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Showing posts from September, 2019

Right to information / IMF programmes' effect / Indonesia law reconsidered

Real lives, real stories: The Power of Information in Asia Pacific (Resource).  “In this publication, we focus on the people who make right to information laws come to life, and who use them as tools to fight corruption. In the following pages, you will find the stories of citizens from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region who have used their right to information to demand accountability from their governments.”Transparency International: https://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/real_lives_real_stories_the_power_of_information_in_asia_pacificHow IMF programmes can increase corruption (Opinion).  “But the IMF also needs to avoid mandating policy reforms that weaken state institutions. And it must find ways to compensate for losses of privileges incurred by powerful interest groups. Otherwise, corruption will thrive.”Bernhard Reinsberg and Thomas Stubbs/The Conversation: http://theconversation.com/how-imf-programmes-can-increase-corruption-123718After protests, In…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (28 September 2019): Solomon Islands, PNG

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The U.S. Sees Taiwan’s Allies as Trade War Weapons—And Beijing Keeps Luring Them Away.  In addition to expected infrastructure projects, Beijing also agreed to maintain the aid Taiwan had supplied to the Solomon Islands via the rural constituency fund, according to a Solomon Islands parliamentarian. Such funds have been given directly to Solomon Islands MPs to use at their discretion, and have long been plagued by allegations of corruption.https://fortune.com/2019/09/25/us-china-trade-war-taiwan-allies/PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Unlawful conduct stops ICA from carrying out duties. Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha has raised concerns on police failing to prosecute cases of corrupt immigration officers referred to them, and police officers colluding with unlawful non-citizens to prevent their deportation. https://postcourier.com.pg/unlawful-conduct-stops-ica-from-carrying-out-duties/To know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact th…

Indonesia students protest / Singapore business law / India loan bribery

Indonesia students rally against changes to corruption law.  Thousands of university students are staging rallies across Indonesia to show their opposition to a new law they say has crippled the country’s anti-corruption agency, after Indonesia’s parliament passed a law last week that reduces the authority of the Corruption Eradication Commission.City News 1130: https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/09/24/indonesia-students-rally-against-changes-to-corruption-law/Companies can implement policies to minimise risk of corruption (Opinion).  “As good practice, private companies are also strongly encouraged to implement their own policies on gift-giving to ensure that employees do not run afoul of the law. Companies can refer to Pact: A Practical Anti-Corruption Guide For Businesses In Singapore.”Dr Yik Keng Yeong and Mr Heng Cho Choon/The Straits Times:  https://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/companies-can-implement-policies-to-minimise-risk-of-corruptionCBI arrests PNB mana…

Myanmar ACC's defense / Indonesia women legislators / Philippines laundering risk

Myanmar Corruption Busters Defend Poor Record Against Top Figures. In response to complaints that the Myanmar Anti-Corruption Commission is only taking action against junior civil servants and not those in positions of power, chief investigator of the commission U Thant Zaw explained that as many as 75 percent of complaints it received were filed against the rank and file and not the upper echelons.Htet Naing Zaw/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-corruption-busters-defend-poor-record-top-figures.htmlWomen legislators must win public’s trust by avoiding corruption: Women’s empowerment minister. “The women politicians that will sit in the House of Representatives for the 2019-2024 term need to demonstrate good performance and avoid corrupt practices, otherwise voters will lose trust in them, [Indonesia’s Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister] said.The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/21/women-legislators-must-win-publ…

Indonesia rainforest links / Republic of Korea corporate governance / Malaysia CPI measures

Indonesia reboots effort to end corporate secrecy as anonymous firms destroy Papuan rainforest.  “The U.N. Convention against Corruption, ratified by Indonesia, encourages states to promote beneficial ownership transparency as a means of combating graft. If successful, these efforts may also have consequences in the forests of Indonesia, where investors driving deforestation remain hidden behind layers of corporate secrecy.”The Gecko Project: https://thegeckoproject.org/indonesia-reboots-effort-to-end-corporate-secrecy-as-anonymous-firms-destroy-papuan-rainforest-87ad2a8f8a97Why governance reform is key to make chaebol accountable (Opinion).  “To enact some semblance of control over chaebol [or large family-owned business conglomerates], the government has focused on cracking down on corruption and taking executives to court; however, this does not appear to be the sole solution to reforms. In fact, a focus on reforming the governance structures of these organizations may be a …

