Transparency Times December 2014

New Zealand Drops to 2nd ‘Least Corrupt Country’ in 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International announced on 3 December, 2014 that Denmark has overtaken New Zealand to become the country with the lowest level of perceived corruption in the public sector in 2014.

The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 175 countries on a scale of zero to 100.

New Zealand score of 91 was pipped by Denmark who moved up one point from last year to 92. The perceived most corrupt countries were North Korea and Somalia, both with scores of 8, ranked 175.

Australia’s score fell from 81 to 80 and it is ranking fell from 10 to 11.

The scores were compiled prior to July 2014, this was just before New Zealand’s election campaign.

“An obstacle to New Zealand leading the index is its failure to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) over the past 11 years which most countries have ratified,” Transparency International New Zealand Chair Suzanne Snively said today.

“Our ability to ratify was delayed until the legislation required to deal with corruption offences was put in place.

“The long-awaited Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill, an omnibus bill, recently had its first reading in Parliament and we are encouraged that the bill was referred unanimously to Select Committee as one of the first acts of Parliament following the election in October.

“We now need to ensure the Bill is fit for purpose and it reflects government, business and community commitment to being corruption-free.”

Once this bill is introduced, ratification will also allow New Zealand to comply with the OECD Convention.

“Our ranking as number 2 most trusted public sector reinforces that there is still much more to do to protect our good reputation.

“This ranking of the public sector belies the fact that New Zealand companies are facing increased exposure to risks of corruption as we increase our trade and operate increasingly in countries where corruption practices exist.

“China’s score fell to 36, despite its Premier making anti-corruption a key priority and is ranked 100. India, who's new leader has also made anti-corruption a priority, scored 38,ranking it above China at 85.

“These are countries that we are trading with more intensely and clearly, their reputations are not as sound as ours.

“New Zealand companies are urged to take the risks to New Zealand’s reputation seriously and to ensure their staff are supported with policies and guidelines about what to do.

“This is a fundamental matter of governance. Ensuring employees are supported to know what to do when faced with issues that could be corrupt not only protects valued staff members and organisations from legal dilemmas but also ensures safety nets are in place to support our firms who do business overseas to do good honest business all the time.

Free online self-directed training is available to help on TINZ’s website. Overseas trading businesses are missing out on opportunities to improve their returns if they haven’t considered the impact of their involvement in corruption and if they don’t know the law and how it impacts them not using it”, Ms Snively said

The Chief Executive of Business NZ, Phil O’Reilly echoed Transparency International’s call for urgency on employers to train their staff to ensure the integrity of the country’s reputation.

“We must continually improve our anti-corruption performance in business as well as government to maintain the very best standards in the world,” Mr. O’Reilly said.

For more information see the Transparency International Secretariat media release: Corporate secrecy, global money laundering makes it harder for emerging economies to fight corruption.

CPI 2014 Country Map With Scores

Click on Map for Full Sized Version

New Zealand's Reputation is Known Worldwide

Transparency International has released the findings of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 in 175 countries. Worldwide the media has shown a great interest in the rankings.

New Zealand is being acknowledged along with with Denmark as the top countries with best integrity systems in the world on television, in print, and online throughout the world.

New Zealand reputation is well known and acknowledged as far as in the antipodes. Evidence of this is the following comment to the media from Jesus Lizcano, President of TI Spain:

“Spain needs to improve and try to emulate the best countries in the global ranking of CPI, such as Denmark and New Zealand, which have legal and institutional systems greatly transparent and preventive against corruption”.

Submissions for the Organized Crimes Bill

Submissions on the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill are due by 5 February, 2015.

The Law and Order Select Committee has called for submissions on the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill. The last date for submission is 5 February, 2015. See “Business before the Law and Order Committee” on www.parliament.nz.

The introduction of the Omnibus Bill should at last facilitate New Zealand’s ability to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.  Transparency International’s New Zealand Chapter (TINZ) will make a submission and intends to make the following points. 

