Transparency Times December 2016

From the Chair


Seasons Greetings from Transparency International New Zealand

The smooth transfer of power from former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to former Finance Minister Bill English was a strong contrast to the experience of my just concluded travel around the world in 18 days visiting Phoenix, Panama and Paris. It is important to acknowledge that New Zealand’s processes of passing on political power stand out for their calm and general sensibility. This is what we expect.  Yet it is  atypical of much of the world.

Book-ended by Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and on return, transitional political power, my trip showed more than ever that new Prime Minister Bill English can’t afford to be complacent if he wishes to retain this state of play.

My trip to Phoenix/ LA to further TINZ formative consultation for our Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA), to Panama for Transparency International’s Annual Members’ Meeting and the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), and to Paris for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, was filled with graphic and evidence-based case studies from other parts of the world detailing corruption, impunity and the exploitation of citizens.

Donald Trump’s election was a surprise, even to Arizonians who voted for him. His blatant refusal to publish his tax return and interests register shows breath-taking arrogance verging on impunity.

Panama’s bid to have the location of this year’s IACC there was aimed to balance its image as a magnet for shady deals. This bid, which requires at least a US$2 million government payment, was won in August 2015 before the publication of the Mossack Fonseca Panama Papers 8 months later.

By the time the IACC conference started on 1 December 2016, the signage for Mossack Fonseca’s Panama Office had been removed, though the security guards at the gate give things away.

The shocking thing is that there are many other shady organisations, springing from the lack of transparency of Panama’s financial sector.

Reform efforts since the publication of the Panama Papers appear to be cosmetic. A seven-member commission appointed to make its financial system more transparent, in short order saw the resignation of key members, including Nobel Prize winner Joseph E Stiglitz.

According to the 5 December Intrnational Edition of the New York Times, Stiglitz said: “They’re making a valiant effort to sound tough…But the key weaknesses in the transparency framework have not been addressed”. The Times noted that Stiglitz emphasised the importance making the names of beneficial owners public.We are very big on the notion of a searchable registry and they are very opposed to that,” he said.

Suzanne Snively

Suzanne Snively
TINZ Chair

At the Paris Summit the consensus of the 3000 or so attendees from 85 country members of Open Government Partnership is for a fully public register. It is clear from evidence collected by international law makers that behind the veil of secrecy, there are at least two crimes being committed in the forms of financial crime and/or organised crime. Lack of transparency also enables tax abuse.

New Zealand has a major opportunity to take the lead on preventing financial crime. With the legislation for AML Phase 2 before Parliament, it’s important that our new Prime Minister pushes hard to progress the new legislation to ensure supervision of lawyers, accountants and real estate agents a soon as possible. And it’s timely for our new Deputy PM to put on her hat as State Sector Minister and does her homework on the many lessons learned from New Zealand’s now deeper commitment to Open Government Partnership.

A essential lesson learned from my travels is the importance of transparency in financial markets. It is clear that TINZ is leading with its approach to demonstrate the strength and weaknesses of the New Zealand system through FISA. There are strong indicators already that the assessment will demonstrate that New Zealand’s financial system is more focussed on the importance of integrity than elsewhere. Do take a moment over January to participate in the formative consultation process for FISA.

Thank-you for your support of TINZ over 2016 and all the best for 2017

Suzanne Snively, Chair
Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Message from the CEO

Janine McGruddy

Janine McGruddy
TINZ Chief Executive Officer

by Janine McGruddy

TINZ Chief Executive Officer

Dear TINZ Members

It's time to reflect on 2016 beginning with a big thanks to you for being on this journey with TINZ as we advance the New Zealand story of integrity.

Suzanne, Josephine and I have just returned from the Transparency International Annual Members Meeting and the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama.  It was a mix of great challenges and great joys and we have all come back reinvigorated and inspired by the global conversations.

