Newsletter - In case you missed it

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand Elections

Call to lower voting age in New Zealand to 16 Waikato University academic Patrick Barrett argues New Zealand should lower the voting age to 16.

NZ spy agencies call for greater transparency on political donations The heads of the intelligence agencies also told MPs they support "more stringent" rules around disclosing donations but said a blanket ban on foreign money was not the answer.

Politicians must pick up pace on donations reform It's clear that New Zealand’s laws governing political donations need change - but any overhaul before the 2020 election will require politicians to pick up the pace, Sam Sachdeva writes.

Jacinda Ardern describes $150,000 donation to National 'outside spirit of the law' Jacinda Ardern's comments followed NZME's revelation that National received the donation through a New Zealand-registered, but Chinese-owned company.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

China’s influence on campus chills free speech in Australia, New Zealand Chinese students poured into Australia and New Zealand in the hundreds of thousands over the past 20 years, paying sticker prices for university degrees that made higher education among both countries’ top export earners. Now, as a more-authoritarian China projects its influence deeper into the South Pacific, attempts by Chinese students and diplomats to interfere with anti-Beijing dissidents and stifle free speech on campuses pose an uncomfortable challenge for both U.S. allies. Washington Post

Ministry to analyse public OIA submissions and report back to Justice Minister Andrew Little

Tracking the data breach that gave crooks my credit card details Overseas crooks managed to secure the credit card data of my credit card, and my wife's credit card, from a New Zealand business and tried to steal money from us.

SFO closes investigation into spy firm Thompson & Clark SFO director Julie Read said in a statement it had determined the "high evidential standard" for laying criminal charges had not been met.

Official information denied as government agencies illegally refuse OIA request transfers, document shows Kiwis are being denied access to information, because government agencies are illegally refusing to accept the transfer of Official Information Act (OIA) requests, a Justice Ministry document suggests.The document was one of 290 submissions about the OIA, which highlighted problems with delays, documents rendered meaningless by deletions, political interference and government agencies drowning under the sheer volume of information requests.

Luxury cars, cash, posh property seized in police bust

Parliamentary Budget Office

The parliamentary budget office should be just the beginning New Zealand Initiative

Independent Parliamentary Budget Office is a victory The Government’s decision to establish and independent Parliamentary Budget Office, outside of Treasury, is a taxpayer victory and will improve democracy, says the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.

Government keen to set up Parliamentary Budget Office, an independent watchdog to cost election policies, but National reject idea

International

A more-authoritarian China projects its influence deeper into the South Pacific, attempts by Chinese students and diplomats to interfere with anti-Beijing dissidents and stifle free speech on campuses pose an uncomfortable challenge for both U.S. allies. Washington Post

Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International staff complain of bullying and harassment The Secretariat of the Berlin-based global body, Transparency International, is described by some staff as having a ‘toxic’ workplace culture silencing critical voices.

Transparency International statement on Secretariat staff wellbeing The global body of Berlin-based Transparency International, will work openly and honestly with staff and their representative body to review current practices, address all issues identified, and take action necessary to prevent them happening in future.

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand Non Government Organizations (NGOs)

Governance for good; developing the capability of New Zealand’s $20 billion not-for-profit sector. A report into the future of governance for New Zealand’s NGOs, produced by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has identified a need for considerable investment into NGO governance capabilities.

The report looks at the future for governance of New Zealand’s 114,000 NGOs which employ around 100,000 full and part-time staff and manage a combined income of around $20 billion a year. Good governance is a subject close to the heart of all of us. We hope you find this a useful insight into current good practice in NGO governance, challenges, and opportunities for development.

Elections and Democracy

Our complacency puts Democracy under threat Standfirst: Survival of New Zealand’s democracy faces unprecedented threats over the next thirty years: (a) Risks from systemic global economic instability, (b) Major upheaval from adaptation (or not) to climate change, (c) Dislocation arising from automated and intelligent machines. Indian NewsLink

Decisions in the pipeline By Bruce Munro Otago Daily Times: Local government elections loom, raising concerns about the fitness of those elected to make good, farsighted decisions. Bruce Munro takes a look at mistakes made and asks how elected representatives can best be equipped to tackle the big issues facing the South.

Can Kiwis tell fact from fake news in the leadup to the 2020 elections? Young people are criticised for not engaging in politics but experts say adults today are less likely to be able to tell fact from fake news. Katie Kenny and Tommy Livingston report on the risks of a post-truth political landscape.

Political Roundup: Electioneering on Facebook under scrutiny Truth in the modern social media. Bryce Edwards

Unfair funding undermines diversity of electoral candidates Lack of fair funding for candidates in general elections has attracted a lot of angst over the years.

