Transparency Times May 2018

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively ONZM Chair Transparency International New Zealand

Suzanne Snively ONZM
Chair
Transparency International New Zealand

The cricket ball tampering incident was bad enough for the Aussies’ reputation. It has been pushed out of the headlines by The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Australian banks and insurance companies have provided “a litany of revelations” to the Royal Commission.  The Australian Courier Mail editorialised on 21 April that these “could at the very best be described as unconscionable, at the worst potentially bordering on criminality.”

Major Australian banks and insurance companies have testified to giving customers inappropriate advice without proper disclosure. They have charged fees for services not provided and charged hidden fees.

AMP was found to have charged services fees for financial advice to customers after death‎, and resignations rapidly followed.

An “independent” review of AMP, commissioned because of a request from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, turned out to be anything but independent. The AMP board is reported as requesting and receiving significant amendments to the report prior to publication, obscuring important facts such as fee practices.

The point of transparency and accountability is to strive to do the right thing in all activities.

New Zealand banks and insurance companies have been quick to distance themselves from the evidence found by the hearings before the Royal Commission.  

The challenge is that New Zealand’s largest four registered banks – ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac, are subsidiaries of Australia’s four largest banks. AMP is one of New Zealand’s largest insurance companies.

It is naive to believe that the New Zealand system is different without solid evidence. It is not enough to have the industry self-disclose. This after all, is what happened prior to the current Australian inquiry. Only through the process of independent scrutiny have we learnt what really is going on.

The Australian Royal Commission’s early findings provide a wakeup call to New Zealanders. We need to make sure  we have authenticated evidence that our NZ banking and financial services practices and operations, undertaken for the banks own customers, have been conducted with integrity and in the best interests of their customers.

Misconduct or Corruption?

Based on evidence before the Commission that has to date been made public, much of the misconduct could be regarded as corruption. Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

The best antidote for corruption is the existence of strong integrity systems within organisations. An integrity system refers to the features of the entity’s structure that contribute to its transparency and accountability.

In high integrity organisations, transparency and accountability starts at the top, led by good governance supported by management policy and practice. It is reflected in financial performance, information and communication, staff and other human resources behaviours, the treatment of customers, the operating environment, and the approach to monitoring and procurement.

Transparency International New Zealand’s Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) aims to assess the strength and integrity of New Zealand financial organisations from a leadership position. Depending on the findings, the survey will help demonstrate independently and objectively the areas where our financial organisations are transparent and accountable.

New Zealand can own the leadership position and model good behaviour to the rest of the world. High engagement and participation rates in the TINZ FISA survey, when it is launched over the coming months, will send a strong signal that New Zealand financial organisations are genuinely striving to strengthen their integrity systems.

The survey is also designed to link activities aimed at addressing corruption, to strategic steps that can be taken to enhance the returns from a trusted reputation.

There is still time prior to the distribution of the FISA Survey for identified participants from the financial sector to seek independent reviews from their professional advisers. 

This will prepare New Zealand financial organisations to provide strong evidence in their FISA responses of how they are striving for transparency and accountability.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM

Chair

Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Credit: Forbidden Stories, OCCRP

More dirty laundering in New Zealand

Daphne Caruana Galizia
Maltese journalist Murdered in October 2017 while investigating corruption

by David Dunsheath

Transparency Times Newsletter Co-editor

Investigative journalist members of the ‘Daphne Project’ have recently linked an Auckland wealth management company, Denton Morrell, with an international money laundering controversy. (See Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) media release on 20 April 2018)

New Zealand manipulations

As reported by RadioNZ, the Daphne Project has revealed that many of the companies in the Daphne-researched Azerbaijan-Pilatus network link back to Denton Morrell. It outlines the company’s multi-company and secret trust manipulations undertaken for foreign “ultra-high net worth” clients, to hide foreign beneficial ownerships and their likely ill-gotten assets. 

However, “there is no evidence or any suggestion that Denton Morrell or Mr Butterfield were aware of any allegations of money laundering by the Azerbaijan-linked companies, but it appears that the structure created by Denton Morrell may have been used to hide the ultimate beneficial owners of those assets.”

