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Showing posts from August, 2019

India officials fired / Cambodia crackdown analysis / Malaysia Najib prosecution

Modi govt sacks another 22 senior officials in latest crackdown on corruption.  “[India’s] Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has compulsorily retired 22 senior government officials in "public interest" on charges of corruption…The latest batch of officers who were shown the door comprised those dealing with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Customers from across various zones in the country.”India Today: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/modi-govt-crackdown-on-corruption-sacks-22-officials-1591607-2019-08-26The Truth About Cambodia’s So-Called Corruption Crackdown (Opinion).  “…the point is that they do not change the broader realities in Cambodia that would make any seemingly revolutionary corruption crackdown seem more like a periodic purge.”David Hutt/The Diplomat: https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/the-truth-about-cambodias-so-called-corruption-crackdown/Prosecution rests case on Najib’s RM42m SRC International corruption trial.  Attorney Ge…

Business integrity lesson / Indonesia KPK leadership / Technology for transparency

What PH can learn from Kenya in fight vs corruption.  “This is how [Blue Company Project] works: Corporations sworn to ethical standards and best sustainable practices in daily operations apply for a “Blue Company” stamp. Once certified, they encourage their suppliers and service providers to “go Blue” as well.”Emmie G. Velarde/Inquirer.net: https://business.inquirer.net/277524/what-ph-can-learn-from-kenya-in-fight-vs-corruptionGraft watchdogs cry foul over ‘conflict of interest’ in KPK leadership race.  A coalition of civil society organizations - including Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation (YLBHI), the Center for Indonesian Law and Policy Studies (PSHK), and the Jakarta Legal Aid Society (LBH Jakarta) - said that several selection committee members for the next leaders of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission were suspected of having conflicts of interest that made them unfit to sit on the committee.Karina M. Tehusijarana…

Myanmar illegal loggers / Iran probe debate / Bangladesh land services

Locals Say Officials Took Bribes, Freed Illegal Loggers in W. Myanmar.  Lower House lawmaker U Myint Wai, of Rakhine State’s Gwa Township, accused forest department staff and police of setting free illegal loggers arrested in his constituency in May.Htet Naing Zaw/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/locals-say-officials-took-bribes-freed-illegal-loggers-w-myanmar.htmlCorruption Probe Or Power Struggle? Iran's Former Judiciary Chief Comes Under Attack.  “As head of Iran's judiciary for a decade, Sadegh Amoli Larijani held significant power to use the country's legal system…Within months of a new judiciary chief's appointment in March, Larijani's political enemies looked to have been hitting back.”Golnaz Esfandiari/Radio Free Europe: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-larijani-judiciary-chief-corruption-attack/30127184.html‘Ensure corruption-free services regarding land’. “The [Bangladesh] government officials are paid handsome salary that comes fro…

Thailand anti-corruption education / India minister arrest / New KickBack podcast

NACC urges spending on graft-busting lessons.  Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) hopes the government will allocate budget funds to the Education Ministry to educate students and the public about fighting corruption, commission president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said, adding that without a sufficient budget, the Education Ministry will have a difficult time maintaining public awareness about the dangers of corruption.Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1733355/nacc-urges-spend-on-graft-busting-lessonsA timeline of key events that led to the arrest of India’s former finance minister.  The case involves alleged irregularities in clearing overseas investments of Rs305 crore ($42.8 million) into the Mumbai-based INX Media group (now 9X media) in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure.Niharika Sharma/Quartz: https://qz.com/india/1692837/timeline-of-chidambaram-and-kartis-inx-media-case/New Podcast Episode, Featuring Oz Dincer (Blog/Podcast).  “…

Thai NACC emboldened / Nepal cases decreased / Iran car manufacturers

NACC makes bolder calls (Editorial).  “Indeed, even though six of [the Thai National Anti-Corruption Commission’s] nine commissioners were appointed by the former regime's lawmakers, these recent decisions are a welcome step towards a seemingly more impartial and more independent anti-corruption watchdog.”Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1732607/nacc-makes-bolder-callsCorruption under control, says Minister Baskota.  Nepal’s Ministry of Communications and Information claimed that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority was bringing the corrupt to book. “The anti-graft body is working actively. Corruption cases in the country have decreased due to the active role of the CIAA,” Minister Baskota said.The Himalayan Times: https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/corruption-under-control-says-minister-baskota/Lawmaker Says Iran Car Manufacturers Mired In Corruption.  Iranian car manufacturers are mostly directly or indirectly government-owne…

Philippines corruption cost / Indonesia corruption fighters / Pakistan asset recovery