The negative rhetoric of our “if it bleeds it leads” media-feeds can be echo chambers. And those echo chambers don’t just reflect our political beliefs; they reflect our worst feelings about human progress. Progressive thinking has taken a few body blows from the likes of Brexit and the Trump fiasco, but humanity still has much to celebrate. We can start 2017 with great hope for the future.

At the local level the Panama Papers led to the Shewan report and the positive outcomes of that, the Open Government Partnership has finally had the recognition and effort it needed to make progress, and New Zealand committed to monitored actions at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London.

At the global level in 2016 the world got more generous – global spending on aid and development increased by 7%, and spending on refugees has doubled.

In June, a new survey showed that the ozone hole has shrunk by more than 3.9 million square kilometres since 2006. Scientists now think it will be fully healed by 2050.

The World Health Organisation released a report showing that, since the year 2000, global malaria deaths have declined by 60%. A new study from the world’s leading health journal reported that the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990.

Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps going down. Thailand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years.

In December, the Gambia became the latest African country to show that voting does count, and dictators do fall. Pakistan has made strides toward outlawing honour killings. 70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS.  Following the end of conflict in Colombia in 2016, all of the war in the world is now limited to an arc that contains less than a sixth of the world’s population.

Tiger numbers are growing, and pandas are no longer endangered. California is now being powered by over 5 million homes with solar power. Portugal ran its entyre nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight and volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.

And it is reported that world crime as a whole has drastically declined in the last couple of decades.

With all this in mind I wish you all a recuperative and inspiring break so that we can all work together in 2017 to continue this progress.

Ngâ mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou!

Janine

Annual Members Meeting and International Anti-Corruption Conference

A Time for Truth

Transparency International Annual Members Meeting and the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama

Cab driver paying bribe to police while taking paying passengers to Anti-corruption conference

Cab driver paying bribe to police while taking paying passengers to Anti-corruption conference.

It raised a few eyebrows telling people three of us—TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively, CEO Janine McGruddy and Director, Josephine Serrallach—were off to Panama for an anti-corruption conference. As the New York Times reported in August of 2015, “Panama sought to shed its image as a magnet for shady deals and narco traffickers by hosting the world’s largest anti-corruption conference”. At the time, it probably seemed like good idea. Eight months after agreeing to host the conference, the nation was deeply embarrassed when the records widely known as the “Panama Papers,” were released.

It was poignant as a host country. Nothing brings home the value of living in a relatively corruption free country like New Zealand than having your taxi pulled over by the police and witnessing bribes being paid.

So as an example of how corruption can effect a country’s reputation, Panama was a very fitting host for both events.

TI Annual Members Meeting

The Transparency International (TI) 2016 Annual Members Meeting (AMM), which included representatives from more than 90 Transparency International chapters and up to 28 individual members, adopted a resolution calling for an end to the secrecy around the registration of financial ownership. This secrecy enables corruption and contributes to inequality worldwide.

Illicit financial flows have been estimated to exceed an annual US$1 trillion. “Secrecy fuels corruption and leads to inequality and poverty,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International. “We met in Panama to send one message to all governments, business, and civil society: together we can request the end of secrecy and stop the shady deals that create social damage”.

José has committed to visiting New Zealand in July 2017 when TINZ members and their networks will have a chance to hear from him in person.

Transparency International’s chapters and members also called on all governments to publish timelines for establishing public registries containing beneficial ownership information, and on all businesses to disclose proactively their beneficial ownership information in open data format.

Overall, the AMM was an amazing experience and spending time developing TINZ’s global TI networks was well worth the time, effort and money to attend.

International Anti-Corruption Conference

The AMM was followed by the much larger 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) held bi-annually.

Themed a “Time for Justice, Equity, Security, Trust”, the IACC was held in Panama City from 1st – 4th of December. More than 1600 attendees attended a mixture of plenary’s, panels, workshops and an Anti-Corruption film festival that ran throughout the conference.