  • The Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Legislation Bill will strengthen existing legislation and support our standing as a country that takes its international commitments seriously.
  • However, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) seeks an amendment to the proposed Bill to more fully clarify that facilitation payments are bribes.
    • Section 105C (3) (a) and (b) from the Crimes Act currently offers a defence for facilitation payments.
    • UNCAC prohibits bribes to government officials in all forms.
    • UNCAC does not distinguish between small or large bribes, nor between bribes and facilitation payments, because they are the same thing.
    • We ask that the Bill clarifies that a facilitation payment is a bribe. 

If you would like to draw on our points for you own submission please feel free to do so. In any event we encourage your engagement on this very important Bill. if you identify other points that you feel that TINZ may want to review, don’t hesitate to let us know.

TINZ 2014 Annual General Meeting

On Thursday, 20 November Transparency International New Zealand held it’s 2014 Annual General Meeting a Bowen House in Wellington.

During the business portion of the meeting, members were updated about the activities of the organisation, its financial condition, and participated in the election of two new board members.

The meeting concluded with a lively panel discussion of ‘GOPAC’s Year Ahead.’ which was both entertaining and informative. Formatted as a “Speed Seminar” and conducted under Chatham House rules, the panel was moderated by TINZ Patron Sir Anand Satyanand. Participating were:

Chris Hipkins Sir Anand Satyanand James Shaw Brett Hudson

Chris Hipkins, Sir Anand Satyanand, James Shaw, and Brett Hudson

  • Chris Hipkins. Labour Party Spokesman, Education
  • James Shaw, Green Party List MP
  • Brett Hudson, National Party List MP

Some key points raised included:

  • New Zealand has a very robust and transparent system of government, but there are worrying signals and we need to be ever vigilant.
  • The spirit and intent of the Official Information Act is being undermined through wilful misinterpretation.
  • The OIA can and should be strengthened, particularly around the requirement to process requests as soon as possible.
  • The Office of the Ombudsman is struggling to keep up with demand and investigate all complaints and that needs to be addressed.
  • The resourcing of opposition MPs has also been constrained at a time when resources to government ministers have increased, creating an uneven playing field.
  • The advent of “dirty politics” reinforces the need for all in government to act with honesty, integrity and respect for the institutions of government.
TINZ 2014 Attendees

TINZ 2014 Annual General Meeting

TINZ 2014 Audience

TINZ 2014 Annual General Meeting

TINZ Welcomes Janine McGruddy and Josephine Serrallach to the Board

Janine McGruddy

Janine McGruddy is a proud public servant, passionate about transparency, good governance and ‘talking truth to power’ and above all the importance of the role an apolitical, independent, professional public service plays in a strong democracy.

She is the Convener of the Wellington Spring Network, developed as an independent space for public servants to collaborate, innovate and foster a progressive public service that takes pride in serving the New Zealand public.

While working in the public service she has gained a Masters of Strategic Studies from the Victoria University School of Government and two papers at the 2013 International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) Conference one on Talking Truth to Power for the Intelligence Analyst and the other on Multilateral Intelligence Collaboration and the need for Oversight. Her focus as a Director for Transparency International New Zealand is on the growing perception of political corruption in the Public Service, bullying as a form of corruption and strengthening support for the Office of the Ombudsman as an invaluable check and balance as recommended by the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment Recommendations.

Dr. Josephine Serrallach

Josephine Serrallach was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, and has a degree in Economics by the University of Barcelona. Arriving in New Zealand she earned a PhD at Massey University. Josephine has also a background in Policy Development and Commercialisation of Intellectual Property. Among other roles, she worked for several years as New Technology Manager at Massey University and later as Intellectual Property Manager at Victoria Link, the commercial arm of Victoria University of Wellington, where she was responsible for licensing intellectual property and starting spin-off companies, having been the catalyst for the foundation of Magritek, now a successful company in the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Josephine was Director of the New Zealand Pavilion at the Expo-92 in Sevilla, Spain.

Josephine is currently self-employed and is a Company Director. She has a certificate in Company Direction and is a member of the Institute of Directors of New Zealand.