Can NZ avoid populist leaders’ divisive sloganeering? Democracy rocks. 

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on Scoop.co.nz.

Stopping viral misinformation in the next election will be a task for all of us. OPINION: Artful manipulation of fact is a crucial feature of modern politics. You don't actually lie, you spin. You pick one good number out of a sea of bad ones, you assume the worst of your enemies, and work to construct carefully "true" arguments that you would never dare advance in your personal life.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Luxury cars, cash, posh property seized in police bust Police have arrested six people and snatched up millions in assets, posh property and flash cars following a big money laundering investigation in Auckland.

Spy bosses tell MPs ban on foreign donations would not work Spy bosses have told MPs a ban on foreign donations would not work and more transparency around donations would help them do their job better.

Fighting exploitation in the New Zealand supply chain Businesses are being warned to take action against migrant worker exploitation in their supply chains - or face financial penalties and customer backlash.

National denies former trade minister Todd McClay helped facilitate $150k donation The National Party is denying allegations then-Cabinet minister Todd McClay helped facilitate a donation of $150,000 to the party in 2016 from a company owned by a Chinese billionaire.

NZ International Fraud Film Festival Announces Line-up The third NZ International Fraud Film Festival 2019 is set to touch down in Auckland this November with a line-up of films that will expose the underbelly of fraud and its impact globally and locally.

Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence The Auditor-General’s discussion paper Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence was presented to the House of Representatives. It includes at least 6 references to TINZ's groundbreaking National Integrity Systems Assessment.

No place for business to hide as Kiwis demand transparency The recent issue of a dentist in trouble in the media over whether he was qualified to offer orthodontics, is a warning to all business that increasingly New Zealanders are demanding nothing less than complete brand transparency.

Insurers aim to take fraud prevention to a new level through Insurance Fraud Bureau The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has launched a new Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) to crack down on fraudulent activity that it estimates costs the industry as much as $614 million a year. And while it won’t have the legal power to prosecute offenders, it will give insurance providers a new channel to share data and cooperate.

Pacific

Lack of transparency in public administration (PNG) Lack of transparency in public administration continues to be a problem in PNG. This is why Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is extending its legal work.

How Australia can learn from New Zealand’s diplomacy in Fiji and the Pacific This article reflects on how current progres­sive policies are proactively shaping Pacific policy narratives and space. By Joseph Veramu, published in the Fiji Sun.

Transparency International

Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate

Transparency International New Zealand:

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on Scoop.co.nz

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Stats NZ establishes Data Ethics Advisory Group The Data Ethics Advisory Group has been established by Stats NZ to bring in perspectives and expertise from outside government on the use of data.

New Zealand needs to stop multinational tax avoidance Press Release: Tax Justice scoop.co.nz.

A SeafoodSource podcast series: The business case for seafood transparency The demand for greater transparency is growing exponentially by the year in the seafood industry. And with the cost of implementing greater transparency in seafood supply chains steadily decreasing, the seafood marketplace can now realise the numerous benefits of implementing efforts at transparency, including economic efficiencies.

Tim Dower: We deserve to know more about dodgy diplomat case The case of the diplomat caught trying to bring in $300,000 in cash...what was the purpose of this money, and where, or to whom, was it intended to go? Something smells really bad here. I believe we deserve to know a lot more about this.

Auckland Council worker charged with taking bribes for IT contract A former Auckland Council worker took bribes in exchange for awarding a contract worth over $150,000, a court has heard.

Holding the government to account improves governance Indian Newslink Lecture was the ninth of its kind. The series was formerly known as the Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture.The event this year was the first of the rebranded lecture series and therefore, the first one where the welcome address was not delivered by Sir Anand.

Forex broker Russell Maher pleads guilty to fraud A foreign exchange broker who used forged documents to disguise his company’s financial status has pleaded guilty to fraud.

Name suppression declined in Auckland Council bribery case The name of one of the men facing bribery charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office can now be revealed after his request for name suppression was declined.

Ponzi scheme operator Kelvin Wood jailed for six years A foreign exchange broker who defrauded his clients of more than $7 million has been sentenced to six years and three months’ imprisonment and a minimum period of imprisonment of two years and 11 months.

Kiwi Andrew Pearse admits receiving millions of dollars from Credit Suisse loan fraud, reports say A New Zealand-born ex-banker has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge relating to a multi-billion loan scheme that nearly sent Mozambique bust, international media reports say.

