An official website of the United States Government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Albania

9. Corruption

Endemic corruption continues to undermine the rule of law and jeopardize economic development. Foreign investors cite corruption, particularly in the judiciary, a lack of transparency in public procurement, and poor enforcement of contracts as some of the biggest problems in Albania.

Corruption perceptions continue to deteriorate, with Albania falling an additional seven positions in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), now ranking 106th out of 180 countries, tied with North Macedonia as the lowest in the Balkans. Despite some improvement in in Albania’s score from 2013 to 2016, progress in tackling corruption has been slow and unsteady. Albania is still one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, according to the CPI and other observers.

The country has a sound legal framework to prevent conflict of interest and to fight corruption of public officials and politicians, including their family members. However, law enforcement is jeopardized by a heavily corrupt judicial system.

The passage of constitutional amendments in July 2016 to reform the judicial system was a major step forward, and reform, once fully implemented, is expected to position the country as a more attractive destination for international investors. Judicial reform has been described as the most significant development in Albania since the end of communism, and nearly one-third of the constitution was rewritten as part of the effort. The reform also entails the passage of laws to ensure implementation of the constitutional amendments. Judicial reform’s vetting process will ensure that prosecutors and judges with unexplained wealth or insufficient training, or those who have issued questionable verdicts, are removed from the system. As of publication, more than half of the judges and prosecutors who have faced vetting have either failed or resigned. The establishment of the Special Prosecution Office Against Corruption and Organized Crime and of the National Investigation Bureau, two new judicial bodies, will step up the fight against corruption and organized crime. Once fully implemented, judicial reform will discourage corruption, promote foreign and domestic investment, and allow Albania to compete more successfully in the global economy.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

The government has ratified several corruption-related international treaties and conventions and is a member of major international organizations and programs dealing with corruption and organized crime. Albania has ratified the Civil Law Convention on Corruption (Council of Europe), the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (Council of Europe), the Additional Protocol to Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (Council of Europe), and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Albania has also ratified several key conventions in the broader field of economic crime, including the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (2001) and the Convention on Cybercrime (2002). Albania has been a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) since the ratification of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption in 2001 and is a member of the Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative (SPAI). Albania is not a member of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in international Business Transactions. Albania has also adopted legislation for the protection of whistleblowers.

Resources to Report Corruption

To curb corruption, the government announced a new platform in 2017, “Shqiperia qe Duam”(“The Albania We Want”), which invites citizens to submit complaints and allegations of corruption and misuse of office by government officials. The platform has a dedicated link for businesses. The Integrated Services Delivery Agency (ADISA), a government entity, provides a second online portal to report corruption.

Algeria

9. Corruption

The current anti-corruption law dates to 2006.  In 2013, the Algerian government created the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption (OCRC) to investigate and prosecute any form of bribery in Algeria.  The number of cases currently being investigated by the OCRC is not available.  In 2010, the government created the National Organization for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (ONPLC) as stipulated in the 2006 anti-corruption law.  The Chairman and members of this commission are appointed by a presidential decree.  The commission studies financial holdings of public officials, though not their relatives, and carries out studies.  Since 2013, the Financial Intelligence Unit has been strengthened by new regulations that have given the unit more authority to address illegal monetary transactions and terrorism funding.  In 2016, the government updated its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislation to bolster the authority of the financial intelligence unit to monitor suspicious financial transactions and refer violations of the law to prosecutorial magistrates.  Algeria signed the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003.

The Algerian government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  The use of internal controls against bribery of government officials varies by company, with some upholding those standards and others rumored to offer bribes.  Algeria is not a participant in regional or international anti-corruption initiatives.  Algeria does not provide protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.  While whistleblower protections for Algerian citizens who report corruption exist, members of Algeria’s anti-corruption bodies believe they need to be strengthened to be effective.