Outgoing Director Fiona Tregonning

Outgoing Director Ian Tuke

Two Directors who are not seeking re-election are Fiona Tregonning and Ian Tuke. They are both strong examples of the combination of intellectual commitment, focussed effort and time that volunteer members of the TINZ Board contribute in support of building strong integrity systems. As well as their individual gifts to TINZ, their firms, Bell Gully and Deloitte, have been generous to a fault in making available meeting rooms, conference call facilities, planning materials, catering, professional services, administration including processing RSVPs for events and/or as additions to the TINZ database.

Fiona Tregonning has brought her sharp brain and acute eye to the review of any formal material written by or for TINZ, to the provision of material for the annual OECD Exporting Corruption Report, to the free online anti-corruption training and to shaping TINZ governance and ethics policies. Regardless of how busy her own professional work is, Fiona has provided TINZ with timely strategic advice to deepen and strengthen its capacity.

Ian Tuke’s knowledge of laws, regulations and anti-corruption policy that applies to businesses and other organisations is based on expertise shaped by experience.  His attention to the detail when adapting the online anticorruption training to actual New Zealand conditions has ensured that the training is relevant and those who take the time to do the training come away with knowledge to respond to new situations in a manner that maintains and strengthens business integrity.

A Tribute to Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope 2

Jeremy Pope

“Simply by sailing in a new direction you can enlarge the world”.  – Allen Curnow

Around 100 people gathered at Victoria University on 1 December to warmly remember anti-corruption champion Jeremy Pope. Despite his untimely death in August 2012 his advice shaped the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment (NIS) and it was dedicated to him. A formal presentation of a bound copy was made to his wife, Diana Pope.

TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively, Former Ombudsman Liz Brown and NIS Co-Director Murray Petrie outlined the significance of the system devised and developed by Jeremy Pope whose 2000 Source Book has been translated into over 20 languages and used all over the world to understand integrity systems. “The 2013 New Zealand NIS assessment may not have been completed while Jeremy was still with us but it was very much his”.

Former International Criminal Court Judge, legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014 Tuiloma Neroni Slade shared memories and observations of Jeremy as professional colleague friend and mentor.

Mr Slade painted a picture of a highly personal character with a keen intellect , a fertile mind and a powerful ethical compass.  Mr Slade also very much recognised what he called the ‘duality’ of the partnership of Jeremy and Diana Pope and their collective life works.

He said Jeremy brought a dimension of unfussiness in his intellectual approach to the law. “He worked to under an unwavering belief in the rule of law as providing protection for all citizens. Law needed to be clear and just, and written in terms that citizens could understand”.

He said Jeremy’s holistic view of governance contributed substantively to our learning through two complementary approaches: at the macro level he focussed on strengthening national integrity systems while at the same time he actively worked with citizens on ground up formulation of policies and activities affecting their daily lives.

Jeremy’s partnership with Peter Eigen to establish Berlin-based Transparency International was described as truly “innovative”. Mr Slade said so much of his thinking and beliefs had been formed and distilled in the support systems of the Commonwealth, and that this culminated in his work to eliminate corruption with TI seemed to be “the loudest of accolades”.

Chair of the 2013 New Zealand NIS Independent Research Advisory Group, Helen Sutch, also relayed stories. She recalled the sweet surprise of Jeremy and herself when they found themselves on the same stage in Lithuania speaking about corruption.

Diana Pope received the report and shared memories of Jeremy's curiosity and sense of optimism. “Jeremy enjoyed everything he ever did”.  She thanked the New Zealand Chapter of Transparency International and recalled that “when you are on the side of right, good things happen”.

A largely unsung New Zealand hero, Jeremy Pope set the direction and has left much to a large and grateful world.  His legacy requires our ongoing attention. There is always room for strengthening. We must not be complacent.

Charles Sampford on Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope – Father of National Integrity Systems:
Tribute from Charles Samford

I am delighted that Murray agreed to pass on a few words from me in tribute to Jeremy and especially the work on national integrity systems and his grand vision of the role it would play.

