Transparency Times September 2015

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively

Suzanne Snively
TINZ Chair

I have just returned from this year’s Transparency International (TI) Annual Members Meeting (AMM) held in Putrajaya, Malaysia from the end of August.

The AMM was held during the week of Merdeka, a celebration of Malaysia’s independence from colonial rule in 1957. Amidst the Malaysian flag-draped buildings and the smoky atmosphere from burning across the way in Indonesia, allegations wafted of the Prime Minister’s unanswered questions, centring on the disappearance of USD 700 million.

Ranked at 50th, tied with Georgia and Samoa on the Corruptions Perception Index (CPI), Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world that explicitly uses the CPI to set the key performance indicators for its anti-corruption agency (MACC). It has set out steps to raise its score from 52 to 70 so it can improve its ranking to 25th.This is consistent with words used in the statement of the founding father of the nation, Abdul Rahman, “integrity” and “honesty”.

As has become the tradition over the past nearly two decades, TI’s AMM was followed by the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC).

In his IACC opening address TI Chair José Ugaz had graphic examples of impunity. Not only through the actions of the Malaysian Prime Minister, but also of the customs interference by the Guatemalan President and the fleeing of the President of the Ukraine to avoid prosecution for stealing at least $350 million, leaving behind a mansion with a zoo and a full-sized Spanish galleon.

As José noted “… too many corrupt politicians and business people use shell companies to conceal their money.  This is why ….[there is a] need for public registers of beneficial ownership.”

Sir Anand Satyanand attended his first TI Advisory Council meeting.

I was  joined at the AMM and IACC by TINZ Director Josephine Serrallach and Executive Officer, Lynn McKenzie.  We led a successful campaign to include a strong prevention approach in TI’s 2020 strategy.  Research shows prevention is the best antidote to corruption.

Meantime, submissions to the New Zealand National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership closed at the end of August with very few submissions.

While citizens demonstrate in Brazil, Guatemala, Ukraine and Malaysia about what they don’t like about their governments, an opportunity has been lost for people here to specify what they would like from ours.

Suzanne Snively, Chair
Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Exporting Corruption report – how does New Zealand perform?

TI recently published its annual Exporting Corruption report, which assesses progress against the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. 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, which New Zealand ratified in 2011, is a key instrument for curbing the export of corruption globally as the 41 signatory countries are responsible for approximately two-thirds of world exports and almost 90 per cent of total foreign direct investment outflows.

The report uses a point system to measure countries' performance in enforcing the convention using the following parameters: investigations, concluded cases, and sanctions in proportion to a country’s share of world exports. Based on this system, countries are divided into four categories when it comes to enforcement:

  • active
  • moderate
  • limited
  • little or no enforcement.

The use of “Active Enforcement” is considered by the OECD to be a major deterrent to foreign bribery. Countries such as the US, Germany, the UK and Switzerland are in this category.

New Zealand – like last year – was placed in the “Limited Enforcement” category with two investigations currently in progress.

TINZ feels that strong enforcement of foreign bribery by New Zealand companies is important to the New Zealand brand and safeguards our reputation as a corruption-free country.

TINZ welcomes the new Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation bill. In its present form, the legislation should bring New Zealand into line with international practice as set by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the Recommendations of the Financial Action Taskforce, as well as the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. TINZ also strongly supports the recommendation of the Law and Order Select Committee to amend the penalty for foreign bribery to include the option to impose fines, as well as imprisonment.

In addition, though, TINZ continues to push its case for the following recommendations for government action to ensure foreign bribery enforcement is effective:

  1. strengthen the capacity to detect, investigate and prosecute foreign bribery
  2. increase awareness of the risks of foreign bribery and of channels for reporting allegations to law enforcement  agencies
  3. address the resource limitations which may affect the prioritisation of anti-corruption activities among law enforcement agencies.

Links for additional information about the report read the: Transparency International media release, the complete report and the New Zealand country report.