International and Algerian economic operators have identified corruption as a challenge for FDI.  They indicate that foreign companies with strict compliance standards cannot effectively compete against companies which can offer special incentives to those making decisions about contract awards.  Economic operators have also indicated that complex bureaucratic procedures are sometimes manipulated by political actors to ensure economic benefits accrue to favored individuals in a non-transparent way.  Anti-corruption efforts have so far focused more on prosecuting previous acts of corruption rather than on institutional reforms to reduce the incentives and opportunities for corruption.  In October 2019, the government adopted legislation which allowed police to launch anti-corruption investigations without first receiving a formal complaint against the entity in question.  Proponents argued the measure is necessary given Algeria’s weak whistle blower protections.

Currently the government is working with international partners to update legal mechanisms to deal with corruption issues.  The government also created a new institution to target and deter the practice of overbilling on invoices, which has been used to unlawfully transfer foreign currency out of the country.

The government imprisoned numerous prominent economic and political figures in 2019 and 2020 as part of an anti-corruption campaign.  Some operators report that fear of being accused of corruption has made some officials less willing to make decisions, delaying some investment approvals.  Corruption cases that have reached trial deal largely with state investment in the automotive and public works sectors, though other cases are reportedly under investigation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Official government agencies:

Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption (OCRC)
Mokhtar Lakhdari, General Director
Placette el Qods, Hydra, Algiers
+213 21 68 63 12
www.facebook.com/263685900503591/ 
no email address publicly available

National Organization for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (ONPLC)
Tarek Kour, President
14 Rue Souidani Boudjemaa, El Mouradia, Algiers
+213 21 23 94 76
www.onplc.org.dz/index.php/ 
contact@onplc.org.dz

Watchdog organization:

Djilali Hadjadj
President
Algerian Association Against Corruption (AACC)
www.facebook.com/215181501888412/ 
+213 07 71 43 97 08
aaccalgerie@yahoo.fr

Andorra

9. Corruption

Andorra’s laws penalize corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, hostage taking, sale of illegal arms, prostitution, terrorism, as well as the financing of terrorism. Additional amendments were added in 2008, 2014, 2015, and 2016 to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code that modify and introduce money laundering and terrorism financing provisions.

In 1994, Andorra joined the Council of Europe, an institution that oversees the defense of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. That same year, the Justice Ministers of the Member States decided to fight corruption at the European level after considering that the phenomenon posed a serious threat to the stability of democratic institutions.

In early 2005, Andorra joined the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and, consequently, the fight against corruption. The Government has gradually built its internal regulations and relevant legal instruments and has undertaken numerous initiatives to improve the State’s response to reprehensible acts and conduct committed internally and internationally.

The Government created the Unit for the Prevention and the Fight against Corruption (UPLC) in 2008 to centralize and coordinate actions that might concern local administrations, national bodies, and entities with an international scope. UPLC is in charge of implementing the recommendations made by GRECO in the framework of periodic evaluation reports.

Andorra has not signed the UN Anticorruption Convention or the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

There are explicitly defined rules for the ethical behavior of all participating bodies within the Andorran financial system. The Andorran Financial Authority (AFAINAF) has also established rules regarding ethical behavior in the financial system.

The Andorran government modified and implemented new laws in order to comply with international corruption standards. The Andorran Financial Intelligence Unit (UIFAND) was created in 2000 as an independent body charged with mitigating money laundering and terrorist funding (www.uifand.ad ).

Resources to Report Corruption:

Unitat de Prevencio i Lluita contra la Corrupcio
Ministeri d’Afers Socials, Justicia i Interior
Govern d’Andorra
Ctra.de l’Obac s/n
AD700 Escaldes-Engordany
Phone: +376 875 700
Email: uplc_govern@govern.ad

Angola

9. Corruption

Corruption remains a strong impediment to doing business in Angola and has had a corrosive impact on international market investment opportunities and on the broader business climate. Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Angola 165 out of 175 countries in its corruption level survey, improving two places from the previous year’s ranking due to ongoing efforts to reduce corruption.