Although I had been working with TI since 1995 I did not meet Jeremy until 1998. There was an instant connection and I was proud to become one of Jeremy’s many friends. The first point of connection was that we had both seen that the Queensland reforms of the early 1990s were qualitatively different from the then popular ‘Hong Kong model’ – i.e. a strong anti-corruption law, a strong ICAC to enforce it and an independent judiciary to try it. The Queensland reforms went much further, involving a mutually reinforcing set of norms, laws and institutions that not only made corruption more difficult but better government more likely. I had called it an ethics regime which OECD renamed an ‘ethics infrastructure.’ Jeremy called it an ‘integrity system’ the name that stuck.

I worked with Jeremy on several projects including improving TI’s (Transparency International Secretariat’s) measurement of corruption and, of course, National Integrity Systems Assessments. After that I had the pleasure of working with him on projects with TIRI. There were several he invited me to join in that I could not do because of time constraints – including the NIS Country studies project and his optimistic attempts to persuade dodgy presidents from Abuja to Islamabad that stamping out corruption was the best thing they could do for their country.

But his fertile mind was not just a constant source of ideas for new ways to persuade officials to avoid corruption and design institutions that would catch them if they didn’t. He also had a grand vision of how they would all fit together. He suggested that we needed to improve both our measurement of corruption and the variables within integrity systems that made them more or less effective against corruption. In the latter, he wanted the country studies as a start. He saw country studies as ‘tick box’ studies of which institutions from a standard list a particular country had and how effective they were. The National Integrity Systems Assessments looked beyond the standard list and started with the institutions there were – and studied the interactions between them to understand the extent to which they were a system. Other elements involved educating for integrity through TIRI and a network of partners of which we were proud to be one.

I was sorry I could not help Jeremy secure that vision through tying the elements together. But the vision is there and is, for me, a key part of his legacy. It would be great to form a team to realise it.

Charles Sampford

Charles Sampford

TI has been thinking about how to develop NIS work. NIS country studies have taken on some of the attributes of NISAs and are increasingly being called by that name. In the lead up to the G20 I suggested a workshop on national integrity systems – something that Prof AJ Brown wanted to run with. 

In the meantime, I concentrated on the Global Integrity Summit which looked at the ethics and integrity dimension of the G20 agenda which attracted speakers from most G20 countries and 400 registrants. Both were great successes and can be considered as part of his legacy.

But I would like to think we could go further and, like Jeremy, seek to integrate integrity initiatives, involving those inside and outside TI – just as Jeremy did such great work both inside and outside of TI. 

Professor Charles Sampford, DPhil (Oxon)
Director, IEGL, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law
President, International Institute for Public Ethics
Foundation Dean and Professor of Law and Research Professor in Ethics, Griffith University

Open Government Partnership Implementation by Michael Macaulay

Michael MacAulay

Dr. Michael Macaulay
Director of the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) and is Associate Professor in Public Management at the School of Government at Victoria University

New Zealand Action over Open Government Partnership

by Michael Macaulay

Membership of the open Government Partnership was one of the recommendations in TINZ’s Integrity Plus National Integrity Assessment study and it is very god news, therefore, that New Zealand finally published its Open Government Partnership Action plan at the end of October

It’s also great to see that the plan was well received by the OGP Support Unit, who praised it as “very well thought out, thorough, clear, and specific” (OGP’s reaction and all relevant documents can be found on the SSC’s dedicated Open Government Partnership web pages) and while the Government has received criticism in some quarters for its consultation procedures, the unveiling of the plan is to be warmly welcomed.

Without question, the OGP is a hugely valuable initiative and one in which New Zealand can and should play a global leadership role.  Indeed, if TINZ experiences at the OGP summit in May are anything to go by, then it is expected of us to play such a role, particularly by our neighbours and partners in the Asia Pacific region. 