Deficient legislation

New Zealand law remains deficient for protection from foreign money laundering because real ownership of companies and trusts can remain legally hidden from public and regulator scrutiny. TINZ Chair, Suzanne Snively, noted “The work of The Daphne Project highlights the value and need for a public repository of the overseas beneficial owners of assets registered in New Zealand for all legal entities.”

Following the embarrassing 2016 release of the leaked Panama Papers, New Zealand’s foreign trust tax laws came under intense international scrutiny for allowing non-transparent business ownership structures to be easily exploited. The subsequent Government-commissioned narrowly focussed, Shewan Inquiry failed to address a number of fundamental issues brought to light by the Panama Papers. (see The EU and New Zealand tax transparency post Panama Papers, August 2016 Transparency Times.)

 TINZ’s recommendation to the 2016 Shewan Inquiry for establishment of a national registry of beneficial ownership of all relevant asset-ownership structures consistent with international initiatives, was not addressed. (see Shewan Inquiry on foreign trusts.) TINZ is now, once again, urging the establishment of a beneficial register with adequate funding to enable reviews and audits by law enforcement and compliance bodies.

The Daphne Project

The Daphne Project was established to continue the research on political corruption and money laundering being undertaken by Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, when brutally murdered by a car bomb in October 2017. Her research included secret financial links between the Malta and Azerbaijan governments and respective country’s elite, together with a private bank in Malta called Pilatus Bank. 

Three men accused of her murder have been held in prison since their arrests in December. Each has pleaded not guilty and now awaiting the setting of their trial date. 

The five-month old Daphne Project comprises a team of approximately 45 journalists representing 18 news organisations – including New Zealand’s RadioNZ – from 15 countries.

It is coordinated by the Paris based ‘Forbidden Stories’ organisation established specifically to continue the work of killed, imprisoned, or otherwise incapacitated journalists. Forbidden Stories has a mission to provide journalists with a secure backup database for their research and if necessary, provide further research to complete an interrupted story and publish it, censor-free, using its collaborative network of news organisations. By this means it sends a powerful signal to enemies of a free press:

 Even if you succeed in stopping a single messenger, you will not stop the message.

Furthermore, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) facilitates the international sharing of documents and information across its participating organisations such as the Daphne Project and assigns researchers and reporters to investigations in their pursuit of money laundering, drug trafficking, public corruption, the offshore industry, and privatisation fraud.

 “The sun was shining on the day assassins took Daphne’s life. Now her colleagues will shine many lights onto the stories that killed her.

Modern Slavery – Part 2

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

by Tod Cooper

TINZ Member with Delegated Authority for

Procurement, Whistleblowing

This is the second in a series of articles to build awareness on modern slavery, particularly in New Zealand. Part 1 is here.

Our politicians and law makers need to accelerate the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act to establish clearer compliance expectations, tighter regulations and higher pecuniary consequences for individuals and businesses who support Modern Slavery.

A good example is the UK’s Modern Slavery Act. All companies with a UK footprint and an annual turnover of more than £36 million are required to produce annual reports outlining what they are doing to identify and tackle modern slavery in their supply chains.

Forms of Exploitation

What forms does exploitation take? Dr Christina Stringer from the University of Auckland Business School in her report Worker Exploitation In New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape defines exploitation to include:

  • Excessive working hours sometimes without breaks;
  • No pay or severe under-payment with examples of migrants earning as little as $4-$5 an hour;
  • No holiday pay;
  • No employment contracts;
  • Taxes deducted but not paid to the Inland Revenue;
  • Degrading treatment: being sworn at or insulted, denied bathroom breaks, verbal or physical abuse and threatened abuse, restriction of movement; and
  • Cash-for-residency schemes, in which workers paid cash to their employers.

Add confiscation of an individual’s passport’ to this list. A passport is the property of the government that issued it, not the holder. Only an official can confiscate it, and only for justified reasons.  While employers may reasonably request to hold a passport as a condition of employment, they must return it upon request.