Since coming into office on an anti-corruption platform, President Lourenco has led a concerted effort to restore investor confidence by prioritizing anti-corruption and the fight against nepotism. In December, the government froze the assets and accounts of Isabel dos Santos, the former first daughter, and subsequently indicted her on fraud-related charges for mismanaging and embezzling funds during her 18-month stint as chair of the state’s oil firm, Sonangol. Several other government officials were also sacked from office, detained and tried on corruption charges. On September 19, the Supreme Court ordered that Norberto Garcia, the former spokesman of the ruling MPLA party and former director of the defunct Technical Unit for Private Investment, a state institution, charged with fraud, money laundering and document falsification, be placed under house arrest in Luanda. The case dates back to November 2017 when Garcia and six foreigners allegedly tried to set up a state project in a USD 50 billion scam.

In another high-profile anti-corruption case, the trial of the former head of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, José “Zénu” Filomeno dos Santos and his co-conspirator, former Central Bank Governor Valter Felipe, began on December 9. The former stands accused of embezzling USD 1.5billion of public money during his tenure at the Sovereign wealth fund (2013-2017), and both stand accused of fraud and embezzlement related to the illegal transfer of USD 500 million from the BNA coffers to a Credit Suisse account in London. Meanwhile, in August, a court sentenced former Transport Minister Augusto da Silva Tomás to 14 years in prison on fraud charges, but later reduced his sentence to eight years.

Angola has a comprehensive anti-corruption legal framework but implementation remains a severe challenge. In January, the government issued a general conduct guide mostly for the National Public Procurement Service, the regulatory and supervisory body of public procurement in Angola, outlining whistleblowing responsibilities for corruption and related offences in public procurement. Following approval in October, a new law on anti-money laundering, combating the Financing of Terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction came into force in January 2020, superseding Law No. 34/11, of 12 December 2011. The new law incorporates several IMF and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations. Importantly, it finally recognizes and includes politically exposed persons to be any national or foreign person that holds or has held a public office in Angola, or in any other country or jurisdiction, or in any international organization, and subjects them to greater scrutiny by the financial sector. Other significant improvements in the new law include:

  • The definition of “ultimate beneficial owner” was expanded to encompass, notably, all persons that hold, directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in a company, including the control of the share capital, voting rights or a significant influence in the company. There is no longer a minimum threshold to determine the existence of control;
  • Identification and diligence duties are now applicable to occasional transactions executed via wire transfers in an amount of more than USD 1,000, in national or foreign currency;
  • The scope of the duty to communicate suspicious transactions in cash or wire transfers has been amended and is now applicable to transactions between USD 5,000 and USD 15,000, depending on the underlying operation;
  • Payment-service providers that control the ordering and reception of a wire transfer must consider the information received from the sender and the beneficiary to determine whether there is a communication duty;
  • The Tax Authorities now have a duty to report suspicious cross-border payments.

The president approved a set of amendments to the Public Contracts Law on November 16, 2018, which imposed further requirements for the declaration of assets and income, interests, impartiality, confidentiality, and independence in the formation and execution of public contracts.  In December 2018, the Government of Angola rolled out of a national anti-corruption strategy (NACS) billed under the motto, “Corruption – A fight for All and By All.” The five-year strategy, developed in concert with the UNDP, is designed to improve government transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to citizen needs.  The NACS focuses on three pillars in the fight against corruption – prevention, prosecution, and institutional capacity building.

Crimes linked to corruption are enforced through the Public Probity Law of 2010. President Lourenco’s mandate for senior government officials requires all public officials to disclose their assets and income once every two years, and it prohibits public servants from receiving money or gifts from private business deals. The Penal Code makes it a criminal offense for private enterprises to engage in business transactions with public officials.

