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Ernie Ko Chair TI Chinese Tapei
by Janine McGruddy
TINZ Chief Executive Officer
One of the many joys of being the CEO of TINZ has been the opportunity to share our experiences in New Zealand on a global level. In June, the Transparency International -Chinese Taipei chapter hosted me for a series of presentations to engaged groups within the defence and local government sectors.
My first afternoon upon arriving in Taiwan was getting to know Adam Foldes from TI Head Office in Berlin and Ernie Ko, Deputy Chief Executive Officer TI – Chinese Taipei (TI-CT). We spent a wonderful afternoon at the National Palace Museum with an excellent guided tour.
That evening we joined more of our TI-CT colleagues at a formal welcome dinner at the Army Association – a delightfully traditional building – with the host, General Bo, Vice Minister of Ministry of National Defence and members of the Ministry of National Defence: Director General Wen of Political Warfare Bureau, Director General Lin of Department of Judicial Affairs, Deputy Chief Wu of Inspector General Office, Director Huang of Defence Procurement Office and Director Xu of Ethics Office.
This was my introduction to the first of many 10-11 course Chinese style banquets to come. We clearly received the VIP treatment; it was very impressive. Despite only being in Taiwan for 5 days, I sampled a very wide variety of their cuisine. Proudly, I can now eat peanuts with chopsticks… always good to learn new skills.
The next morning our first stop was at the Ministry of Justice, hosted by the Minister Chiu Tai-San. We were joined at our meeting by Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice, Director General Lai Jer-Shyong, Senior Executive Officer Ji Jia-Jhen and Ministry of National Defence Director of Ethics Office, Xu Zhi-Yun.
There is a great interest from the Taiwan defence organization as to how to move from the "B Band" to join New Zealand in the "A Band" of the TI Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GDACI). My advice was simple, and from what I know of their government, is possible to adopt with the right political will – work with your civil society to grow your transparency and strengthen your integrity systems.
Our next meeting with more Agency Against Corruption staff involved questions and answers along similar lines as the first meeting. This session was hosted by Lai Jer-Shyong, Director General.
After taking a very fast afternoon train from Taipei to Kaohsiung, we attended the International Conference on Defence Anti-Corruption. There I presented my paper on Peer Learning – New Zealand Performance on the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GDACI), and joined a panel for Q & A.
Then on to another banquet! This one was hosted by the Taiwan Association for Schools of Public Administration and Affairs (TASPAA).
The next day, we traveled from Kaohsiung to Penghu Island for the International Seminar on Local Governance and Integrity Capacity Building, There I shared my thoughts in a presentation on New Zealand Transparency – the Lesson of No. 1 in CPI 2016.
The afternoon and the following day were for relaxing and playing tourist. Included were a visit to the Penghu Living Museum, a lovely walk around the quaint streets of Kaohsiung, time to try cactus flower ice-cream — delicious! And a wonderful dinner by the sea (more of those incredible ranges of food) hosted by Chen Guang-Fu.
Ernie and his team were fantastic hosts. We had seen, discussed... and eaten a lot over the 5 days. Like every opportunity to interact with others on transparency and integrity it was of great mutual benefit. They have a lot of work to do (as also here at home) but as with everything—where there is a will, there is a way.