The Action Plan focuses on four key initiatives:

  1. the Government’s Better Public Service (BPS) Results programme
  2. the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017
  3. the Government’s response to the 2013 Transparency International New Zealand’s National Integrity System Assessment Report, and
  4. the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord.

Obviously the first two commitments are already well underway and are therefore relatively easy to map as they develop.  The response to the NIS report, however, is more complicated inasmuch as there are so many recommendations to address.  The key questions facing future OGP discussion, therefore, is which recommendations to tackle, in which order, and how we can ensure that a long-term vision is not lost in translation.

In a sense, however, this all reflects a more general challenge: how can the Action Plan be implemented so that it achieves maximum participation?  Without public involvement the entyre OGP project is meaningless so it is now imperative to start thinking of ways of connecting with the wider NZ community.  Here are a few suggestions at developing a participation infrastructure:

  1. Discover what it already out there.  Evidence suggests that there are many examples of local and community projects underway that fit entyrely within the grand challenges[1] and values[2] of the OGP.  Let’s find out what’s happening and map these onto future plans – the more that emerges from our local communities the more power OGP will have.
  2. Connect the dots.  Creating a map will not only allow us to see what may already fall under the banner of OGP, but can also enable us to be inspired to create ever more innovative approaches.  Let all those people who are already engaged in community and local projects speak with each other and to the rest of us.  Let’s listen to their stories. 
  3. Adopt a whole of government approach. OGP potentially affects so many different agencies and government departments.  Let’s develop communication across government and again see how people can work with each other.
  4. Use all available channels.  There are so many ways of communicating with people and encouraging participation that we should not limit ourselves to any given channel.  Public events, online discussions, informal groups  all have a role to play.
  5. Develop networks New Zealand is a small country that allows it to have a superb array of groups and organisations in a range of sectors – civil society, business, academic, community – and all of these can and should be a conduit to promoting OGP.  These can be interlinked around an OGP hub that allows groups to talk among themselves, with each other and with the OGP team.

One thing seems absolutely certain: there will be no shortage of people ready and willing to take part in the discussion.  Developing a participation infrastructure will build momentum not only in implementing the current Action plan but also building new ones throughout the years to come.

A public event The OGP Action Plan – what next for New Zealand? was held on Monday November 17th by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies where all these ideas and more were discussed. The Victoria University-IGPS hosted event provided an opportunity for an open discussion not only about the details of the plan but also the next steps for evaluation and implementation. It is time to build on all the hard work that has already been undertaken, to move forward and for grass-roots-led New Zealanders to play a leading role in OGP.

Open Government Partnership Implementation by Murray Petrie

Murray Petrie is a consultant on public management to NZ government departments and International Financial Institutions. Murray is an active member of the IMF’s Panel of Fiscal Experts, and has worked on financial management reform and fiscal transparency in over 20 countries. He is a founding member of TINZ and former co-chair.

Government publishes NZ’s first OGP National Action Plan – but much remains to be done to put a satisfactory plan together

by Murray Petrie

On 31 October NZ formally became a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), with the publication of New Zealand’s first OGP National Action Plan (NAP).  The OGP was established in 2011 as an international partnership of countries aiming to foster openness, transparency and accountability to their citizens. From the founding eight countries it has grown rapidly to 65 countries. Members are required to submit an Action Plan every two years, prepared in collaboration with civil society, and to have implementation of each Plan independently reviewed.

In addition to releasing NZ’s NAP (which contains an Appendix detailing NZ stakeholder feedback and criticism of the draft Plan), the government also released the Cabinet Paper together with comments on the draft NAP from the OGP Support Unit.

While this represents good practice in terms of the openness of some aspects of the process, unfortunately the Action Plan itself contains only four commitments.

On this NZ compares very unfavourably with other OGP members. The average number of commitments in the first 41 was 22 with a median of 19 commitments. While what constitutes a commitment varies quite widely across NAPs, there is no doubt that, in terms of the number of commitments, New Zealand’s Action Plan is, at the moment, seriously lacking in ambition.  