Angola has incorporated regional anti-corruption guidelines and into their domestic legislation, including: the SADC “Protocol Against Corruption,” the African Union’s “Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption,” and the United Nation’s “Convention against Corruption.” Angola does not have an independent body to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, and generally, enforcement of existing laws is weak or non-existent. However, the Attorney General’s office has a department for Investigation of Corruption crimes and Recovery of Assets. Three institutions – the Audit Court, the Inspector General of Finance, and the Office of the Attorney General – perform many of the anti-corruption duties in Angola. http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/sub-saharan-africa/angola/initiatives/public-anti-corruption-initiatives.aspx 

The government also passed the Law on the Repatriation of Financial Resources in June 2018, which established the terms and conditions for the repatriation of financial resources held abroad by resident individuals and legal entities with registered offices in Angola. The law exempted individuals and legal entities, who voluntarily repatriated their financial resources within a period of 180 days following the date of entry into force of the Law, by transferring the funds to an Angolan bank account, from any obligation or liability of tax, foreign exchange and criminal nature. Upon expiry of the grace period for repatriation, the Law allowed for the possibility of coercive repatriation by the government. The government estimates that USD 30 billion of Angolan assets are sheltered overseas. In early 2019, the government established the National Asset Recovery Service (SNRA), an institution linked to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), in charge of ensuring compliance with the repatriation law.

Private sector companies have individual internal controls for ethics, compliance and tracking fraudulent activities. However, they do not have a mechanism to detect and report irregularities related to dealings with public officials. It is important for U.S. companies, regardless of their size, to assess the business climate in the sector in which they will be operating or investing, and to have an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery. U.S. individuals and firms operating or investing in Angola, should take the time to become familiar with the relevant anticorruption laws of both Angola and the United States in order to properly comply with them, and where appropriate, they should seek legal counsel.

Angola is not a member state to the UN Anticorruption Convention or the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery. On March 26, 2018 it ratified and published in the national gazette the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and now takes legislative measures against illicit enrichment (Article 8), confiscation and seizure of proceeds and means of corruption (Article 16), and international cooperation in matters of corruption and money laundering (Article 20).

Resources to Report Corruption

Hélder Pitta Grós
Procurador Geral da Republica (Attorney General of the Republic)
Procurador Geral da Republica (Attorney General’s Office)
Travessa Antonio Marques Monteiro 22, Maianga
Telephone: 244-222-333172

Antigua and Barbuda

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government generally implements these laws if corruption is proven. Allegations of corruption against government officials in Antigua and Barbuda are fairly common. Both major political parties frequently accused the other of corruption, but investigations yielded few, if any results. Antigua and Barbuda is party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention.

The Integrity in Public Life Act requires all public officials to disclose all income, assets (including those of spouses and children), and personal gifts received while in public office. An Integrity Commission, established by the Act and appointed by the Governor General, receives and investigates complaints regarding noncompliance with or violations of this law or of the Prevention of Corruption Act. As the only agency charged with combating corruption, the Commission was independent but understaffed and under-resourced. Critics stated the legislation was inadequately enforced and the act should be strengthened.

The Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the statutory right to access official documents from public authorities and agencies, and it created a commissioner to oversee the process. In practice, citizens found it difficult to obtain documents, possibly due to government funding constraints rather than obstruction. The Act created a special unit mandated to monitor and verify disclosures. By law, the disclosures are not public. There are criminal and administrative sanctions for noncompliance.

Resources to Report Corruption

Radford Hill
Chairman, Integrity Commission
R.I.O.A. (Francis Trading) Building,
Ground Floor, High Street
St. John’s, Antigua (268) 462-5939
(268) 462-5939
clients@lawhillandhill.com

The Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy is the independent law enforcement agency with specific authority to investigate reports of suspicious activity concerning specified offences and the proceeds of crime. http://ondcp.gov.ag/laws/regulation/ 
http://ondcp.gov.ag/about/overview-of-ondcp/ 

Lt Col Edward Croft
Director, Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy
Camp Blizzard, St. George’s, Antigua
(268) 562-3255/6
ondcp@candw.ag

