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Country Reports

On this page

A series of country case studies on what works in fighting corruption.

And:

Fighting Corruption: What Approaches Work?

Experiences with Anti-corruption Action Plans at the National Level.

Case studies from:

Poland

Ghana

Slovakia

Latvia

Nepal

Mongolia

Paraguay

Case studies highlighting best practices and lessons learned relating to diverse issues concerned with corruption, including developing a pragmatic toolkit, raising public awareness, the media, public procurement, privatization, election monitoring.

Over the past four years the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) has provided small grants (maximum amount $25,000) to NGOs across the developing world to assist in the development of specific anti-corruption initiatives. Full details of the projects and PTF’s work can be found on its website. Below are a series of cases, highlighted in summary form, which provide insights into what works. The experiences gained by the NGOs that have pursued these initiatives can assist other organizations around the world as they prepare their own specific anti-corruption projects.

UNDP Evaluation Praises PTF                                 

"PTF is an extremely effective instrument for support of small but important anti-corruption projects" says Alex Shakow, a former World Bank senior executive in an evaluation report to UNDP. "PTF’s  track record is very impressive.  The vast majority of its projects have been designed and implemented well and achieved valuable results. Given the difficulties of working in this highly sensitive area, the PTF success rate is a great tribute to the many courageous people implementing these programs across the globe, and to the PTF leadership for its commitment, professionalism and good sense.  There are lessons to be learned but, by and large, this volunteer operation sets very high standards and meets them.”

POLAND
Citizen’s Anti-Corruption Legal Toolkit

A project by TI Poland (TIP) assisted by PTF (www.transparency.pl)

The project established a Citizens’ Anti-Corruption Toolkit as a means of strengthening the implementation of TIP’s citizens’ legal aid Intervention Program.

The program arose in reaction to requests for legal support submitted to TIP from all around the country. Individuals, citizen groups, associations and councilors’ groups were asking for support in solving cases involving corruption or suspicion of corrupt practices. Most of the requests came from small towns where counteracting corruption is particularly difficult.

TIP reports that the people who applied for help frequently stressed that they go to TIP because they have trust. This trust is founded on a recognition that TIP is a reliable, politically unbiased, and independent organization, which does not avail itself of government funds. The Intervention Program has been carried on since January 2000. Although it is not advertised in any way, its growing good reputation, coupled with the inefficiency of state institutions, is resulting in a rapid increase of the number of cases taken on. Through its legal education and assistance program TIP has been creating public awareness of the people’s rights. In this way, dishonest public officers are being discouraged from taking advantage of people’s ignorance.

The proposed toolkit was to serve three purposes: (i) to support TI Poland’s legal Intervention Program; (ii) to be used by individuals and groups in their own cases; (iii) to enable groups and organizations to start their own legal intervention programs. The toolkit was to have six different components:

  • Software in the form of program management applications, internet discussion groups for program collaborators, frequently asked questions and application forms for people looking for help)
  • Software to provide legal help by internet (web page, discussion group, help on-line)
  • Practical anti-corruption guides accessible for citizens (published on paper, CD and website),
  • Intervention program working procedures and instructions providing legal help – based on TIP’s experience,
  • internet center for practical anti-corruption help,
  • anti-corruption toolkit on CD


The project has been successfully completed. At the start, the project team prepared instructions and forms for the collection of data on the ‘tricks’ used by authorities, then collected the data and reviewed a number of court cases. This has lead to the creation of database of the tricks used. Their subsequent analysis allowed the preparation of a compendium of the most frequently used tricks in public administration institutions. The project team has constantly updated the database. Three of the most interesting court proceedings were selected for further observation, recording court proceedings, collecting information and evidence, and providing legal help. A practical toolkit for a citizen in court was then prepared. The project team consulted local citizens’ groups and individuals in the preparation of the toolkit.

The project team reviewed the existing anti-corruption legal guide-books. This revealed an absence of such guidebooks and therefore this particular subject became the focal point for subsequent work. In addition, the team noted a lack of awareness of access to public information. A set of manuals was prepared, and a new dedicated website established. This included printing and distributing 1000 copies of a practical toolkit for a citizen in court, with tips for a citizen on how to perform in a court, mostly based on observations from the Legal Aid Program cases and court proceedings.  Also, counseling by phone was successfully tested. The “first contact” instruction has been prepared for volunteers’ contacts of with people looking for legal help.

TIP’s review revealed an absence of guidebooks on access to public information. Moreover, their other work indicated a general lack of awareness on access to  public information. In result a manual on access to public information was prepared and 2000 copies printed and distributed.

Copies of all manuals can be found on TIP’s website; the demand for these products has been considerable. In addition, some 100 CD copies of TIP’s Anti-Corruption Toolkit have been ‘burned’ and distributed.

***

GHANA

 Raising Public Awareness of Corruption

 A project of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) assisted by PTF

The project involved a survey of corruption in four major cities as a tool for raising public awareness and to provide a robust basis for civil society to engage with the government on ways to reduce corruption. The key objectives were:

  • To measure the perceived degree of bribery and corruption in the country
  • To find out the most corrupt institution(s) in the country.
  • Find out why people involve themselves in bribery and corruption.
  • To find out the categories of perpetrators of bribery and corruption in the country.
  • To measure the perceived level of corruption in the government, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the country.
  • To assess government commitment to fighting bribery and corruption.
  • To find out whether respondents are aware of the institutions fighting bribery and corruption in the country.
  • To solicit proposals from the public on ways to minimize bribery and corruption.