Bangladesh project delays / Myanmar ACC cases / Nepal towards prosperity

Graft to blame for project delays: Tazul.  Corruption is the major reason for delays and weak implementation of development projects, said Bangladesh’s minister for local government, rural development and co-operatives.The Daily Star: https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/graft-blame-project-delays-tazul-1803979ACC takes action against 122 under Anti-Corruption Law.  “[Myanmar’s] Anti-Corruption Commission took action against 122 civil servants, high-ranking officials and other staff including the two persons who have political power, from 2018 to 2019, under the Anti-Corruption Law, said Thant Zaw, Chief Investigator from the Prevention and Control and Investigation Department.”Eleven Media Group: https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/acc-takes-action-against-122-under-anti-corruption-lawAnti-graft drive a must for prosperity: Yadav.  Nepal’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Yadav stressed the need to launch a movement against corruption and to expand indus…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (21 September 2019): PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands

PNG: Make PNG’s National Goals relevant again.  The [National Goals and Directive Principles] are not a panacea for institutional challenges like corruption. However, Professor Eric Uslaner, author of The historical roots of corruption, has noted the transformative effects of civic education in curbing the abuse of power in modern societies.https://www.devpolicy.org/make-pngs-national-goals-relevant-again-20190918/PM pledges economic independence for PNG.  “[Mr. Marape] admitted that PNG still has its short comings as a nation stating that issues such as uneven distribution of resources, lack of quality development, under performance of resources, squandering of resources through corruption and complacency, nonfunctional government systems and many more are prevalent.”https://postcourier.com.pg/pm-pledges-economic-independence-for-png/FIJI:Former senior correction officers’ trial to begin next month.  Former Fiji Corrections Commissioner Ifereimi Vasu and acting Deputy Commissione…

New Kickback podcast / Japan-Thailand bribery case / Indonesia anti-graft weapon

New Podcast Episode, Featuring Kieu Vien (Blog/Podcast).  “In the conversation, [Kieu Vien, the founder and executive director of Towards Transparency,] discusses the history of her organization, the corruption challenges facing Vietnam, some of Towards Transparency’s major initiatives, and the promises and limitations of the Vietnamese government’s recent anticorruption reforms.”Matthew Stephenson/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/09/17/new-podcast-episode-featuring-kieu-vien/Former exec convicted of bribery in 1st plea deal case in Japan.  A former executive of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd has been found guilty of bribing a senior Thai official over a power plant project, in Japan's first case involving a plea bargain.Japan Today: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/former-exec-convicted-of-bribery-in-1st-plea-deal-case-in-japanForget KPK, we need a sharper weapon to fight graft (Opinion).  “Whatever tools we come up with, th…

CONSULTANCY OPPORTUNITY: Junior Consultant, Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub

CONSULTANCY OPPORTUNITY:Junior Consultant, Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting.  UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub is seeking a consultant to support M&E and reporting, event coordination, and research work under two projects: “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN” and “Judicial Excellence to ensure Justice for All: The Judicial Integrity Network in ASEAN”. The assignment is based in Bangkok, Thailand with no travel required.Deadline for application: 1 October 2019Please find the detailed description at the link: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=87595For more information about ‘Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN’ project, please visit this page: https://bit.ly/fairbizAP-INTACT shares the above information strictly as a service to members. To apply or know more, visit the relevant link in the messages. Please do not send your query or application to AP-INTACT. AP-INTACT is not responsible for the accuracy of the posted information, inc…

Indonesia law passed / Transparency in ASEAN / Myanmar money laundering

Legislative assault on KPK (Editorial). “[The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission] is now a government body that must be staffed by civil servants and overseen by a supervisory body, the members of which will be handpicked by the President with House consultation. Furthermore, it has been stripped of its right to conduct independent wiretapping.”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/09/18/legislative-assault-on-kpk.htmlTowards public transparency in ASEAN (Opinion). “Public transparency and accountability are cornerstones of a citizen-centric approach to governance, and while ASEAN countries show some signs of having transparent processes in place, challenges still exist."Jason Thomas/The ASEAN Post: https://theaseanpost.com/article/towards-public-transparency-aseanMyanmar struggles to deal with money laundering and related crime.  “The Myanmar government is seeking to tackle the problems of money laundering and drug trafficking using a n…

Corruption legal remedies / Foreign anti-corruption laws / Weak corporate governance