P700 billion lost yearly due to corruption, says official.  The Philippines is losing around P700 billion (approx. US$13.3 billion), or around 20 percent of the country's total budget appropriation, yearly, due to corruption, an official said. Ron Gagalac/ABS-CBN News: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/08/15/19/p700-billion-lost-yearly-due-to-corruption-says-officialMolotov cocktails and acid attacks: The risky life of an Indonesian corruption fighter (Interview).  “In an exclusive interview with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, KPK Deputy Commissioner Laode Muhammad Syarif – one of the targets of the Molotov cocktail attack last January with chair Agus Rahardjo – says KPK staff face threats to their physical safety and that protection of commission staff is inadequate.”James Massola, Karuni Rompies and Laode Muhammad Syarif/The Sydney Morning Herald:  https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/molotov-cocktails-and-acid-attacks-the-risky-life-of-an-indonesian-corruption-fighter…

Thailand anti-corruption deputy / Philippines gift policy / Afghanistan release criticized

NACC turns its guns on deputy chief Prayat.  Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has recommended indicting its deputy secretary-general Prayat Puangjumpa for being unusually rich, after it found that he have amassed vast wealth and was accused of concealing them in his mandatory asset declaration to the NACC.Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1731015/nacc-turns-its-guns-on-deputy-chief-prayatLacson to Duterte: Insatiable greed starts with simple, petty graft.  This was the answer of Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, the former Philippine National Police chief, to President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that it was okay for police officers to accept “gifts” out of gratitude while speaking at the 118th Policy Service anniversary.Katrina Hallare/Inquirer.net: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1152446/lacson-to-duterte-insatiable-greed-starts-with-simple-petty-graftUS Envoy slams Afghan government’s anti-corruption resolve. The United States criticized …

Bhutan anti-corruption strategy / Myanmar Mandalay SMEs / Thailand CAC interview

NIACS 2019-2023 launched: Decoding DAMTSI for a happy, harmonious and corruption free society.  In an effort to reinforce ‘DAMTSI’ [Developing Accountable, Moral and Transparent Systems and Individuals] as the core Bhutanese value, His Excellency Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering, Hon’ble Prime Minister launched the ‘National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (NIACS) 2019-2023’ in Thimphu where he was joined by His Eminence Laytshog Lopen of Zhung Dratshang (Central Monastic Body), Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan and Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission.The Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan: https://www.acc.org.bt/?q=node/2078Click here for the full National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (NIACS) 2019-2023:  https://www.acc.org.bt/pdf/NIACS%202019-2023.pdfSMEs need policies tailored for growth to flourish: MRCCI.  The regional lobby group Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI) pointed out that SMEs in the region faced a number of obs…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (17 August 2019): Samoa, PNG

The state of the Pacific as the 2019 Forum convenes. As with the O’Neill government, the critical question for Marape will be the handling of corruption, not because of external pressure on that front (nowadays much diminished), but due to domestic concern about the antics of PNG elites during the country’s liquid natural gas boom.https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/state-pacific-2019-forum-convenesSAMOA: Corruption definitions changeable, journalism constant. Varying definitions of corruption pose a challenge to journalists covering corruption but it's far from insurmountable, an Australian journalist has told a workshop on reporting on corruption.https://www.samoaobserver.ws/category/samoa/47430Workshop on Investigative Reporting for Samoa Journalistshttps://youtu.be/TTi7gNiexE8PNG:'I will eventually get killed': Meet Bryan Kramer, Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption tsar. “My response was, God will decide when it is time for me to leave this earth and…

PR for anti-corruption / Myanmar business data / Philippines rep suspended

The Importance of Public Relations in the Fight against Corruption (Blog).  “Of course a badly-designed PR effort can waste resources. Yet effective anticorruption PR helps accomplish several goals that other, “harder” anticorruption measures are incapable or ineffective at achieving on their own…”Jason Kohn/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/08/09/the-importance-of-public-relations-in-the-fight-against-corruption/MBEI: Measuring Myanmar’s business landscape with data for policymakers (Interview).  “Businesses require [government transparency] in order to effectively comply with law, but they also use it to plan for growth. For this reason, [it] cuts across many of the issues most important to Myanmar businesses, including land, corruption, regulation and more.”Thompson Chau and Jon Keesecker: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/mbei-measuring-myanmars-business-landscape-data-policymakers.htmlSandiganbayan suspends Romblon solon over graft case. 