A “voice of the people” survey – an urban household corruption perception survey was conducted in Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra-Tema areas (Southern Ghana) from 10th to 26th March 2005. The survey, using face-to-face interviews and a structured questionnaire, captured the views of 900 residents of households on their perceptions of corruption, personal involvement as well as other people’s involvement in bribery and corruption, underlying reasons for corruption, institutions and officials perceived to be affected by corruption and suggestions on how to deal with the problem of corruption. GII prepared and disseminated a report summarizing the findings of the survey with a view to strengthening civil society’s advocacy of specific measures to fight corruption.

GII believes that the findings of the survey, with all its limitations, provide the public and policy makers with useful information on the perceived state of corruption in the country, and the expectations of the public in terms of dealing with the canker. Key findings include:

  • The perception of a pervasive of corruption in Ghanaian society.
  • There is a perception of greater administrative or bureaucratic corruption compared to political corruption. Respondents cited ‘delaying tactics’ as a way by which the people are ‘forced’ to pay bribes for public services or indulge in other forms of bribery. This is a disincentive for investors and undermines public trust in the efficient management of public resources.
  • A high tolerance for corruption among Ghanaians. Most of the respondents interviewed said they looked on unconcerned when witnessing acts of bribery and corruption. Moreover, where reports are made to the police and offenders are sometimes arrested, the offenders still get off and nothing comes of the investigations. For most people, therefore, reporting corruption is an exercise in futility. This is a particularly disturbing finding as it implies the existence of a culture of impunity. Nepotism, cronyism and ethnic bias, which are often inimical to development, appear to have eaten very deeply into Ghana’s social fabric such that, nobody seems to see anything wrong with them.
  • Some of the institutions perceived to be highly corrupt, such as the Police Service and the Judicial Service, are paradoxically also the ones expected to help control corruption.

    The report made a number of recommendations, most importantly:

  • A strong code of conduct for civil/public servants as well as political appointees, especially those in positions to hire, fire, and influence resource allocation, is needed as a matter of urgency.  Such a code of conduct should be systematically and rigorously enforced.
  • The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) should be granted independent powers of prosecution. This will help check the creeping culture of impunity among those entrusted with elective and administrative power.
  • Government should strengthen existing laws to include the imposition of stiffer punishment, such as longer prison terms for perpetrators of corruption. At the same time, the Public Service should institute a reward system for those who exhibit high standards of performance and commitment to duty in public office.
  • Parliament should, as a matter of priority, enact the Whistleblowers Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill to encourage exposure of wrongdoing in the workplace as well as foster transparency in governance and public administration.
  • Civic education should be increased to educate and sensitize Ghanaians on the deleterious effects of corruption. Ghanaians must learn to be loyal to the state rather than to friends, relatives and members of their ethnic groups. This calls for a change of attitude and a system of democratic practice where all citizens are equal before the law and where meritocracy rules over and above all other considerations.
  • Government, Employers, Trade Unions and other Stakeholders should take steps to organize a national debate on income policy as a matter of urgency since research findings suggest that low income and poverty-related issues are among the root causes of bribery and corruption.
  • Finally, recognition should be given to people who risk their lives and/or livelihoods in order to champion the anti-corruption cause.


A stakeholders’ event was organized on July 19, 2005 in Accra to disseminate the survey findings. The event attracted the media, government officials, donor agencies, representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, etc. A number of public institutions/agencies have since requested copies of the survey’s findings. Notable among them are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, international NGOs, donor agencies, etc. Radio talk shows were also organized to further disseminate, critique, and elicit listeners’ views on the survey findings. GII was invited by a German institute (INWENT) to share the findings of the survey at a forum on the Millennium Development Goals in Bonn in October 2005. The impact of the survey report on the media has been remarkable. A number of articles on the report have been published. It has also been the source of reference for radio and television discussions, the general public and academia.  

The ongoing critique of the survey findings by the government, civil society, media and other stakeholders serves to increase public awareness of the negative effects of corruption and the need to fight it. This will increase public demand on government to pass the Whistleblower Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill into laws.

GII intends to follow up with some of the public institutions that topped the list of institutions perceived by respondents as highly affected by corruption in order to discuss possible ways of dealing with the possible sources of corruption. Also, GII intends to work closely with the newly established Ministry of Public Sector Reform, which is promising to undertake far-reaching public sector reforms. GII is planning further stakeholders’ events and radio talk shows with phone-in segments to further disseminate survey findings. GII has posted the report and the financial statement on its website (www.tighana.org) to facilitate easy access to the survey report.  Lastly, the project has also enhanced the organization’s capacity to conduct surveys. GII proposes to undertake a similar survey in Northern Ghana. This will enable GII obtain urban corruption data covering the whole country.

***

SLOVAKIA
Enhancing Public Procurement


A project of TI Slovakia assisted by PTF.

The project aimed to help improve the transparency and effectiveness of public procurement at the national, regional and local levels of government.  Public procurement has been identified as one of the areas most prone to corruption in Slovakia. The proposed project was to test methodologies for monitoring procurement activities, organize workshops to refine the methodologies, recommend measures to enhance the integrity of public procurement and undertake a public awareness campaign to publicize the results of the project.