Sir Anand Satyanand appointed to international leadership role in fight against corruption

Former TINZ Patron, Governor-General of New Zealand and respected jurist Sir Anand Satyanand has been appointed as a member of TI’s global Advisory Council. Sir Anand’s appointment was confirmed in late August by TI’s Chair José Ugaz and TI Founder and Chair of the Advisory Council Peter Elgen.

This five-year appointment is an honour and reflects both Sir Anand’s and New Zealand’s reputation within the organisation.

He joins distinguished members from around the world in providing sage counsel and wise advice to our global organisation. Other familiar names include Jimmy Carter and Justice Michael Kirby of Australia.

Sir Anand was characteristically modest about the appointment, but said in a letter to fellow TI members, “Transparency International’s credibility is important to pursue in the interests of civil society everywhere in the world. Having another Pacific voice at the table will help focus on the region’s problems.”

Sir Anand is keen to ensure that Pacific views on corruption and integrity are heard at the global table. His ability to draw out the most relevant and salient points of a discussion, as heard at many TINZ events, should be well received at international meetings.

Sir Anand will attend Council gatherings during his regular trips to Europe on his busy international governance and advocacy schedule.

TINZ looks forward to the valuable insights Sir Anand will be able to share on international trends in transparency best practice being discussed globally.

TINZ Director Claire Johnsone, TINZ Chair Suzanne-Snively, Retiring Patron Sir Anand Satyanand and Former Chair Murray Petrie

TINZ Director and Deputy Chair Claire Johnstone, TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively, Retiring Patron Sir Anand Satyanand and Former Chair Murray Petrie.

Report from the Transparency International AMM

Lynn McKenzie

Lynn McKenzie
TINZ Executive Director.

Lynn McKenzie, TINZ Executive Director, represented TINZ at the TI AMM and the 16th IACC in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 30 August through 4 September.

Highlights

  • TI AMM – 97 TI chapters voted and there are 30 Individual Members – giving global reach, scale, scope and impact of our work
  • Attending the 16th IACC
  • Intellectually stimulating, scale and scope of the work of TI chapters and those working in the anti-corruption space
  • From both the conference and the IACC the call for more transparency through:  
    • database of “exposed persons”
    • disclosure of “beneficial interests”
    • protecting the whistle blower
    • ending Impunity – Conference Theme
    • establishing a Business Ombudsmen – Ukraine and Columbia
    • TI UK’s Corruption on your Doorstep looks at how corrupt money is used to buy property in the UK by analysing data from the Land Registry and Metropolitan Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit. For example, 36,342 London properties totalling 2.25 square miles are held by offshore haven companies.
  • Opportunity to meet with the Pacific and Australian Chapters
  • Realising New Zealand’s situation is not unique – “Yellow Zone” countries focussed on:      
    • prevention
    • private sector engagement
    • advocacy and influence
    • all with limited funding.
  • Do what you say you’ll do – Malaysia’s Prime Minister facing a corruption crisis and allegations that he received about USD 700 million in government money. He was scheduled to open the IACC – he did not.

Imagine a global gathering of people united in their quest for a corruption free world. Ethnicity, language, age and religion matters not. People gathered together to exchange ideas, to be stimulated by amazing speakers, and to see films showing the effects of corruption described in graphic detail.

While there were 97 accredited chapters that could vote, there were more than 100 countries represented, along with around 26 of the 30 individual members. The TI Annual Membership Meeting was 31 August to 1 September with the Asia Pacific Division meeting the day before. TI members came from all parts of the world including: Rwanda, Turkey, Lebanon, Mongolia, Ukraine, Pakistan, China, Greenland, Bhutan, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Chile.

Then, from 2 September, over 1,000 delegates from 130 countries met for the 16th IACC representing anti-corruption civil society groups, government and UN agencies, and the private sector. The conference theme was Ending Impunity – people, integrity, action.

Overlay this with the political and financial crisis in Malaysia, with the Prime Minister having over USD 700 million in his personal account.

José Ugaz, TI’s President, spoke at the opening ceremony of the IACC, noting that Malaysia's commitment towards fighting corruption cannot be taken seriously as long as it did not explain who paid the money, why, and what happened to it. “We want to see more progress [from Malaysia] but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the USD 700 million that made its way into the Prime Minister's personal bank account,” said Ugaz.