Banking and Finance

BNZ knew it was charging too much for KiwiSaver, but didn't cut fees for nearly a year BNZ continued to charge its Kiwisaver customers millions in unnecessary fees for months after its own chief executive identified it should be cutting costs and improving performance

Westpac agrees how it will refund $7m to customers Westpac has formally agreed on the steps it will take to refund fees to 93,000 customers being overcharged $7 million

ANZ loses the Key to transparency How ANZ Bank fought for more than three years to keep its role in New Zealand’s biggest Ponzi scheme quiet, and stop a regulator telling out-of-pocket investors the details.

Financial watchdog says new banking laws needed to protect customers Chief financial watchdog Rob Everett says laws must be passed to regulate banks' treatment of customers because "bad things happen" when banks are not regulated.

Exposing the banks: the journalist who sparked a royal commission The story of Adele Ferguson is the journalist whose work was instrumental in bringing about the Royal Commission into the Australia’s banks and financial institutions. (podcast)

FISA

Insurers’ complacency over misconduct is ‘hard to comprehend’ – FMA The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has said that the complacency of New Zealand banks and insurers in the face of Australian inquiry into misconduct was “frustrating” and “hard to comprehend.”

Banks, insurers' complacency 'hard to comprehend' - FMA The complacency of the New Zealand banking and life insurance sectors in the face of the Australian inquiry into financial services misconduct was "frustrating" and "difficult to comprehend," the chief executive of the Financial Market Authority, Rob Everett, said today.

Sustainable Development

NZ's first SDG People's Report launched A group of organisations launched New Zealand’s first People’s Report on the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this week at Victoria University of Wellington. The report is hosted at www.sdg.org.nz/peoples-report. scoop.co.nz

Why sources matter in a climate of ignorance Joel Rindelaub explains why it's so important for those weighing on climate science to be transparent about their funding sources and conflicts of interest. 

NZ turns in development report card to UN, emphasising wellbeing framework New Zealand has returned its first sustainable development report card to the United Nations, with a huge emphasis on the Government's wellbeing framework

International

South Korea’s FSS launches special judicial police South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has launched a “special judicial police” with investigative power to deal with unfair practices in the financial market

Mauritius Leaks New leak reveals how multinational companies used Mauritius to avoid taxes in countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Newsletter Including "Mauritius Leaks: Luxury hotels lavish guests while depriving tax collectors"

Four anti-corruption takeaways from the 2019 G20 Summit Transparency International - Voices for Transparency

Transparency International

25 corruption scandals that shook the world We compiled a list of some of the biggest corruption scandals over the last 25 years that inspired widespread public condemnation, toppled governments and sent people to prison.

Where are Africa’s billions? Foreign companies and financial centres aiding corruption in Africa

SDG 16 is the key to the 2030 Agenda “Whether the focus is ending hunger and poverty, ensuring access to health, education, and clean water for all, or protecting marine environments and combating climate change, fighting corruption is an essential pre-requisite for advancing the 2030 Agenda,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.

One in four people in Africa pay bribes to access services, survey says Corruption disproportionately affects the poor and young. The tenth edition of Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa

Transparency Times reprints

Never a better time for Good Governance “As Warren Buffet says, it takes years to build a reputation and 20 minutes to lose it. Over the last month, the ANZ’s reputation has been severely tarnished.” Those were the comments of Suzanne Snively, Chair of the Wellington-based Transparency International New Zealand Inc in the Leader in Transparency Times (July 2019). Please read more under Businesslink.

ANZ demonstrates poor tone at the top Indian Newslink

Audit firms disclosure should be made mandatory Indian Newslink

In case you missed it

5 July 2019

Banking and Finance

ANZ Bank's New Zealand CEO Hisco Departs After Expenses Review Bloomberg

ANZ claims safety threat led it to hide Hisco's mansion address The address of the $7.5 million Auckland mansion bought by ANZ for now-departed chief executive David Hisco was kept off the public record because he feared for his safety. The Companies Act requires all directors to list their home address on the public Companies Register, which is designed to promote transparency in business. But the ANZ Bank New Zealand Companies Register entry only lists Hisco's residential address as: "Held By Registrar, Auckland, 1010 , New Zealand". Stuff.co.nz.

How much more is ANZ obliged to divulge over the David Hisco affair?

ANZ chief executive leaving following review of personal expenses The chief executive of ANZ, David Hisco, is leaving the company amid an internal review of personal expenses, the bank announced.

International

Parliament agrees to align with OECD tax transparency rules The Swiss parliament has decided to eliminate anonymous shares in private companies amid international pressure to increase transparency around taxation.

OECD claims tax transparency initiative delivers ‘impressive results’ The automatic exchange of tax information under the common reporting standard are improving tax compliance and delivering concrete results for governments worldwide, the OECD said, citing new data released last week.

