Transparency Times February 2018

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively ONZM Chair Transparency International New Zealand

Suzanne Snively ONZM
Chair
Transparency International New Zealand

For 2018, Happy New Year is promising more than resolutions made and then broken. It is promising resolutions aimed at protecting our country from corrupt practice being acted upon.

There are encouraging signs of an unusually productive new year for progressing anti-corruption policy and building New Zealand’s reputation of integrity.

Not since 2013 have Government Cabinet Ministers been so willing to discuss the importance of progressing anti-corruption initiatives.

And the range of initiatives will make a major dent to ticking off the 60-something recommendations in Transparency International New Zealand’s 2013 National Integrity System Assessment. There are promising initiatives already underway in the areas of open government, access to official information, free and frank advice, registration of foreign beneficial ownership, publication of cabinet papers, whistle blower and protective disclosure policies, and so on.

The Hon Andrew Little has been appointed by the new coalition government as Minister with specific responsibilities for leading their Anti-Corruption Strategy. Signals are good that he is committed to action where corruption prevention and building integrity are concerned. He is also responsible for progressing the anti-corruption pledges identified at David Cameron’s Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016.

Associate State Sector Minister (Open Government) Clare Curran’s first published speech recognised the hard work required by a government to gain feedback from directly engaging the public. This is a minimum for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to be effective. Without prompting, she acknowledged a desire to look to credible civil society organisations such as TINZ for expert advice. (See Minister Clare Curran engages with TINZ agenda and Hon Clare Curran Interviewed by Mark Sainsbury). 

Public officials are off and running with stronger anti-corruption initiatives.

  • State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has progressed:

       – free and frank advice guidance

       – guidance for speaking up about wrongdoing in the Public service

       – and a code of conduct for Ministerial advisors.

  • The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is deepening its approach to cyber security and other national anti-corruption measures.
  • The Serious Fraud Office in opening a Wellington Office to better carry out its anti-corruption role.

There is potential for our New Zealand Government to beat the European Union in introducing a public register of beneficial ownership.

This would be an important signal of New Zealand’s international leadership. It would also protect New Zealanders and save money. Law enforcers would see who controls shell companies and other opaque structures, and avoid costs of duplication by creating one place for information collection and collation instead of being collected by many individual Kiwi businesses, accountant, lawyers, banks and so on.

As the following newsletter article describes, a key aim of the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive is to increase transparency around ‎all beneficial owners of what to date have been opaque entities including companies and trusts.

Something else to think about here. In the UK, new powers came into force in February which will be used to crackdown on corrupt members of the global elite. The ‘Unexplained Wealth Order’ will be used to seize the UK assets of wealthy people suspected of having profited from the proceeds of crime. Wealthy individuals, those who have acquired assets worth more than £50,000, will be forced to explain to UK officials how they acquired their assets.

Meantime Keitha Booth, Independent Researcher for the Global OGP’s Independent Review Mechanism’s (IRM), finalised her comprehensive review of New Zealand’s OGP commitments included in its 2nd National Action Plan (NAP) 2016-2018.‎ Keitha’s constructive and methodical approach will both strengthen further progress on the 7 commitments in the 2nd NAP and also help focus thinking about ways to develop an even stronger 3rd NAP for 2018-2020.

The IRM’s “standards” for consultation allowed a breathtakingly short period for feedback on Keitha’s draft report. These standards show little empathy for national conditions, such as January being a summer month when many New Zealanders are taking a much-needed break, encouraged by record hot and sunny conditions over the summer. So once again, there was little public interest aroused by her review and only a few submissions were made.

TINZ’s OGP team pulled out all the stops to meet the IRM’s 6 February deadline. Key themes are acknowledgement of the comprehensive evaluation by researcher Keitha Booth and the progress that has been made by government agencies who are the major co-creators to achieve the OGP commitments in the 2nd NAP.

Given this Government’s ambitious plans to build a better New Zealand, it is important that OGP is resourced to be effective from now on. This means additional funding to develop communication channels (both electronic and personal) that the public can easily access to provide feedback about how it wants its government to be better.

The survival of modern democracy requires governments to design ways to attract the public to tell them what really matters. And public officials also require resources to respond in a way that members of the public know that they have been heard.