It was great to hear first-hand from Frederik Obermaier, (Steve see attached photo Frederik Obermaier) the German journalist that decided to share the Panama Papers data released to him by John Doe with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Frederik Obermaier presenting at the 2016 IACC

During the Panama Papers presentation, NZ appeared on a map of the world as a tax haven and in a list of countries with illicit financial flows.

The presenter indicated that the then New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, had dismissed the whole investigation and was not prepared to review the New Zealand legislation on “Trusts”, which although some are perfectly legal and honest, others are currently used for money laundering. TINZ Director Josephine Serrallach intervened explaining that the local Chapter TINZ had participated in an immediate campaign for a review of the law. As a result there had been a New Zealand enquiry with submissions from several organisations including TINZ, providing recommendations to New Zealand Government. As a result, Phase 2 of the Anti-money laundering bill is now making solid progress.

While the presenter was uninformed of recent progress in New Zealand following the Shewan Inquiry, it reinforced to us the damage of the Panama Papers to our reputation and the imperative to demonstrate to the world that we are not a tax haven or conduit for the flow of ill-gotten funds.

It became very clear over the course of the IACC that transparency is the answer to many of the problems we face globally. The myriad of ways to achieve transparency include:

The Panama Declaration is read out by two of the IACC Young Journalists

The Panama Declaration is read out by two of the IACC Young Journalists. “The time for Justice, Equity, Security and Trust is now”.

  • Beneficial ownership reporting
  • Country to country reporting on multinationals activities
  • Exchange of information between governments
  • Reforming institutional architecture
  • Educating and supporting “Gatekeepers”: Lawyers, Accountants and Bankers
  • Open Data – Financial data made public

The outcome of the IACC was the Panama Declaration which was read out to the final Plenary by two young journalists. It stated that: “The time for Justice, Equity, Security and Trust is now”. The full transcript of the Panama Declaration can be found here: https://iaccseries.org/blog/the-panama-declaration-time-for-justice-equity-security-trust/

Being a part of this experience was very beneficial to the NZ contingent, not only for the networking and spreading of ideas and corruption-fighting tactics, but also as a reminder that each of us working together can make a powerful difference to our world.

Transparency International New Zealand intends to bid to host the 2020 International Anti-Corruption Conference.

Courtesy Zandaphotography

Sarah Mead, Auckland TINZ event coordinator; Suzanne Snively, TINZ Chair; and David McNeill, TINZ Director at Fraud Film Festival

New Zealand’s Fraud Film Festival well received

Last month, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ), together with ten private and public sector co-sponsors, launched the first Fraud Film Festival in Auckland. It coincided with November’s International Fraud Awareness Week. The event follows the success of the Dutch festival, which is now in its third year.

Judith Collins, then Minister of Corrections, Police and the SFO, opened the event emphasising the importance of such a unique event in New Zealand. There was a packed house of close to 500 people from the counter-fraud industry and members of the public.

The inaugural selection of films reflected the themes of the Festival – cybercrime, dishonesty, corruption and investigative journalism. It was brimming with documentaries that offered real-life perspectives on fraud, many of which proved the adage that truth is stranger than fiction.

Highlights in the programme included ‘Deep Web’ which explored the murky world of the online black marketplace Silk Road, and ‘The Captain and the Bookmaker’ which covered the match-fixing case with South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje.

Following the films, there were panel discussions between influential individuals with personal experience in the field, such as Valerie Adams (Olympian), Julie Read (Director – SFO) and Matt Nipert (Investigations Reporter – NZME).

The winner of the first Anti-Fraud Award in the Southern Hemisphere was also announced, with Bronwyn Groot from BNZ being publicly recognised for her work in protecting the elderly from the risks of scams and fraud.

TINZ Chair, Suzanne Snively, commented, “This festival was a unique way of shining light on the dark places that hide knowledge and inhibit our ability to prevent fraud and corruption. It was a wonderful opportunity for TINZ to work with private and public sector organisations to share our vision of a world comprised of trusted integrity systems in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.”

The Festival was made possible by a dedicated team of organisations that came together to deliver the event. TINZ looks forward to being involved in the next Fraud Film Festival, which will hopefully be held in Auckland next year.