Andrew Mitchell and Justine Greening back calls for foreign loan transparency Former international development secretaries among 50 British MPs urging introduction of tighter regulations on disclosure

Tax information sharing causes 25% drop in IFC bank deposits: OECD The findings suggest that exchange of information is promoting tax compliance and reducing offshore hidden wealth.

UK crown dependencies agree greater tax transparency Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man plan by 2023 to publish the currently secret information on ownership of companies registered in the UK crown dependencies, they announced Wednesday, heeding calls for greater tax transparency.

New G20 principles on whistleblower protection must be urgently implemented The G20 High Level Principles for Effective Protection of Whistleblowers was endorsed at the G20 Summit, held in June in Osaka. These are a welcome acknowledgement of the crucial role whistleblowers play in bringing wrongdoing to light, and the retribution they often face. G20 countries should now move quickly to turn words into action, and pass national legislation that matches or goes beyond the level of protection recommended by the Osaka principles.

New Beneficial Ownership Toolkit will help tax administrations tackle tax evasion more effectively The first ever beneficial ownership toolkit has been released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The toolkit is intended to help governments implement the Global Forum’s standards on ensuring that law enforcement officials have access to reliable information on who the ultimate beneficial owners are behind a company or other legal entity. This approach makes it harder for criminals to hide their illicit activities behind opaque legal structures.

Supporting Whistleblowers with GIFs and Stickers To celebrate World Whistleblowers Day — 23 June 2019 —  a set of GIFs and Stickers were created to use on your favorite social media platforms.

Combating graft is key to Asean growth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad led the Malaysian delegation for three days at the 34th Asean Summit from June 20 in Bangkok. Corruption was on the agenda to ensure future growth and prosperity in this region.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Online ethical leadership course a first for New Zealand With the ethics of business, political and sporting leaders under scrutiny globally, Victoria University of Wellington is offering a free online course in ethical leadership as part of its programme of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that is a first for the country.

Time to regulate the lobbyists Recent revelations around lobbyist-turned-chief-of-staff GJ Thompson reinforce the urgency for change, writes Kate Nicholls. Opinion thespinoff.co.nz.

Twyford not upfront about Ministerial meeting National’s spokesperson for Local Government (Auckland) Denise Lee says.“The Housing and Urban Development Minister met with Environment Minister David Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on March 2, 2019. This meeting was included in Minister Parker’s diary release but not Phil Twyford’s. National Party Release on scoop.co.nz

Time for an independent stand-alone watch dog commission Press Release – Maori Council. The New Zealand Maori Council has opened a public discussion on whether it is time New Zealand moved with the times when it came to a stand-alone body to investigate corruption and the misuse of office by Public officials.

Government rejected a code of conduct for staff in 2013 The government has been told it could have avoided the abuse and bullying revealed in the Debbie Francis review of Parliament if it had listened to recommendations in Transparency International New Zealand's 2013 National Integrity System Assessment to enforce a code of conduct five years ago. RNZ, TINZ quoted

New Police report sheds light on data often asked about New Zealand Police releases report that proactively shares answers to common data requests made under the Official Information Act. Our Data – Your Asked Us is based on the most frequent data requests made by members of the public under the Official Information Act, and is informed by data available on policedata.nz.

Audit firms pour cold water on transparency Attempts to find out the quality of audit work done by the country's largest financial service firms have been blocked by the industry, despite them disclosing their regulatory performance in Australia.

'Hidden' currency conversion fees costing Kiwis billions New Zealand consumers and businesses have paid $5 billion in fees and "hidden charges" to banks and others just to transfer money between different currencies over the past five years, according to a study paid for by British-based company TransferWise.

Pacific

Transparency group says Solomons govt plan too ambitious Transparency International Solomon Islands says the government has promised more than it can deliver with the release of its 100 Day Plan. RadioNZ

New chairman for TIPNG Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has a new Chairman. He is Peter Aitsi, MBE.

PNG police minister calls for probe into Maseratis deal Papua New Guinea's Police Minister is pushing for an investigation into the procurement of luxury cars for last year's APEC summit. Rnz.co,nz.

French Polynesia's president facing corruption charges in court French Polynesia's president is due in court today accused of abusing public funds.

Sport

New Zealand Government Justifies Ongoing Racing Sports and Racing Industry Reforms AP: insert source identity. Reforms which relate to the racing industry and sports funding will not result in losses for sporting organisations in the country, says Grant Robertson, Sport and Recreation Minister. On the other hand, Racing Minister Winston Peters has also defended the shortened public consultation process at a time when Transparency International NZ has strongly criticised it after claiming that the period of five days available for public submissions is not long enough.

Senior New Zealand football official banned by FIFA for bribery and corruption Former FIFA committee member and Oceania Football secretary general Tai Nicholas has been slapped with an eight-year ban from all football-related activities and fined $75,000 by FIFA.