Otherwise OGP will remain one of those empty policy phrases that the public has grown to expect from their government leaders.

And yet, OGP has the potential to unify New Zealanders around a strategy for improving the future of this country.

In other words, the funding required for OGP to succeed is an INVESTMENT ‎in gaining buy in from people to cooperate to achieve earlier and greater success of major government initiatives including Kiwi Build and addressing child poverty. An empowered population, in the end, provides the real horse power to get these things done.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM

Chair

Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

EU breakthrough in the fight against money laundering

On 15 December 2017, the European Union (EU) took action to increase the transparency of companies through a public register of beneficial ownership.  This breakthrough will allow the public to see who ultimately controls shell companies and other opaque structures. It is a critical step to prevent and detect corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. 

The European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to further strengthen EU rules on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing. A key aim of this revision of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive is to increase transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers.

This significant step from the EU increases the pressure on New Zealand to do the same. Otherwise we risk falling further behind and becoming more attractive to criminals because of our less stringent requirements.  New Zealand committed to exploring the establishment of a public register of company beneficial ownership in May 2016 at the Anti-Corruption Summit.  We now need action on that promise.

TINZ continues to call (refer October 2017 Transparency Times) on the Government to establish a public register of company beneficial ownership as it has done so for the past 14 years.  The threat is real and this step is needed to protect from criminals seeking to misuse New Zealand’s good name. 

With this breakthrough in the EU and the Adern Government’s commitment to open government, the stars are aligning for action.  With strong leadership, New Zealand could keep pace with international movements and again be a leading country in this area.

As a concrete step, the Government should open a public consultation process with the business and NGO community by publishing a policy paper on options for a beneficial ownership register.  There are a wealth of good ideas in this country in addition to those in the public service, and the Government could benefit from this.  TINZ stands ready to support this effort to develop practical solutions based on TINZ’s domestic expertise, and the international experience of Transparency International Chapters. 

Links:

New Zealand’s 2nd International Fraud Film Festival

2 & 3 March 2018 at
the ASB Waterfront Theatre
138 Halsey St, Auckland

Following an outstanding inaugural event in 2016, New Zealand’s second Fraud Film Festival will bring the issue of fraud, and other forms of financial crimes, alive through the medium of film. The festival spans 2 full days of inspiring documentaries to stimulate debate and awareness, and to scrutinise the phenomenon of fraud in various contexts. Participants are able to join in the panel discussions and debate after each film.

Attendance on Friday 2nd March is by invitation only.

Open to the public on Saturday 3 March

Check the Fraud Film Festival website for programme and ticketing information.

Three themes: Corruption – Technology – Dishonesty

1. Corruption

Corruption typically occurs where someone has been entrusted with power and has abused it for personal gain. We have seen examples recently in the form of nepotism, drugs and bribery. Throughout 2017 there were allegations of corruption occurring at the highest levels of political office the world over.
The festival examines the pervasive effect that corruption can have on some of our most valued and important institutions.

2. Technology

As the way we use and interact with technology has changed and evolved over time, so too has its exploitation from fraud and other criminal activity become increasingly pervasive. Our data is increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime attacks upon social media, personal banking, and emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies. Attacks range from breaches of privacy and identity theft through to digital piracy and money laundering.
The festival examines the impacts of increasing digitization, and the resulting evolution of cybercrime.

3. Dishonesty

Dishonesty itself is not uncommon, but for a small percentage of people it forms a core part of how they operate on a personal or professional level. It also underpins a majority of criminal offences relating to fraud and strikes at the heart of the trust required for basic human interactions to take place. Such people seek financial gain from money-making scams with promises they have no intention of meeting, or purport to be someone they are not or simply make claims that are false.
The festival examines the complex impact that dishonesty has on our lives and everyday society. 

Fraud is big business. The earnings are high, as are the risks. By showing films and documentaries and engaging in conversations, this complex and intriguing subject will be brought to the attention of a large audience.

Festival partners

Transparency International New Zealand is proud to support this festival, along with partners: Meredith Connell, Deloitte, NZI, Serious Fraud Office, ACC, ASB Bank,  Dave Clark Design, and the Financial Markets Authority.

           

TINZ welcomes two new directors

Transparency International New Zealand welcomes two new directors – Lisa Traill and Karen Webster.  Lisa and Karen were elected at TINZ’s 30 October 2017 Annual General Meeting.  Both were elected to three year terms.