Financial Integrity System Assessment

To find out whether our financial system has integrity, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is developing an assessment methodology, the “2017 New Zealand Financial Integrity System Assessment” (FISA). View the initial draft assessment for consultation. In addition the attached Power Point further refines the questions in the assessment.

This 2017 New Zealand Finance Integrity System Assessment (FISA) is the first ever review of the integrity systems of any country’s financial system. It covers New Zealand’s financial institutions along with their industry bodies, regulators, dispute resolution schemes and the payments and settlement system.

The FISA offers customers, citizens, communities, civil society organisations and businesses detailed knowledge of the way in which the financial system identifies and seeks to prevent corruption, reinforces core ethical values and strengthens integrity systems. Armed with this knowledge, citizens and customers can both identify good performance and push for improvement. At the same time, financial institutions can choose to set out clear priorities to develop their activities aimed at preventing corruption while seeking the additional returns that come when organisations adopt a pro-active role to promote their integrity.

Through these additional returns New Zealand financial institutions will be able to continuously innovate, upgrade their services and should engage with international capital markets to assist in minimising the risk premium inherent in interest rates for New Zealand household and business borrowers. Financial institutions know that public trust is important and that corruption scandals, collusion, anti-corruption behaviour and lack of transparency damage that trust.

The global financial crisis was a dramatic event that impacted strongly on economic and individual well-being – many financial institutions and organisations were found wanting. Yet afterwards, internationally, while there was change to their structures, many of the features that support unethical behaviour still exist. It may take the disruption of cybercurrency trading, peer-to-peer lending, crowd funding platforms and other technologies before the international system finally wakes up – and of course, it is also important to ensure these new electronic financial systems are built on strong integrity systems. 

While internationally, reform in financial systems is still required, in New Zealand since the GFC, the financial sector as a whole has undertaken one of the most comprehensive changes in regulatory regime any sector has ever been subject to. It has involved significant investment to cover compliance costs and systems changes for market participants.

It should nevertheless be front-of-mind that the improved detail of New Zealand’s regulatory regime should not overshadow its purpose – commitment to the broad spirit and culture of ethical integrity will create the benefits, not the narrowest interpretation of the legal requirement. For market credibility and confidence, upfront transparency and displayed integrity are important.

This initiative, then, is one where yet again New Zealand is in a position to show the way forward.

The assessment of 63 detailed questions on all aspects of the financial system is designed to gain an objective and independent view of whether the New Zealand financial system is in fact trustworthy.

Armed with this knowledge, citizens and customers can both identify good performance and push for more effective service and product delivery.

FISA aims to evaluate whether financial organisations demonstrate an effective approach for managing the prevention of corruption. There’s more – the evaluation is also concerned about the resources available to continue to successfully combat corruption. So, there is also an evaluation of whether organisations adopt a proactive role for realising the benefits of their integrity.

Real reform in banking and financial systems isn’t even on the radar in most countries. In contrast, the New Zealand financial sector as a whole has undertaken one of the most comprehensive changes in regulatory regime of any other local industry sector and any other country’s international financial sector.

And so it is that TINZ is putting its draft FISA out for consultation. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at the draft assessment (request by using the side panel) and provide feedback. The knowledge about the features of an ethical banking system gained during the consultation is an important basis to then understand the findings of the assessment when they are published in the second half of next year.

Bribery and corruption on the Auckland Council

David McNeill

David McNeill

David McNeill

TINZ Director

Reporting from Auckland

Engineering consultancy company director, Stephen Borlase, and Rodney District Council Infrastructure ‘Director’ [Manager] Murray John Noone, have been found guilty of bribery under section 105 of crimes act, and will be sentenced in February.

The case has taken three years to come to court. Noone fought hard for name suppression in 2015, despite being named in prior media coverage.

Borlase’s company Projenz was put into liquidation on Friday 16th December 2016, also affecting directors & shareholders Craig Payne and Scott McIntyre.

