Transparency Times March 2019

Reflection and Resolve

The terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques on Friday is an atrocious tragedy.   A coward dressed in fake fatigues, toted his deadly toys and leaked filth upon children and women and men in prayer, and in doing so poured his bile into our community. 

Now is the time for tears and burials and vigils.  New Zealanders have drawn closer together in the face of this terrorist assault.  As our communities demonstrate in so many ways, trust and love between people is the best way to heal hate.

We are focussing on love and compassion, but we also need to recognise the full extent of this terrorist attack.  Although the murderer is described as loner, early information suggests that he may have been encouraged and enabled by extremists overseas.  It is possible that he also found supportive ears and mouths for his hatred in New Zealand and Australia. 

The people who were attacked were good Kiwis, living their own extraordinary lives.  Their common connection was their religion, and that is as important for us to understand as our feelings of sympathy and our contributions of support.  We can reduce the likelihood of similar attacks through gun control but we must also work to reduce extremist language and behaviour.  We need to recognise and call out racism and discrimination in our families, our workplaces and gathering spaces, including the internet.   

Suzanne Snively, our Chairperson, has recorded a video.  She gives sympathy for those lost and those who have lost, appreciation of heroic behaviour by individuals, by emergency personnel, police and medical staff, and by our leaders.   She repeats the message of our Prime Minister that the people who live here make us ‘us’, and she describes how we uphold shared values of kindness, tolerance, compassion and aroha.  She also says that we are resolute against this cowardly act which aimed to spread hate.  We won’t let that happen.

As-salamu alaikum 

Kia mau te rongo ki a matou

Peace be with us all 

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively Chair Transparency International New Zealand

Suzanne Snively, Chair Transparency International New Zealand

The reason that New Zealand’s ranking on Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) fell from first to second, was a survey of 66 New Zealand business executives by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Their responses indicated a perceived increase in the level of corruption in the relationship between the public sector and business.

Given Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ)’s determination to ensure that the public sector adopts robust anti-corruption practices to return to our #1 ranking, it’s a matter of pride now to pay attention to what the WEF asks business leaders and other experts.

In its latest 2019 report, the WEF asked business leaders what major threats they believe countries are most likely to face in the coming decade. The top three threats they identified are extreme weather events, natural disasters and climate change.‎ 

The evidence supports the magnitude of these threats in the United States. Last year there were 14 weather disasters in the US with losses topping US $1 billion each. The total damage from natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, such as the California wildfires and hurricanes Florence and Michael, was more than twice the annual average between 1980 and 2018.

This evidence suggests that it is also important to pay attention to the next two major threats surveyed by the WEF. These threats are cyber-attacks and data fraud.   

A challenge with the cyber world is identification of who is friend and who is foe. Maintaining transparency and accountability is key to addressing these challenges.

Lime Scooters example

If people elect to use e-scooters instead of cars, this will reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. In turn, that may lead to fewer extreme weather events and natural disasters.

However, it is unclear who will have access to the data collected about the behaviour of e-scooter users to test this hypothesis. To date, it appears rather than tempting people out of their cars, e-scooters are being used by people who would otherwise be walking.

There’s been lots of publicity about the physical risks e-scooters create. There were initially failures of transportation that created accidents. Other risks include their potential speed, the amount of footpath space they occupy and the lack of robust tethering.

Thanks to the transparency of public information provided to New Zealanders about the services that our government offers, we already know about the accidents e-scooters cause. During the 5 months since the introduction of Lime Scooters in New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has paid out over $735,000 for 1,486 e-scooter related incidents.

This is likely to be just the beginning of ACC costs. Many accidents are likely to require ongoing ACC-paid physiotherapy.

Big data and business transparency

Apparently, the main commercial goal of introducing Lime Scooters throughout the world is the collection of big data on who uses the e-scooters and where they go. 

Seems innocent enough at first sight! 

However, it is unclear what’s behind the aim of collecting data. Is it to reduce traffic congestion and climate change, or is it to find another means of monitoring what people do with their time – where they travel, shop, work and play?

Why are our governments expected to be transparent while businesses can hide behind commercial secrecy?

In the case of the Lime Scooters, there are many more questions than answers.