Government moves to allay concerns from sporting organisations over racing industry reforms Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson is promising that reforms of the racing sector and sports funding will not lead to national sporting organisations, including NZ Rugby and NZ Cricket, losing out. Racing Minister Winston Peters defends the truncated process for public consultation, despite criticism from Transparency International NZ that the five-day period for public submissions is too short.

Transparency International

Two principles Open Government Partnership needs to embrace to end corporate secrecy Scratch the surface of any of the big cross-border corruption scandals of the last decade — the Russian, Azerbaijani and Troika laundromats, Lava Jato — and it won’t take too long to discover the critical role of shell companies, and the anonymous individuals behind them, in facilitating corruption on a vast scale.

Trade unions and civil society call on G20 to protect whistleblowers Transparency International is one of more than 400 civil society organisations urging the G20 to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, in a joint call with trade unions from across G20 countries.

Transparency International New Zealand

Transparency International NZ in scoop.co.nz

Assessment of the integrity of the NZ financial system Press Release: Transparency International NZ in scoop.co.nz

NZ politics vulnerable to corruption - Transparency International Corin Dann speaks to the organisation's chair Suzanne Snively, beginning with the Official Information Act and how its being used.

Wellness Budget

Wellbeing Budget: More than half a billion dollars for Māori and Pasifika More than half a billion dollars - $593m - was allocated for Māori and Pacific communities over four years in Budget 2019.stuff.co.nz

Wellbeing Budget 2019: The great Spinoff hot-take roundtable The stakes are high for Grant Robertson’s much heralded Wellbeing Budget in the year of delivery. What are the expert verdicts?

In case you missed it

3 June 2019

Christchurch Call

The Christchurch Call and steps to tackle terrorist and violent extremist content In response to the Call, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft issued a joint statement. The companies also published nine steps they'll take to implement the Christchurch Call. - Microsoft Blog.

The Christchurch Call: The Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Ugly in times of crisis, governments want to act immediately and look to existing levers - which, as we've noted many times over the years, are often censorship and surveillance.

Christchurch Call to Action: Govts, tech companies agree to tackle violent online content on social media NZHerald

New Zealand banking and finance

ANZ’s local bosses must front up to embarrassing Aussie mistake ANZ has been placed on the banking naughty step for potentially lending to New Zealanders without enough capital to protect deposits. How did this happen?

Financial System review will improve banks and insurers The New Zealand Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) is the first ever review of the integrity framework of any country’s financial system.

New method to assess good and bad practices of banks coming Transparency International (New Zealand) to launch Financial Integrity System next month

Caution urged on financial safeguards The government must ensure its proposed financial safeguards do not affect competition and consumer choice, according to Luke Jackson, head of Resimac's NZ business. Luke Jackson, the newly-appointed head of non-bank lender Resimac's New Zealand operations, welcomes additional protections for consumers, but warns sweeping changes to intermediary remuneration may impact competition and damage the broker channel.

Consumer NZ not happy with 'pressure selling' tactics in banks Consumer NZ wants better regulation of the banking industry. It's carried out a survey which shows one-in-five bank customers are being offered products they didn't ask for, and often don't want. (Newstalk ZB)

Fewer than half of Kiwi customers say banks can be trusted The head of the New Zealand Bankers' Association is playing down calls for more industry regulation. It comes after a Consumer NZ survey found customers tend to be satisfied with their banks overall but less than half think banks can be trusted and almost two-thirds doubt they have their customers' best interests at heart. (Newstalk ZB)

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Grappling with external threats to NZ's democracy If you are an important person going to China, Anne-Marie Brady has some advice for you. The Canterbury University China expert suggests taking only a burner phone, leaving laptops and tablets at home, setting up a dedicated email for the trip and avoiding public WiFi. Any devices taken to China should be rebuilt or discarded, she says. The best practice reminder is contained in her submission to an inquiry by Parliament's Justice Select Committee into the 2017 election.

New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme reforms target transparency, compliance The second set of improvements to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS) have been announced to further encourage greenhouse gas emissions reductions and increase forestry planting, according to New Zealand's Minister for Climate Change James Shaw. The latest changes will improve transparency within the project, increase rates of compliance with the scheme, and pave the way for robust auctions.

Report: Digital Threats To Democracy The Digital Threats To Democracy report is part of the Digital Threats to Democracy research project.

Grant Robertson for Indian Newslink Lecture Finance Minister Grant Roberson will deliver the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Lecture on Monday, July 29, 2019 at Pullman Hotel, Auckland. The central theme of his Lecture is likely to be ‘Good Financial Management contributes to Good Governance.’ Auckland Mayor Phil Goff will be the Master of Ceremonies.