Lisa Traill

Lisa Traill

Lisa has worked across a range of sectors over 25 years including local government, not for profit, youth mental health, major events, consulting and her own business in tourism.  The common thread has been one of leading and developing either new initiatives or the transformation of existing structures and services.

Having completed a Masters of Advanced Leadership Practice with Massey University, Lisa is currently completing a Masters of Applied Practice, Technological Futures focussed on emerging and disruptive technologies.  These degrees align with Lisa’s experience and interest in leadership development at all levels in organisations, and making smart use of technology to enable the potential of both people and processes.  Authentic leadership practice is of particular interest, especially in the context of ‘tone from the top’ and in matters of governance.

“For me, participating with TINZ is an opportunity to actively engage with matters of ethics and integrity that are at the heart of who we are as New Zealanders, and which will help define the quality of our future in business and government.”

Lisa has travelled widely and grew up both in Auckland and on the East Cape.  She is of Ngati Porou, Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Pamoana descent.

Dr Karen Webster

Dr Karen Webster

Dr Karen Webster is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT University. Karen holds a PhD in Public Policy and an MBA. She teaches Clinical Risk management and has lectured in public policy.

Karen’s wide-ranging research interests encompass Māori and Pākehā governance, public policy, local government representation, and transparency of the local democratic process. Recent articles focus on the diversity of local government representation, voter turnout and Treaty-based governance. Her research and teaching experience follows 15 years in Auckland local government, two decades of service in the New Zealand Army locally and overseas, 10 years in real estate, and nursing in the public and private sectors.

Karen was appointed to the board of Arts Access Aotearoa in 2012. 

Minister Clare Curran engages with TINZ agenda

Hon Clare Curran has the portfolios of Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, and Minister for Government Digital Services. She is also Associate Minister for the State Services (Open Government).

Minister Clare Curran visited the TINZ board meeting on 18 December 2017.  She acknowledged the years of work from TINZ which has built a solid long term reputation for flag flying for transparency in New Zealand. She pledged to pay attention to – and assist where practical – the work of TINZ.

She expressed enthusiasm about her portfolio which spans many areas of interest to her and TINZ.  She gave her reason to become involved in many areas of the government as her desire for a more open and transparent government through all levels. 

Areas she touched on where she feels there is work to be done include:

  • Activities related to open government and the Open Government Partnership
  • Digital Inclusion and building the economy on technology and innovation
  • Committed to finding a Chief Technology Officer – a high level, outward facing position to engage in the thinking about how to do technology well
  • Ensuring the Official Information Act is fit for purpose
  • The role of whistleblowers in New Zealand and Whistleblower legislation. 
  • Breaking down the cynicism between citizens and government and earning more trust of the government by its citizens.

When referring to the lack of protective disclosure for whistleblowers, the minister made a link to her other portfolios for Broadcasting and Digital Media. As most protective disclosures are currently unusable, whistleblowers put themselves at risk. There are lots of grey areas, particularly in the cyber arena. In opposition, the minister was involved in protecting whistleblowers.

The Minister’s key interests that align with TINZ involve public sector transparency and integrity, including:

  • The Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment which is the definitive document about New Zealand’s integrity systems.
  • Issues related to foreign financial involvement in New Zealand markets:
    • The Shewan Inquiry – both it’s success and shortcomings.
    • The Panama and Paradise Papers
    • Anti-money laundering – and AML/CFT legislation
    • Registration of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts
    • Offshore ownership of New Zealand property
  • Commitments made by New Zealand at the 2016 Global Anti-Corruption Summit.
  • The Open Government Partnership where New Zealand has been a laggard – the minister is engaged in rising to its challenges
  • Whistleblowing issues.

New Zealand tops open budget survey again

New Zealand topped the 2017 Open Budget Index, placed first equal with South Africa with a score of 89 out of 100.  New Zealand was the single best score in both the previous surveys of 2015 and 2012.

The report notes that New Zealand provides limited opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process as is common for all countries surveyed.  It states: 

“New Zealand should prioritise the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:

  • Improve mechanisms to allow for broader public engagement with government officials and an exchange of views on national budget matters during formulation and execution of the budget;
  • Hold legislative hearings on the Audit Report, during which members of the public or civil society organisations can testify.”