  • Why is a California-based company interested in collecting data about e-scooter usage by New Zealanders? 
  • What New Zealand tax does the company pay? Does it pay for ACC like the rest of us?  
  • Since the Lime Scooters use our footpaths, is the company paying local government rates like we all do?
  • Is the company hiring locals to assist with its governance and stewardship of data collected about us?
  • Are there opportunities for New Zealand-based data geeks to learn and keep up with knowledge about artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and quantum processing units (cutting-edge machines designed to crunch data faster than ever before)?

Doing things right

For there to be genuine data security in New Zealand, we need our own world-class experts.

With the fast pace of technological change, we need to have strategies about transparency and doing the right thing to keep up. One of those strategies is to maintain the transparency of our public sector and strengthen the New Zealanders’ attribute of doing the right thing.

Immigrants and refugees are expected to adopt these basic attributes to ensure that New Zealand remains corruption free. So too these attributes should be expected of those companies that choose to do business here.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM

Chair

Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Ethical procurement practices urgently needed

Julie Haggie
TINZ CEO

Julie Haggie

CEO, TINZ

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) recently provided two submissions on the MBIE Procurement Rules 4th Edition, and a proposed Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

Expert submission team

TINZ actively participates in submissions and advocacy because we strongly support civil society engagement in the setting of public policy. On the topic of procurement, TINZ expertise to provide highly informed advice.

The TINZ team for these procurement submissions comprised Tod Cooper (leader), Brendon Wilson, Suzanne Snively and Julie Haggie.  Tod Cooper is the National Chair of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, and a member of the Procurement Excellence Forum. 

Effectiveness of intentions  

In both submissions, TINZ recognised MBIE’s aim to strengthen ethical practice in procurement supply chains.  On the positive side, MBIE’s proposed changes reinforce the importance of open, transparent, and competitive government.

Promises of ethical behaviour are all well intended within the rule changes and the code of conduct. But evidence shows that intended behaviour must sit within a strong structure of accountability for effective accountability and oversight. 

Tod Cooper: 
Member with delegated authority for
Procurement/ Online Training/ Whistleblowing

Salient gaps

TINZ made a number of suggestions about how MBIE’s procurement documentation can be strengthened.  Overall we ask MBIE to set higher expectations.  Some salient gaps are:

  • Procurement relationships with organisations from countries with systemic issues of corruption, should be subject to additional vetting
  • All public sector procurement should have a ‘procurement plan’ developed and agreed prior to any expenditure. Such a plan needs to be relevant in terms of content and complexity commensurate with the value and risk of the procurement activity
  • The Code does not address the Treaty of Waitangi.  Since the Crown must act consistently with Treaty Principles, this requirement should also apply to any supply chain that has a base of public funding.
  • There needs to be more focus on the visibility of upstream suppliers within a supply chain activity, ensuring the government is not actively supporting terrorism, modern slavery or other forms of exploitation
  • The Rules are silent around the process and protection for whistleblowers
  • More detail is needed around consequences or a breach of conflict of interest or confidentiality. 

Mutual responsibility 

TINZ also recommends mutual responsibility for the Procurement Code involving ongoing processes and reviews between the parties. This would allow for full disclosure and remediation of lapses or changing risks. It would also enable parties to agree on the best response to each occurrence.

Whistleblower survey findings

Dr Michael Macaulay, Associate Dean Professional Education, Acting Director, MBA, Associate Professor (Public Management), Victoria University of Wellington Business School

Whistling While They Work 2 is the largest research project on whistleblowing ever undertaken. Public, private and not for profit sectors in New Zealand and Australia participated. It has helped conversations in New Zealand, around updating the Protected Disclosures Act. Furthermore, a number of Australian jurisdictions have directly cited the project in legislative changes. 

Late last year, the Business School published a wide series of reports and working papers under the title Whistleblowing: New rules, new policies, new vision, which are all freely available at http://www.whistlingwhiletheywork.edu.au/?p=941 .

The papers are based on survey responses from nearly 18,000 people. These ‘reporters’ included senior leaders, investigators, those in governance roles, and thousands of people who have reported workplace misconduct.