Another council officer, Barrie George, earlier pleaded guilty to corruption after receiving $200,000 from prominent roading contractor HiWay Stabilisers. He was sentenced to 9 months’ home detention. Barrie has also been a prosecution witness.

The investigation uncovered evidence of considerable largesse from Projenz to all of Noone’s former roading department, in the form of extravagant lunches & gifts.

Julie Read of the Serious Fraud Office stated: “It appears that within the road maintenance division during this period the acceptance of gratuities was considered the norm. All of us need to recognise that corrupt activity is at risk of gaining momentum if business turns a blind eye.”

David Warburton, CEO of Auckland Transport, said the case was not indicative of wider issues in the department.  This appears to be contradicted by the evidence presented in court, and the brash statements of Borlase., This has been a wake-up call to the council to re-evaluate its internal assessments.

As the judge succinctly pointed out, it is an offence to accept gifts connected with official duties.

New Zealand Herald’s Matt Nippert spent considerable time at the 8-week trial. Representative articles include Court hears of council staff’s four-figure lunches and Council manager guilty of majority of corruption charges.

TINZ’s role is to promote changes in systems and processes that prevent corruption and strengthen integrity systems, rather than concentrating on individual cases.  TINZ is working with Local Government New Zealand, the Auckland Council and local governments throughout New Zealand to promote transparency, integrity and accountability. We are lucky that behaviour like this is not normal, is unacceptable and clearly illegal in New Zealand. Just the same, that it occurs at all is unacceptable as it is another chink in this country’s reputation for integrity and as such risks harm to everyone.

Phase 2 AML/CFT exposure draft amendment Bill

Consultation on Phase 2 is ongoing through to 27 January, 2017.

The Government is developing law changes that will improve New Zealand’s ability to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.

It is planning to extend the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act to more businesses that evidence shows are at high risk of being misused by criminals.

The proposed reforms aim to put in place practical measures to protect businesses and make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activity. They will also safeguard and help New Zealand live up to its reputation as being corruption free and a good place to do business.

Phase 2 will extend the laws to cover real estate agents, conveyancers, many lawyers, accountants, and some additional gambling operators and some businesses that trade in high-value goods such as cars, boats, jewellery, bullion, art and antiquities.

Global evidence shows these businesses are at high risk of being targeted by criminals to launder money.

The proposed changes aim to strike a balance between combating crime, minimising costs and enabling New Zealand to meet its international obligations.

Visit the Ministry of Justice website: for an overview see Tackling money laundering and terrorist financing and Phase 2 AML/CFT exposure draft amendment Bill for details follow the submission instructions to get your submission in before 28 February 2017.

Anti-corruption day 2016

PDF document: Looking forward from Anti‐Corruption Day, New Zealand needs to ensure all public sector agencies’ and private sector integrity systems are world class with high levels of transparency, integrity and accountability.

Open the PDF document Anti-corruption day 2016

The road to success is littered with risk

Brendon Wilson

by Brendon Wilson

TINZ Director

Writing for Employers and Manufacturers Association

BusinessPlus Magazine

An excerpt from the article specifically addressing reputational risk:

Risk is on everyone’s mind right now for obvious reasons: threats to international trade, a real estate boom (or bust), extreme weather and a major earthquake all rightly focus us all on risk. But right now when businesses may be under pressure to perform, don’t forget some serious commercial risks which more than ever, still need your attention.

There are many integrity or corruption risks which are unethical or illegal, and will also bring your business into the serious long term likelihood of reputational risk. Pressures to compete or deliver at times when the market is under stress and scrambling, are the very time to strengthen your protective processes and show your integrity and quality performance to the world: show you’re in it for the long haul.