New index ranks UK civil service at the top, followed by New Zealand and Canada The 2019 International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index has been published today. The index aims to help countries determine how their central civil services are performing, and to learn from each other.

Govt delays upgrade of weak and unclear whistleblower law Changes to whistleblower legislation to make it easier for employees to report everything from bullying to fraud have been delayed. This also pushes back moves to potentially bring the private sector into a critical part of the legislation.

NZ politics vulnerable to corruption - Transparency International A new report warns the country is very vulnerable to overseas corruption and urgent work needs to be done to bring greater transparency to Parliament.

Budget 2019: Goodbye 'NZ Inc' and welcome to the world of wellbeing stuff.co.nz

Sport

Sport NZ face questions over contracting top Olympic official Barry Maister An Olympic figurehead was paid more than $400,000 over seven years in a government advisory role that concerns sport integrity experts.

Supply Chain

Supply chain transparency boosts employee loyalty, motivation, report says Employers that adopt supply chain transparency measures operate more efficiently, earn positive reputations, enjoy a lower risk of labor violations and have better access to capital, according to a report from the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR).

Pacific

Working closely with the state It is vital that community groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) work closely together and with the State, says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG)

Allow media to help shine a light on Pacific issues If Pacific countries want the world to take notice of their situation, they need to stop obstructing and silencing media, writes Laura Walters. Newsroom

Papua New Guinea pioneers transparency on extractives Papua New Guinea is putting transparency and accountability at the heart of the way it manages its extractives sector.

International

Why criminals look to Canada to launder their money through real estate With some of the weakest money-laundering laws among liberal democracies, Canada stands out as a place to launder cash, says a retired lawyer and member of Transparency International Canada

Portugal: The way ahead for anti-corruption Corruption seems fixed and powerful, but it’s possible to defeat it, step by step, with eyes on the future.

Transparency International

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption Transparency International

Nigeria: More Than Half of Country's Education Budget Lost to Corruption - Transparency International Transparency International says 66 percent of the money Nigerian governments allocate to education is stolen by corrupt officials.

Anti-bribery training

Interactive anti-bribery training is an essential element in building a culture of compliance Alexandra Wrage, President, TRACE, a US headquartered anti-bribery business organisation, gives Viveka Roychowdhury an overview of the risks of transnational business in the pharma industry and outlines what companies can do to increase levels of compliance to local and global anti-bribery laws

In case you missed it

7 May 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Data Security Now the Top New Zealand Consumer Priority When Choosing a Bank - New Unisys Research Finds New Zealanders trust banks more than twice as much as the government with their personal data - Unisys Asia Pacific Banking Insights study

Andrew Dickens: Fight between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' looming Opinion

APEC contracts to be reviewed after audit concerns Foreign affairs officials have been forced to review all contracts for New Zealand’s hosting of a major international summit, after the Auditor-General raised concerns about flaws in their procurement practices.

NZ's open government work brings only marginal change New Zealand’s open government work over 2016-2018 brings only marginal change in government practice, new report suggests. scoop.co.nz.

MPs to consider ban on foreign political donations MPs will consider banning foreign donations to political parties after the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) warned that foreign governments want to influence New Zealand politicians.

Spy agencies concerned about foreign political donations and influence campaigns The heads of New Zealand's intelligence agencies have told MPs they are concerned about political donations by hidden state actors and attempts to influence diaspora communities.

RBNZ Embarking on New Communication Strategy, Governor Orr Says New Zealand’s central bank is embarking on a new communication strategy that will see its policy makers speak less behind closed doors and cover a wider range of topics, RBNZ governor Adrian Orr said.

Spies shine light on interference, in spotlight over terror “.... the information laid out by the NZSIS and GCSB about efforts to covertly or deceptively affect New Zealand’s political system brought the issue alive in striking, if somewhat disconcerting, detail.”

Fashion grades: Rating the retail brands that make your clothes Most New Zealand fashion retailers are doing a good job of looking after the people who make their clothes, but some brands have work to do.- NZHerald

Report fails New Zealand fashion retailers on ethical grade Report fails New Zealand fashion retailers on ethical grade - Newshub.

Nine Kiwi brands failing to protect workers, ethical fashion report says Some of New Zealand's highest-profile fashion brands have scored poorly in a new report into the industry's ethics.

Australia

Trust in politicians under cloud as anti-corruption body concerns grow The anti-corruption body Transparency International will today update its wish-list for an Australian national integrity body, amid concerns that it won't be properly resourced to fight corruption.