“The Open Budget Index is the world’s only independent, comparative measure of central government budget transparency. The Index assigns countries covered by the Open Budget Survey a transparency score on a 100-point scale using a subset of questions that assess the amount and timeliness of budget information that governments make publicly available in eight key budget documents in accordance with international good practice standard,” according to the International Budget Partnership website.

NZ TOPS LAST 3 SURVEYS

Internal auditing – is about exercising judgement

by Sylvester Shamy

Chairman of the Institute of Internal Auditors NZ
and 2016 NZ Internal Auditor of the Year

Editor’s note: The Institute of Internal Auditors is a TINZ Affiliate and a regular contributor to the Transparency Times on the subject of internal auditing.

Internal auditing in its highest art form – in a leadership form – is about exercising judgement after carefully considering a matter in relation to its context, and sometimes in situations where policy guidance is inadequate, vague or absent. In these situations, the internal auditor is guided less by “doing things right” and more by “doing the right thing”. There is a difference. Good internal auditors demonstrate the following:

Feature

Explanation

Appreciate the values

By this we mean the values of the country, the organisation and the auditor’s own values. What is “right” or “wrong” is sometimes less the consequence of written rules, codes or policies, but instead a behavioural compass that is guided by the accepted social norms of the country, its culture and the company. A good internal auditor understands the values upon which actions and decisions must be taken.

Recognise the context

Reality may be divorced from textbook and policy examples of recommended practice. In theory, the protagonist has time to assess the situation, has the body of knowledge and experience to call upon to evaluate it, is able to properly model the consequence in an organisational steady-state, and possesses the calm and self-confidence required to make a decision and to act. Real-world decision making can be markedly different. A good internal auditor knows this.

Determine the facts

Facts are neither opinions nor emotions. Facts are verifiable through inspection, observation, confirmation, recalculation and reperformance. Facts form the backbone of a good internal auditor’s work and are the basis upon which conclusions are stated. At times, facts are difficult to determine with the necessary degree of certainty, and here the auditor needs to exercise judgement. Rather than concluding, the auditor may instead comment or express an opinion on a matter.

Balance the mitigations

Actions and decisions that are taken may be less than ideal when considered in isolation but are often acceptable, or at the very least understandable, when considered from the perspective of the whole system or end-to-end process. A good internal auditor considers “the big picture” and exercises but does not pass judgement.

Consider the impact

Internal audit helps make improvements to organisations, processes and how people work. A good internal auditor understands the purpose of their work, considers the impact of the audit’s results, and calibrates its delivery to minimise cost and maximise benefit. 

Contrary to common attitudes toward internal audit, internal auditors take pride in providing positive advice, looking at risk as both a challenge and opportunity. While what is a measured analysis of the best course of action or decision taken “in the moment”, internal auditors also are equipped to offer suggestions for improvements that can be made in the future, rather than simply being a critique of the shortcomings in a person, process, or system. 

Our April newsletter will continue to explore this with a case study.

CouncilMARK™ evaluating and communicating local government performance

Local government plays an incredibly important role in ensuring New Zealand communities are able to thrive and in shaping and protecting the places where New Zealanders live, work and play.

Councils across New Zealand hold assets worth $124 billion, employ 30,000 people and are responsible for 11 per cent of all public spending, including on roads, transport, water and emergency management.

There is a limited understanding among the public of the full extent of the work councils do and how they do it. While the 2015 New Zealand Local Government Survey showed the need for improving the service and value local governments deliver to their communities, it also showed the need to better inform their constituents of the scope and quality of the work they are doing.

CouncilMARK™ local government excellence programme

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) in association with their members and sector experts recently developed and launched  the local government excellence programme CouncilMARK™ which aims to show and grow council performance. CouncilMARK™  is designed to improve the public’s knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide.

Overseen by an Independent Assessment Board, the CouncilMARK™ programme is a comprehensive, transparent and independent standards system and the “gold-standard” for councils and communities, designed to achieve measureable change over time.

CouncilMARK™ not only offers individual councils the chance to show how they’re tracking locally, it also demonstrates to the national community that as a sector it is committed to delivering high quality services for its communities.