Malaysia car inspection / Singapore shell accounts / Nepal CCIA operations

Graft putting unsafe vehicles on the road, says Puspakom man.  A Puspakom officer has alleged that corruption is rife among officers in the mobile service of the vehicle inspection monopoly; the mobile inspectors would take bribes to give the all-clear for vehicles that are not roadworthy – the amount depending on the complexity of the problem with the vehicle.Minderjeet Kaur/Free Malaysia Today:  https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/08/12/graft-putting-unsafe-vehicles-on-the-road-says-puspakom-man/Singapore steps up scrutiny of shell firms to combat money laundering.  Valerie Tay, who heads the anti-money laundering department at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said banks had closed accounts of several onshore shell companies over the past year, after detecting unlawful transactions.Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-cenbank/singapore-steps-up-scrutiny-of-shell-firms-to-combat-money-laundering-idUSKCN1V2231Anti-graft body steps up…

China companies crackdown / Philippines gifts-bribery remark / Afghanistan ghost soldiers

Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent’s war on corruption.  “[China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection], despite its interest in using tech company corruption cases to promote its anti-graft message, does not have jurisdiction over these tech giants, which are predominantly private business.”Luna Lin/KrAsia: https://www.kr-asia.com/baidu-alibaba-and-tencents-war-on-corruptionPalace on Duterte’s ‘gifts-not bribery’ remark: Abogado ang Pangulo.  “Citing Republic Act 3019, [the Philippines Presidential Spokesperson] Panelo clarified that the anti-graft provisions do not apply to “unsolicited gifts or presents of small or insignificant value offered or given as a mere ordinary token of gratitude or friendship according to local customs or usage.”Prince Golez/Politiko: https://politics.com.ph/palace-on-dutertes-gifts-not-bribery-remark-abogado-ang-pangulo/Afghanistan Loses 42,000 Troops in Crackdown on 'Ghost Soldiers'.  “the number of Afghan troops and police on the books f…

Afghanistan new project / Myanmar corruption culture / Bangladesh education recommendations

Anti-Corruption Efforts in Afghanistan to be Strengthened.  The Afghanistan Anti-Corruption, Transparency, Integrity and Openness (ACTION) Project, funded by the Royal Danish Embassy and to be implemented by UNDP, is designed to provide technical support to the government’s justice institutions, namely the Anti-corruption Justice Center (ACJC) to enhance their capacity to address high-level corruption cases.United Nations Development Programmehttp://www.af.undp.org/content/afghanistan/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2019/Anti-Corruption-tobe-Strengthened.htmlMyanmar struggles to tackle corruption culture.  A survey commissioned by the ACC earlier this year supported that corruption thrived among government staff, with 90% of the respondents saying they experienced difficulty doing the business with the government unless they bribed officials.Kyaw Ye Lynn/Andalou Agency: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/myanmar-struggles-to-tackle-corruption-culture/1552524TIB places pro…

Fair business update / MNCs extraterritorial law / 'Zero Tolerance' criticisms

UNDP Fair Biz in ASEAN Quarterly Newsletter.  Check out UNDP ‘Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN’ project’s the latest updates for the period of May to July 2019, with highlights in areas of multi-stakeholder engagement, business integrity, and anti-corruption measures.United Nations Development Programme: https://mailchi.mp/226680fb64f1/fairbizinasean-302327?e=5997629835We Need An Extraterritorial Law To Hold Companies Responsible For Clean Global Supply Chains (Blog).  “…thanks to pervasive corruption in much of the developing world, cutthroat competition for [Multi-National Companies] customers will inevitably lead to more disasters like Rana Plaza [in Bangladesh], unless MNCs make it clear that they won’t buy from suppliers who violate local health or safety laws.”Disha Verma/The Global Anticorruption Blog:  https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/08/05/we-need-an-extraterritorial-law-to-hold-companies-responsible-for-clean-global-supply-chains/Even “Tough on…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (10 August 2019): PNG, Fiji

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG: some reform suggestions.  “The first, and indeed the reform being emphasised by the Marape administration itself, is to fix governance. No one can argue against the proposition that PNG, its people and its economy would benefit from less corruption and stronger law and order.”https://www.devpolicy.org/png-some-reform-suggestions-20190808/Former PNG chief justice to lead UBS inquiry.  Papua New Guinea's recently retired Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia will chair the commission of inquiry into the controversial UBS loan.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/396247/former-png-chief-justice-to-lead-ubs-inquiryReduce crime, corruption to take back PNG, says Manning.  In support of the government’s intent on “taking back PNG”, crime and corruption must be reduced significantly, says acting Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Police Operations David Manning.https://postcourier.com.pg/reduce-crime-corruption-take-back-png-says-manning/FIJI: Ministry emp…

Myanmar responsible business / Indonesia rector election / India government's argument

Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business August Newsletter.  Read about what has been happening in Myanmar on the responsible business conduct and business integrity agenda – including the work with SMEs done in partnership with UNDP.Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business: https://mailchi.mp/myanmar-responsiblebusiness/2019-08Corruption major issue in rector election.  As several Indonesian state universities kicked off the election of their new rectors recently, academic authorities and civil society organizations are calling on election committees and other related stakeholders to stay away from corrupt practices and conflict of interest in the process. Some officials have already approached KPK to ask the antigraft body to help safeguard the process.Kharishar Kahfi/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/08/06/corruption-major-issue-in-rector-election.htmlArticle 370 was elephant in the room, prevented curbing terrorism, corruption: Govt.  Amidst the debate…

