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Showing posts from January, 2020

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…

Philippines corruption cost / Indonesia regional elections / Myanmar auditor-general concerned

Corruption costs (Editorial).  “A recent report gives an indication of the extent of the problem. At last week’s congress of the construction industry, an official of the economic think tank and advocacy group REID or Research, Education and Institutional Development Foundation disclosed that corruption and delays eat up from 15 to 35 percent of the budget per project of construction companies…Contractors are pinning their hopes for reforms on the effective implementation of laws promoting ease of doing business.”The Philippine Star: https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2020/01/13/1984292/editorial-corruption-costsConcerns raised over 2020 regional elections amid KPU graft case.  “A recent graft case involving a top official of the General Elections Commission (KPU) has raised concerns over the upcoming simultaneous regional elections [in Indonesia] scheduled for September 2020.”The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/01/12/concerns-raised-over-2020-regional-elect…

Myanmar online services / Corruption and poverty / Business ethical culture

DICA to provide more services online.  “[Myanmar’s] Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) plans to digitalise all its services to speed up processes and reduce corruption risks.”Htin Lynn Aung/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/dica-provide-more-services-online.htmlCorruption, Not Globalization, Is To Blame For Poverty (Opinion).  “The information we have about the real world, however, does not provide ammunition for those who want to blame poverty on globalization. What it does provide is relevant arguments that lack of corruption and good legal and judicial institutions are necessary conditions for the benefits of globalization to reach the poor.”Alejandro Chafuen/Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alejandrochafuen/2020/01/07/corruption-not-globalization-is-to-blame-for-poverty/How businesses can create an ethical culture in the age of tech.  “We recommend that executives identify and support mechanisms in their own organizations that factor pr…

Malaysia 1MDB evidence / Republic of Korea prosecutors reassignment / Japan casino regulation

1MDB scandal: Malaysia’s former PM 'asked UAE to fake evidence'.  “Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, allegedly sought help from the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince to fake evidence in an effort to cover up for the 1MDB scandal, according to audio clips revealed by Malaysian anti-corruption officials.”The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/08/1mdb-scandal-malaysias-former-pm-asked-uae-to-fake-evidenceSouth Korea's Moon Jae-in reassigns prosecutors probing his government.  South Korean President Moon Jae-in's government reassigned three top prosecutors overseeing corruption into his administration, prompting cries from the opposition that he crossed a red line months before national elections.The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/south-koreas-moon-jae-in-reassigns-prosecutors-probing-his-governmentJapan Launches Casino Regulatory Body amid Bribery Scandal.“The Japanese government launched a body to regul…

Myanmar advocacy video / UNDP anti-corruption work / Samsung oversight panel

UNDP Myanmar cooperated with the Myanmar ACC to ask people about their views on corruption (Video).  See a short advocacy video of citizens expressing their thoughts on corruption and its effects on Myanmar’s society and development. United Nations Development Programme and Anti-Corruption Commission of Myanmar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izTkm7taH2U&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1IGQHhPlA2odrZldRDbmMZIBFWClpK_DF4Ejlx7HkQNEjLPwrj3f5wRqIAddressing corruption can even the playing field in an era of widening inequalities (Blog).  “With Australia’s support, over the past two decades UNDP has helped countries to identify the drivers of corruption and opportunities for change. As we step into the ‘decade of action’ for the Sustainable Development Goals, countries can further accelerate progress in a number of ways…”Valerie Cliff/United Nations Development Programme: https://www.asia-pacific.undp.org/content/rbap/en/home/blog/2020/addressing_corruption_can_even_the_playing…

Myanmar spending report / Republic of Korea FDI deterrence / Indonesia new law

Blocking Access to Spending Report May Violate Myanmar Graft Law, Watchdog Warns Yangon Govt.  “[Yangon Watch, an] independent watchdog monitoring the Yangon government’s performance has warned that the regional administration’s ban on distributing the auditor-general’s report to lawmakers for parliamentary debate could lead to violations of the country’s anti-corruption law.”Kyaw Phyo Tha/The Irrawaddyhttps://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/blocking-access-spending-report-may-violate-myanmar-graft-law-watchdog-warns-yangon-govt.htmlTo boost South Korea's faltering economy, end corruption and invigorate the rule of law (Opinion).  “A big deterrent to foreign investment is the cozy relationship between South Korea’s government and a handful of large domestic companies, including powerful family-controlled chaebol, conglomerates with overlapping ownership.”James K. Glassman/The Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/6/to-boost-south-koreas-faltering-econ…

Republic of Korea new agency / 1MDB case settlement / New KickBack podcast

Korea’s ‘super-agency’ may in fact provide a shield for corruption (Opinion).  “Under the new system, all investigative offices…must report to the new anti-corruption investigative agency the moment any signs of wrongdoing by high-ranking official are recognised and transfer the investigation to that office, which is headed by a presidential appointee…This sets up a mechanism to shut off any investigation that the administration might find undesirable for them and in fact provide a shield for corruption.”Chinhyun Kim/Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/7c42a69e-2e19-11ea-a126-99756bd8f45eGoldman Sachs Is in Talks for Asia Unit to Admit Guilt in 1MDB.  “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is negotiating a settlement of the 1MDB scandal that would include an admission of guilt by one of its subsidiaries instead of the parent company, according to people familiar with the matter… The agreement would also include a fine of almost $2 billion, the people said.”Sridhar Natarajan and Pat…