The CouncilMARK™ programme measures indicators across four key areas: governance, leadership and strategy; transparency in financial decision-making; service delivery and asset management; and strong engagement with the public and businesses.  Participating councils are assessed by independent experts every three years and given an overall rating from triple AAA to C, before the results publicised.   

The programme was officially launched in 2016 and completed by 18 councils in its inaugural year, with 11 further councils set to participate in its second year.

Click here to view completed CouncilMARK™ reports.

Lifting engagement in and understanding of local government is a key aim of LGNZ and the wider sector.  If we wish to see greater engagement, it is crucial ensure councils are open, accessible and transparent. CouncilMARK™ is a key tool for achieving this.

 

Independent OGP Report offers encouragement

The comment period for the draft Mid-Term Progress Report on New Zealand’s 2nd Open Government Partnership National Action Plan (OGP-NAP) 2016-2018 ended on 5 February. The draft report can be viewed here.

Keitha Booth, the OGP ‘Independent Researcher’ for New Zealand is preparing this report as a part of the Washington-based Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).  It covers progress with the current NAP (2016-18) together with recommendations for NZ’s forthcoming 3rd NAP 2018-2020.

At the 31 January seminar on Open Budget Survey Results hosted by Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Booth presented her findings on New Zealand’s Commitment-1, ‘Budget Initiatives’. This is one of the seven OGP commitment areas specified in NAP-2 which Booth is reviewing. 

Key IRM recommendations for the forthcoming NAP 2018-2020 are:

  • Official Information Act (OIA) & whistleblowing law reform
  • refocus the Open Data and Information Programme to publish social, environmental and budget expenditure data
  • standards for public consultation on policy initiatives
  • a public central register of foreign beneficial ownership of all legal entities (trusts, companies, nominee companies)
  • citizen education to increase democratic participation
  • an expanded OGP Experts Advisory Panel to include greater civil society representation
  • the release of details of government’s procurement contracts with service providers.
IRM Researcher Keitha Booth speaking at the Open Budget Survey Results seminar

And much much more information to absorb as well, covering:

  • the National Action Plan development process
  • details about each commitment in the NAP 2016-2018 
  • progress as at 30 June 2017 in implementing these commitments
  • additional work for each commitment
  • stakeholder priorities for the forthcoming NAP 2018-20
  • a summary of NZ’s open government environment during 2016-17.

The OGP is an international initiative where the governments of 75 countries have committed to becoming more open, accountable and responsive to their citizens. New Zealand joined the OGP in 2014. Its second NAP 2016-2018 was co-created with New Zealanders before its release by the New Zealand Government on 20 October 2016. Its seven commitment areas span:

  • open budget
  • official information
  • open data
  • ongoing engagement for OGP
  • access to legislation
  • improving policy practices across the public sector.

Exporting Corruption: progress report 2018

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, adopted in 1997, requires each signatory country to make foreign bribery a crime for which individuals and enterprises are responsible. The Convention is a key instrument for curbing the export of corruption globally because the 41 signatory countries are responsible for approximately two-thirds of world exports and almost 90 per cent of total foreign direct investment outflows.

Transparency International’s (TINZ’s umbrella organisation) progress reports present a regular independent assessment on the status of enforcement in OECD Convention signatory states. The last progress report was published in 2015.

In preparation for the 2018 Progress Report, Transparency International’s national chapters are called upon to draft their country report to be incorporated into the overall report. 

TINZ director Brendon Wilson along with member with delegated authority, John Hopkins, are working on a the draft which is due by 9 March.

 

‘Radical transparency’ in Taiwan

by Sarah Mead

In November last year, Sarah Mead, TINZ Legal Secretary, attended OrgCon, the  biggest digital rights event in the United Kingdom. During the two-day conference, high profile writers, speakers and activists gave their insights into the big issues affecting civil liberties and the Internet. 

The presentation given by Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang, was a highlight of the event. Having left school to become a software coder at 12 years of age, Tang created her own start-up at 15 years of age and later became a consultant for Apple. She played a role in the Sunflower Movement, a student-led movement protesting against China-Taiwan trade relations. Her activist and tech background now informs how she approaches her role as a Minister. Through innovative uses of Internet platforms, she aims to achieve what she calls ‘radical transparency’.