Findings

Our findings confirm some long-suspected concerns, but also bust a number of whistleblowing myths. Here are just a few:

  1. Whistleblowers are frequently perceived in a positive light.  Our work suggests that while whistleblowers may have been poorly perceived in the past, there is a significant shift in the way reporters are seen. Previous studies found that managers tended to view their own data as most important. We found now that internal reporting is considered the single most important source for bringing wrongdoing to light within any organisation. We need to explore further how strong this shift in thinking is. In the majority of cases, the concerns of reporters are taken seriously. We found that more than three-quarters of all reported cases were dealt with in some way. 
  2. Repercussion does not equal reprisal. Sadly but perhaps not unexpectedly, our work finds that the vast majority of reporters suffer adverse effects of reporting. Most common of these were the impacts of stress and emotional strain, which are present even when the reporting experience was positive.  The percentage of cases that led to harassment of reporters were substantially lower. These findings suggest that organisations need to give broader consideration to all reporting – not simply to try and mitigate direct reprisals.
  3. Risk assessment works.  Our findings confirm that ethical culture, and the ethical leadership of an organisation, have far more impact on the treatment of reporters than does the existence of rules and regulations.  That is not at all surprising.  Yet we also found that the single most effective institutional element that an organisation can use is risk assessment – for both reporters and agencies. With the focus on consequences of poor protective disclosure, risk assessments are more likely to lead to better outcomes for individuals and for organisations. They lead to better treatment of reporters and are more likely to bring about positive change.

As previously mentioned, our research also identified some less positive aspects.  Bullying and harassment remain the single most observed type of wrongdoing, more so in New Zealand than in any Australian jurisdiction. It also shows that in New Zealand there can be a reliance on informal channels rather than change requiring formal training and development, to counter workplace misconduct.

Opportunity to comment

Our research is now moving into the final phase of key respondent interviews.  We would love to talk to anyone, both people who have expertise in the area and others with experience, for comments on our findings.  Please contact me directly at michael.macaulay@vuw.ac.nz if you would like to comment. Our very final reports will be published this winter.

Michael Macaulay presents Whistleblowing Survey findings to Board meeting Nov 2018

Governance requires proactive stewardship

Bernie McKendrey, Deputy Chair, The Institute of Internal Auditors New Zealand

by Bernie McKendrey
Deputy Chair
The Institute of Internal Auditors New Zealand

‘Me Three … are we conspiring to be silent?

Enough, it is time.  Time to be bold, stand up, speak up and lead by example.

New Zealand recently dropped from 1st equal to number 2 on the Corruption Perception Index.  Is this the start if a downward spiral due to complacency?

Organizational moral compass

We all have our own individual ethical and moral compasses and are comfortable within these boundaries.  But do we know, understand and live within our own organisation’s ethical and moral boundaries?

Recent reports would imply that individually and organisationally we do not.

One such finding is from the Final Report of the Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Both the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Financial Markets Authority then reported on similar sectors in New Zealand.

These reports put conduct and culture under the spotlight.  They challenge Boards, executives, managers and employees of financial organisations to live by the bounds of their organisation’s moral and ethical compasses and to act with honesty, integrity and transparency. Boards, executives, and managers must lead by example and Governance Boards are expected to provide oversight.

Do those in stewardship, regulatory, oversight and assurance roles assume too much?  Understandings cannot be assumed, of the underlying issues and the drivers for poor conduct and weak, arrogant cultures that are mis-aligned with the organisations stated moral and ethical boundaries.

How often do we hear: “There are no conflicts, bullying, mis-conduct or fraud here”; “but look what happened at ‘that’ (NAB, CBA etc) financial institution”; “look over there (Australia – we are not Australia, we are different/better)”. 

But are we different/better?  Do we have the luxury of sound evidence and examples to demonstrate that we are better? Or are we sweeping things under the carpet? Will we soon have the trail of blemished careers, good names tarnished, and confidence lost in the ‘court’ of public perception?

Board responsibility

The New Zealand Stock Exchange’s new listing rules published in January have upped the accountability and responsibility of Boards to “Know or ought to have known”. Where can Boards put high demands on those providing assurance (executives and assurance functions alike)? 