Industries Susceptible to Modern Slavery and Exploitation

According to Dr Stringer industries most impacted by exploitation tend to be labour intensive, many of which fall within our own primary sector.  Below are the more impacted sectors with an example of reported exploitation of some workers in each:

  • Construction: Not helped by events such as the Canterbury earthquake and housing shortages.  Canterbury rebuild workers report debt bondage to pay exorbitant recruitment fees of around $10,000 each.
  • Dairy: Workers described abuse, poor working conditions, lack of pay, and poor and inhumane treatment of animals.
  • Fishing: Fishing has a global reputation for human rights abuses, with crews working excessive hours under harsh treatment and abhorrent conditions.
  • Horticulture: Workers routinely receive less than the minimum wage; some as little as $5 an hour.  Employers threaten to report workers to Immigration New Zealand if they complained.
  • Hospitality: Workers paid for far fewer hours than worked, some not paid at all during their trial period.
  • International Education: Students working well over the hours allowed under their visas while promised that a student VISA is a fast track to New Zealand
  • Sex work: Temporary migrants hired to provide cosmetic services and therapeutic massages coerced to provide sexual services.

Summary

Modern slavery and worker exploitation is rampant in New Zealand. Our laws are not sufficient and financial penalties are negligible. It’s time to take action through stricter laws and improved enforcement.

Next Up…

I will conduct desktop research into examples of Modern Slavery in New Zealand. Sadly, examples abound of modern slavery and exploitation in New Zealand.

Open Government Partnership workshop dates

On 4 April, the Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government), Hon Clare Curran, launched the development of the 2018-2020 Open Government Partnership National Action Plan (OGP NAP) for New Zealand, at an event involving new graduates employed in the Public Service.

The public and members of all civil society groups everywhere are now invited to:

  • Register interest to receive OGP updates on the plan development
  • Join the Conversation by viewing and voting on existing ideas, and offering additional ideas
  • Register for initial OGP workshops scheduled for 9.30 am to 4 pm on 21 May in Manukau, 23 May in Wellington, and 24 May in Christchurch.

The revamped OGP website http://www.ogp.org.nz/ provides information on the process for development of the new 2018-2020 plan during the next several months. This process aims to engage a broad range of citizens and community groups to ensure the views of as many New Zealanders as possible determine the actions in the forthcoming plan.

Would you please take practical steps to forward this information to the widest possible audience, for greater inclusiveness of New Zealanders in the development of this plan for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Meantime, the current OGP NAP 2016-2018 is nearing completion. The recently launched progress report included valuable recommendations on the development of the new 2018-2020 plan. 

Environmental management requires transparency and accountability

Murray Petrie
Senior Research Associate
Institute of Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
and Lead Technical Advisor, the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency

by Murray Petrie

Senior Research Associate

Institute of Governance and Policy Studies

Victoria University of Wellington

There is widespread evidence of the deteriorating quality of NZ’s natural environment. Many factors contribute to this, but one that has received surprisingly little attention is the lack of government transparency and accountability for environmental management.

Compared to the high levels of openness in how governments manage the public finances and monetary policy, the arrangements for environmental stewardship are weak. Of course, environmental outcomes result from the complex interplay of natural processes, human activities, and central, regional and local government policies, and cannot be managed in the same way that a government can manage its finances. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to apply a similar underlying framework of transparency and accountability.

As noted in the 2013 TINZ National Integrity System Assessment, there was at that time no requirement for governments to publish regular, technically independent reports on the state of the environment (see Chapman e.t al., https://www.transparency.org.nz/docs/2013/Supplementary-Paper-2-Environmental-Governance.pdf). The Environmental Reporting Act 2015 subsequently required the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ to publish a report every six months on one of five domains – land, air, fresh water, marine, and atmosphere and climate – and a synthesis report every three years.

There are numerous weaknesses in the Act when judged against international good practices for national environmental reporting. The Act should be amended to require reports to cover:

  • the underlying drivers of environmental outcomes;
  • geographic breakdowns by regional and local authority to reveal where problems are greatest;
  • forward-looking data on risks and outlooks; and
  • the effectiveness of government policies to date.

The government should also be required to respond to each synthesis report stating its assessment, priority environmental outcomes with strategies, targets and milestones, and progress reports.

In addition, there should be a requirement for the three-yearly synthesis report to be published within a certain number of months (say, 9 months) of each general election, to promote a much better informed public debate about the trade-offs between environmental and economic outcomes, and stronger accountability of the government to the electorate for environmental stewardship.

Currently governments get away with long-term ‘feel good’ goals, such as ‘predator-free by 2040’, without the discipline of having to publish details of the intended path to the goal and what is being done now and by whom to promote its achievement.