‘Radical transparency’ means revolutionising how we approach issues of public concern, and Tang, who was appointed as a member of Taiwan’s cabinet, is applying it to a range of issues within the government.

Take the rise of Uber in Taiwan for example. The hugely popular service was not well received by government officials and traditional taxi drivers. In order to find an amenable solution for all the parties involved, people were invited to contribute their views in an online forum – pol.is. The national government of Taiwan, as noted on the website, “is using pol.is to improve the relationship between the people and the government, involving citizens more deeply in the policy formation process.” It is a form of ‘crowdsourcing’ for policy-making, which Tang hopes to use for the legislative process. In respect of Uber, suggestions were commented on and refined, with the most popular eventually ‘floating to the top’. The four-week process involved thousands of people and eventually yielded a series of recommendations. In a live-streamed meeting between Government officials and Uber representatives chaired by Tang, a solution was agreed upon by the parties.

According to Tang, Taiwan is the ‘largest lab’ for this new form of radically transparent consultative processes. There are failures – but Tang is careful to record these, sharing ‘post-mortems’ of unsuccessful processes to help others achieve better outcomes. It is, what she considers, the ‘future of democracy’.

Foreign purchases of New Zealand real estate

In December, legislation was introduced into Parliament to ban foreign buyers of existing homes in New Zealand.  The Bill will go through a truncated select committee process with the expectation of it coming into force in the first quarter of 2018.

The primary justification for the legislation is to help ease the housing crisis due to concern about foreign purchases driving-up housing prices.

Of equal importance is the additional deterrent placed on the use of New Zealand property purchases to launder and protect corruptly acquired funds.

 

2017 Corruption Perceptions Index to be released on 22 February 2018

Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (TI-CPI) will be launched worldwide at 6:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 – This is 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, 22 February in New Zealand.

Strictly embargoed TI-CPI results along with launch materials and background information describing the basis for calculating the score, will be available roughly a week before. During this time, TINZ will provide media and stakeholder briefings. A team from Transparency International New Zealand chapter (TINZ) knowledgeable about the results and methodology will be available.

Media policy advisors, financial organisations, and others can contact TINZ at admin@tinz.org.nz if interested in the embargoed material and discussing the results with a TINZ representative.

For New Zealand, up to date public information about the TI-Corruption Perceptions Index is available on our website at https://www.transparency.org.nz/corruption-perceptions-index/

In case you missed it

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

New Zealand blocks China’s HNA due to ownership doubts

Does trust in Government = trust in democracy? Scott Miller Chief executive Volunteering NZ

https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/treasury-commissioned-rbnz-review-finds-strong-case-reform-b-211705

Discussion of the 2017 Open Budget Survey Results TINZ media release on scoop.co.nz

Stats NZ seeks a ‘social licence’ for data stewardship Stats NZ wants to gauge Kiwi’s perceptions of its role as a steward of their personal data.

Government one step closer to banning foreign house buyers

Foreigners are banned from buying property in New Zealand — Canada should do the same 

New Zealand Wealth Gap Wider

Can New Zealand become the digital Estonia of the South Pacific?

Pacific

Transparency International PNG Celebrates 21 Years

Calls in Solomons for transparency in use of public funds The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in Solomon Islands says Pacific governments need to be more transparent with how they manage public funds.

International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act

Clear definition of corruption can help in waging war against scourge

International Anti-money laundering

With the new Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), UK can seize assets of corrupt politicians, criminals Property in London and other major cities in the United Kingdom is said to be the major destination of corrupt cash.

Offshore UK property owners to be listed by 2021

Strengthened EU rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing EC media release

EU breakthrough in the fight against money laundering TI EU medial release

Factsheet about the strengthened EU rules around money laundering [PDF]

International Business

First ever transparency assessment of Russia’s 200 largest companies

Report targets corrupt business Transparency International Cambodia released its first Business Integrity Country Agenda assessment report, aimed at reducing corruption and improving the overall business environment in the country.

International Indexes

The U.K. Tops Forbes’ Best Countries For Business 2018 New Zealand is second

NZ’s financial transparency ranking improves New Zealand’s international ranking as a financially transparent country has improved slightly in a newly published report.

Whistleblowing

Court of Cassation LuxLeaks decision highlights need for effective whistleblower protection Issued by Transparency International Secretariat