Reports from the Open Government Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Meetings
Two consecutive Open Government Partnership (OGP) events were recently held in Bali, the first of their kind to be hosted in the Asia-Pacific region. Both events attracted substantial global interest with many countries represented from well beyond Asia-Pacific boundaries.
TINZ Board Member Fuimaono Tuiasau at OGP Meeting Bali
TINZ was represented by Fuimaono Tuiasau at the two-day (May 4-5) Civil Society Organisation conference took place in the Ibis Hotel, Nusa Dua.
The second event, A general OGP conference held at the Nusa Dua Convention Centre (May 6-7). TINZ was represented at the OGP conference by Fuimaono Tuiasau and Dr. Michael Macaulay. Also in attendance was a New Zealand public service delegation headed by Hon. Peter Dunne, who addressed the conference on the theme of legislative openness (his speech can be accessed at beehive.govt.nz).
Day one of the conference set the scene with an opening address by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who spoke of the country’s chairing of the OGP. He was followed by a number of speakers who emphasized not only the need for transparency and openness but the importance of governments listening to their people, and encouraging active participation (opening sessions on YouTube).
TINZ's Dr. Michael Macaulay Speaking at OGP Bali
On day two, a number of breakout workshops and lightning talks put some meat on these bones and showed real-life examples of collaborations between governments (national, regional and local) and CSOs to create meaningful and lasting partnerships. Gordon Davis (SSC) and Michael Macaulay co-presented a paper at a session on social accountability and it was notable that during questions members of the audience were visibly impressed by the access that TINZ has to policy makers. The final plenary saw perspectives from CSOs, youth movements, business, academia, and other sectors (watch it on YouTube).
It is clear that New Zealand continues to be held in the highest regard in the Asia-Pacific region, and with the OGP Action Plan yet to emerge there is much to gain, but more to lose, in not grasping the opportunity to take a leading role in the OGP agenda. TINZ has already played a significant role in shaping the Action Plan and it will be interesting to see what emerges in the weeks to come.
In This Issue
Transparency International New Zealand
at the Asia Business Integrity Workshop
Bribery and corruption may pose the greatest threat to global businesses because of the number of business processes it threatens. Sales, marketing, distribution, payments, international expansion, expense reimbursement, tax compliance, facilities operations are all vulnerable processes.
PWC Business Report 2013
Tackling the endemic practices of graft and financial corruption in businesses, particularly in developing countries was the key theme of a Asia Regional TI business Integrity Workshop held in mid-March 2014 in Kuala Lumpur hosted by the TI Malaysia in collaboration with the TI Secretariat.
Asia Business Integrity Workshop Participants
TI chapters from Colombia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand gathered with the TI Secretariat to review progress on the TIS international drive to implement the BIS work and to prepare a Business Integrity framework for future actions for TI chapters
There was a clear commitment to challenge official and business corruption and bribery from the highest levels of government to grass roots organisations. The workshop affirmed the current set of business integrity tools available from TIS as an important resource, including online resources. These are important aides for businesses who wish to ensure longevity and brand reputation, especially in emerging markets.
Fuimaono Tuiasau of Transparency International New Zealand presented the findings and recommendations of the Business Chapter of TINZ 2013 NIS Report. Fuimaono spoke about some good recent developments in transparency and accountability in corporate finance, banking, and the expansion of the NFP sectors in NZ, which could explain NZs high ranking in the Corruption Index Survey. There were also other indicators to support NZs position which included the recently released international justice survey.
Asia Business Integrity Workshop
But Fuimaono also warned about emerging business challenges in NZ which needed to be addressed. These include the extreme ease in which companies could be registered, the accuracy of information on majority overseas control of New Zealand companies, business dealings with overseas markets and business practices there, the black market economy in New Zealand and money laundering.
The harmful effects of business corruption and financial cannot be underestimated. Forbes Magazine has said ‘It’s a sad quantitative fact that bribery runs so rampant in the world. A July 2013 report from Transparency International finds that more than one in four people paid a bribe in the past year, based on a survey of 114,000 respondents in 107 countries. The World Bank estimates that the equivalent of $1 trillion is offered in bribes every year.’
This puts many business ventures constantly at risk and gives South East Asian nation states challenges in the drive in promoting itself as a good place to do businesses. The activities of corrupt officials and the value chains being frequently exposed to bribery and sharp practices on a daily basis include ‘Facilitation’ payments, ’business consulting services’ and paid for ‘Letters of Support’ from officials and corporates permeates many aspects of business practices. The costs are enormous.