He said in recent weeks, the Attorney-General “who was critical of the government” was replaced, the task force probing into 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was suspended, investigators were‎ arrested, and newspapers suspended. “These are not the actions of a government that is fighting corruption.”

See more at:malaysia-must-explain-us700-million-donation.

The stage was set!

TINZ members attending were Chair Suzanne Snively, Director Josephine Serrallach and Executive Officer Lynn McKenzie. Sir Anand Satyanand, newly appointed member of the TI Advisory Group, attended the TI AMM.

Pacific Chapter Representatives 2015 IACC

Pacific Chapter Representatives 2015 IACC From the left: Joseph Veramu (TI Fiji), Kate Hanlon (TI Secretariat), Peter Batchelor (UNDP), Lawrence Stevens (obscured, TI PNG), Suzanne Snively (TINZ), Josephine Serrallach (TINZ), Emily George Taule (TI PNG), Lynn McKenzie (obscured, TINZ), Sir Anand Satyanand (TI Advisory Council) and Willie Tokon (TI Solomon).

TINZ Representation Suzanne Snively Lynn McKenzie Josephine Serrallach

TINZ representation at IACC: Suzanne Snively, Lynn McKenzie, and Josephine Serrallach.

session 3,3 v1

Session from IACC

Preventing corruption: Building the “Yellow Zone”

Research shows strongly enforced elements of prevention are THE antidotes to corruption.  Only through the application of prevention frameworks can we comprehensively transform the world in our lifetimes to curtail widespread corruption.

By far the largest proportion of countries is in the orange or red zones of the TI CPI. These are countries which have high levels of public sector corruption. In other words, the overwhelming majority of the world's population cannot depend on a rule of law that protects their rights to peace, security, and the practice of their religion, education, jobs and homes.

TI's focus is primarily on an anti-corruption strategy with an emphasis on the most corrupt regions. TI is resource and technology challenged, yet aspires to be a game changer in these areas.

Depending on where you draw the line, only about 15 per cent of countries have public sectors that score in the “Yellow Zone”. Only 5 per cent are scoring above 85 (with 100 being the best score). Denmark scores 92 and New Zealand scores 91 in the 2014 CPI.

At the AMM, a group representing the Yellow Zone countries, led by New Zealand, made a case about how this can change by ensuring that TI's prevention strategy is as strong as its anti-corruption strategy.

In the Yellow Zone, activists who work within trusted systems are vigilant about remaining non-corrupt at home and to both demonstrate and promulgate the integrity systems that truly work to prevent corruption.

When prevention is added to its portfolio, what TI has to offer is immense. This can be enhanced by the implementation of preventive measures that define and enforce (1) strong education and training about ways to prevent corrupt practice; (2) strong integrity systems across our society and (3) trusted governance structures backed up with tough performance measures including action plans with milestones independently evaluated and assessed.

By ensuring prevention is more explicit in TI’s 2020 strategy, Together Against Corruption, the strategy invites partners from all walks of life, civil society, the public and private sectors, to join in the vigilant enforcement and monitoring of strong integrity systems and trusted governance.

Strong enforcement of prevention combined with anti-corruption enforcement, working in balance, means that, with all the global change, with changes in trade patterns and immigration movements, instead of more countries moving into the “red zone”, TI's strategy can demand attention of those strongly against corruption to work with us to increase the proportion of countries who reach the score to join the Yellow Zone. Working together, we can build the number of countries in the Yellow Zone.

yellow zone 2

Yellow Zone Meeting at IACC

yellow zone 1

Yellow Zone Meeting at IACC

TINZ signs accreditation at IACC

President José Ugaz and TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively sign TINZ chapter accreditation

While at the TI AMM in Malaysia last month, President José Ugaz and TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively signed TINZ accreditation document. A chapter’s accreditation with TI is reviewed every three years. The photo above shows TI President José Ugaz and Suzanne Snively signing the document. Looking on is TI Advisory Council member and immediate Past TINZ patron Sir Anand Satyanand and TINZ Director Josephine Serrallach.