Finally, a new chapter on ‘Fiscal Policy and the Environment’ should be included in the Fiscal Strategy Report in each budget. The chapter would discuss recent progress on the government’s priority environmental outcomes, information on risks and outlooks, and discussion of the impacts of fiscal policies on the environment. This would help give effect to the government’s announcement that the 2019 budget will be a ‘well-being budget.’

Taken together, these proposals are ambitious (although they can be phased in) and will require additional resources. They are intended to provide a comprehensive framework to guide what may otherwise be disparate and ad hoc steps towards better environmental stewardship.

The proposals are based on commitments in law to transparency of goals and targets, and systematic reporting and accountability –  the familiar tools of public management since the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. Applying these tools to environmental stewardship is likely to be a key change required if we are to begin to turn around the long-term decline in the state of our environment.

A copy of Murray’s presentation at VUW on 5 April is here. Look for the Article forthcoming in the May issue of Policy Quarterly.

Editor’s note: This article clearly demonstrates the interactions required between the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to achieve effective management of the natural environment.
For example: SDG-16 ‘Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies’ and SDG-17 ‘Partnerships for the goals’ are essential for achievement of SDG-6 ‘Clean water and sanitation’, SDG-13 ‘Climate change’, SDG-14 ‘Life below water’,  SDG-15 ‘Life on land’, etc.

No Impunity!

by David Dunsheath

Transparency Times Newsletter Co-editor

NewsletterCo-editor
Member with Delegated Authority for Open Government Partnership, Parliamentarian Network and SGDs


Frank Vogl
Member of TI Advisory Council
and Adjunct Professor Georgetown University

The global fight against corruption is a huge challenge given that more than half of the 176 countries ranked on Transparency International’s (TI’s) Corruption Perceptions Index are assessed to have endemically corrupt public administrations.

In his article The end of limitless impunity, Carl Dolan (Director of TI) considers encouraging progress is being made to end the era of limitless impunity. In 2017, current and former heads of state faced formal corruption investigations and charges in Argentina, Israel, Pakistan, France, South Korea, Brazil and Peru.

‘No impunity’ is the catch phrase used increasingly by diverse global causes to bring to account political leaders who are responsible for serious violations to human rights, state sponsored murders and incarcerations (e.g. of journalists and opposing voices), conflicts of interest, and other corruption. Having been exposed, the vast majority are subsequently not held to account. Instead they continue to enjoy their impunity, not to mention their ill-gotten wealth, at home or in exile.

“The no-impunity principle is part of the founding principles of the global community, norms of a public nature, protecting the supreme values of the world community as a whole, including the fundamental rights of individuals and peoples.” according to Emeritus Professor Giullana Capaldo in relation to various deficiencies and gaps in its implementation at both national and international levels of justice. Refer here.  

In his recent article “Trump’s Washington: Drowning in Conflicts of Interest?”, Frank Vogl (co-founder of Transparency International) refers to the ongoing revelations of bribes for dubious activities. “When it comes to lobbying and the expense accounts of government officials, not to mention conflicts of interest, U.S. law … is often as flexible as a rubber band.” He continues “At a minimum, the Trump team is unified by questionable ethics – small, big and sometimes ridiculous.” He refers to numerous examples.

“The Republican Senators and Congressmen abuse their majority status by making sure that none of the oversight committees are pressing any of the cases, big or small. In fact, not a single Congressional Committee is looking into the abuse and utter mockery that is being made of official U.S. government ethics rules.”

There is much work to be done by TI, Vogl urges. “In many countries, conflicts of interest by public officials are not always illegal, despite being clearly wrong. TI needs to consider …. raising its focus on this issue and shining a much brighter light on the conflicts – small, absurd, and sometimes very big.”

 

Leaders Integrity Forum considers corruption risks

March 2018 will be remembered for decades to come in the annals of Australian cricket history – and all for the wrong reasons.  The ball-tampering scandal by some of Australia’s top cricketers have highlighted the vulnerability of sport to corrupt influences and shown once again how reputations built and maintained over a long time can come tumbling down in moments.

This debacle came only a week after the NZ Police Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) released the National Risk Assessment, an updated assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks that New Zealand faces and the vulnerabilities of the New Zealand financial system to these risks.

