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Showing posts from 2020

Malaysia anti-graft award / Thailand army exceptions / Viet Nam anti-corruption 2020

Malaysia Honors Anti-Graft Heroes With New Award.  “A murdered Malaysian prosecutor and an Indonesian anti-graft investigator who survived an acid attack became…the first two winners of [The Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion Awards,] a new prize Malaysia established to honor anti-corruption fighters who had been killed or persecuted.”Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/11602-malaysia-honors-anti-graft-heroes-with-new-awardRetired soldiers ordered to vacate army residences – except Prayut.  “Two days after [Thai] army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong said retired army officers must move out from their official residences after their tenures ended in an [attempt] to combat corruption in the ranks, it emerged that some exceptions were made…That is, government leaders like PM Prayut Chan-ocha and deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, both of them retired army generals, are exempted”Pravit Rojanapruk/Khaosod English: https://www.khaosodengl…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (15 February 2020): Cook Islands, PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji

Pacific leaders agree on vision to tackle corruption in region.  A vision of the Pacific united against corruption was released from last week's first Pacific Regional Anti Corruption Conference in Kiribati. The conference was attended by the President of Kiribati, the prime ministers of Samoa and the Cook Islands as well as ministers and anti corruption officials from across the region.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/409448/pacific-leaders-agree-on-vision-to-tackle-corruption-in-regionCOOK ISLANDS: ‘Political will’ key to drive anti-corruption. “Prime Minister Henry Puna along with other Pacific leaders have stressed “political will” the key to drive anti-corruption in the region... The Pacific leaders and representatives adopted a ground-breaking vision during the summit and endorsed commitments that build on their national engagement with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” http://www.co…

India Delhi region / Myanmar beneficial ownership / Pakistan political tool

Anti-Corruption Party Wins in India's Capital.  “An anti-graft crusader and the chief minister of India’s Delhi region, Arvind Kejriwal, secured a victory…that will keep his Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, in power in the regional assembly…The AAP was formally established in November of 2012 following a series of anti-corruption protests known as the India Against Corruption movement.”Eli Moskowitz/Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/11603-anti-corruption-party-wins-in-india-s-capitalBeneficial-owner database lauded despite some weaknesses.  “The database is one of the multiple initiatives recently undertaken by the Myanmar government to improve the transparency of information on beneficial owners and PEPs…Governance experts have welcomed the new database and say that despite the flaws, it represents a significant step forward in enhancing disclosure and transparency.”Thompson Chau/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/beneficial-owne…

Pakistan mathematician uncovers / Myanmar improved ranking / Malaysia 1MDB charges

Pakistani Mathematician Who Exposed Corruption of Rs 700 Million Forced to Leave Pakistan.  “[Amer Iqbal, the] Pakistani-American theoretical physicist and mathematician has been forced to flee the country after he exposed a mega-fraud of 700 million rupees in government college’s funds which were allocated to ghost teachers”Ummara Sheraz/ProPakistani: https://propakistani.pk/lens/pakistani-mathematician-who-exposed-corruption-of-rs-700-million-forced-to-leave-pakistan/Has Suu Kyi made Myanmar less corrupt? (Opinion).  “[Myanmar’s Corruption Perception Index] ranking has slowly but steadily improved since Suu Kyi assumed electoral power in 2016, when Myanmar ranked 136th on the index. That’s quantifiable international recognition of her government’s anti-graft battle, a campaign of new laws, high-profile arrests and sackings, and improved collaboration on graft issues with the private sector.”Thompson Chau/Asia Times: https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/02/article/has-suu-kyi-made-my…

Ethics beyond compliance / Malaysia Airbus implications / Indonesia political integrity

Ethics beyond compliance.  “The recent launch also announced the soon to be rolled-out Toolkit on Business Integrity for Young Entrepreneurs jointly undertaken with the UNDP Youth Co:Lab, a project on youth leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Business Integrity Toolkit is a guide for young entrepreneurs, to combat the influence of corruption on their integrity, and to help them navigate a business landscape full of risks which could easily harm their operations and ruin their reputations.”United Nations Development Programme: https://undpphilippines.exposure.co/ethics-beyond-compliance?source=share-undpphilippinesAirbus bribery case topples founder of Malaysian carrier AirAsia.  “AirAsia Group Bhd Founder Tony Fernandes became the first marquee airline executive to lose his post in the aftermath of planemaker Airbus SE’s record $4 billion bribery settlement. Fernandes will depart from his role as chief executive officer of the Malaysian carrier for two months wh…