Some topical risk areas to watch out for right now:

  • Procurement – even under time and availability pressures, carry out due diligence on suppliers, bring them into your own company’s processes to ensure integrity and openness, increase not relax processes to check quality and compliance at all points, and if you are procuring through RFI-RFP processes don’t take short cuts in all the diligence steps.
  • Procurement – Watch out for collusive bidding involving your company – collusion or bid rigging can be very subtle. Although it can be made to look reasonable, the result is corruption and is illegal, and your business is the loser, as are your customers and your shareholders. Widen your range of potential suppliers and ensure your purchase or tender requirements are straightforward and firmly applied.
  • Sales – remember that any agreement or understanding between competitors that results in setting the price of a good or service, or interferes with how a price is reached, is price fixing, and is illegal. So don’t discuss pricing with your competitors and do ensure your staff are closely familiar with the Commerce Act. Even staying mute in a meeting in which prices are mentioned can put you at odds with the law if you don’t put your hand up and withdraw.
  • Internally – Ensure your internal processes and culture are up to the task of keeping your own people on the straight and narrow, and not able to fall into habits or shortcuts which make them vulnerable to temptation or supplier collusion.

A New Zealand Example: A Commerce Commission investigation in New Zealand found competitors in the wood preservatives market were taking part in price fixing and market sharing agreements. This included sharing pricing information and agreeing not to compete on price, and not to compete for each other's customers. As a result, farmers were paying higher prices for fence posts and homeowners were paying more for their house framing and decking timber.

Following proceedings in the High Court, Koppers Arch Wood Protection (NZ) Limited, its Australian parent company, three Nufarm companies and two Osmose companies (including individual executives), were fined a total of more than $7.5 million for breaches of the Commerce Act. Would these companies now wish they had approached these matters and their risks differently? I think so.

The Commerce Commission has good advice in all these situations and more – have a look at their website comcom.govt.nz and the excellent guidelines and fact sheets they offer.

Among all the possible operational, financial, logistical and market risks, some which are often not sufficiently considered are those of reputational risk. This is recognition that most businesses exist and trade on their reputation, and the risks to this reputation are many. If the grapevine carries the hint that a business’s integrity is low, or could be legally pursued for transgressions, or that their low reputation makes their future success a wobbly prospect, then everything from customer loyalty, to markets, to supply chain, to capital support, to staff commitment and effort, are all likely casualties – serious risk indeed! So, integrity risk is widely recognised as a major factor for Board and management priority. There are worthwhile positives in prioritising this area of risk: it is not hard to mitigate, and unlike most other risks, brings major business upside once understood and addressed.

A strong integrity code and culture, and implementation of a good integrity compliance programme, are invaluable to prevent risks of these and other lapses. A robust integrity compliance programme will include:

  • Adopting a policy covering bribery and corruption, fraud, gift-giving, entertainment and conflict of interest
  • Board commitment and responsibility for the integrity programme and its measures
  • Communicating this commitment to all staff and business partners
  • Training of key functions (e.g. sales, procurement staff)
  • Accountability – clarity about who is responsible for ensuring compliance at all levels
  • Active ongoing understanding of relevant legislative and regulatory requirements, and regular checking to ensure compliance
  • Due diligence of agents, distributors, contractors and business partners, and their inclusion in your mutual monitoring and reporting
  • A thorough risk assessment of your own company’s operations – including agents, distributors, contractors and business partners
  • Risk policy adoption – regular measurement and reporting in all areas of possible risk
  • Encouragement of internal risk reporting and whistle-blowing – creating a mechanism so staff or business partners can report concerns without fear of derision or retribution

It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differentlyWarren Buffett.

Click this link to read the entyre article The Road to Success is Littered with Risk.

OpenOwnership Registrar

The Global Beneficial Ownership Register

Open Ownership

Corruption, money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and crime via the use of anonymous companies is a global problem and needs a global solution. The OpenOwnership Register provides that solution.

The OpenOwnership Register will:

  1. Aggregate information from multiple public registers, and make it available for free to all in an easy-to-use interface, allowing powerful global searches
  2. Provide a platform for collection of beneficial ownership data, both for companies to self-report their beneficial ownership, and to provide a technical backend for these countries/government agencies/organisations to collect beneficial ownership data
  3. Create a global data standard for beneficial ownership, enabling such data to be interoperable, more easily reused and of higher quality

Why do we need the OpenOwnership Register?