Argentina

9. Corruption

Argentina’s legal system incorporates several measures to address public sector corruption.  The foundational law is the 1999 Public Ethics Law (Law 25,188), the full text of which can be found at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/verNorma.do?id=60847 .  A March 2019 report by the OECD’s Directorate for Public Governance underscored, however, that the law is heterogeneously implemented across branches of the government and that the legislative branch has not designated an application authority, approved an implementing regulation, or specified sanctions.  It also noted that Argentina has a regulation on lobbying, but that it only applies to the executive branch, and only requires officials to disclose meetings with lobbyists.  With regards to political parties, the report noted anonymous campaign donations are banned, but 90 percent of all donations in Argentina are made in cash, making it impossible to identify donors.  Furthermore, the existing regulations have insufficient controls and sanctions, and leave gaps with provincial regulations that could be exploited.

Within the executive branch, the government institutions tasked with combatting corruption include the Anti-Corruption Office (ACO), the National Auditor General, and the General Comptroller’s Office.  Public officials are subject to financial disclosure laws, and the Ministry of Justice’s ACO is responsible for analyzing and investigating federal executive branch officials based on their financial disclosure forms—which require the disclosure of assets directly owned by immediate family members. The ACO is also responsible for investigating corruption within the federal executive branch or in matters involving federal funds, except for funds transferred to the provinces. While the ACO does not have authority to independently prosecute cases, it can refer cases to other agencies or serve as the plaintiff and request that a judge to initiate a case.

Argentina enacted a new Corporate Criminal Liability Law in November 2017 following the advice of the OECD to comply with its Anti-Bribery Convention. The full text of Law 27,401 can be found at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/295000-299999/296846/norma.htm . The new law entered into force in early 2018. It extends anti-bribery criminal sanctions to corporations, whereas previously they only applied to individuals; expands the definition of prohibited conduct, including illegal enrichment of public officials; and allows Argentina to hold Argentines responsible for foreign bribery. Sanctions include fines and blacklisting from public contracts. Argentina also enacted an express prohibition on the tax deductibility of bribes.

Official corruption remains a serious challenge in Argentina. In its March 2017 report, the OECD expressed concern about Argentina’s enforcement of foreign bribery laws, inefficiencies in the judicial system, politicization and perceived lack of independence at the Attorney General’s Office, and lack of training and awareness for judges and prosecutors. According to the World Bank’s worldwide governance indicators, corruption remains an area of concern in Argentina. In the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that ranks countries and territories by their perceived levels of corruption, Argentina ranked 66 out of 180 countries in 2019, an improvement of 19 places versus 2018. Allegations of corruption in provincial as well as federal courts remained frequent. Few Argentine companies have implemented anti-foreign bribery measures beyond limited codes of ethics.

In September 2016, Congress passed a law on public access to information. The law explicitly applies to all three branches of the federal government, the public justice offices, and entities such as businesses, political parties, universities, and trade associations that receive public funding. It requires these institutions to respond to citizen requests for public information within 15 days, with an additional 15-day extension available for “exceptional” circumstances. Sanctions apply for noncompliance.  As mandated by the law, the executive branch created the Agency for Access to Public Information in 2017, an autonomous office that oversees access to information.  In early 2016, the Argentine government reaffirmed its commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), became a founding member of the Global Anti-Corruption Coalition, and reengaged the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

Argentina is a party to the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Convention against Corruption. It ratified in 2001 the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention). Argentina also signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and participates in UNCAC’s Conference of State Parties. Argentina also participates in the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC).