However, the workshop showed real progress is occurring with major changes coming from a broad range of sectors and leaders. The workshop included presentations for Malaysian government officials from the Prime Minister’s office to the legal counsel from the Department of Commerce presenting the government agenda and actions to make doing business in Malaysia simple and transparent. Dr Mark Lovatt of Malaysia TI explained that impetus for TIM work is now delivering a package of business integrity workshop and tools to businesses and start-ups and to government agencies. TI Malaysia work was strengthened when its CEO was elected as a government MP and then appointed the Minister of Governance, Accountability and Human Rights. The newly elected government campaigned on a strong anti-corruption platform and there is an increase in public intolerance is also being expressed through media and business disclosure, high profile court cases, and the ever increasing numbers of young tech savvy business and law graduates and entrepreneurs who want to see change.
The Catarina Cadavid from TI Colombia outlined their Business Integrity Services being delivered by engaging with government and business leaders in developing a range of business integrity services and tools for their sectors.
Other TI chapters reported on their activities with many positive impacts from even the smallest TI presence in the chapter countries. It was reported that even in the powerhouse economy of China there were fewer graduates joining the once hallowed public service since the official crackdown on bribery and corruption. Mongolia’s business and political leaders are being exposed to pressure to opening up access to it rich natural resources. The costs are being borne by its people who see little benefit or improvements in government services in education, health and social services while there is growth of enclaves of new rich elites. Mongolia expressed strong interest in New Zealand’s NIS Assessment report.
TIS Business Integrity System(BIS) is a major contribution to international and national businesses who wish to ensure their practices across the value chain is based on business integrity and corporate responsibility to ensure there is longevity and being prosecution free.
New Zealand Tops The
2014 Social Progress Index
The 2014 Social Progress Index puts New Zealand first in a global index that ranks 132 countries by social and environmental performance (rather than economic output) in a drive to make social progress a priority for politicians and businesses. It clearly shows that economic performance alone is not an adequate measure of progress.
The Social Progress Index (SPI) looks at more than 50 indicators, including health, sanitation, shelter, personal safety, access to information, sustainability, tolerance and inclusion and access to education. Survey questions include whether a country can satisfy its people's basic needs and whether it has the infrastructure and capacity to allow its citizens to improve the quality of their lives and reach their full potential.
The SPI strongly correlates to issues in a 2014 Deloitte Millennial Report where a majority of the almost 7,800 millennials (people born in the 1980s and 1990s) surveyed in 28 countries prioritised education, health care, employment and protection from crime above improving their financial situation, the same issues reported on in the SPI 2014 Report. Interestingly these millennials also believe social progress lies not just with governments but also with businesses.
New Zealand (which scores highly for personal rights and freedom, internet access and school enrolment) is followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Denmark and Australia. Other large world economies did not fare so well, with Germany in 12th place, the United Kingdom in 13th, Japan 14th, the United States 16th and France 20th. All of them except Germany scored poorly on environmental sustainability. The United States may be the top spender of healthcare but ranked poorly on health and wellness. Italy was 29th place, hurt by poor access to advanced education, sustainability and tolerance and inclusion.
MEASURING BEYOND GDP
Even though economic growth and social progress are correlated, especially for poorer countries, the connection is far from automatic, said Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, co-author of the report. "The SPI finds that all economic growth is not equal," he said in a statement.
Costa Rica and South Africa for example may have similar levels of gross domestic product (GDP), but the central American nation achieves greater social progress than South Africa because of its progressive environmental and healthcare policies. The SPI 2014 Reports indicates that a lack of opportunities and inequality are significant drags on economic performance.
Fuimaono Tuiasau, Director, TINZ
In Case You Missed It...
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Asia Pacific Regional Meeting of Transparency International was held in Kathmandu on 19 through 21 May, 2014. TI Asia Pacific Programme Meeting May 2014 Daily Recaps.
Developing New Zealands National Action Plan Murray Petrie Developing New Zealand's Open Government National Action Plan - an Interview with Murray Petrie Discussing New Zealand's challenges.
Conference of experts discussing ways anti-corruption protects growth and development in the G20 and beyond: 17-18 June 2014 Brisbane Australia School of Government NIS Pillar Workshops with TI Chair, Huguette Labelle as the keynote speaker.
The C20 - Corruption, Integrity Systems and the G20, Melbourne
Conference of Civil Society Organisations discussing the importance of strengthening anti-corruption policies and measures for the good of growth and development in the G20 and beyond. 20-21 June 2014, Melbourne, Australia
"Politics of Scandal: sex, corruption and lies in election year"
TINZ Director Dr. Bryce Edwards, University of Otago, Division of Humanities, Department of Politics will be speaking in Auckland Tuesday 24 June 2014, University of Otago House, 385 Queen Street, Auckland at 6.00pm. New Zealand politics is beset by more scandals than ever before. Dr Bryce Edwards explains why this is happening, and what impact this is having on elections. Website: www.otago.ac.nz/profiles/otago049210.html
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