As the organisation steward, can Boards state explicitly that they are comfortable that none of the examples below have ever occurred while “cart blanche” ignorantly believing what they are being told?  Issues include but are not limited to:

  • bullying
  • conflicted interest or conflicted (inappropriate) relationships
  • no leading examples of good conduct are publicised and reinforced
  • an environment that lacks information and support for ‘speaking up’ whereby calling attention to issues is unsafe for fear or retribution.
  • not acting on, taking seriously, or adequately following up allegations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour.

Conduct and culture reviews are occurring across the financial sector, driven by the current regulatory reporting. An independent review must be undertaken in organisations where these issues have occurred, or have been raised. Such instances include performance feedback, exit interviews or other means. The New Zealand market is small. Individuals need good references, unblemished records and re-employment.  They are mindful and fearful of repercussions. For these reasons, it takes courage and support for individuals to speak up. 

Independent assurance function is critical

It’s important that an organisation’s assurance function has a direct reporting line with the Board’s Audit Committee chair. In addition, adequate or equivalent qualifications and skill to undertake assurance reviews are required.

Any review undertaken by an organisation’s own people from the same culture, is not sufficiently independent.  They are conflicted and if the result is ‘clean’, the review will do further harm to the culture and weaken organisational courage to speak up.

Boards should routinely see reports on;

  • human resources turnover
  • gaps in knowledge, skills and capability
  • exit interviews
  • human resource issues management
  • anonymous internal complaints
  • personal grievances and employee disputes
  • customer complaints including a routine review of the process for receiving and responding to complaints. 

Assurance providers have a huge role to play in assisting good stewardship. Regulators, supervisors, internal assurance or third-party assurance providers are just some of the options available to Boards and management. 

Who checks the checkers?

So, who checks the checkers? Are assurance providers held to account and are their managers professionally sceptical enough to challenge, even where there are particularly positive results?

Do assurance providers have the right resources, knowledge, skills and capability to provide assurance? Are they appropriately qualified? Do they actively participate in their profession and undertake relevant continuing professional development, to keep abreast of upcoming issues? Can they provide the Board with valuable insightful information?

Questions to ask about assurance providers:

  • are they subject to independent quality assurance reviews?
  • do they complete their annual plan of work?
  • are their reports conflict-free, accurate, balanced, and delivered on a timely basis? 
  • are the reports followed up by management on agreed actions to be monitored by the providers/stewards?

The key to quality assurance is that everyone involved is transparent, open and objective.

Quality assurance relies on documentation of what you did, to demonstrate what you have done. Disclose, disclose, disclose!

Take responsibility for organizational culture

Take responsibility – own your issues and be transparent on how you address these. Follow the lead of our Prime Minister who has recently owned up to the poor attendance of her staff at Select Committees.  We now expect to see what was done to rectify this, what explanations have been made, what apologies were given and how processes were changed so it won’t happen again.

The opportunity to be on the front foot and not waiting to be ‘outted’, is now.

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) will launch its Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) later this year. FISA is everyone’s opportunity to be transparent, disclose and be able to provide evidence on their organisational integrity. 

So, it’s timely for assurance providers to find out what’s required, take the opportunity as to how FISA can be used to best effect in your organisation.  Get involved now!

Sustainable Development Goals: progress report due July

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Transparency International New Zealand supports the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven. “

New Zealand’s progress report

New Zealand is committed to present a Sustainable Development Goals’ Voluntary National Review (VNR) for international assessment during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)  in New York. UN Ambassador Craig Hawke requested in May 2018 for New Zealand to be included in the review.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is establishing a working group to support its work on the report.

NGO contributions

Hui E! Community Aotearoa (Hui E!) is an organisation focused on the needs of the broad Tangata Whenua, community and voluntary sector. It is leading a multi-NGO, civil society report on SDG progress, for tentative completion mid this year. 

TINZ expects to be active in the process although our role in the effort is not yet defined. 

SDG-16: ‘Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Of the seventeen SDGs, TINZ is focused primarily on SDG-16: ‘Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions’ which provides a critical enabler for achievement of all the other SDGs. SDG-16 is focused on achieving peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. 

The lead government agency for SDG-16 is Ministry of Justice.

Of particular interest

Each target achievement is under-pinned by various ‘indicators’ with which to measure relative progress towards the target. 