Pakistan Citizens' Portal / Philippines MRT contract / Iran new parliament

Corruption, malpractice added to Citizens’ Portal.  “In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s instructions, the Prime Minister’s Performance Delivery Unit has added a dedicated category of Corruption and Malpractices to Pakistan Citizens’ Portal complaint lodging mechanism.”Mumtaz Alvi/The News: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/610223-corruption-malpractice-added-to-citizens-portalEx-MRT chief Al Vitangcol convicted of graft over maintenance contract.  The Philippine anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has convicted former Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) general manager Al Vitangcol III of graft and procurement law violation over the 2012 contract given to PH Trams whose incorporator Arturo Soriano was his uncle-in-law.Lian Buan/Rappler: https://www.rappler.com/nation/251148-al-vitangcol-convicted-graft-maintenance-projectCorruption Set To Continue In Next Iranian Parliament (Opinion).“Corruption appears to be moving from a reformist-dominated Majles to a conservative-dominated one. T…

Anti-corruption networks performance / CPI score changes / FCPA top case

Networks of anti-corruption authorities - Living up to their aspirations? (Resource/Brief).  “Networks of anti-corruption authorities pursue cross-border collaboration and joint capacity building, and sometimes even joint principles, joint policy making, and harmonization of national laws. Information about these activities and their outcomes is scarce, but it is clear that most of the networks are not yet reaching their political and technical potential.”Sofie Arjon Schütte/U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre: https://www.u4.no/publications/networks-of-anti-corruption-authoritiesSmall Year-to-Year Changes in CPI Scores Are Meaningless. Small Year-to-Year Changes in CPI Scores Are Meaningless. Small Year-to-Year Changes in CPI Scores Are Meaningless (Blog).  “Because year-to-year changes in an individual country’s CPI score usually meaningless, they are not newsworthy, nor can they be invoked to make substantive claims about corruption’s causes or consequences, or the success o…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (8 February 2020): Tonga, Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu

TONGA: Tonga accedes to UN Convention Against Corruption. Tonga has acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, becoming the 14th and final Pacific Island country to do so, and the 187th signatory in the world. https://matangitonga.to/2020/02/07/tonga-accedes-un-convention-against-corruptionFIJI: Development of a national anti-corruption strategy underway. The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption is in the early stages of drafting a national anticorruption strategy.https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/news/development-of-a-national-anti-corruption-strategy-underway/FICAC targets primary school students in anti-corruption campaign. Starting them young, the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption clarified their approach to better governance in schools.https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/news/ficac-targets-primary-school-students-in-anti-corruption-campaign/PNG:PNG maintains its position as most corrupt. Pacific country Papua New Guinea has again maintained its pos…

Indonesia CPI performance / Afghanistan open contracting / Malaysia ex-PM wife

KPK Law may hinder Indonesia’s performance in corruption perception index.  “Indonesia has made improvements in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Transparency International Indonesia has announced, but the country would struggle to maintain the momentum in the face of the new Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law.”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/02/kpk-law-may-hinder-indonesias-performance-in-corruption-perception-index.htmlTaming crocodiles in Afghanistan: Can open contracting give corruption fighters the upper hand? (Blog).  “In the five years since the reforms were introduced, savings from procurement add up to around AFN 58 billion (US$740 million), according to government figures (calculated by subtracting the actual contract cost from the estimated cost).”Open Contracting Partnership: https://www.open-contracting.org/2020/01/31/taming-crocodiles-in-afghanistan-can-open-contracting-give-corruption-fighters-the-upper-hand/Graft tri…