Legal Remedies for Grand Corruption (Blog/Resource).  “A new volume from the Open Society Justice Initiative…describes how civil society can mobilize courts of law in the struggle. It recounts efforts that range from using international tribunals to force government to address corruption,”  Rick Messick/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/09/04/legal-remedies-for-grand-corruption/Direct link to the resource here: https://www.justiceinitiative.org/publications/legal-remedies-for-grand-corruption-2How to get countries to enforce foreign anti-bribery and corruption laws (Blog).  “Drawing upon international relations theory, we argue that the future of such laws depends upon whether the promulgation of anti-bribery and corruption laws becomes the mission of a stable group of countries providing the public good (anti-corruption law) for private reasons (ensuring level playing field to their domestic business lobby).”Sean J. Griffith and Th…

IMF momentum post-Lagarde / Indonesia academic hacked / Political vicarious liability

The IMF post-Lagarde: how to keep up anti-corruption momentum (Blog).  “It is critical that the incoming Managing Director of the IMF champions this agenda, ensuring both continued prioritization of anti-corruption, and progress in the way the IMF engages with the issue.”M. Emilia Berazategui/Transparency International: https://voices.transparency.org/the-imf-post-lagarde-how-to-keep-up-anti-corruption-momentum-f22cb3b9b671UGM lecturer phone number allegedly hacked after forming group rejecting KPK Law revision.  “A Gadjah Mada University (UGM) lecturer’s phone number has been hacked, with the hackers taking over a WhatsApp group created for a movement that rejects a planned revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law.”Sri Wahyuni/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/15/ugm-lecturer-phone-number-allegedly-hacked-after-forming-group-rejecting-kpk-law-revision.htmlMaking Political Parties Liable for Corruption (Blog).  “Although vicarious…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (14 September 2019): Tonga, PNG, Samoa

TONGA: Tonga’s prime minister, who nurtured democracy, dies at 78. “His political career has been marked by battles with the Tongan monarchy over democracy, transparency and corruption,” the nonprofit wrote, noting that he was imprisoned in 1996 for contempt of parliament before the Supreme Court ordered he be released.”https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/12/asia-pacific/tongas-prime-minister-nurtured-democracy-dies-78/#.XXrjwSgza70PNG: Govt destroys Party System: MP. Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah claims the Marape government is set on destroying the political party system in PNG. https://postcourier.com.pg/govt-destroys-party-system-mp/Health, medial supplies protracted issues afflicting PNG. The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government’s announcement of two contracts worth more than K100 million to supply medical kits and antibiotics this year sparked a furore, led by the National Doctor’s Association (NDA).https://www.thenational.com.pg/health-medical-supplies-protracted-issues…

Indonesia KPK rundown / Sri Lanka presidential candidate / India Rolls Royce /

Is Indonesia's antigraft body in danger?  A rundown on Indonesia’s move to revise the law concerning its Corruption Eradication Commission which had been criticized by many as an attempt to weaken the independent body.Devina Heriyanto/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/11/indonesias-anti-graft-body-is-in-danger-only-jokowi-can-save-it-say-activists.htmlSri Lanka presidential frontrunner loses bid to get corruption case dismissed.  Sri Lanka's top court on rejected an appeal by presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to dismiss corruption charges against him, in a possible blow to the frontrunner's candidacy.Channel News Asia: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/sri-lanka-presidential-frontrunner-loses-bid-to-get-corruption-case-dismissed-11896914After CBI, Rolls Royce booked by ED for money laundering.  “After [India’s] Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now booked Rolls Royce, the luxury car…

Indonesia KPK law / Philippines customs brokers / Myanmar business empire

Jokowi issues letter to begin revision of KPK law.  The Indonesian President has sent a letter to the House of Representatives to show his approval of a revision to the 2002 law on the Corruption Eradication Commission despite concerns from activists and academics that the proposed amendment would only weaken the antigraft body. The State Secretary declined to reveal the letter’s content, saying that the President himself would do it, but added that the government had revised the draft bill sent by the House.Ghina Ghaliya and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano/The Jakarta Posthttps://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/11/jokowi-issues-letter-to-begin-revision-of-kpk-law.htmlDuterte wants to eliminate brokers from customs.  The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte proposed one solution to address rampant and persistent corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC): eliminate brokers from the system.Pia Ranada/Rappler: https://www.rappler.com/nation/239821-duterte-wants-to-eliminate-brokers-f…