TIS conducted three rounds of public procurement monitoring covering all levels of the public sector in Slovakia – state, regional and local, as well as public companies. Slovakia within its administrative setting has eight regional governments. Public procurement monitoring of regional governments focused on all of them. In addition – selected secondary schools under their control have been monitored. TIS also monitored public procurement undertaken by all 14 of the government’s central ministries.

A monitoring methodology was developed ending with a workshop for the local partners who were to conduct the field work. Monitoring in the regions was undertaken, the data evaluated and a report issued (available on the TIS website in Slovak). Some of the regional governments at the first did not want to have their public procurement monitored and refused to support the activity. After several meetings and explanations the situation improved. In the case of the central ministries, a workshop for the partners who were to conduct the field work was held, monitoring was undertaken and a report developed.  

Based on the survey work, TIS was able to obtain quite a precise picture on the situation in the area of public procurement in Slovakia in various public sector organizations. TIS, among others, is using this information for the following follow-up activities:

  • The Public Procurement Office of the Slovak Republic, the regulatory body for public procurement in Slovakia, has invited TIS to utilize the knowledge gained from its survey work by participating in a working group formed to draft new public procurement act. In April 2005 experts from TIS submitted the comments on the newly prepared draft of the Public Procurement Act and in May 2005 Jiří Vlach, representing TIS, took part in a discussion held by the Public Procurement Office regarding the its comments.
  • TIS met with the representatives of the regional governments, which were monitored during the first round in June, 2005.  A meeting with the representatives of the ministries was held in August, 2005 to discuss the monitoring report. In same month, TIS also met with the Public Procurement Office to discuss the challenges TIS faces when approaching public companies, and with the vice-chairman of the Supreme Audit Office to discuss the monitoring of public procurement.
  • Also in August 2005, the Ministry of Finance asked TIS to provide its professional feedback on the newly developed Public Procurement Act. 

There has been a range of other follow-up activities. TIS’ report on its monitoring work has been widely distributed and TIS presented the results at several events -- for example on November 22, 2005 at the conference on Public Procurement held in Bratislava and on November 24, 2005 in Brno at the conference on EU and Corruption.  In addition, TIS has presented the final results to Supreme Audit Office and Office of Public Procurement and encouraged them to continue in those activities.

TIS that the monitoring methodology, slightly adapted to local legislative framework, can be used in other countries as well. To this end, TIS has discussed piloting monitoring activity in Serbia with the Serbian chapter of TI . Several other chapters have expressed interest in TIS’ monitoring methodology.


***

LATVIA
Monitoring Government’s Initiatives to Address “State capture” Issues and Its Implementation


A project by DELNA( TI-Latvia) assisted by PTF

The monitoring of the government’s initiatives to address “state capture” was the main objective of a project initiated by DELNA (the Latvian national chapter of Transparency International) and supported by a PTF grant. Civil society participation achieved through this project ensured:

  • Monitoring of the quality of the actual work of the government’s working groups;
  • Effective use of the experience of DELNA of other NGOs in the country dealing with anti-corruption issues and of the global TI network, directly in the working process, which can be more productive than the criticism of a finished product;
  • Ensuring of public trust by reporting on the positive work done;
  • Broadening of the discussion on more controversial topics, such as party finance from the state budget, etc.;
  • Monitoring of the results of the working groups in further procedures within the government and the Parliament.

 
Results

  • As the result of the project all 3 laws were adopted in the Parliament and have entered into force giving a new ground for anti-corruption work in Latvia. Especially one can say that about the new anti-corruption body, which started its functions in July 2002 and the new legislation on political party finance, which was finally voted in June 2002 providing substantial transparency for the voters on the incomes and expenditures of the political parties. Further steps to improve the law on the conflict of interest are also taken.
  • Experts of DELNA were admitted to all the working groups of the government and accepted as working partners. However, the experts noticed the lack of motivation and goals in preparing the draft legislation.
  • The Parliament adopted the concerned pieces of legislation in big haste and thus gave DELNA little room for intervention. DELNA was possible to follow the legislative changes in the Parliament due to transparent on-line internet system, but there was too little time to lobby for additional changes or protest against some specific changes. The exception, however, was the law on political party finance where DELNA experts were consulted on regular basis.
  • As a result of the PTF assisted project DELNA was able to establish a long-term relationship with the government bodies dealing with anti-corruption issues and was invited to join the working groups on anti-corruption and related legislation also after the project finished.
  • DELNA has gained very important knowledge and practical skills about the legislative process within the government and has been able to comment on these issues to the national media.
  • The anti-corruption topics are of a general interest of the Latvian media, and so there was a broad coverage of the process and the results of the draft legislation.

****

NEPAL

 Radio Program on Anticorruption and Good Governance
A project by Forum Against Corruption and Turmoil Nepal project by  (FACT Nepal) assisted by PTF

Background

The majority people in Nepal are far from an access of information about corruption and good governance. Moreover, they are still unknown about the term governance that is widely used by the NGOs and GOs in recent days.  In fact, the people are still deprived from a fast and quality service from government authorities, also yet unknown about the corrupt activities in government and private sectors. They even don’t know much about the inherent right that has been guaranteed by the constitution. 

FACT Nepal, assisted by a small grant of less than $4,000 from PTF, launched and completed a one year radio program from FM station. The Program was completely issue-based and the contents were related to the current issues of corruption and governance. The program aimed to bring mass awareness and became quite successful to achieve its targeted goals.