  1. It de-silos the data . Beneficial ownership information is, by its nature, data about networks (of companies and control), and these networks often span multiple countries and multiple industries. By combining the data in one place the data is more useful and more accurate
  2. It removes the technical barriers for collecting beneficial ownership information. By providing a common platform it will drastically reduce the costs and difficulty of collection and reuse, for both governments and companies
  3. It means that the information is natively available as open data in a standardised form, making the information more useful, more comparable, and more usable
  4. It improves the utility for end users, providing a user-friendly view on complex data
  5. It helps create new norms, for corporate ownership transparency is to be a requirement for all legitimate businesses in the modern world

Timeline

  • November 2016 Official start of project
  • November 2016 Project site launches
  • December 2016 First meeting of Data Standard Working Group
  • January 2016 Private beta of register
  • February 2017 Public launch of the public beta
  • March 2017 Launch of the first universal and open data standard for beneficial ownership information

openownership.org | openownership | info@openownership.org

Support & Funding

The Global Beneficial Ownership Register is an initiative to create a free and open beneficial ownership for the public benefit to tackle corruption, money laundering and the use of companies for criminal purposes. OpenOwnership is driven by the leading transparency NGOs: Transparency International, Global Witness, ONE, the Web Foundation, Open Contracting Partnership, and the B Team, along with OpenCorporates. It is initially funded by the Department for International Development (UK).

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2016 CPI launch date is 25 January 2017

The launch date for the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index is set for Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

TINZ will provide details closer to the release date and make experts available for media consultation.

2015 Corruption Perceptions Index Heat Map

In case you missed it

Anti-money laundering

NZ says government will be money-laundering watchdog for lawyers, estate agents The New Zealand government rejected a proposal for industries to police new money-laundering rules themselves.

Exposure draft released of new anti-money laundering laws The Government press release on beehive.govt.nz

http://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/key-initiatives/aml-cft/ AML Phase II on the Ministry of Justice Website

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

New Zealand To Seek More Tax Transparency From MNEs New Zealand's Inland Revenue Commissioner, Naomi Ferguson, has called on local and foreign-owned multinational corporations to be more transparent about their international tax affairs.

LGNZ backs call for more responsibility for local government Local Government New Zealand is welcoming a new report calling for greater clarity in the roles and responsibilities of local and central government in New Zealand.

Business Insider on the Prosperity Index The 25 richest, healthiest, happiest, and most advanced countries in the world.

Primary sector groups see bonuses in improved trade deal with China The “big three” – dairy, meat and forestry – have all said New Zealand stands to gain from a revamp and full implementation of the 2008 FTA, which itself was instrumental in making China one of the country's leading trade partners.

Legatum Institute 2016 Prosperity Index New Zealand Announced as the Most Prosperous Country in the World in 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index™.

Alexander Gillespie: NZ's end of year report – Could try harder While we score high in the indices for peace and transparency, our poverty and inequality gaps have grown.

Highlights and Lowlights of the Global Bribery Crisis The outlook for global bribery is becoming increasingly polarized, owing to several new countries deemed “very low risk,” and a rising number of nation states falling into the “very high risk,” categories, according to a new report.

Auckland Transport officials guilty of corruption A company director and an Auckland Transport senior official have been found guilty of giving and accepting bribes of more than $1 million.

National’s Foreign Ownership Cover-Up Continues National’s cover-up of foreign ownership of land in New Zealand continues, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.

International battle against corruption: What does this mean for business in China? China, New Zealand December 15 2016. New Zealand has strengthened its commitment to combat bribery following the London Anti-Corruption Summit.