Maldives RTI law / Philippines corruption reporting / Thailand House committee

Holding public officials accountable in the Maldives (Blog).“In a country with a long history of government secrecy, enforcing the Right to Information Act is a tedious task. But activists’ persistence is paying off.”Transparency International: https://voices.transparency.org/holding-public-officials-accountable-in-the-maldives-50588c5c7383‘Fight vs corruption needs more Pinoys reporting it’.  “If more Filipinos report corrupt practices via 8888, the government can do better in its fight against corruption, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). In a statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said greater citizen engagement is the key to curbing corruption in the country.”Cai Ordinario/Business Mirror: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/01/28/fight-vs-corruption-needs-more-pinoys-reporting-it/Stop bickering and start working, anti-corruption panel told.  “Months have passed since the [Members of the House Anti-Corruption and Miscond…

Thailand Economic Monitor / Private sector research / Philippines CG standards

Thailand Economic Monitor January 2020: Productivity for Prosperity.  “Policy recommendations to boost productivity in Thailand could focus on: (i) increasing openness; (ii) enhancing competition in the domestic economy; and (iii) promoting a stronger eco-system for firm innovation.”World Bank: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/thailand/publication/thailand-economic-monitor-productivity-for-prosperityCall for applications - funding for research on corruption in the private sector.  The research funded will supplement the ACE Research Consortium’s core evidence-based research on feasible and high impact anti-corruption strategies in the private sector, with a strong gender focus. Deadline for applications: 13 March 2020.School of Oriental and African Studies Anti-Corruption Evidence (SOAS-ACE) Consortium: https://ace.soas.ac.uk/competitive-call-2020/SEC tightens corporate governance standards.  “The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [of the Philippines] has tightened …

Malaysia not complacent / Thailand House committee / Myanmar university rector

GIACC: Malaysia should not rest on laurels in fight against corruption.  “Malaysia’s success in improving its reputation in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019 has been a proud achievement for the country, but all stakeholders have been reminded [by Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) deputy director-general, Datuk Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff] not to ease off, and continue the fight to eradicate corruption.Malay Mail: https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/01/24/giacc-malaysia-should-not-rest-on-laurels-in-fight-against-corruption/1831202Graft panel qualifications in crosshairs.  “The qualifications of certain members of the House standing committee on corruption have come under fire, raising the question of whether they are fit to continue in the role, according to the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand (ACT).”Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/1845909/graft-panel-qualifications-in-cro…

CPI top countries / Thailand anti-graft mission / Viet Nam campaign endures

CPI 2019: Trouble at the top.  “Despite some high-profile fines and prosecutions, our research shows that enforcement of foreign bribery laws among OECD countries is shockingly low. The outsized roles that some companies play in their national economies gives them political support that too often triumphs over real accountability. Some banks and businesses aren’t just too big to fail – they’re also too powerful to pay.”Transparency Internationalhttps://www.transparency.org/news/feature/cpi_2019_Trouble_at_the_topAnti-graft mission failing (Editorial).  “The [Thai] prime minister and those in power have over the past five years "talked a good fight" against graft, but failed to match it with effective blows. That failure naturally triggered questions about transparency, or the lack thereof.”Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1845094/anti-graft-mission-failingWill Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign endure beyond Trong?  “So while the new leaders…

Fostering cleaner politics / World Bank data use / Bangladesh political will

Building political integrity to stamp out corruption: three steps to cleaner politics.  “Preventing undue influence in elections, ensuring that policy-making is not captured by narrow interests, and strengthening oversight and scrutiny of the decisions taken by those in power, are three of the basic building blocks for anti-corruption and good governance.”Roberto Martínez B. Kukutschka, Jorge Valladares and Jon Vrushi/Transparency Internationalhttps://www.transparency.org/news/feature/cpi_2019_political_integrityHow the World Bank is using data to better detect fraud and corruption (Blog).  “We have recently embarked on a data modernization effort to better understand the fraud and corruption risks our institution faces and to better anticipate problems as they come up… we have built an online application to detect patterns among companies bidding on Bank-financed projects.”Ethiopis Tafara/World Bank: http://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/how-world-bank-using-data-better-dete…