Objectives

Public awareness on current corruption issues, empowerment to the civil society to fight against corruption, assistance and co-operation to the government agencies to combat corruption in Nepal were the general objectives of Radio Program of FACT. This project also aimed the government authorities to boost up in their administrative works. Specific objectives were:

  • To collect many literatures concerned to corruption and good governance in order to broadcast them widely.
  • To draw attention of government authorities regarding transparency, accountability and various aspects of responsibilities.
  • To bring attention of civil society and private sector to promote good governance and uproot corruption.
  • To develop and establish a moral society by promoting ethical and social norms and values.
  • To make an effort to establish a corrupt free society by promoting whistles blowing act and other programs focused to anticorruption activities.


The major goal of the program was to create and promote effective mass awareness about the corruption and governance issues by education, information and empowerment via media program.

Operational Approach

FACT Nepal constituted a team of media professionals and its executive members to run the radio program on anticorruption and good governance. The radio program is informative radio magazine and makes exclusive coverage of anticorruption, good governance issues and efforts of the government and non-government institutions to curb corruption in Nepal. The program also highlighted and made exposure of the corrupt activities taking place in the administration, politics and social sector.

There were different steps in the preparation to broadcast program. Firstly, the production unit collected the materials and news related to issues of anticorruption and good governance from various sources such as newspapers, bulletins, internet, seminars and workshops. In addition, the production unit also made the program by directly contacting the general public and the concerned government authorities.  The collected materials used to be sincerely observed, analyzed and finalized for the broadcast by the production team. The team of FACT executives used to help in order to find the right materials for broadcasting purpose.  Furthermore, contemporary burning topic was selected for an interview in the third track of the radio program in each episode. FACT managed to present some prize to the winners participated in the listener's forum in order to maximize participation.

The radio program was divided into 3 tracks. The first track included the news headlines concerning the corruption cases, governance issues, efforts from governmental and non governmental sector to curb corruption, cases of public concern, existing administrative political and social problems etc.

The second track included the fundamental presentation of FACT Nepal on sub heading “Our Steps” in which the subject of social issues, reports of commission formed by the government, individual efforts to curb corruption, editorials on current social issues and other distinct analytical matters from different walks of life were broadcasted.  This track also included different coverage of corruption cases, news report, articles, suggestion, comments, information and notices, public announcements issued for the public interest by FACT Nepal. Listeners’ Forum where we asked a question to our listeners and collected the correct entries from our listeners also included in this track. On every fortnight we provided some attractive prizes to the lucky winner selected from the lucky draw among the correct entries. We also collected the feedbacks and comments of our listeners regarding our weakness and impact for the improvement of program and broadcasted the appropriate suggestions and comments. We also included VOX POP (Public Voice) in some of episodes where the common citizens expressed their opinions.

The Final track of the program was allocated for an interview on the topic of anticorruption and good governance. The prominent personalities from different walks of life were invited for interview. Bureaucrats, social activists, politicians, leaders of different social movement, top level/ retired professional and other high ranking people of policy making level were the participants. This section of the program was the major attraction to listeners. The interview and ideas shared in this section were all very sensitive, authentic and of great values.

 

***

MONGOLIA

Promoting Democracy: A Competition for Journalists

A project by the Zorig Foundation in Mongolia assisted by PTF

Under the heading of “TODAY OR … IT MAY BE TOO LATE” the Zorig Foundation in Mongolia, assisted by PTF, launched a competition on anti-corruption theme among journalists, artists and media people.

1. Preparation for the contest

  • As a first step we developed an action plan and started implementation of the project.
  • Met with administrators and journalists from newspapers, radio and TV, as well as, artists of the Mongolian Artists Union. We exchanged views and heard their opinion.
  • This helped us to draft the contest rules.
  • At the every organization mentioned above we conducted seminars on the issue of corruption. Also in course of one month we held briefing seminars at the Zorig Foundation for freelance writers and anyone else who wanted to participate in the contest.
  • According to the project plan, from February 21 through March 21, 2002 we published contest guidelines and rules in daily newspapers and aired information on radio and TV. We negotiated with media people and put free advertising on FM radio stations and in non-daily newspapers. We used all possible ways to reach people with the contest announcement. In addition, we utilized the Zorig Foundations information board and its web page.
  • To attract people’s attention to the contest, in co-operation with the daily newspaper “Onoodor” (Today) and Central Mongolian Radio we organized roundtable discussions about corruption. We held a letter writing contest “Youth Rejects Corruption” among school children. More than 100 children from cities and the countryside participated in the contest. About 80% of the participants gave particular examples of abuse and admitted that corruption exists in their environment and that it affects their lives both directly and indirectly. Some children described corruption as a “weed” or “deadly epidemic” or “dark cloud”.
  • In the preparation phase we selected contest judges (which included people from  public life, the arts, academia and the media).

    Contest evaluation


We received 411 entries from about 450 people. The majority of participants were freelance writers, students, youth, and children. Entrees included:

  • 166 posters
  • 170 essays
  • 20 TV programs and advertisements
  • 55 Radio programs and advertisements
  • Every entry was given a code number and this way judges couldn’t know who was the author of a given work. We sought the most fair and blind test for contest evaluation. As a result, the participants perceived the evaluation as fair, just, and open; or in other words, not corrupt.
  • The Award ceremony was organized as an open event.  It took place at the Exhibition Hall of the Mongolian Artists Union on April 10, 2002. A total of 166 contest posters were exhibited   for the public. The winning TV programs and advertisements were shown to more than 500 viewers who visited the exhibition during the week exposure.
  • The Awards giving ceremony was attended by the Board Members of the Zorig Foundation, all contest judges, various heads of the diplomatic missions, representatives of the international organizations (UNDP, USAID, IRI), members of political parties, the  contest participants and the  media.
  • Mongolian Artists Union strongly supported our project and kindly gave us space the exhibit their Exhibition Hall free of charge.
  • The Awards ceremony was widely publicized in the media.