Furthermore, two of the commitments are pre-existing, on-going initiatives: Result 10 of the Better Public Service (BPS) Results programme (the public can easily complete their transactions with government in a digital environment), and the ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017. As noted by the OGP Support Unit, without more specificity on the activities, products, and timelines of these on-going commitments it will be very hard to evaluate whether any progress has been made.

The third commitment is more interesting and potentially ambitious – to consider and respond to TINZ’s 2013 National Integrity System (NIS) Assessment report. It is certainly pleasing that this has been included as a commitment. The government has indicated it will make initial decisions with respect to the NIS recommendations by end-February 2015, and will also work with TINZ and other stakeholders over the next two years as the Action Plan develops over time.

There are some NIS recommendations that the government should move quickly to add to the Action Plan at the end of February.  These include the introduction of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy; systematic pro-active release of official information and the promotion of enhanced compliance with the Official Information Act; and commitments to the regular publication of technically independent national environmental and social reporting, and increasing transparency of public procurement.

The fourth commitment – to review the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord – was added to the Plan following public consultation on the initial draft, in which civil society representatives argued for a new government-wide framework for timely consultation and direct public participation in policy development and implementation. Countries such as the UK and USA have included commitments in their Action Plans to strengthen public consultation and participation practices.

On a longer time frame, there are some NIS recommendations that address fundamental and serious weaknesses, and that should be considered for inclusion in New Zealand’s second Action Plan – such as extending coverage of the Official Information Act to the administration of Parliament, and increasing the transparency of political party funding.

In terms of the process from here, the government has indicated that a stakeholder-led advisory group will be established to assist the Government with meeting OGP commitments.

Two points are worth highlighting here. It is important that the government does not just appoint an advisory group. Civil society needs to discuss and determine how it wishes to organise itself with respect to this process. Consistent with the ground rules and the DNA of the OGP – which is all about partnership – the advisory group needs to be established on the basis of collaborative engagement and deliberation.

Secondly, given the very wide scope of the recommendations in the NIS, one stakeholder group is likely to be insufficient to enable genuine engagement between the many official entities involved and the various NGOs, business groups, academics, journalists and so on, with a legitimate interest and valuable contributions to make. A structure with a high-level steering group, underpinned by a number of technical working groups is worth considering.


See http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-reaffirms-commitment-open-government and http://www.ssc.govt.nz/open-government-partnership

Governance Goal Critical Millennium Development Goal

As the Government moves on from the G20 and begins planning New Zealand’s role as an independent member of the Security Council, former Transparency International Chair, Huguette Labelle, draws our attention to the development of the post 2015 Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

by Huguette Labelle

New Zealand participated with 70 other countries in a meeting convened by the United Nations in 2013 to come up with recommendations of sustainable development goals. A governance goal was included among the 17 goals and 169 targets that these countries, known as the Open Working Group, recommended in July 2014. The proposed “Goal 16”, referred to as the “Governance Goal”, calls for peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Political challenges around the meaning of the term “governance” have forced a convergence of different agendas (governance, human rights and rule of law) under one goal. But in the end, it has helped to bring together a consensus of the countries to include it in the group’s recommendations.

Without explicitly stating it, this is the governance goal that is needed. For Transparency International, the key aspect missing from the current UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which caused many of the goals to not be met, was their failure to tackle governance and corruption. Research findings by TI clearly show that high levels of corruption and poor governance in a country have negative correlation with MDG achievement, regardless of  how rich or poor a country is. Proposed targets under Goal 16 include reducing corruption and bribery, curtailing illicit flows, providing public access to information and ensuring responsive, inclusive and participatory decision-making at all levels.

Yet the coming months will be critical for governments to ensure that the goal makes it through broader member state debates that are set for the UN. This is where New Zealand has a key and strategic role to play. While the process for negotiations is still being decided, expectations are that some  governments will use the threat of cutting this goal as a way to achieve their strategic asks in other areas, including the financing of the agenda. Member state discussions will culminate with a post-2015 summit organised in September 2015 (Denmark and Papua New Guinea are charged with this process).

