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Showing posts from July, 2019

Indonesia SOE compliance / Thailand asset declaration / Sri Lanka political alternative

Corporate compliance key to corruption prevention (Opinion).  The upholding of corporate compliance serves as a sign that state losses will not be considered a criminal act of corruption. Meanwhile, a breach of corporate compliance serves as a red flag, based on which a court is likely to rule that state losses are criminal acts of corruption.Sechabudin and Imelda Napitupulu/The Jakarta Posthttps://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/07/25/corporate-compliance-key-to-corruption-prevention.htmlNACC panel looks to make listing assets more transparent.  Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has formed a panel to improve its asset declaration form to improve transparency, the commission's secretary-general Worawit Sukboon says, indicating that the form needs to be revised to address several concerns raised by people required to submit their assets and liabilities, as well as complaints by critics in the wake of a luxury watch controversy.Bangkok Post: https://w…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (27 July 2019): PNG, Fiji

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Stop bribery and Corruption, says PNG PM Marape.Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape wants bribery to stop in all walk of life in his country. The Prime Minister appeals to the public, company personnel, government officers and anyone to stop bribery and corruption. Mr. Marape says, he will setup special bribery and corruption unit through the Ombudsman and Police Force to fight bribery and corruption in the country. https://news.pngfacts.com/2019/07/stop-bribery-and-corruption-says-png-pm.htmlRoad-building spree in Papua New Guinea threatens environment, communities and economy.  A huge road-building scheme in Papua New Guinea could imperil some of the largest, biologically richest and culturally most diverse forests on the planet, says an international research team led by James Cook University in Australia.https://phys.org/news/2019-07-road-building-spree-papua-guinea-threatens.htmlFIJI: Former TLTB staff on corruption charges.A former Finance Clerk…

Privatization increases corruption / Thailand Microsoft probe / Myanmar forestry sector

Privatization Increases Corruption (Opinion).  “Statistical analysis of International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities on 141 developing countries from 1982 to 2014 has found that requiring privatization of SOEs has undermined anti-corruption efforts.”Jomo Kwame Sundaram/Inter Press Service: http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/07/privatization-increases-corruption/Probe looms in Microsoft case.  The Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand’s secretary-general, Mana Nimitmongkol, urges the National Anti-Corruption Commission to act, in response to reports that Microsoft agreed to pay about US$16.6 million (about 512 million baht) to settle a charge brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over kickbacks to government officials paid out by its executives in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.Kornchanok Raksaseri/Bangkok Posthttps://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1718255/probe-looms-in-microsoft-caseEITI applied in forestry sector for the f…

Top three challenges / Myanmar proposed law / India Power Department

Top Three Challenges and Good Practices in Anti-Corruption (Blog).  “Answering what are the main three challenges in fragile and conflict-affected states and developing countries was not easy; our experience is that corruption dynamics differ greatly from country to country, and across sectors.” Diana Chigas and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church/Tufts University:  https://sites.tufts.edu/ihs/top-three-challenges-and-good-practices-in-anti-corruption/Public access to info: Planned archives law alarms civil society.  Myanmar’s government is proposing a new law on storing records and archives which critics fear will restrict public access to state information.Thompson Chau/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/public-access-info-planned-archives-law-alarms-civil-society.htmlPower Dept SDO gets 5-yr jail in graft case.  In India, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rakesh Singh has awarded five-year imprisonment to a sub-divisional officer (SDO) of the electricity de…

China BRI anti-corruption / Malaysia beneficial ownership / Myanmar energy ministry

China to embed anti-corruption officers in BRI projects.  The Chinese Communist party’s top graft inspector, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), plans to expand its anti-corruption campaign overseas by embedding officers in countries participating in China’s global infrastructure scheme the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).China Economic Review: https://chinaeconomicreview.com/china-to-embed-anti-corruption-officers-in-bri-projects/Tackling beneficial ownership: MACC wants provision to identify real owners.  It's vital for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have its own provision on beneficial ownership in the MACC Act 2009 to identify real owners of businesses or properties to further eradicate corruption. Currently, there were provisions on beneficial ownership but it is under other legislations, such as the Companies Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA).Hemananthani Sivanandam/The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/…