TINZ is particularly focused on Target 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms:

  • Indicator 16.5.1: Proportion of persons who had at least one contact with a public official and who paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials, during the previous 12 months 
  • Indicator 16.5.2: Proportion of businesses that had at least one contact with a public official and that paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials during the previous 12 months.

These indicators are valuable because they can be applied to measure corruption in the same way across all countries.

Limited information

To date there has been a good deal of discussions aimed at understanding the SDGs and how they apply to New Zealand, but without tangible action to report.

The links below provide some examples:

In addition, while MFAT, Hui E! and others are moving behind the scenes, there has been limited public visibility to activities since New Zealand’s inaugural SDGs Summit held in Wellington in April 2018.

Professional services firms are marketing their services to assist businesses in addressing sustainability issues. For example PWC published Working for a sustainable future which explores the SDGs and the impact that global mega trends could have on achieving international targets for sustainability.

Transparency Times will continue to research and report developments on New Zealand’s monitoring of SDG goals. TINZ is pushing for there to be much more public activity in the coming months. 

OGP: reporting progress

New Zealand has now prepared three Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP)s since the government’s initial commitment to this international initiative in 2014. We are one of approx 100 countries that prepare two-yearly NAPs, each of which is independently reviewed and internationally reported on. 

Within each country, the OGP aims to bring together government, civil society, and citizens to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable.

Second OGP National Action Plan 2016-18

The OGP Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) End of Term report on New Zealand’s second NAP 2016-2018 was recently published. 

Although this report reflects high commitment completion, change in government practice stood as marginal overall. Notably, the government’s early efforts to improve access to legislation could provide major efficiencies for lawyers and the public. In future action plans, the government could fully reform the Official Information Act and add open government performance to public sector chief executives’ contracts and to the new well-being indicators.”

It is disappointing to see that Transparency International New Zealand was the only organisation or person to comment on this IRM’s report.

The IRM is conducted by a local reviewer, Keitha Booth, appointed by the International office of the OGP. It is the IRM’s role to take an independent look at how well the Government is doing at achieving the commitments it adopted for its NAP.

TINZ is watching the public’s reaction to OGP reporting with interest. The purpose of Open Government is to engage the wider public. It’s hard to believe that the wider public is totally disinterested in what the government does. It is also hard to fathom that everyone is satisfied. The IRM reports provide ways of ensuring that commitments achieve in practice what is/was promised.

Third OGP National Action Plan 2018-20

State Services Commission (SSC) has published the initial progress reports from the government lead agencies for each of the 12 Commitments that constitute New Zealand’s third OGP NAP which covers 2018-20.

Publication of these reports coincides with international Open Government Week 11-17 March 2019 which provides “A global call to action to transform the way governments serve their citizens. … Open government doers, leaders, and thinkers from around the world are invited to share ideas, discuss solutions, and commit to new levels of citizen participation in government

Meanwhile the IRM local reviewer, Keitha Booth, has submitted the first cut of the IRM Design report on the third NAP 2018-2020. SSC will advertise the opportunity for public consultation, before its final publication around June this year. 

Future participation

The OGP schedule of activities allows very short consulting periods. These consulting periods are required to be the same for all countries and allow little flexibility for public holidays and other local activities. We encourage everyone to keep an eye out for advertised opportunities to provide feedback and otherwise participate.

A key component of the Open Government Partnership is involvement from all sectors and citizens. We encourage you to promote the OGP to your networks and encourage everyone to get involved in the process.

L’Oreal again one of the Most Ethical Companies

“In a world of exponential innovation, a company with a strong ethical culture is better equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow” – Emmanuel Lulin, Senior Vice-President and Chief Ethics Officer of L’Oréal.

Latest awards

The Ethisphere Institute has released its 2019 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies®This recognises 128 companies for exemplifying and advancing corporate citizenship, transparency and the standards of integrity. This class of honorees spans 21 countries (there are no New Zealand companies on the list) and 50 industries.

These companies profoundly illustrate how ethical companies continue to be a driving force for improving communities, building capable and empowered workforces. They foster corporate cultures focused on ethics and a strong sense of purpose.

Assessment

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards. It uses data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture.

L’Oréal: a leading example

L’Oréal is the world’s leading beauty company. It has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies spanning 10 years, underscoring their commitment to leading with integrity and prioritizing ethical business practices.