Government corruption and the need for a Federal ICAC

Pacific

PNG Govt to table anti-corruption bill A bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption in Papua New Guinea will be tabled in Parliament next month, the Justice Minister says.

NGO wants PNG anti-corruption body to be strong Transparency International (Secretariat in Berlin) says it's waiting to see how strong the Papua New Guinea government's planned Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will be.

Sport

Transparency International UK’s strategies for combatting corruption - A guide for sports organisations Lawn Sport Published 18 April 2019 | Authored by: Keith Oliver, Craig Hogg (Article references 2014 work by TI UK)

Transparency International

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon Whistleblowers and investigative journalists are helping pick apart the cross-border corruption networks that exploit the global financial system at the expense of human development.

Whistleblowers

Why Julian Assange's arrest is troubling for whistleblowers

Repercussions for revealing corruption The new EU Whistleblower protection directive is a huge step forward, but journalists and activists still need to exercise caution in their work with whistleblowers. New principles for journalists offer a much needed guide.

International

Report: Construction and Real Estate Carry Greatest Corruption Risk Construction and real estate development are the business sectors globally most exposed to corruption, according to a new report by Risk Advisory, a London-based consultancy.

International organizations and the promotion of democracy Democracy without Boarders World Views, Daniele Archibugi & Marco Cellini,5. April 2019

As Global Democracy Stumbles, Corruption Flourishes Transparency International says the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy…Law.com

Misleading takedowns: Facebook needs to be a lot more transparent when it comes to banning Pages, Groups Facebook’s role in taking down posts threatening electoral democracy needs to be understood better.

Social media executives could be liable for harmful content - The Guardian

Corruption a big issue in muslim-majority nations Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed regret that Muslims are involved in corruption when Islam prohibits it. New Straits Times, Malaysia

Corruption Challenges Index 2019 Corruption danger spots for business in 2019 by Risk Advisory, a London-based consultancy.

In case you missed it

5 April 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

NZ fraud office probes opposition donation An allegation the leader of New Zealand's opposition tried to hide a political donation, has seen police call in the country's serious fraud watchdog.

New Zealand’s Govt Support On Blockchain & Crypto According to a report from Callaghan Innovation, the nation's innovation agency shows that the government in New Zealand significantly support the space. They recognise the potential benefits of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for companies looking to stay one step ahead in the industry. CryptoDaily

NZ Super makes transparency play NZ Super Fund will allow stakeholders to search its voting data by country and company, down to individual resolutions across the 6,000 listed companies the fund holds shares in.

Playing a short game on the privacy bill The select committee has played safe on the Privacy Bill, recommending only modest changes.

Government ministers‘ meetings to be made public from next year The State Services Minister will announce today that for the first time, all government ministers will publicly release details of their internal and external meetings from early next year.

Simon Upton: Time for more transparency on climate targets Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has proposed separate trading systems for fossil and biological emissions to help tackle climate change.

Official information Act complaints rise by 34 per cent New figures have revealed complaints from individuals requesting official information have risen by more than a third in the last two years.

Greens introduce suite of measures to strengthen democracy Sunday, 3 March 2019 Press Release: Green Party. scoop.co.nz

Electoral (Strengthening Democracy) Amendment Bill New Zealand Parlament website

Beneficial Ownership

OECD releases first beneficial ownership toolkit The OECD’s global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, has released the first ever beneficial ownership toolkit designed to help governments, particularly in developing countries, comply with international transparency standards. 

Pacific

Pacific group aims to strengthen reporting on corruption A new anti-corruption regional media group hopes to strengthen checks and balances around good governance in the Pacific.

TIPNG working to better inform communities for better transparency PNG Post Courier - Transparency International PNG has completed a workshop in West New Britain on how to monitor and report governance issues more effectively.

Solomon Islanders prepare for general election RNZ Morning Report which includes a 1 minute interview (starting at 1min 30sec) featuring TI-Solomon Island's President, Ruth Liloqula. She comments on corruption surrounding the Constituency Development Fund, a black hole of nearly $2B of unreported expenditure since 2010.

International

IMF report on corporate tax today, Susana Ruiz, Oxfam International’s Tax Expert said:“The IMF report confirms what Oxfam has been saying for years – that the international tax system is broken and needs fundamental reform.

Financial transparency is not only about rule of law, but also national security

Scandal gives anticorruption agency the spotlight ACRC (Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission in Korea) to fight graft ahead of international conference in Seoul, Korea.

New IMF Report should trigger seismic shift, says Oxfam Responding to the publication of a new IMF report on corporate tax today, Susana Ruiz, Oxfam International’s Tax Expert said: “The IMF report confirms what Oxfam has been saying for years – that the international tax system is broken and needs fundamental reform.