Bangladesh ruling party / Thailand complaint calls / Malaysia police probe

‘ACC probing graft allegations against 10-15 ruling party men’.  Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been dealing with corruption allegations against about a dozen of the ruling party men, the commission’s Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said, although he did not disclose what level of the ruling party they belong to.The Daily Star: https://www.thedailystar.net/politics/acc-probing-graft-allegations-against-10-15-ruling-party-men-1774309Thailand’s anti-corruption hotline receives over 5,000 complaints in past two years.  912 complaints were lodged against state officials for misconduct and corrupt practices and forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation, of which 842 cases were resolved. The other 4,161 complaints were more about people’s well-being and hardship. National News Bureau of Thailand/Thailand Business News: https://www.thailand-business-news.com/politics/74711-thailands-anti-corruption-hotline-receives-over-5000-complaints-in…

Thailand integrity review / Indonesia House speaker / Singapore accountant jailed

Thailand and the OECD advance cooperation: Launch of the Integrity Review of Thailand Phase 2 and Capacity Building workshop on Public Ethics.  Three years after the start of the Integrity Review of Thailand, the Thai government is continuing its commitment to strengthen public integrity policies with a series of activities, including a second review phase under the OECD-Thai Country Programme, covering corruption risk management, international control and auditing, as well as integrity safeguards in decision-making processes and transparency in policy formulation.OECD: https://www.oecd.org/site/adboecdanti-corruptioninitiative/Thailand_and_the_OECD_advance_co-operation.pdfDPR deputy chairman Taufik Kurniawan gets 6 years for bribery.  The Semarang Corruption Court has sentenced Indonesia’s House of Representatives deputy speaker and senior National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Taufik Kurniawan to six years in prison for bribery in a case connected to special allocation fund…

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

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. PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG National Housing Commission's debts over K100 million : Tkatchenko. "The National Housing Corporation (NHC) has a liability of more than K100 million accumulated over many years,' the Housing and Urbanisation Minister Justin Tkatchenko said, adding that “It will be my task to clear all the liabilities and that everybody is accountable and proper financial processes are put in place to stop the leakages of money, rots and corruption.”https://news.pngfacts.com/2019/07/png-national-housing-commissions-debts.htmlBlockchain likely for mainstream adaption. In …

Future is Asian / Thailand cabinet task / India plane procurement

The Future is Asian, but Corruption Keeps it Mired in the Past (Blog).  “These are my four takeaways…:1) Transparency and access to information can disrupt the status quo…2) Tech solutions need to transition out from the experimental phase…3) Fast-track digitalization and e-governance solutions to eliminate red tape and optimize service delivery…4) Promote the engagement of the private sector as a critical driver of change.”Diana Torres/United Nations Development Programmehttps://medium.com/@UNDPasiapac/the-future-is-asian-but-corruption-keeps-it-mired-in-the-past-17b5f2dc659ePoll: Ending corruption should be cabinet priority.  “Asked what political problems [Thais] want the new cabinet to tackle, 56.3% mentioned corruption in spending on various projects; 33.9% want it to avoid persecution and smear campaigns; 25.9% said it should quickly bring about reforms to make politics truly democratic; 17.1% want individual ministries to produce concrete achievements, and 14.4% said i…

Thailand post office / Indonesia land reclamation / UNSSC online course

Fans purchase for post office blows up corruption allegations.  The sight of 30 fans mounted on the ceiling of a 60-square metre mail room at the Khu Khot post office, shared by Thailand Post's labour union, has amazed netizens and raised suspicions about irregularities in the procurement of office supplies by Thailand Post Co Ltd.Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1712036/fans-purchase-for-post-office-blows-up-corruption-allegationsIndonesian governor latest official busted for bribes in environmental case.  Nurdin Basirun, the Riau Islands governor is alleged to have taken the equivalent of at least $11,300 in bribes through a series of bank transfers made by Abu Bakar via the two fisheries department officials, in connection with a permit issued for land reclamation project in the province. Indra Nugraha/Mongabay: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/07/indonesian-governor-latest-official-busted-for-bribes-in-environmental-case/Moving from commitment to …