Davos Manifesto 2020 / Public contractors compliance / CPI 2019 infographic

Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  “A company serves its customers by providing a value proposition that best meets their needs. It accepts and supports fair competition and a level playing field. It has zero tolerance for corruption.”World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/davos-manifesto-2020-the-universal-purpose-of-a-company-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/Requiring Public Contractors To Have Anticorruption Compliance Programs May Sound Like a Good Idea—But Not When Government Capacity Is Lacking (Blog).  “…as long as the public administration is not sufficiently prepared to evaluate the genuine effectiveness of such programs, imposing them by law is likely to generate unnecessary costs and frictions without producing meaningful substantive improvements in corporate policies or culture.”Victor Aguiar de Carvalho/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2020/01/17/r…

Thailand waste mismanagement / New KickBack Podcast / China ex-Interpol president

Trash Mountain, a story of severe waste mismanagement.“…at the price of 5,000 baht [approx. US$165] per tonne, smugglers do little more than cart the trash away for dumping in municipal landfills, paying bribes to law enforcement and community members to turn a blind eye.Jasmine Chia/Thai Enquirer: https://www.thaienquirer.com/7028/trash-mountain-a-story-of-severe-waste-mismanagement-2/New Podcast, Featuring Charles Davidson (Podcast/Blog).  “Charles Davidson, currently the publisher of the American Interest magazine, and previously the co-founder of Global Financial Integrity and the Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative…discuss a variety of topics, including financial integrity, beneficial ownership transparency, and kleptocracy–including the threat that kleptocratic wealth from authoritarian states poses to liberal democracies, the use of targeted sanctions against individual corrupt actors, and concerns about how kleptocrats use Western institutions not only to launde…

CPI Asia Pacific / India electoral bond / Indonesia ex-party chairman

CPI 2019: Asia Pacific.  “A regional average of 45, after many consecutive years of an average score of 44, illustrates general stagnation across the Asia Pacific. Despite the presence of high performers like New Zealand (87), Singapore (85), Australia (77), Hong Kong (76) and Japan (73), the Asia Pacific region hasn’t witnessed substantial progress in anti-corruption efforts or results.”Transparency International: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/cpi_2019_Asia_PacificIndia’s New Electoral Bond Scheme Won’t Reduce Electoral Corruption. It Will Make the Problem Worse (Blog).  “…the reality is that India has enabled large-scale anonymous donations via shell companies in tax havens explicitly set up for this purpose. At a time when Western liberal democracies are grappling with the corrupting influence of big money in politics, India has just opened the floodgates, and done it in a way that shuts out any kind of oversight.”Inayat Sabhikhi/The Global Anticorruption Blog:   

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (25 January 2020): PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji

Storms brewing: Pacific outlook for 2020.  As a new decade dawns much of the Pacific is grappling with major upheavals from climate and health crises to political disruption and self-determination struggles. RNZ Pacific's Jamie Tahana and Johnny Blades look at the state of play across the region's countries and territories and what's on the cards for 2020.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/407554/storms-brewing-pacific-outlook-for-2020PNG:Human Rights Stagnate Under New Leadership in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape came to power last year with a promise to set straight the country’s troubled legacy of corruption, economic mismanagement and widespread human rights abuses, but progress remains slow according to a damning report released last week by Human Rights Watch. https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/human-rights-stagnate-under-new-leadership-in-papua-new-guinea/SOLOMON ISLANDS: Mangau: Janus still exists Acting Police Comm…

Japan casino bill / Open procurement FAQs / Malaysia Penang project

Japan opposition submits bill to scrap casino laws amid bribery scandal.  “Four major opposition parties introduced a bill to scrap laws on casino resorts to the Diet…“Casinos would be hotbeds of fraud and corruption,” a senior [Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan] official said.”The Japan Timeshttps://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/20/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-opposition-bill-scrap-casino-laws/#.Xigd68j7Tb0Five Frequently Asked Questions about Implementing Local Public Procurement Processes (Blog).  “…to make public contracting processes more open, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of people and to make data and documents in these procurement processes available to inform debate and decision making…governments can save tax money, make better use of public resources, deliver better public goods and services, boost integrity, and prevent fraud and corruption.”Katria Tomko/Open Government Partnership: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/stories/five-frequently-…