Publicizing of works submitted for the contest

  • Award winning TV and Radio programs and advertisements  were  broadcast free of charge for a one week period on Mongolian National Television, Channel 25 TV, Central Mongolian Radio and various FM radio stations. Programs and advertisements will be shown again on Channel 25 TV in July 2002.
  • Mongolian radio has also agreed to announce and read out the best three essays.
  • Award winning essays were published in the daily newspaper “Onoodor” (Today).  Award winning essays and posters were published in the weekly newspaper “Mongol Times.” In total this was done twenty times.
  • The best five posters were printed and 1600 copies and given to NGOs and sent to the provinces. A large number of posters were given to the State Minister O.Enkhtuvshin, Head of the Government Administration and Head of the Government “Good Governance” program. We requested Mr. Enkhtuvshin to distribute and place posters in the Government ministries, agencies and offices.
  • The best essays and poster are currently publicized on the Zorig Foundation information board located on the main street and on the Foundation’s web page.
  • The competition has provided material for a book and has also provided a data base on anti-corruption.


    Comments and Conclusion
  • When evaluating the competition, the Zorig Foundation introduced special prizes in some categories and funded them through the Foundation itself. This was done   separate from the project. Special prize winner’s works were of high professionalism and presented a new vision.
  • The anti-corruption works contest “Today or … it may be too late” was timely, because it took place right before the opening of the Spring session of the Mongolian Parliament which has delaying  for two years a passage of the National Anti-Corruption Program. We can assume that as a result of our action above legislation is on the agenda of the Parliament Spring session.
  • The contest was widely publicized in the media and reached a wide range of people. We are glad that many citizens including contest participants – journalists and artists, freelance writers, youth and children learned about the issue of corruption and its damage to society.

***


PARAGUAY
Monitoring Privatization
A project by Transparencia Paraguay (TP), (www.transparencia.org.py) the national chapter of Transparency International, assisted by PTF.

TP was engaged in monitoring government reforms of various state companies (such as the telephone company ANTELCO, later named COPACO, the water works, ESSAP, and the CARLOS ANTONIO LOPEZ national railroad).  The Government wanted to privatize the first two and thee was considerable skepticism about the genuine political willingness of the authorities to relinquish control.

Impact

1.TP monitored the transparency of the various stages of the process (compliance with the legal requirements) in observance of the current international practices and without interfering with the administrative work of the Secretaría de la Reforma (reform secretariat), or on the quality of the decisions of the Government, since they were the owner of the process.

2. Thanks to the first report from the Chilean consulting firm, Chadwick & Associates, retained with the financial help of PTF, we were able to advise The Reform Secretariat (SNRE) of the need to avoid providing possible privileged information to bidders in the investment bank selection stage. This warning caused the annoyance of the technical staff of the SNRE who firmly defended the communications policy adopted as from the start with the bidders. However, they promised to regulate the information in order to avoid privileging certain bidders in the coming stages to be carried out in the privatization process of the telephone company, ANTELCO, and the water works, CORPOSANA.

3. In this stage we sustained a transitory interruption in the delivery of technical documentation by order of the Secretary of the Reform, alleging that first they must have the no objection clause approval from the World Bank technicians. Our institution appealed the measure stating that it posed an obstacle in our independent monitoring work requested by the President of the Republic, who had declared the participation of Transparencia Paraguay (TP) in the process, by letter to the World Bank representative. Consequently, the Secretary revised his resolution and we received the relevant documentation for the duration of the privatization process until its termination in the month of June 2003.


4. TP maintained direct contact with the director of the World Bank for the reform process, Mr. Ventura Bengoechea, on his frequent visits to Paraguay, in order to exchange information referring to the development of the ANTELCO (COPACO) privatization process. That direct contact continued after the suspension of the suspended process, in his capacity as official responsible for privatization of the water works, ESSAP.


5.  In the different stages, priority was given to providing information to the public and the media, using Transparencia Paraguay web site. Additionally, we urged the Secretary of the Reform to do likewise through the government web site for publication of the terms and conditions documents referring to the process and, in certain circumstances, they did so.


6.  TP timely received 100% of the documents referring to the different stages leading to the privatization of ANTELCO, in hard and soft copies, allowing our national and foreign experts to study them. The comments of TP were forwarded to the authorities of the National Secretariat for Government Reform.


7.  No claims of corruption, regarding the privatization process, were made by the companies selected for the bidding process. One hundred percent of the information relating to the monitored process was available to the public on our web site.


8.  Additionally we have made direct inquiries with the participating companies in order to determine the degree of conformity with the various stages of the process and haven’t received any objection to the stages that were developed prior to the final suspension of the  privatization.


9.   During the months of growing deterioration of the privatization process, TP maintained a professional neutrality attitude. We have stated to the media, as well as in reply to sector questions that our role was centered on the correct development of the steps concerning privatization and not on the administrative operation of the Secretariat of the Reform. That event allowed us to maintain excellent professional relations with the new Secretary of the Reform who replaced the previous one who had resigned in March of 2002 as stated in this report.