India port sector / Myanmar forestry SOE / Philippines SEC commended

Mumbai the first target for programme to tackle corruption in India's ports.  The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and the Indian government have linked up to tackle corruption in the country’s port sector, with a pilot scheme in the Mumbai gateway running until October.Gavin van Marle/The Load Star: https://theloadstar.com/mumbai-the-first-target-for-programme-to-tackle-corruption-in-indias-ports/Loopholes in Myanmar’s Forest Sector Cost Govt Million in Revenue (Interview-based).  “The government should focus on SOE law reform. Only [it] can control and give direction to the SOEs, define what their roles and responsibilities are and require them to disclose crucial information. SOEs are vital to our country, because they provide 50 percent of the government budget,” says Daw Khin Saw Ktay, a policy analyst at Forest Trends.Nan Lwin/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/in-person/loopholes-myanmars-forest-sector-cost-govt-million-revenue.htmlCoA affirms SEC fight …

Bangladesh government performance / Thailand education system / International Justice Day

PM: Corruption must be contained for uninterrupted development.  Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the signing of the Annual Performance Agreement, which aims to promote accountability through all levels of government by evaluating their yearly performance, has asked the top government officials to be more vigilant against corruption so it does not affect the country's development in any way.Dhaka Tribune: https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/government-affairs/2019/07/13/pm-zero-tolerance-on-corruptionThai education system: Completely corrupt (Opinion).  “…does Thailand have one of the worst education systems in the world? Certainly not. But it’s also certainly not as good as it can be and it’s a pretty safe bet that the rampant corruption present in the system there is one of the reasons for that.”  Sheith Khidhir/The ASEAN Post: https://theaseanpost.com/article/thai-education-system-completely-corruptInternational Justice Day: Corruption v/s Development thr…

BRI transparency boost / Indonesia water privatization / Bangladesh ex-CJ charged

China must ensure transparency to boost credibility of Belt and Road projects, former US diplomat says.  “It is in China’s interest to persuade the host countries to provide more transparency, you can’t force them but you can persuade them. For one thing, transparency is the enemy of corruption and corruption is the enemy of successful and financially sustainable projects”, said Russel, who served as the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2013 to 2017.Amanda Lee/South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3018185/china-must-ensure-transparency-boost-credibility-belt-andWater privatization polluted with corruption: Coalition.  Members of the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ) handed 25 pieces of evidence to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to support their claims about the city’s water privatization policy, which the coalition claims is tainted with corruption and …

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (13 July 2019): PNG, Solomon Islands

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG govt to review laws protecting whistleblowers.  Papua New Guinea's prime minister says his cabinet will review laws protecting whistleblowers.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/394060/png-govt-to-review-laws-protecting-whistleblowersSacked PNG police chief challenges cabinet move.Papua New Guinea's sacked police commissioner Gary Baki said despite the new government of James Marape signalling intent to crackdown on corruption, the appointment of a new police leadership was "not beneficial for good governance, transparency or accountability".https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/393877/sacked-png-police-chief-challenges-cabinet-moveSOLOMON ISLANDS: Govt urged to clean up ‘mess’.  “Whilst I am pleased to hear Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s call on government officials not to abuse powers vested on them in his 41st Independence Anniversary Speech, the call will become another political rhetoric unless he takes th…

Thailand outgoing regime / Indonesia beneficial ownership / Asia infrastructure transparency

PM wins poor transparency marks.  Thailand’s outgoing regime appeared to succeed in promoting transparency in procurement projects early in its tenure. However, in the last two years questions were raised over its handling of infrastructure projects, Tippatrai Saelawong, a researcher in regulatory policy said.Mongkol Bangprapa and Aekarach Sattaburuth/Bangkok Posthttps://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/1710219/pm-wins-poor-transparency-marksIndonesia vows to eradicate corporate money laundering, tax evasion.  The government is set to intensify its crackdown on people hiding behind business entities for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion following the signing of an interministerial agreement on sharing information on corporations’ beneficial owners. The MoU was signed by several ministers and their representatives, including Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.Kharishar Kahfi/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejaka…

Indonesia asset recovery / Japan anti-bribery enforcement / Thailand education corruption