Fintech money laundering / Myanmar pharmaceutical SOE / India surprise checks

Money laundering, data breaches emerge as dark side of fintech. “Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said that while fintech could make financial services accessible to more people compared to conventional financial institutions, there were three threats related to the mushrooming of fintech services…money laundering, data breaches and monopolies,”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/09/money-laundering-data-breaches-emerge-as-dark-side-of-fintech.htmlMyanmar State Pharmaceutical Factory Official Arrested on Corruption Charges. “Myanmar’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) opened a case against the general manager of Burma Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI), a state-owned pharmaceutical factory in Insein, Yangon region, charging him with bribery over alleged improper purchasing of raw materials for the factory.”San Yamin Aung/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-state-pharmaceutical-factory-official-arrested-on-corruption-ch…

Transparent public procurement / Indonesia KPK law / Malaysia business corruption

High-Level Seminar on Increasing transparency and integrity in Public Procurement in the context of the SDGs. Given the crucial role of public procurement in achieving the SDGs, UNDP, UNODC, Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) and Khonthai Foundation jointly organized the High-level Seminar on ‘Increasing transparency and integrity in Public Procurement in the context of the SDGs’ from 9-10 September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.To learn about the good practices on public procurement presented at the event, please visit: http://www.asia-pacific.undp.org/content/rbap/en/home/presscenter/events/2019/hls-procurement.htmlKPK Law Revision Opposed by Thousands of University Lecturers.  Up to Monday night there has been 1,717 lecturers from 31 universities declaring their opposition against the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law revision.Ricky Mohammad Nugraha/Tempo: https://en.tempo.co/read/1245821/kpk-law-revision-opposed-by-thousands-of-university-lecturers?Terkini…

IACC theme announced / Indonesia law revision / Maldives ex-president trial

Announcing the theme for the 19th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC).  Over three days of open discussions and frank debates, the IACC’s goal is to support, engage and empower everyone interested and committed to the fight against corruption and social change. Help shape the global anti-corruption agenda by designing one of 35 workshop and innovation sessions during the event – everyone is welcome.  The call for session proposals opens on 1 October 2019 at www.iaccseries.orgHouse tables KPK Law revision, aims for speedy deliberation.  “After a delay that lasted a year, [Indonesia’s] House of Representatives has agreed to resume the deliberation of the revision to Law No. 30/2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)…as well as discuss two other bills with potentially contentious articles against the antigraft body.Ghina Ghaliya/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/05/house-tables-kpklaw-revision-aims-for-speedyde…

Term "passive bribery" / Stopping money laundering / Philippines FOI efforts

An Almost Entirely Trivial Complaint About Terminology: Can We Please Retire the Term “Passive Bribery”? (Blog).  “…let’s stop abusing language, and at the same time stop inadvertently implying that the act of demanding a bribe isn’t as serious (or that the bribe-demanders aren’t as culpable) by dropping “passive bribery” from our vocabulary.”Matthew Stephenson/The Global Anticorruption Blog:  https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/08/27/an-almost-entirely-trivial-complaint-about-terminology-can-we-please-retire-the-term-passive-bribery/Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate (Blog).  “…there are concrete measures that make it significantly more difficult for the corrupt to stash their dirty money in property…asset declarations…regulating gatekeepers… a central register online that simply shows who owns what property”Transparency Internationalhttps://www.transparency.org/news/feature/three_ways_to_stop_money_laundering_through_real_estateVico Sotto to focus…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (7 September 2019): PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa

PNG: Paladin's 'high risk' contract with Peren had no corruption oversight.  Home Affairs failed to adequately scrutinise politically connected sub-contractors used by its Manus Island service provider, Paladin, amid concerns from the department's own internal auditor that fraud and corruption controls were lacking.https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/paladin-s-high-risk-contract-with-peren-had-no-corruption-oversight-20190903-p52newLack of transparency in public administration.  Lack of transparency in public administration continues to be a problem. This is why TI PNG is extending its legal work to other parts of the country to address this issue. The program offers free legal services for victims and witnesses of corruption.  https://postcourier.com.pg/lack-transparency-public-administration/SOLOMON ISLANDS: Beijing offers development fund if Solomon Islands breaks diplomatic ties with Taipei.  “It is not a secret that China is the most assertive donor n…