Human rights-anti-corruption converge / Tax transparency and SDGs / Indonesia supervisory council

Compliance Alert: Anti-corruption and human rights efforts will converge in 2020.  “…companies that map their private and public sector relationships — and come to grasp how these relationships intersect — will be far better placed to comprehend and manage legal and reputational issues across jurisdictions.”Alison Taylor/The FCPA Blog: https://fcpablog.com/2020/01/03/compliance-alert-anti-corruption-and-human-rights-efforts-will-converge-in-2020/How the GRI’s new standard for transparency in reporting tax can help raise money for SDGs.  “More transparency on tax also benefits the companies themselves…By adhering to an independently developed global standard, companies of all types can show leadership, gain recognition for their contributions in markets around the world, and demonstrate the part they’re playing to support sustainable development. This can be a win-win for everyone – companies, communities and global society.”Tim Mohin/Ethical Corporation: http://www.ethicalcorp.…

Myanmar corruption complaints / Bangladesh blocked news / India local efforts

Incompetence tops anti-corruption complaints.  “More than half of the complaints sent to the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2019 were about incompetence or mismanagement at government offices…From January to October 2019, the anti-graft body received 8172 complaints, most of them from Yangon Region”Khin Myat Myat Wai/Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/incompetence-tops-anti-corruption-complaints.htmlBangladesh blocks news website accusing minister of corruption.  Bangladesh authorities have blocked access to Netra News, a Sweden-based investigative journalism website after it published a report alleging corruption by Obaidul Quader, Bangladesh's minister of road transport and bridges..Faisal Mahmud/Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/bangladesh-blocks-news-website-accusing-minister-corruption-200102172616456.html‘People should raise voice against corruption’.  “In the past few months, [Anti-Corruption Bureau in Nashik] has taken action against very seni…

Singapore anti-corruption lessons / China's Tencent response / Bangladesh 2019 synopsis

Singapore plan to beat graft (Opinion).  “My interactions with the republic’s political leaders, senior civil servants and community leaders helped come with up a four-pronged approach that Singapore adopted and which delivered results: Moral leadership; Sustainable remunerations; Strong enforcement; and, Clear governance system and processes.”Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus/New Straits Timeshttps://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/12/552087/singapore-plan-beat-graftChinese social media giant Tencent says it fired more than 60 employees this year for corruption and bribery.  “Tencent Holdings said it fired more than 60 employees for alleged corruption and bribery during the first three quarters of [2019], with 10 of those handed over to Chinese public security and judicial authorities due to violations of the law...Tencent also blacklisted 16 companies involved in such misbehaviour.”Celia Chen/South China Morning Post:https://www.scmp.com/tech/apps-social/article/3043675/chines…

Republic of Korea new agency / India CG guidelines / Indonesia investigator attackers

South Korea passes bill to set up anti-corruption agency.  The parliament voted to pass a bill to set up an agency to investigate corruption among high-ranking officials – which is one of President Moon’s biggest election campaign promise, in a bid to reform the country’s judicial system and widespread public distrust of state prosecutors. Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/11b3f736-2aec-11ea-bc77-65e4aa615551RBI to issue guidelines on corporate governance.  “On what could be the broad contours of the guidelines on corporate governance, Shriram Subramanian, founder & MD, InGovern Research, said, “[Reserve Bank of India] is likely to emphasize on transparency of disclosures, avoiding conflict of interest and proper monitoring.”Financial Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/rbi-to-issue-guidelines-on-corporate-governance/1803528/Two police officers arrested in connection with acid attack on Indonesian graft investigator.  “Two Indonesian police offic…

Myanmar ACC achievements / Bhutan-Japan students exchange / China corruption cases

Corruption charges occur in NLD government era.  “[Myanmar’s Anti-Corruption Commission] had a total of 10,543 complaint letters in 2018 and 46 people were charged. It had 9,359 complaint letters till November 2019 and 74 people are charged.Zaw Min Naing/Eleven Media Group: https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/corruption-charges-occur-in-nld-government-eraStudent's death reveals dark side of Bhutan-Japan exchange program.  “Students claim Bhutan Employment Overseas — a Bhutanese immigration broker that acted as a recruiter and intermediary for the program — lied about job opportunities and burdened students with enormous debt before sending them to Japan…In July, Bhutanese law enforcement arrested the operators of BEO for alleged corruption and forgery of documents.”Ryusei Takahashi/The Japan Times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/12/29/national/students-death-reveals-dark-side-bhutan-japan-exchange-program/#.XgootUf7Q2wChina consolidates sweeping victory against corruption i…