Thai inequality problems / Pakistan 2019 cases / Bhutan bill amendment

Thai inequality: What we should know (Opinion).  “The lack of social and political stability, the low quality of democracy, the flesh trade and human trafficking, crime, corruption ... you name it. These social evils are different manifestations of structural problems that share the same root cause -- inequality.”Somchai Jitsuchon/Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1840739/thai-inequality-what-we-should-knowNAB working hard to nab corrupt elements: chairman Javed Iqbal.  “[Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB)] chairman said due to NAB’s across the road actions against corrupt elements as compared to previous year 2018, NAB during 2019 received 463,845 complaints, disposed of 450,546 complaints and 13,299 complaints are under process which will be disposed of during 2020 on merit as per law.”Asim Yasin/The News: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/601450-nab-working-hard-to-nab-corrupt-elements-chairman-javed-iqbalAnti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill …

International relations corruption / Responsible business roadmap / Myanmar beneficial ownership

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Why Fighting Corruption Is Key in a ‘New Era of Great-Power Competition’ (Blog).  “Political systems plagued by graft are more susceptible to foreign malign influence because they incentivize leaders to accumulate power and wealth rather than advance broader national interests. Newer democracies and authoritarian governments are particularly vulnerable because their institutions are weak or have been captured by elites.”Patrick Quirk and Eguiar Lizundia/World Politics Review: https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28481/why-fighting-corruption-is-key-in-a-new-era-of-great-power-competitionA transparency roadmap to run a responsible business: four things that say you really mean it (Blog).  “This change in discourse towards more transparent, fairer and responsible business is a positive step; however, societies will need to see that corporations, including the partners of WEF Davos 2020, take clear actions and openly report on their progress against the commitments they ar…

Thailand anti-corruption committee / Philippines ex-police chief / Cambodia existential problem

Pareena’s appointment to anti-corruption committee met with criticism.  “The [Thai] government appointed MP Pareena Kraikupt to the parliament’s anti-corruption committee…a move that has been met with criticism by the opposition. Pareena is currently under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for alleged encroachment and illegal building on national park land.”Cod Satrusayang/Thai Enquirer: https://www.thaienquirer.com/6689/pareenas-appointment-to-anti-corruption-committee-met-with-criticism/Ex-police chief Oscar Albayalde, who oversaw Duterte’s drug war, to be charged for corruption in Philippines.  “The former chief police enforcer of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs will be charged with corruption for allegedly protecting officers linked to the narcotics trade, the justice department said”South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3046452/ex-police-chief-oscar-albayalde-who-oversaw-dute…

Professional-grassroots activism divide / Indonesia law challenge / 1MDB hurts Goldman Sachs

Bridging the Elite-Grassroots Divide Among Anticorruption Activists (Paper/Resource).  “As the field has become more professionalized, anticorruption nongovernment organizations (NGOs) have developed the legal and technical expertise to serve as excellent counterparts/watchdogs for government. Yet this strength can also be a hurdle when it comes to building credibility with the everyday people they seek to represent.”Abigail Bellows/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/01/07/bridging-elite-grassroots-divide-among-anticorruption-activists-pub-80687Plaintiffs struggle to obtain evidence in attempt to challenge revised KPK Law.  “Lawyers representing a coalition of civil society groups that are challenging the controversial 2019 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law have complained about difficulties in securing evidence to support their petition for a judicial review of the recently enacted law…because they did not get access to the n…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (18 January 2020): PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu

PNG:Damning report into state of Papua New Guinea released. A human rights organisation has released a damning report into the state of Papua New Guinea, where a change of prime minister has done little to tackle rampant violence and corruption.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/407386/damning-report-into-state-of-papua-new-guinea-releasedJuffa urges political parties to erase stigma. Northern Governor Gary Juffa said during his term from 2012 up to present, he has observed that politics has been heavily stigmatized and widely considered as a dirty word associated with corruption. https://postcourier.com.pg/juffa-urges-political-parties-to-erase-stigma/Opinion: Improving health outcomes in Papua New Guinea. In turn, political, social, and cultural issues such as corruption, misallocation of resources, and the lack of appropriate and adaptable health education and messaging have resulted in an HIV/AIDS epidemic of a scale and scope unprecedented in the region.https…