These two current matters brought the growing risks of corruption to the fore and were a timely contextual introduction to the April Leaders Integrity Forum’s focus on Risks of Corruption in New Zealand and what we can do about it.

The Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Police, the first the speakers began by asking attendees to consider three questions:

  • Do we deserve our reputation for being the least-corrupt country in the world, or have we been lucky?
  • Are we being naïve when we say we are corruption-free?
  • Are we doing enough to address corruption?

These three questions were addressed by the forum Chair, Judge Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman; and presenters Mike Clement, Deputy Commissioner National Operations of the NZ Police; and David Howman, Head of the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Athletics Federation. Each brought a unique perspective to the forum’s theme.

A blog prepared by the Office of the Auditor-General, summarises the discussion.

Hon Stuart Nash
Minister of Police
Leadership Integrity Forum April 2018

David Howman
Head of Integrity Unit
International Athletics Federation
Leadership Integrity Forum April 2018

Judge Peter Boshier
Chief-Ombudsman
Leadership Integrity Forum April 2018

Mike Clement
Deputy Commissioner of the NZ Police
Leadership Integrity Forum April 2018

Top rating for New Zealand from Global Tax Forum

Gaye Searancke
Deputy Commissioner
Inland Revenue, New Zealand

by Gaye Searancke

Deputy Commissioner

Inland Revenue, New Zealand

New Zealand gets top rating from the Global Forum on Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum)

New Zealand was recently involved in a new and enhanced peer review process conducted by the OECD’s Global Forum. Gaye Searancke, Deputy Commissioner, Inland Revenue says ”We’re delighted that New Zealand maintained its ‘Compliant’ rating. This is the highest rating a jurisdiction can accomplish, and reflects our strong commitment to transparency and effective exchange of information.”

What are Global Forum Peer Reviews?

Global Forum exchange of information on request (EOIR) peer reviews have a tax focus.  As the world becomes increasingly globalised and cross-border activities become the norm, tax administrations need to work together to ensure that taxpayers pay the right amount of tax to the right jurisdiction.

The peer review process evaluates the compliance of a jurisdiction to the international standard of transparency and exchange of information. It monitors how they meet international obligations for cooperating with other jurisdictions in the detection and prevention of tax evasion and avoidance; and also how they use tax treaty exchange of information mechanisms to create greater transparency.

Who were the key players?

We took a strong “New Zealand Inc.” approach to the review. This was essential as the legal and administrative frameworks that support full EOIR compliance are administered by a range of NZ Government agencies. 

Inland Revenue led this work, partnering with the Ministry of Justice, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Financial Markets Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit from the NZ Police, and Crown Law.

The Review…

The reviews are comprehensive in nature and involve detailed questionnaires, on-site visits and presentation to the Peer Review Group meeting where findings and ratings are deliberated. The final recommendations are then sent to all Global Forum members (150 jurisdictions) for their comments and/or endorsement. New Zealand’s review took around 12 months.

The review was divided into three main sections:

  1. Availability of Information: This section tests the availability of information in New Zealand. There has been an increased focus on beneficial ownership in the latest reviews. Our new anti-money laundering law was seen as a positive move towards meeting the required international standard. However, due to the law being new, we received a recommendation to monitor its implementation to ensure it is effective in practice.
  2. Access to Information: This section covers Inland Revenue’s access to information, including our ability to exercise our powers and rights, and safeguard taxpayers. We shone in this area as our extensive powers (especially section 17 of the Tax Administration Act 1994) are well regarded internationally. Our response to the Panama Papers and the introduction of the new foreign trust regime also positively contributed to our rating.
  3. Exchange of Information: This section tests the effectiveness of our tax treaty network and our Exchange of Information programme in practice. Our systems and processes definitely impressed the assessment team who considered them international best practice.

What does this mean for New Zealand?

Ms Searancke says “We are proud of playing our part in the global effort aimed at tackling tax evasion and avoidance through greater transparency and effective exchange of information. It meant a lot that New Zealand’s work was recognised by our peers in other jurisdictions; they have let us know they’re appreciative of the positive working relationships they have with Inland Revenue, and the quality and timeliness of the information we have provided.”