Historic day for whistleblowers as EU agrees pathbreaking legislation The European Parliament and EU Council have agreed a pathbreaking piece of legislation that will help protect whistleblowers around Europe.

UK to encourage Crown Dependencies to introduce public registers voluntarily The Crown Dependencies have confirmed they will develop public registers of company beneficial ownership once it has been established as a global norm.

Panama Papers

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reminded us that they published the Panama Papers three years ago on 3 April 2016. More than $1 billion has been recouped around the world thanks to the Panama Papers. This is a striking example of how ICIJ’s worldwide, fearless investigative reporting holds the powerful to account.

In case you missed it

14 March 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Political Roundup: The role of corporate lobbying in NZ's political process NZ Herald

Is a life worth $4.7 million? The wellbeing framework that puts the “value of a statistical life” at $4.7 million is coming under fire.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman urges scrutiny of ’who controls purse strings of bigger parties’ Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman is pushing for a sweep of measures to ensure increased transparency and better representation in Parliament.

Open Government Partnership: End-of-Term Report by Independent Reviewer on New Zealand’s second National Action Plan 2016-2018 .The report covers the full action plan implementation period from July 2016 through August 2018.

Marginal Open Government progress achieved with the Open Government Partnership second National Action Plan 2016-2018. An independent reviewer has questioned the last government’s efforts to improve openness and transparency, saying a lack of ambition had led to only “marginal” improvements to practice. Its successor has not escaped scrutiny, however, with the suggestion that the visibility of the open government role had diminished since Clare Curran lost the job.

Independent assessment rates DCC as a top performer The Dunedin City Council (DCC) received an ‘A’ grading following an independent assessment known as CouncilMARK - a programme run through Local Government New Zealand. The DCC is one of only six New Zealand councils to have received an overall grading of A or better.

Embracing cameras on fishing boats will be game-changing  WWF believes that putting cameras on commercial fishing boats will be a game-changer for .... enhancing public trust and providing accurate data will provide opportunities for much better management of our fisheries.

Let's end the 'shadowy practices' that stop women from breaking glass ceiling Helen Clark

Auckland hosts world anti-corruption and counter-fraud experts on tackling shared threats Anti-corruption and counter-fraud experts from around the world gathered in Auckland to discuss shared threats, including organised and trans-national crime.

Sport

FIFA warns scandal-hit Oceania: Clean-up 'vital for survival' Message from FIFA President Gianni Infantino"If there is still somebody in Oceania who is involved in football in any capacity, who has not realised yet that the time of abusing football for personal gain is over, then we can really not help it any more," Infantino said.

Auckland lawyer cleaning up world sport Maria Clarke has been at the centre of international efforts to clean up world sport since 2016, having been handed the batten by British running legend Lord Sebastian Coe. Now 3 years later she's in hot demand to help other world sports bodies implement change. Audio on RadioNZ

Pacific

PNG bishops attack govt over corruption Catholic bishops of Papua New Guinea have lambasted the government for failing to take action on corruption and for what they call its general incompetence.

International

Troika Laundromat revelations make the case for tougher supervision of Europe’s banking sector

In case you missed it

26 February 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Govt demands change in insurance sector after damning report The government will fast-track consumer protection measures in the financial sector, after a damning report into life insurance companies

Serious Fraud Office warns billions in public funding potentially misused The chief executive of the financial crime investigation agency, Julie Read, said she expected up to 5 percent of government funding to be obtained or used fraudulently.

Government axes controversial Saudi sheep deal, saving taxpayers $1m It has cancelled the contract to deliver an abattoir to Saudi businessman, Hmood Al Khalaf, saying the New Zealand public will not be giving him another cent.

‘Marginal’ open govt progress under National Independent reviewer Keitha Booth has questioned the last government’s efforts to improve openness and transparency, saying a lack of ambition had led to only “marginal” improvements to practice.

NZ among the least corrupt public sectors in the world Scoop.co.nz – Press Release: Transparency International NZ

Grant Robertson outlines a Wellbeing Approach Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ)

International

Top 10 International Anti-Corruption Developments for January 2019

Denmark again the least corrupt country in the world However, the new Corruption Perceptions Index doesn’t take Danske Bank scandal into account

Fashion industry unites to tackle slavery and trafficking in supply chains Ahead of Paris Fashion Week, UK Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Minister Victoria Atkins spoke at the Paris Supply Chains Conference where representatives from governments, the fashion industry, textiles and civil society came together to discuss measures businesses should take to eradicate modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains.

Fighting corruption should be a key strategy for strengthening democracy Public Finance International - Corruption weakens democratic institutions and populist leaders can take advantage of mistrust in public bodies, says Transparency International's Coralie Pring