The L’Oréal Code of Ethics provides an excellent example of how a business might develop a set of ethical standards for themselves.

TINZ twice has had the opportunity to host L’Oréal’s Emmanuel Lulin’s visit to discuss business ethics in New Zealand. He is L’Oréal’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Ethics Officer. 

Lulin was honoured as UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer for Advancing Business Ethics. He also received the Bill Daniels Being a Difference Award from the NASBA Center for the Public Trust. He holds the 1st Honourary Award as Ethics Influencer from the University of Cergy-Pontoise

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Andrea Arzaba, globe-trotter journalist

The International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC)  celebrated the success and achievement of all the great female activists in the world. This occurred on International Women’s Day, 8 March.

They were thanked for their commitment and effort they put into the fight against corruption. The IACC shared a series of video interviews to provide perspectives on corruption from three female leaders.

Watch the interview videos of three talented female leaders. They are Claudia Escobar, Delia Ferreira, and Sahra Mani. They talk about how corruption affected them and their view on whether women and men are equally affected by corruption. The interviews were conducted by IACC Young Journalist Andrea Arzaba.

Democracy by the people

Auckland Law School Associate Professor, Timothy Kuhner, gave a Public lecture – Book Launch, Democracy by the People on 14 March 2019.

Professor Kuhner presented his new book on campaign finance reform measures. Its particular focus is on the United States’ various cycles of plutocracy. These include how slavery, Gilded Age capitalism, and today’s neoliberal era, are all reflections of government by and for the wealthy. He identifies how these are all sustained through law – and in some cases caused by the law.

His lecture is called “The Third Coming of American Plutocracy”. It included reflections on Trump’s extreme form of corruption and New Zealand’s vulnerabilities to the kinds of corruption being pioneered and perfected in the United States.

Government by and for the wealthy

Kuhner’s presentation culminated in an analysis of how President Trump has added to the pre-existing problem of ‘government by and for the wealthy’. He reflected on New Zealand’s vulnerabilities, the sort of plutocracy and “legalized corruption” that has become well established in the United States.

Professor Kuhner is known for his uncompromising approach to the law of democracy. Apart from his new book, “Democracy by the People”, He also recently co-wrote a short film called The Struggle Against Corruption with staff at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In the film, he warns of democracy’s vulnerabilities to greed and authoritarianism.

Coming Events

Watch out for:

Submissions schedule

TINZ encourages you to exercise your democratic responsibilities by responding to invitations from government agencies, with your opinions on future direction-setting and legislation.

The following two centralised websites known to TINZ, invite and facilitate public submissions on a variety of legislation, policies, levies, plans and projects currently being processed, together with recently closed submissions:

Unfortunately, only some agencies utilise either or both of these facilities. Other agencies conduct their own publicity when seeking submissions.  TINZ thinks it is time for action so that this fragmentation is eliminated in the spirit of the new open government.

Submissions currently being sought

The following invitations to submissions of relevance to TINZ, are currently open for public comment by their stated deadline. We encourage everyone to become involved directly as important opportunities to exercise your democratic responsibilities.

Official Information Act 1982 (OIA)

  • Deadline 5 pm Thursday 18 April
  • Views are sought by Ministry of Justice on how the OIA is working in practice, and whether a review of this legislation is warranted.
  • Feedback will help inform a decision by Government on whether to review it, or whether instead to keep the focus on practice improvements.

Charities Act 2005

  • Deadline Tuesday 30 April 2019
  • Views are sought by the Department of Internal Affairs on modernising the Act
  • You are encouraged to have your say by attending a community meeting and/or sending in a written submission in response to the discussion document.

Recent TINZ submissions

In case you missed it

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sport

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

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

Pacific

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

International

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

TINZ Team

TINZ engages New Zealand and New Zealanders in a broad range of issues related to building stronger integrity systems to mitigate the impact of bribery and corruption. TINZ Directors, Members with Delegated Authority and staff provide subject matter expertise in the topic areas of interest.

TINZ Subject Matter Experts, current at the time of this newsletter publication, can be can be found at TINZ Team March 2019. To view by topic, visit the category page which lists TINZ topics and respective current subject matter experts.