Group: https://www.riskadvisory.com/campaigns/corruption-challenges-index-2019-reveal/Malaysia Federal Court rejects Najib's three appeals in SRC case.  Malaysia'…

Chinese official tricks / Malaysia former first lady / India electoral bonds

Corrupt Chinese official who used spy movie tricks to hide bribes jailed for 18 years.  A report said Yang Guowen, formerly party secretary of the Jining district had taken so much in bribes that he needed to find places to hide the proceeds worth over 20 million yuan (US$2.98 mil), and was inspired by the movies to stash them in places such as chicken coops, coal sheds and disused water tanks.Echo Xie/South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3005443/corrupt-chinese-official-who-used-spy-movie-tricks-hide-bribesMalaysia former first lady hit with fresh corruption charge.  The wife of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak was hit with a new corruption charge over a solar energy contract, in which the Education Ministry awarded the 1.25 billion ringgit contract to supply and install solar energy panels in 369 schools in eastern Sarawak state on Borneo to Jepak without open tender.Associated Press/Yahoo News:https://sg.news.yahoo.com/mal…

IMF Fiscal Monitor / Korean Air shares / Thailand Election Commission

Fiscal Monitor: Curbing Corruption (Resource).  The IMF’s April 2019 edition of Fiscal Monitor is focused on two broad themes: fiscal policy in a fast-changing global economy and curbing corruption.International Monetary Fund: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/FM/Issues/2019/03/18/fiscal-monitor-april-2019Scandal-hit Korean Air chairman dies at 70, shares soar.  Cho Yang-ho, 70, was on trial for corruption and his death comes less than two weeks after he was forced off the board by shareholders amid snowballing scandals surrounding his family members. Following the news of his death, Hanjin KAL shares leaped 24 percent at one point in morning trade in Seoul, while Korean Air Lines opened more than 6 percent higher and other affiliates also rose.Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/1658496/scandal-hit-korean-air-chairman-dies-at-70-shares-soarEC allegations going to corruption watchdog.  An activist group plans to petition the Thai National Anti-Corruption Commi…

Myanmar low-cost solution / Bangladesh officials punished / Chinese billionaire visa

A Low-Cost, No-Tech Solution to Petty Corruption: Stickers (Blog).  "In the efforts to address corruption in developing countries, high-tech solutions are often given a lot of attention, due to both the power of technology to solve complex problems and perhaps the novelty of using a high-tech solution… Stickers are a refreshingly simple, no-tech solution to a complicated set of problems faced by developing governments, and may provide sustainable, maintainable, easy-to-use systems for combating petty corruption.”Jetson Leder-Luis/The Global Anti-Corruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/04/08/a-low-cost-no-tech-solution-to-petty-corruption-stickers/634 govt officials punished for irregularities, corruption.  Bangladesh’s State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said the ministry has punished the officials for violating the laws, per the Prime Minister’s ‘zero-tolerance’ stance against it.Dhaka Tribune: https://www.dhakatribune.com/banglade…

Tackling government corruption / Pakistan crypto laundering / Indonesia anti-corruption raid

Tackling Corruption in Government (Blog).  “We show that overall, the least corrupt governments collect 4 percent of GDP more in tax revenues than countries at the same level of economic development with the highest levels of corruption.”Victor Gaspar, Paolo Mauro and Paulo Medas/IMF Blog: https://blogs.imf.org/2019/04/04/tackling-corruption-in-government/Pakistan seeks transparency after crypto move.  “Financial Action Task Force officials have specifically identified cryptocurrencies as part of the terrorism-financing and money-laundering risk. Pakistani officials, being keen to comply with FATF recommendations, had little choice but to incorporate crypto regulations into their scope.”Atta Rasool Malik/Asia Times: https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/04/opinion/pakistan-seeks-transparency-after-crypto-move/KPK seizes thousands of suspected vote-buying envelopes from Golkar lawmaker.  The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has revealed that its investigators have found thum…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (6 April 2019): Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, PNG, Fiji