NZ corruption free – or is it?

New Zealand Corruption free or is it Kirk Hope Fiona Tregonning Souella Cumming and Michael Macaulay

New Zealand – corruption free or is it?
Left to right: Panellists Kirk Hope, Fiona Tregonning, Souella Cumming and Michael Macaulay.

Public Discussion, 25 August 2015

Last month a packed auditorium listened to the second in a series of discussions TINZ and Victoria University of Wellington’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) is holding, regarding the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation bill. This time the discussion centred on the questions: What does the Bill mean for business, government and the community?  Why must New Zealand fully ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)?

The panel included Souella Cumming, Partner KPMG's Advisory practice and Head of Government Services for KPMG New Zealand; Kirk Hope, Chief Executive, New Zealand Bankers' Association; and Fiona Tregonning, Senior Associate, Bell Gully and past Director of TINZ. The moderator was IGPS Director Dr Michael Macaulay who had been a panellist in the first discussion in April entitled the “Business of Bribery”.

Panellist’s concluded New Zealand is not corruption free. Numerous bribery and corruption cases have recently come before the courts in New Zealand, with four convictions between March and May this year. The SFO is also investigating other corruption cases.

The entyre panel supported the changes proposed in the bill. They urged business and society to take corruption seriously and for the Government to continue their support of anti-corruption measures. The key message from this discussion was that the New Zealand government, business and community can’t be complacent and corruption can’t be tolerated.

A sound and video recording was taken of the event, the link is https://vstream.victoria.ac.nz/ess/echo/presentation/fd08d8f7-8252-4510-95a8-aa3e5a7fba22.

TI: FIFA fails to tackle corruption crisis

TI continues to campaign for extensive reform of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to eliminate corruption in football and sport overall.

Working in conjunction with #NewFIFANow and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), TI has issued – and will continue to issue – a string of media releases encouraging broad reform of the organisation. Several of the latest include:

New Zealand not immune to FIFA scandal?

Former New Zealand football official Charlie Dempsey is allegedly involved in a FIFA corruption scandal

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Coming Events

Trading on our reputation

22 September, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
VUW Law School

Trading on our reputation: Integrity and its importance to NZ and the Tourism Sector

Confirmed panellists are Motel Association CEO, Michael Baines, representing the Tourism Industry and former Department of Conservation CEO now SSC Deputy Commissioner Al Morrison who will discuss the value of New Zealand's Natural Capital and ways to adapt this to the NZ Story for Tourism.

Auckland Trade Negotiations Seminar

Mark your diary for 20 October to attend an Auckland seminar about transparency in international trade negotiations, Owen Glenn Business School, 5:30pm.

TINZ AGM

Transparency International New Zealand Inc AGM, 16 November 2015: Members mark your diaries – Wellington venue and speaker to be advised.

In case you missed it

New Zealand increasing aid to the Pacific

New Zealand has announced it is increasing its aid to the Pacific by an additional $NZ100 million over the next three years. Coverage on radionz.co.nz

Open Government Partnership

From the ssc website, 2013 Ministry of Justice Cabinet Paper Proposal to Join the Open Governemnt Partnership. Copy on TINZ website.

New Zealand not immune to FIFA scandal?

Former New Zealand football official Charlie Dempsey allegedly involved in FIFA corruption scandal.

Saudi Sheep Transaction: Where is the Transparency?

The lack of transparency in the Saudi sheep deal could deliver a body blow to New Zealand Read the full media release

Government squandering critical opportunity

Let’s not squander that reputation and good will by paying mere lip service to the principles of open government.

New Zealand: Take Leadership Role in Fighting Sport Corruption

New Zealand must use its untarnished reputation in sport to help root out corrupt practices in International Football says TINZ’s chair Suzanne Snively.

TI Managing Director Cobus de Swardt Talk

TI Managing Director Cobus de Swardt visited Australia after the IACC. Here is a video of his talk in Melbourne.