10.   The Secretariat of the Reform held an exclusive meeting form TP at the Convention Center on February 15 2002 with attendance of the Secretary of the Reform and the auditors of the two institutions to be privatized (Antelco and Corposana) who submitted reports on the development of the relevant processes. The international consultants retained by the national Government also expressed their experiences wherein the inquiries of TP, that were given prominent cover in the media with direct participation of the television channels, referring to the public procedure to be utilized on the date of the opening of bids for the telephone company now known as COPACO, with the direct acceptance of the best bid by the previously selected institutions.


11. Permanent relationship with the media (newspaper, radio, television) that have resorted to TP in the more serious moments of the negotiations for the sale of COPACO. Furthermore, they normally looked to our web site www.transparencia.org.py for information on the privatization of the telephone company and other matters of interest relating  corruption.

Additional Impacts

12.   Thanks to the experience in the field obtained through work on the privatization process, TP became a co-sponsor with the Consejo Nacional de Integridad (CISNI) (national integrity board) of the first public hearing held on June 11 2002, in the Senate, on the Public Contracts Law project, an unprecedented occurrence in the history of politics of our country. The technical team retained by TP participated actively and made approximately 80 observations on the form and substance of the proposed law.
The majority of our observations were incorporated, particularly those referring to limiting the scope of the exceptions, confidential information, and selection criteria as well as the unilateral declaration of integrity of the proceedings. The importance of the objective of this law project constitutes the cornerstone of the fight against corruption related to public affairs (contracts and purchases).


13.       TP participated actively in monitoring of the specifications of the terms and conditions of seven (7) contracts for good and services for the waterworks ESSAP (ex CORPOSANA), six of them corresponding to supplies normally used for the provision of water to the population and the other on the insurance service for the institution.

Some key lessons learned

1)      Regulating Institution, CONATEL, could have established at the beginning of the year 2002, the Regulation opening the market of the company being privatized, since there is substantial international experience on the matter and it would have been very easy to establish adequate number of operators for the size of Paraguay.

2)      The weak position of the Regulating Institution, CONATEL, in the face of companies offering cellular telephone service that substantially exceeds in number of telephones the number of telephone lines installed by ANTELCO (COPACO).

3)      The Secretariat of the Reform and the Regulating Institution failed to coordinate their activities and there was a feeling of antagonism between them.

4)      In the first stage of the Investment Bank selection process, TP acted more in the capacity of citizen comptroller than as the active monitor of the process.

5)      TP detected the need for adequate handling of information that could be deemed reserved or confidential.

  • Transparencia Paraguay maintained direct contact with the Secretary of the Reform and the technical staff assigned to the project from December 2000 through June 2003, time when the privatization was cancelled due to various situations that escaped from the direct monitoring work of Transparencia Paraguay, such as:

a)     Resignation Secretary of the Reform in March of 2002 due to internal pressure from the Executive Branch because of administrative problems that are of public knowledge.


b)     The delay in issuing the regulation project for opening the market by the Regulating Institution, CONATEL, until a few weeks before the bidding process programmed for the month of June 2002. This situation originated strong questioning in the public sessions to the Secretariat of the Reform and the Regulating Institution CONATEL  by the members of Congress, members of the consulting Board constituted by enterprise representatives and members of the civil society.


c)     Stealing of an important sum by a high administrative official of the Secretariat of the Reform who escaped and later judicially involved the previous Secretary of the Reform and other technical officials who took part in authorization operations for payment of project expenses. The suit continues to date.


d)     Intervention by politicians of the House of Representatives who held that the process was plagued with corruption, alleging that an auditor firm for the process had not been selected as set forth in Law 1615.

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Corruption & Democracy in Nepal
by Dr. Devendra Raj Panday

Nepalese anti-corruption leader Dr. Devendra Raj Panday sent EthicsWorld a detailed article on the state of corruption in his country, which is published in full at the website of TI-Nepal.

He starts his article by noting, “ In order to have clean, impartial, and effective governance, one needs to go beyond the domain of the state for initiating reform. Much work needs to be done at the societal level on the issues of values and norms. Such work should be the responsibility of social leaders trusted by the people. Only social leaders can talk about higher motives and goals beyond what a personal utility maximizing political and economic man or woman (including the king) does, and inspire the society. Unfortunately, in the age of politics and power and consultants and experts, social leadership is a vanishing vocation.”

Dr. Panday introduces his analysis by stating, “ One cannot be sure of the real extent of corruption in any country. In Nepal, this is even more true due to a lack of appropriate surveys and data. Even Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was able, for only the first time last year, to include Nepal. When the incidence or degree of corruption cannot be measured and debated with some certainty, opinion about it becomes subjective, even when the problem is real."

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“Public Procurement in the Czech Republic: Corruption or Transparency”

Report Published by Transparency International - Czech Republic

The aim of the study is to quantify the losses caused by the inefficiency and lack of transparency in public contracts awarding procedures. The results are not encouraging for Czech taxpayers; In 2004, of the total volume of public funds, CZK 15 billion was used inefficiently at the municipal level and CZK 17.4 billion at the central level. The total estimate of losses caused by the inefficiency and lack of transparency in public contract awarding procedures in 2004 thus amounts to CZK 32.4 billion 

TIC asserts that the main problem is the influencing of public contract awarding procedures by political representatives. Politicians at the local, regional and central levels apply their influence when tender terms are set, interfere in the activities of evaluation committees and can reverse their decisions. Furthermore, TIC notes that there is a lack of efficient controls in public administration.