Like minded governments that want goal 16 to stay need to align  their efforts during this process. This can be done by having a few countries launch a ‘friends of governance’ group to lobby for the goal among member states both at the UN and in national capitals. Also, governments need to speak out as champions on the goal and work as peer mentors  to sway those that are not supportive in their region and beyond. Finally, governments need to work with civil society and companies to form a united front on the issue. The Open Government Partnership has the potential to catalyse their involvement.

Decisions of Governments over the next months will be critical to determine whether the post 2015 agenda reaches the ultimate goal of a world without poverty. Now is the time to set the agenda right and include a governance goal as an anchor of the new commitments. The question is whether a governance goal will continue to be included in the post-2015 commitments. The government of New Zealand is in a good position in this regard.

The UN has been tasked to set new global commitments to take on the challenges that have prevented development gains for all countries and people as had been promised by the MGDs in 2000.

The next 15 years for development will be decided now. Let’s ensure  that all future goals are achieved by having  the proposed Governance Goal.

Climate Change and Putin Dominate G20 Brisbane News

As host to the G20, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made news for his threat to “shirt front” Russian leader, Vladimir Putin and had sought to keep climate change from the agenda despite it being raised at several prior meetings including the June Melbourne-based (C20). Putin left the summit in Brisbane early after enduring hours of browbeating by a succession of Western leaders urging him to drop his support for secessionists in eastern Ukraine. 

Climate change took center stage due to an agreement reached earlier in the week between host China’s Xi Jing Ping and United States President, Barack Obama showing welcome leadership in climate change.  The US will contribute $US 3 billion to the Green Climate Fund,  a global initiative to provide money to developing nations to ameliorate the impact of climate change and reduce emissions.

As described in the Integrity Plus New Zealand 2013 National Integrity System Assessment section on environmental foundations and the accompanying additional paper, strong environmental governance is key to supporting strong national integrity systems.  While only a start, this agreement between China and the US is a welcome beginning.

G20 Australia Communique

Meantime, the G20 leaders’ Communique also included an Action Plan for anti-corruption, recognising that anti-corruption and economic growth go hand-in-hand. While the agreement leaves much to be done, the momentum from the ongoing engagement of the Anti-corruption Working Group continues.

The Action Plan for Anti-Corruption 2015-2016

There are 6 focus areas of the new Action Plan:

  • Beneficial Ownership (BO)
  • Foreign Bribery
  • Public Sector integrity systems, including whistle blowing provisions
  • Private Sector integrity systems, including whistle blowing provisions
  • High Risk Sectors, eg extractive industries
  • International cooperation around money laundering and asset recovery

Anti-Corruption Working Group post Australia

As the co-chairs next year, Turkey and the United States will be in charge of refining dates and timelines for monitoring and reporting.  The United States is said to be interested in beneficial ownership and asset recovery as priorities. The new Action Plan reaffirms commitment to working with the C20 and B20 on progressing anti-corruption measures.  While New Zealand won’t be a guest of the next G20, there are opportunities to progress this agenda through our seat on the UN Security Council.

Transparency International will also be providing the anti-corruption working group with background material about the position of different member countries and about the impact of the various anti-corruption matters.

Coming Events

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Deloitte Bribery and Corruption survey 2014 Australia & New Zealand

The Deloitte Bribery and Corruption survey 2014 Australia & New Zealand will be released in early 2015. At press time the survey was still open for responses at their website.

Progressing the NIS

Suzanne Snively will be delivering a keynote address to Rotary International, Saturday 6 December 2014

International Anti-Corruption Day

9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day. The UN created this observance to raise awareness of corruption. This year the UNODC and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focussing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development. Visit anticorruptionday.org.

Here in New Zealand it is a very timely reminder that we need to stay vigilant and actively support activities that educate all kiwi’s about how to manage corruption risks. Please help spread the word. Additionally take and promote our online Anti-Corruption Training module .

Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill

5 February – OCACLB submissions due
4 May – Law and Order Committee report back post submissions.