SOLOMON ISLANDS:What do Solomon Islands voters expect from the recent poll? Systemic corruption, high unemployment and poor government services combined with the concentration of wealth and development in the capital, Honiara, and a bulging youth population make Solomon Islands a certifiable ticking time bomb.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/2018689579/what-do-solomon-islands-voters-expect-from-the-recent-pollSolomons electoral candidate jailed for corruption.  In Solomon Islands an electoral candidate and former government official, Henry Murray, was sent to jail for four years for corruption. https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/386088/solomons-electoral-candidate-jailed-for-corruptionSolomon Islands Prepares for 3rd April. "A good leader from my perspective like first somebody who is god fearing, somebody who is righteous, somebody who hates corrupt practices and wicked practices."https://www.solomontimes.com/n…

India politics money / What 1MDB means / Myanmar improves image

How can India cleanse its politics of money? (Blog).  “First, [the Election Commission] can increase its control over campaign expenditures… Second, the EC needs to be more aggressive in using its power to issue advisory opinions on the post-election ineligibility of sitting MPs and MLAs.”Disha Verma/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/04/01/how-can-india-cleanse-its-politics-of-dirty-money%EF%BB%BF/1MDB scandal / Why the region’s corrupt politicians should watch the 1MDB trial closely (Opinion).  Asia Institute Tasmania director James Chin breaks down what the nation’s most high-profile trial means for the region’s once-untouchable political elite.Paul Millar/Southeast Asia Globe: http://sea-globe.com/regions-corrupt-politicians-should-watch-the-1mdb-trial-closely/Myanmar works to improve corruption image.  “Another challenge for Myanmar is to build an overall system of corruption prevention, capable of addressing corruption in procuremen…

Extractives beneficial ownership / UNCAC asset repatriation / Indonesia corporate liability

Who owns extractive resources in Asia? (Blog).  “Improving beneficial ownership transparency in the Asia and Pacific region is key to addressing corruption risks in the extractive sector, improving the business climate, avoiding conflicts of interests for politically exposed persons (PEPs), and preventing the use of shell companies from perpetrating illicit financial flows, money laundering and bribery.”Eddie Rich/The Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative: https://eiti.org/blog/who-owns-extractive-resources-in-asiaAsset Repatriation Under UNCAC (Blog).  “No international convention had ever before required a state where the proceeds or the instruments of the crime were found to return them to the state where the offense was committed.”Rick Messick/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/03/27/asset-repatriation-under-uncac/Cost of corruption for corporations in Indonesia.The successful implementation of corporate criminal liability in th…

OECD Beneficial Ownership / Malaysia judiciary report / US-China BRI debate

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A Beneficial Ownership Implementation Toolkit (Resource).  The first ever beneficial ownership toolkit was released in the context of the OECD’s Global Integrity and Anti-Corruption Forum, intended to help governments implement the Global Forum’s standards on ensuring that law enforcement officials have access to reliable information on who the ultimate beneficial owners are behind a company or other legal entity so that criminals can no longer hide their illicit activities behind opaque legal structures.OECD: http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/beneficial-ownership-toolkit.pdfMalaysia Judiciary and UNDP launch IFCE report.  UNDP supported the Malaysian judiciary to undertake a self-assessment survey based on the International Framework for Court Excellence framework, as well as UNDP’s Judicial Integrity Checklist intended for use by courts judicial integrity while recognising that judicial integrity measures are most effective when they are embedded into broader quality manage…

Quality boardrooms governance / China fungal bribes / Myanmar mining official

Quality boardrooms to sustain growth.  “The IOD will strengthen teams that engage with companies and push analysts to look beyond corporate governance rules into questions of boardroom behaviour and culture. Chiratas Nivatpumin/Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1654488/quality-boardrooms-to-sustain-growthChina's latest anti-corruption scandal features Himalayan Viagra fungus worth more than gold.  An anti-corruption body in China's Qinghai Province announced a three-month campaign, cracking down on officials being bribed with the “Himalayan Viagra” fungus.Tasha Wibawa/ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-29/china-anti-corruption-probe-target-himalayan-viagra/10941362Senior Mining Enterprise Official Arrested for Corruption.  U Than Daing, the managing director of the government’s mining enterprise was arrested on corruption charges, allebedly requesting a payment of about US$ 2,162 from a company hired to level land in Zabuthiri Township, …