Student visa fraud: 'It's not about education'

The back story to New Zealand PM John Key's Panama Papers crisis Excellent coverage of the issues, arguments and lack of significant progress from the Shewan Inquiry. October 2016

Pacific

Corruption increasing in Solomons says watchdog group The chairperson of Transparency Solomon Islands says corruption continues to rise in the country despite increased efforts to combat it.

Solomon's PM describes corruption as a cancer The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has warned that seven more arrests related to corruption will be made in the coming days.

International

Bribery Is on the Rise Worldwide, and It Costs A Lot More Than Just Money

Corruption Currents: Bribery Isn’t a ‘Taboo’ For Indian Bureaucrats Bribery “is not a taboo in a government job,” an Indian bureaucrat said. wsj.com. Corruption roundup

Why does the rich-poor gap continue to grow? A new book, Reinventing Prosperity, by Graeme Maxton and Jorgen Randers, published Nov 2016 by Greystone, suggests radical solutions. An extract. There has been a “power grab” by the rich. The world's fattest fat-cats of manipulating the political system to rig the rules of the game in their favor, so that they are taxed less, regulated less, and scrutinized less. As a result, wealth and income have been moving in the opposite direction from what people [regard as fair tax].

Panama Struggles to Shed Its Image as a Magnet for Shady Deals

Global Partnership to Open New Fronts in Fight Against Corruption The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Transparency International (TI) are joining forces in a first of its kind partnership to root out grand corruption on a global scale, the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium.

Unmasking the real owners of London property Nine out of ten overseas companies owning London property are registered in secrecy jurisdictions, according to new research from Thomson Reuters and Transparency International UK. Why does that matter?

An Interview with India's Most Wanted Cartoonist

Jho Low Family Digs in to Stop 1MDB Asset Seizure by U.S . Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho’s family is reaching far and wide to stop the U.S. from seizing $650 million in real estate and business investments the government claims were acquired with funds stolen from his home country.

17 International Anti-Corruption Conference: The time for justice, equity, security and trust is now . The 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) with the theme Time for Justice: Equity, Security, Trust concluded today in Panama City with a call for people all over the world to come together with activists, governments, business and the media to defeat corruption and hold them to account in an era where integrity and truth are under attack.

Transparency International calls for ending the secrecy that enables corruption Meeting in Panama City today, representatives from more than 110 Transparency International chapters and members unanimously adopted a resolution calling for an end to the secrecy that enables corruption and contributes to inequality worldwide.

The TRACE Matrix® The Global Business Bribery Risk Index for Compliance Professionals

Christine Lagarde on Trial in France, Overshadowing I.M.F. Role

Tackling corruption together: A call for collaboration The knowledge of how to fight corruption is growing, and the effect of these learnings can be amplified if business, governments and international institutions work together. By Kristin Berglund, Head of Anti-Corruption & Foreign Trade Controls, Maersk Line for the Huffington Post

Rigging the bids Government contracting is growing less competitive, and often more corrupt. The Economist

Labour peer turns down a job with £160,000 salary, Mayfair mansion and chauffeur-driven car… because men before her were paid even MORE

Sérgio Cabral, Ex-Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Arrested on Corruption Charges The former governor of Rio de Janeiro, who helped bring the Summer Olympics to the city, was arrested as part of an investigation into bribery and embezzlement in construction projects.

Indian bureaucrat with 'black money' stash: Bribes not taboo

Penetrating the offshore sector The following hypothetical case, a composite of cases appearing in the public record, is representative of the types of matters where Kroll is tasked to investigate financial fraud in the offshore sector. (A good case study description)

Sport

IAAF plans transparency amid new corruption claims Just as the IAAF is about to endorse wide-ranging changes to its governance aimed at making the organisation more ethical, transparent and accountable, world athletics' governing body is being assailed by more claims of corruption.

TINZ published media releases

Today is Anti-corruption Day TINZ media release pick up

Anti-corruption Day: NZ must remain vigilant Friday 9 December marks International Anti-Corruption Day. This was established after the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in October 2003 and came into being because of the UN's concerns over the huge dangers corruption poses to societies in all countries.