Member Profile Lisa Traill

Lisa Trail
TINZ Director
Governance

by Lisa Traill

TINZ Director – Responsible for Governance

Lisa was elected to be a Director of TINZ at the 2017 Annual General Meeting for a standard three-year term. She has provided the following to the Transparency Times.

How do you think corruption affects New Zealand?

Recent research by Deloitte identified the rate of fraud across New Zealand public and private enterprises is likely to be around 20%.  An annual figure of $1.35 billion dollars is estimated to be laundered through New Zealand according to the recent Police Financial Intelligence Unit’s report so we are far from immune to its’ impact at both macro and personal levels.

We live in times where significant and sophisticated fraud across time and geography can be committed relatively easily with the right knowledge and minimal set-up cost.  Privacy, digital identities, behavioural data on large populations all hold significant value in our digital economy. Elections are literally being won and lost for bargain basement rates by comparison to the potential payoff. New Zealand is affected by all of these things, whether they occur globally or at a local level.

What steps do you think we can take to safeguard us from corruption in New Zealand?

By starting with our own behaviour and that of others around us. Transparency in relationships, fostering a culture where appropriately challenging inappropriate words or actions as they happen is the norm.  The Auckland Transport fraud case clearly illustrated the ways in which culture adapts over time to behaviours that early on would have stood out for the poor decisions they were, and might have been addressed.

When the broader culture has a low level of tolerance for fraudulent or corrupt practices, backed up with sound institutions and law, the slide into corrupt practices can be caught early.  This is where regular risk assessments are critical to organisational awareness and yet less than half NZ businesses do them (Deloitte 2017)!

How do you think we minimise corruption in New Zealand?

We have a tendency to minimise our awareness of corruption which is an irony of being rated #1 – complacency is real.  All organisations, regardless of type and size, are duty bound to provide a safe workplace. The really safe ones talk openly and often about why and how they do that.

Operating ethically and within the law is fundamentally about risk management and safety in general.  An organisation’s approach to risk in all things defines how resistant they are to developing unsafe behaviours around corruption and fraud.

Our consistent position at the top of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index (TI CPI) removes targets to chase, instead giving us the opportunity to be bold and to set lofty targets.  It doesn’t follow that there isn’t anyone better to learn from. We would be remiss not to make the most of learning from the other top countries, continually assessing and questioning our own practices.

Why do you feel that Transparency International is an important organisation?

A non-partisan, non profit driven, volunteer based organisation is the easiest and possibly best structure available to bring together a credible voice and a seat at the table with public and private entities.  

Transparency International has worked hard to define that voice and hold the space for acknowledging, addressing and preventing corruption worldwide.  This has significant benefit to us all from a sustainability perspective where the corruption has the capacity to impact financially, environmentally and socially at all levels, local to global.  

Why I am motivated to be a Transparency NZ Director

Matters of authenticity and trust have always been important to me.  I’ve had the experience of identifying fraud wherein two people were financially benefitting and a third was complicit.  Fortunately the peer I raised it with, took affirmative and fast action to address what was happening on their side as I did on ours.

TINZ values are universal and also fundamental to good governance and a healthy culture across organisations and by extension societies.  TINZ provides a way for me to be directly active in supporting and sharing that voice, as well as being a great opportunity to meet and learn from many very interesting and clever people. 

Sir Anand appointed to IACC Council

The Right Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand
Former Governor General
Former Patron Transparency International New Zealand

Sir Anand Satyanand has been appointed to the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) Council for a six-year term. His appointment signals a significant advancement of the role of the Pacific and New Zealand within the international anti-corruption community.

Sir Anand is a former Patron of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) and currently a member of the Transparency International global Advisory Council. He served as New Zealand’s 19th Governor-General between 2006 and 2011.

The IACC is a 30 year old unincorporated, not-for-profit organisation formed to promote and deliver biennial conferences in many parts of the world. Its main work is to select venue countries and approve conference themes and programmes with the objective to bring together people from governments, civil society, the private sector and other interested parties to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. 

The IACC has a close association with Transparency International (TI), the latter providing the secretary and legal entity for IACC and its Council. The Council develops a formal relationship with each conference host country, typically the head institution or ministry in charge of anti-corruption. The Danish Government, represented by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is hosting the 18th conference in Copenhagen on 22 – 24 October 2018. Transparency Denmark has an IACC supporting role.  