The study on the shortcomings of the current public procurement system, the materials for the assessment of the financial losses, the recommendations and other related information are available on the TIC websites.

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2005 India Corruption Study Released
Undertaken by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) Delhi in alliance with Transparency International - India

The study is the largest corruption study ever undertaken in the country, covering 151 cities and 306 villages. The findings reveal that as many as 62% of all citizens think that corruption is real, and they have in fact had first hand experience paying a bribe or “using a contact” to get a job done in a public office. Kerala was deemed the least corrupt State in India, while Bihar was cited as the most, followed by Kashmir and Jammu. The study indicates that a third to a half of the factors causing corruption in India can be addressed and removed using simple initiatives, including the use of technology—for example, it illustrates the benefits of implementing computerized railway reservations. For the full 2005 India Corruption Study, search for Recent Publications at the Centre for Media Studies website.

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Please see Views and Analysis for an analysis of corruption in Brazil by Cláudio Weber Abramo, Executive Secretary of Transparencia Brasil

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China - Critical Ethics/Governance Issues Gain Increasingly High Domestic and International Profile

Business is increasingly under pressure to learn how to best confront acute ethical and corruption issues in China. Below we provide a series of examples of diverse ethical challenges in China today - these examples are taken from the media. Then, below these stories we highlight two new reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

  • A chilling tale of a U.S. businessman's imprisonment in China because of a dispute with a Chinese supplier. Joseph Kahn of The New York Times reported on November 1, 2005 that, "China has attracted hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign investment and has become the world's third largest trading power. But its legal system, even when handling nonpolitical business cases, has progressed far more haltingly and still rarely backs investors or ordinary citizens against the state."

    Writing from Beijing, Kahn starts his major page one article by telling the story of David Ji, a Chinese-American electronics entrepreneur who spent two months in custody enduring all-night interrogation sessions. Then, in late December last year, according to a person who compiled a record of the encounter, guards emptied his pockets, removed his shoes and socks, and ripped the buttons off his oxford shirt. He was ushered disheveled and barefoot into the office of Zhao Yong, the chief executive of Sichuan Changhong Electric, Mr. Ji's onetime business partner and, more recently, his warden."Your only way out is to do what Changhong tells you to do," Mr. Zhao told him. "If I decide today I want you to die, you will be dead tomorrow."

    china
    David Ji, left, shown last year during his stay under guard in a residence in Shanghai that is owned by Sichuan Changhong Electric.

  • U.S. Businesses in China Face Dilemma: Corruption in China: Views differ among corporate executives over the degree of bribery in which foreign firms engage in China. Numerous corporations assert that they do not pay bribes and they have found ways to avoid extortion. If you have insights on this critical issue, please send us your views. To understand the scale of this issue, read a recent front page article in The Washington Post, August 22, 2005, which noted, " For multinational companies grappling with stagnant sales, China has become a magnet for investment and a huge potential market beckoning with growth. Yet the lure of China profits combined with pervasive local corruption is tempting foreign companies and managers and bringing them into conflict with U.S. anti-bribery laws. In interviews, China-based executives, sales agents and distributors for nine U.S. multinational companies acknowledged that their firms routinely win sales by paying . . . kickbacks -- often in the form of extravagant entertainment and travel expenses -- to purchasing agents at government offices and state-owned businesses."

  • Rampant Corruption - states official report. BEIJING Reuters - An investigation by China's state auditors released on October 7, 2005, has found rampant financial irregularities throughout government and said corruption in public administration is widespread. The report found budget mismanagement in no less than 32 government ministries and departments, and was equally critical of the Finance Ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission, the two main bodies that disseminate cash. Chinese leaders have said the government faces self-destruction is it fails to crack down on corruption but it remains a problem both for government and private business despite periodic clean-up campaigns."If the problems found by the auditors can't be solved, people will be disappointed and the audit administration will lose its authority," Qin Rongsheng, deputy director of China's Audit Research Association, was quoted as saying in the report carried in domestic media.

  • Yahoo! Inc. Collaboration with Chinese Police Raises Ethics Questions:
    A report written by Reporters without Borders shows that the 10 year jail sentence given to a Chinese reporter, Shi Tao, relied on evidence provided by the Hong Kong subsidiary of Yahoo! Inc. They report that Yahoo gave the Chinese police the information that was necessary to track Shi Tao down. Shi Tao was arrested because he e-mailed foreign websites saying that he and his colleagues had been warned against commemorating the 15 th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. See the full report and additional stories on the Reporters without Borders website.

  • China Fights Corruption in Preparation for Beijing Olympics: September 30, 2005.  International Herald Tribune.  The Chinese government, in cooperation with international advisers, has introduced measures to fight corruption in preparing for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  The government has instituted a range of new measures to prevent corruption in contracts for the Games, which it estimates will be worth up to $16 billion.  Experts say the new measures could become a blueprint for a wider campaign against graft.  The measures include more frequent audits of spending, last-minute selection of experts to decide on contract bids to reduce the possibility of bribery, threats of blacklisting for corrupt contractors, the opening of tenders to public scrutiny on the Internet and the start of public hot lines for public complaints.