Sri Lanka law amendment / China business cases / Nepal investigation process

Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption agency to introduce sweeping legislation to curb graft.  Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Director General Sarath Jayamanne revealed that the new proposed amendments to several acts would allow the CIABOC to investigate and charge corrupt practices in the private sector, while holding public officials, including politicians, more accountable.Daily Mirror: http://www.dailymirror.lk/business-news/Sri-Lankas-anti-corruption-agency-to-introduce-sweeping-legislation-to-curb-graft/273-172145Dozens of employees at Baidu and Didi fired for corruption.  Baidu, whose paid listing scheme was previously involved in healthcare industry scandals, has fired 14 staffs linked to 12 internal corruption cases, and said that it will transfer some of the cases to the police for further investigation as well.Luna Lin/KrAsia: https://kr-asia.com/dozens-of-employees-at-baidu-and-didi-fired-for-corruptionSuspected suicides by people unde…

Anti-money laundering tech / Singapore site manager / Philippines SEA Games

Troops Wanted: Anti Money Laundering Tech needs the right talent to win battle against criminals (Blog).  “Anti-money laundering tech is not sophisticated enough across the board to consistently fight back against determined fraudsters who are also investing in new tactics. Some are winning the battle but for the war to be won, the partnership of intelligent and high scale IT with skilled people at the helm must form quickly.”Gareth Williams/Finextra: https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/17697/troops-wanted-anti-money-laundering-tech-needs-the-right-talent-to-win-battle-against-criminalsFormer site manager fined S$30,000 for corruption.  Kolanji Govindan, a 47-year-old former site manager has been fined S$30,000 for taking bribes in exchange for recommending another firm to do scaffolding support works for his company.Channel NewsAsia: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/corruption-cpib-fined-former-site-manager-11772742Duterte wants SEA Games committee out of pictur…

UNODC anti-corruption newsletter / Accountability despite fragility / Iran elites crackdown

UNODC Anti-Corruption Newsletter: South and Southeast Asia Q2 2019.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:  https://www.unodc.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//topics/anti-corruption/UNODC_AC_Newsletter_Q2_2019.htmlAccountability Despite Fragility: Lessons for Supporting Budget Transparency in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings (Blog).  “Rather than seeing fragility and conflict as barriers to budget transparency work, donors should see them as opportunities to help rebuild budget systems in ways that embed transparency and accountability for aligning spending with citizens needs.”Alden LeClair/Transparency and Accountability Initiative: https://www.transparency-initiative.org/blog/5209/supporting-budget-transparency-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-settings/Iran's crackdown on corruption reaches elites.  “The judges who issued the hefty verdicts earned praise for dodging pressure from powerful politicians…The Iranian judiciary has been traditionally controlled…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (3 Aug 2019): Solomon Islands, PNG, Samoa, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia

Training in the Pacific. Fourteen representatives from seven Pacific countries undertake Ombudsman investigator training in Fiji, following a two-day workshop in March in Vanuatu when the Office of the New Zealand Ombudsman delivered training on prison investigations and inspections.http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2019/07/training-in-the-pacific/SOLOMON ISLANDS: Solomons govt to launch anti-corruption commission this year.  The Solomon Islands government is planning to launch the country's first Independent Commission Against Corruption before the end of the year.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/395598/solomons-govt-to-launch-anti-corruption-commission-this-yearPolice Urges Public to Raise Complaints Through Right Channel.  Provincial Police Commander (PPC) of Temotu Province pointed out: “RSIPF officers shall not commit or attempt to commit an act of corruption or abuse of power as clearly stipulated in schedule 1, regulation 3 of the Police Act 2013 –Regulations…

Indonesia KPK selection / LGBTI rights connection / Viet Nam activist jailed

Anticorruption campaigners call for Jokowi to intervene in KPK race.  “Apart from the controversial figures vying for the KPK’s top posts, constitutional law expert Feri Amsari of Andalas University in West Sumatra also criticized the selection team’s decision not to include wealth reports (LHKPN) as a requirement in the selection process, adding that the President would be responsible if the KPK failed to operate effectively.”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/30/anticorruption-campaigners-call-for-jokowi-to-intervene-in-kpk-race.htmlLGBTI+ Rights and Corruption: What’s the Connection? (Blog).  “Reduction of extortion risks and economic losses through the inclusion of LGBTI+ people are businesses’ chance to effectively match moral commitments with financial interests by engaging more stakeholders, which is CIPE’s specialty.”James Reston/Center for International Private Enterprisehttps://www.cipe.org/blog/2019/03/27/lgbti-rights-and-corruption-what…