This year’s conference theme is “Together for Development Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act.” More than 1,000 participants are expected from as many as 135 countries. The agenda provides a global forum for networking and cross-fertilisation of ideas for effective advocacy and action on both global and national scales. Proposals for the design of each of the proposed 35 innovation and workshop sessions were submitted between 15 February and 15 April.   

Sir Anand is one of eight members of the IACC Council currently Chaired by Huguette Labelle, former Chair of TI and senior official in many Canadian government organisations.

 

Farewell to Mark Sainsbury, Conway Powell and Phoebe Myles

Conway Powell
Mark Sainsbury
Phoebe Myles
Phoebe Myles

Transparency International NZ (TINZ) has reluctantly accepted the resignations of two elected directors, Mark Sainsbury and Conway Powell.

Mark Sainsbury joined the TINZ board in March of 2015. He has been instrumental in increasing TINZ’s presence and profile on radio and television. Mark’s contributions to our communications effort through his extensive knowledge of New Zealand’s media plus his enhanced ability to focus the messaging, have been valuable.

Mark is embarking on a new chapter of his career that is in conflict with an ongoing involvement with TINZ.

Conway Powell joined the TINZ Board as an Interim Director in 2016 and was formally elected at last year’s AGM. He was a member of TINZ Personnel Committee and through that, played a quality review role of TINZ contracts and employment policies. His experience in politics steered TINZ’s analysis of different political parties’ anti-corruption proposals. Conway has had to resign for personal reasons.

Phoebe Myles, TINZ Member-with-Delegated-Authority for Auckland Events, including the Auckland Fraud Festival, is also moving on to enjoy her overseas experience.  

TINZ wishes to acknowledge the contribution made by Mark, Conway and Phoebe and to wish them well in their future endeavours.

 

Banking Ombudsman Scheme revamped website

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme recently announced the launch of revamped website and communications material. The new website, which has gone live this month, features improved navigation, better search functions, consolidated content and a simplified complaint form.  These changes will make it easier for people to find the information they need

The redesigned website is bankomb.org.nz

The Banking Ombudsman is available to help you fix your banking problems. They’re free and independent.

In case you missed it

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Banking royal commission: AMP’s misleading of ASIC explained From the Financial Review: “Evidence before the royal commission showed AMP misled the corporate regulator 20 times, including by portraying its “fee for no service” problem as a process error rather than deliberate decisions and mischaracterising findings from an external audit by PwC.”

‘We operate in a way which complies’ – NZ bankersNew Zealand’s banks do not rip off their customers like their Australian counterparts had been doing, the Bankers’ Association says. Source RNZ

NZ fintech sector out pacing rest of the world

New measures coming to ensure NZ is only a place for ‘honest business RNZ through stuff.co.nz

Ombudsman seeking better OIA practices

New Zealand rated ‘compliant’ in OECD tax transparency review

New Zealand scores highly in OECD tax transparency review

Pacific

PNG auditor-general appears in court Papua New Guinea’s auditor-general has appeared in court on corruption charges – misappropriation, conspiracy to defraud, abuse of authority and official corruption.

Anti-corruption

15 incentives for greater citizen engagement in the fight against corruption

International

Daphne Project: Journalist’s murder accused held until trial

International money laundering

A warning to the corrupt: if you kill a journalist, another will take their place Laurent Richard

French tycoon charged in Africa corruption probe

Have some London estate agents slipped up on their anti-money laundering checks?

Oligarchs hide billions in shell companies. Here’s how we stop them The Guardian

How lack of transparency is making China a safe haven for investors

Sport

Chung quits OFC presidency amid rumours of political and financial corruption Inside world football

Corruption probe slams integrity of tennis as ‘fertile breeding ground’ for match-fixing

FIFA corruption concerns prompt Oceania probe FIFA says it has temporarily suspended the Oceania Football Confederation funding, part of its zero-tolerance approach to corruption

FIFA Vice President Quits after Audit Raises Questions New York Times

TINZ

Investigative journalists find suspicious foreign trusts

Transparency International

The new IMF anti-corruption framework: 3 things we’ll be looking for a year from now

New EU proposals for whistleblower protection is a bold step in the right direction

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

G20 countries moving too slowly to combat financial crime