Why has the long hunt for Soeharto’s ill-gotten wealth not produced results? (Editorial).  “In 1998, Soeharto fell as the head of the government, but his family’s roots remained intact in the Indonesian legislature.”ASEAN Today: https://www.aseantoday.com/2019/07/why-has-the-long-hunt-for-soehartos-ill-gotten-wealth-not-produced-results/Antibribery Group Presses Japan to Increase Its Enforcement.  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions said Japan has made some progress since the previous evaluation in 2011, but it also has one of the least stringent enforcement rates given the size and range of its economy.Mengqi Sun/The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/antibribery-group-presses-japan-to-increase-its-enforcement-11562358112Graft rife in schools, study finds.  The acts of corruption, said Assoc Prof Pornamarin Promgrid of Thailand’s Khon Kaen University, range from the embezzling o…

Myanmar investment transparency / Hong Kong contract bribery / Approaches to anti-corruption

Myanmar Investment Commission accused of transparency failures.  Multiple transparency failures by the Myanmar Investment Commission to publicise proposed infrastructure projects are exacerbating tensions between local communities, the government and big business – since even more than two years since the Investment Law came into force, legal requirements for disclosure by both the MIC and investors are still not met.Thompson Chau/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-investment-commission-accused-transparency-failures.htmlFormer Highways Department official in Hong Kong jailed for accepting HK$50,000 bribe from subcontractor for road project in Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel.  While no one had witnessed the transaction, the ex-chief technical officer Chan You-wai returned to Hong Kong with an envelope of 50 HK$1,000 notes stained with Cheng Cho-yee’s DNA.Chris Lau/South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3017133/former-high…

Pakistan anti-corruption drive / China shipbuilding giant / Thailand school lunch

'Government go-slow', as Pakistan's anti-corruption drive bites.  An anti-graft crusade promoted by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has led to swathes of arrests of politicians, but critics say the economy is suffering as vital projects are put on hold by officials fearful of being caught up in the dragnet.Drazen Jorgic/Yahoo News: https://news.yahoo.com/government-slow-pakistans-anti-corruption-113954843.htmlFormer General Manager of State Shipbuilding Giant Gets 12 Years for Corruption.  Sun Bo abused his position at China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSIC) and broke corporate accounting regulations for the benefit of his own career — a charge that usually refers to falsifying financial records — while causing “significant losses” to the national interest, a local court in Shanghai ruled, without providing further details. Zhao Runhua/Caixin Global: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-07-05/former-general-manager-of-state-shipbuilding-giant-gets-12-years-for-cor…

Myanmar judiciary management / Philippines bank secrecy / Hong Kong bans banker

Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw courts implement case management plan.  Fifteen courts in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw are implementing a case management plan to try to restore the public’s faith in the judicial system, as part of the Union Supreme Court’s Judicial Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.Kyaw Ko Ko/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/mandalay-nay-pyi-taw-courts-implement-case-management-plan.htmlBSP chief asks Congress to ease bank secrecy law.  The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor, Benjamin Diokno who was also the former Budget secretary, has asked Congress to ease the country’s restrictive bank secrecy laws to safeguard the Philippine economy and weed out corruption.Darryl John Esguerra/Inquirer.net: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1137717/bsp-chief-asks-congress-to-ease-bank-secrecy-lawHong Kong Bans Former Goldman Sachs Banker Leissner for Life.  Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission banned former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner from the city’…

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

A South Pacific Drug Highway is Causing Big Problems for Island Communities.  Superintendent Brett Kidner, senior liaison officer for the Australian federal police pointed to some of the larger Pacific nations that have, in recent years, become plagued by drug abuse and related social issues—addiction, crime, gang violence, police corruption—as more narcotics have poured into the communities.https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/3k3wjv/south-pacific-drug-cocaine-methamphetamine-trafficking-smuggling-highway-causing-big-problems-island-communities-fiji-tonga-vanuatu-new-caledoniaSOLOMON ISLANDS: How do women feel the effects of corruption? (Blog).  "The conversations show that people are aware of the costs and impacts of corruption — from unfair access to healthcare and education to misuse of public monies. But what are Solomon Islanders saying when they discuss corruption? Turns out, it depends on where they are."  http://www.pacific.undp.org/content/pacific/en/home/blog/2…

G20 whistleblower protection / Malaysia asset declaration / Nepal realizing accountability