New Kickback podcast / Viet Nam ex-minister bribes / Maldives ex-vice president

New Podcast Episode, Featuring Cristina Bicchieri (Blog/Podcast).  “University of Pennsylvania Professor Cristina Bicchieri [talks] about her interdisciplinary work on corruption and anticorruption, which addresses a range of questions including why corruption can be so “sticky,” the role of social norms in shaping corrupt or non-corrupt behavior, how and why perceptions and attitudes toward corruption may differ between men and women, and what the implications of social norm theory are for effective anticorruption strategy.”The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/09/03/new-podcast-episode-featuring-cristina-bicchieri/Vietnam ex-minister took US$3 million bribes in MobiFone case: Police.  “Nguyen Bac Son received the money to facilitate a deal in which MobiFone overpaid for a 95 per cent stake in a loss-making pay television provider, the official Vietnam News Agency said, citing the results of a police investigation.Channel News Asia: http…

Cambodia lawyers screening / Malaysia civil service / India good governance

Bar Association to screen lawyers over corrupt practices.  The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia issued a statement saying it will work with the Justice Ministry to screen lawyers suspected of bribing judges.Khuon Narim/Khmer Times: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50639365/bar-association-to-screen-lawyers-over-corrupt-practices/'Stopping bribe-givers can end corruption in civil service'.  “The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) efforts in combating corruption in the civil service are commendable, but the agency should expand its horizons and neutralise the source — bribe givers, said Public Service Department (PSD) director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah.”Athira Yusof/New Straits Times:  https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/09/517981/stopping-bribe-givers-can-end-corruption-civil-serviceGood governance, zero corruption essential for economic growth: Javadekar.  Speaking at the 60th SKOCH Summit, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate C…

Business sentiment survey / Samsung shares fall / Japan vice minister

2019 EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey (Resource).  “77% of respondents believe they face unfair competition in the local/regional environment at least occasionally”EU-ASEAN Business Councilhttps://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/63371b_2605df6085c3460eac6b017ed3cf7099.pdfA blow to Samsung: Top court rules Lee Jae-yong guilty in graft scandal.  Samsung Electronics shares extended losses to a decline of 2% after the ruling, while those of affiliates Samsung BioLogics and Samsung C&T fell nearly 8% and 6%.The Korea Times: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/08/251_274767.htmlJapanese vice labor minister quits over visa-related graft scandal.  A vice labor minister quit amid allegations that he planned to solicit bribes from a temp agency, in return for his help speeding up visa procedures for foreigners it intended to dispatch to Japanese firms, labor minister Takumi Nemoto said.Japan Today: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/japanese-vice-labor-minister-quits-over-visa-r…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (31 August 2019): PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands

Rift widens between Australia and Pacific countries. Jennifer Oriel, a columnist, claimed that Beijing is making deals in the Pacific with vulnerable states “weakened by political corruption, government profligacy and consequent debt.”http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2019/08/rift-widens-between-australia-and-pacific-countries/PNG: Public Admin Lacking Transparency. Lack of transparency in public administration continues to be a problem, according to Transparency International PNG (TIPING) https://postcourier.com.pg/public-admin-lacking-transparency/Bougainville chief secretary calls his sacking illegal. Bougainville's chief secretary, Joseph Nobetau, has been sacked but he says the government does not have the constitutional power to fire him… Over the past year, Mr. Nobetau had been leading a vigorous campaign to rid the Bougainville public service of corruption, with dozens of people being convicted or losing their jobs.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/397470/bo…

Philippines business environment / Malaysia anti-laundering rules / Sri Lanka asset declaration

Duterte tells Chinese businessmen to meet him if burdened by corruption in PH.  During the Philippine-China Business Forum, Duterte said he would not condone corrupt practices in government offices that handle foreign businessmen wanting to set up shop in the Philippines.ABS-CBN News: https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/08/30/19/duterte-tells-chinese-businessmen-to-meet-him-if-burdened-by-corruption-in-phMalaysia Is Revising Rules Against Money Laundering.  “The [country’s] central bank will publish a draft and seek feedback on the changes in September, Assistant Governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid said…starting next year, the regulator is increasing its supervisory and enforcement of anti-money laundering compliance, with plans to pursue more deterrent action,”Yudith Ho/Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-29/bank-negara-malaysia-to-revise-rules-against-money-launderingShedding light on incomes, assets and interests in Sri Lanka (Blog).  “Through [Transpare…