  • VP of Asian Development Bank Says 1/3 of Public Investment in Asia is Lost to Corruption:  September 28, 2005, Xinhua News Agency.  At the fifth Asian-Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Conference held in Beijing on Wednesday, Geert van der Linden, the vice president of the Asian Development Bank, said that 1/3 of public investment in some Asian countries is squandered on corruption.  Van der Linden also said that corruption has raised businesses costs and makes public services inadequate and exhausts citizen's assets and incomes.  To support his statement, van der Linden cited a recent World Bank survey, which shows that 36% of companies with businesses in the Asia-Pacific region regard corruption as a major hurdle to business growth.

  • Business Ethics in China: Murdoch Criticizes China Media Policy:  September 19, 2005.  Financial Times.  At a conference in New York on Friday, Mr. Rupert Murdoch admitted that News Corp had “hit a brick wall” in China – and accused Chinese authorities of being paranoid about foreign media.  The comments were the most public and direct expression of dissatisfaction yet by an international media mogul at China. Murdoch's statement of frustration highlights the difficult ethical position of media companies operating in China who must decide to what degree they are willing to play by the Chinese government's rules. The statement comes on the heels of the Yahoo! case involving Yahoo's cooperation with the Chinese police in the case of the jailing of the journalist, Shi Tao.

  • Wal-Mart Faces Sweatshop Lawsuit:
    September 14, 2005. Wal-Mart is facing a lawsuit in California that seeks to make the corporation legally liable for violating its own code of conduct at supplier's factories around the world. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of workers in China, Bandgladesh, Nicaragua, and Swaziland. See the Financial Times for the full story.

  • Former Bank of China-Hong Kong Chief Given Suspended Death Sentence for Embezzlement: August 15, 2005 The New York Times. Liu Jinbao, former chief executive of Bank of China's Hong Kong subsidiary, was given a suspended death sentence after being convicted of embezzling $2.7 million and accepting $173,000 in bribes. Liu's death sentence will most likely be commuted to life in prison.

    KEY ANALYSIS:

  • OECD Highlights Need for Corporate Governance Reforms in China
    China needs far-reaching reforms in public and corporate governance, stated the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in a new report on September 7, 2005. China needs to make wide-ranging changes in the way it runs its public and private sectors if it is to continue on a stable growth path leading to full integration into the world economy, according to a new report from the OECD.

    The following is the statement issued by the OECD: Governance in China reviewed the state of governance in China’s public and private sectors. It concludes that the country’s governance arrangements as they stand at present suffer from a number of serious fault lines, particularly in relation to China’s public finances and social stability.

    The report is the latest in a series of studies conducted by the OECD in co-operation with the Chinese government under a co-operation program launched in 1995. China is not a member of the OECD, but it participates in the work of some OECD committees. OECD countries and China have a shared interest in helping China to develop its economy in a stable manner.

    To date, China has already taken some steps to improve its public and private governance, the OECD report acknowledges. However, it observes, laws and regulations are often applied in an unsystematic manner and can be skewed by special interests.

    China has made progress in strengthening the budget management and civil service systems – the two main pillars of public administration – but many weaknesses remain, leading to inefficiencies.  Public resources that could be used to finance social services are absorbed by efforts to shore up loss-making state-owned companies and prevent default on loans they have received from state-owned banks. Local government structures are burdened by heavy spending obligations without appropriate matching revenues or an effective system of transfers. 

    Decisions on public capital expenditure are taken by the National Development and Reform Commission, while the budget is managed by the Ministry of Finance. Staffing decisions with regard to public employees down to a certain level are made by yet another body, without compulsory co-ordination. In addition, the OECD noted, organizational and co-ordination problems result from the co-existence of structures inherited from the past with new institutions.
    The OECD observed that economic growth alone will not solve all these problems, and recommends that China should:

    • redefine the role of public authorities: who does what needs to be decided before addressing issues relating to the sustainability and efficiency of public spending.
    • reform relations across levels of government, so as to ensure that local authorities act in accordance with national objectives in relation to issues such as the rural/urban balance, redistribution of wealth, the environment and central control versus local autonomy.
    • develop more effective tools for monitoring progress and evaluating the outcomes of government policies.
    • ensure greater consistency among laws affecting a particular area and see that laws mandating broad principles are accompanied by more specific regulations for implementation.
    • step up enforcement through a system of incentives accompanied by sanctions matching the potential benefits to miscreants from violations.
    • consolidate the framework for the market economy by giving market participants a level playing-field in terms of laws and regulations.
    • regulate businesses and individuals on a basis of economic performance rather than according to bureaucratic categories such as ownership classifications that are no longer valid.
    • establish a sound competition policy approach as a means to reduce market segmentation and local protectionism, consolidate the intellectual property rights regime and further restructure state banks and industries. 

    In another report on China, the OECD’s first economic survey of the country,  the OECD stated that, “China could overtake the US and Germany to become the largest exporter in the world in the next five years. By then, Chinese goods and services could represent as much as 10% of global trade compared with 6% at present.”

    OECD said the current pace of economic growth – averaging more than 9% annually over the past two decades – shows no sign of slowing. But although economic dynamism has helped reduce the number of Chinese living in absolute poverty, income levels are still low and inequality is on the rise, not only between the cities and rural regions – average incomes in the countryside are only one third of those in the cities – but also within the more prosperous coastal provinces.

 

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