New G20 principles on whistleblower protection must be urgently implemented (Statement/Press release).  “More than 400 CSOs and trade unions from around the world had called for G20 principles that protect both public and private sector whistleblowers, regardless of their contractual relationship. In implementing the principles, governments should ensure that private sector whistleblowers are equally protected.”Transparency International:  https://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/new_g20_principles_on_whistleblower_protection_must_be_urgently_implementedMalaysian MPs approve move to declare assets in bid to clean up politics.  All Malaysian MPs must declare their assets or face censure by parliament's disciplinary panel, as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government won a unanimous vote on July 1 that should ease criticism of walking back on promises of reform.  Shannon Teoh/The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysian-mps-to-declare-assets-in-bid-…

Anti-corruption SDGs integration / China metro contract / Myanmar laundering watch

Integrate anti-graft initiatives into SDG (Opinion).  “It would be better and more challenging if the National Anti-Corruption Plan (2019-2023) encapsulates anti-corruption and SDGs that foster an end to poverty, protect the planet, and advance prosperity and peace in parallel with making Malaysia a greater corrupt-free nation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity.”K.M. Loi/New Straits Times:  https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/06/494601/integrate-anti-graft-initiatives-sdgQingdao metro hit by shoddy building scandal.  The company, in China’s eastern Shandong province, will also fine the state-owned Gezhouba company after it was found to have illegally subcontracted parts of the project, which involved the power supply system to the line 1.  DM Chan/Asia Times: https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/07/article/qingdao-metro-hit-by-shoddy-building-scandal/Closely watching money laundering and terror funding.  Myanmar’s anti-money laundering Central Team Joint…

G20 anti-corruption agenda / Myanmar drugs money / Facebook cryptocurrency risks

Keeping corruption on the global agenda (Blog).  “G20 Governments can help support [integrity] efforts by creating a level playing field through fair and transparent processes and fair, effective law enforcement which, collectively, will also help address areas such as inappropriate sales practices and regulatory capture.”Nick Hirons and Robert Barrington/Voices for Transparency: https://voices.transparency.org/keeping-corruption-on-the-global-agenda-1e94f47c58bd90 Pct. of Money Laundering Cases Tied to Drugs.  According to U Maung Maung Kyaw, director general of Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs’ Bureau of Special Investigations, 90 percent of the money laundering cases his bureau investigates are tied to drugs.Htet Naing Zaw/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/90-pct-money-laundering-cases-tied-drugs.htmlFacebook’s Libra – An Enabler of Money Laundering? (Opinion).  “Libra could very well become the enabler of money laundering on a massive scale – and no am…

China rural governance / Thailand asset borrowing / Indonesia minister donation

China issues guideline for enhancing rural governance.  The guideline listed 17 main tasks including improving systems and mechanisms of rural governance led by village Party organizations, regulating affairs managed by village organizations, honing villagers' ability of self-governance, introducing various consultation mechanisms about village affairs, providing better cultural services for rural residents, ensuring law and order and fighting corruption at the primary level.Xinhua: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-06/23/c_138167126.htmMPs can borrow watches, anti-graft officials rule.  Using the same argument that cleared Thailand’s deputy junta chairman Prawit Wongsuwan of his luxury watch scandals, the Anti-Corruption Commission said politicians and officials are only required to declare their own assets in mandatory transparency reports, which does not include stuff borrowed temporarily.Teeranai Charuvastra/Khaosod English:  http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/…

OGP and SDGs / Crypto laundering crackdown / Malaysia asset recovery

How to Get Beyond the Doom and Gloom: Align OGP with the Sustainable Development Goals (Blog).  “As a voluntary independent platform, OGP can help increase public awareness of the SDGs.  OGP can help nudge greater collaboration (including from donors) around the 16+ agenda, as is occurring with other SDG clusters, such as those around climate.”Sarah Mendelson/Open Government Partnership: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/stories/how-to-get-beyond-the-doom-and-gloom-align-ogp-with-the-sustainable-development-goals/Global money-laundering watchdog launches crackdown on cryptocurrencies.  Countries will be compelled to register and supervise cryptocurrency-related firms such as exchanges and custodians, which will have to carry out detailed checks on customers and report suspicious transactions, the Financial Action Task Force said in a statement. John O’Donnell and Tom Wilson/Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-moneylaundering-crypto-fatf/global-money-laundering-watchdog-…