Since Argentina became a party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, allegations of Argentine individuals or companies bribing foreign officials have surfaced.  A March 2017 report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery indicated there were 13 known foreign bribery allegations involving Argentine companies and individuals as of that date.  According to the report, Argentine authorities investigated and closed some of the allegations and declined to investigate others.  The authorities determined some allegations did not involve foreign bribery but rather other offenses.  Several such allegations remained under investigation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Felix Pablo Crous
Director
Government of Argentina Anti-Corruption Office
Oficina Anticorrupción, 25 de Mayo 544, C1002ABL, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires.
Phone: +54 11 5300 4100
Email: anticorrupcion@jus.gov.ar and http://denuncias.anticorrupcion.gob.ar/ 

Poder Ciudadano (Local Transparency International Affiliate)
Piedras 547, C1070AAK, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires
Phone: +54 11 4331 4925 ext 225
Fax: +54 11 4331 4925
Email: comunicaciones@poderciudadano.org
Website: http://www.poderciudadano.org 

Armenia

9. Corruption

After a peaceful revolution in April/May 2018, the Armenian government has made eradicating corruption on of its highest priorities. The government’s anti-corruption agenda is outlined in a 2019–2022 strategy and implementation plan. These documents establish a new anti-corruption institutional framework with separate entities tasked with preventive and investigative functions, set out specific measures for strengthening these functions, and prioritize strategic communication and public education to give citizens ownership of anti-corruption reforms.

The government has increased corruption investigations against mid- and high-level government officials, including those appointed by the current government, since the revolution.  Numerous high-ranking officials have stated publicly that corruption within their respective institutions will no longer be tolerated. Though some report that the government has mainly targeted ex-government officials in corruption investigations, there is no indication that Armenia’s anti-corruption laws are being applied by the post-revolutionary government in a discriminatory manner.  Armenia’s anti-corruption laws extend to all Armenian citizens.

Corruption remains a significant obstacle to U.S. investment in Armenia, particularly as it relates to critical areas such as the justice system and concerns related to the rule of law, enforcement of existing legislation and regulations, and equal treatment.  Investors claim that the health, education, military, corrections, and law enforcement sectors lack transparency in procurement and have in the past used selective enforcement to elicit bribes. Judges presiding over civil matters are still widely perceived by the public to be corrupt and under the influence of former authorities.  Although bribery is illegal in Armenia, the government does not actively encourage private companies to establish internal codes of conduct. Several multinational companies, select local companies, and foreign and local companies working with international financial institutions have implemented corporate governance mechanisms to tackle corruption internally.  However, such corporate governance principles are not widely implemented among local companies.

According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, Armenia received a score of 42 out of 100, ranking it 77th among 180 countries. This reflects an improvement by 28 places over 2018.

Armenia’s ability to counter, deter, and prosecute corruption is noted to be hindered by the lack of robust enforcement of official disclosure laws meant to prevent corrupt officials from entering and retaining positions of authority and influence.  The objective and systematic scrutiny of declarations by government officials has historically been lacking due to dysfunction within the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials and the delayed establishment of the Corruption Prevention Commission, which inherited this responsibility. According to international evaluations, Armenian authorities have limited capacities to investigate money laundering and bring such cases to prosecution.

Various laws, some updated as recently as 2018, prohibit the participation of civil and municipal servants, as well as local government elected officials such as mayors and councilors, in commercial activities.  However, powerful officials at the national, district, and local levels often acquire direct, partial, or indirect control over private firms. Such control is often exercised through a hidden partner or majority ownership of fully private parent companies. This involvement can also be indirect, including through close relatives and friends. According to foreign investors, these practices reinforce protectionism, hinder competition, and undermine the image of the government as a facilitator of private sector growth.  Because of the historical strong interconnectedness of the political and economic spheres, Armenia has often struggled to introduce legislation to encourage strict ethical codes of conduct and the prevention of bribery in business transactions. In 2016, Armenia adopted legislation on criminal penalties for illicit enrichment and noncompliance or fraud in filing declarations.

Armenia is a member of the UN Convention against Corruption.  While not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, Armenia is a member of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and has signed the Istanbul Action Plan.  A monitoring report released by the OECD in 2018 cited Armenia’s lack of enforcement of anti-corruption laws, together with the continued presence of oligopolistic interests in the economy, as points of serious concern. The report contains a series of recommendations, including to take bold measures to ensure judicial and prosecutorial independence and integrity, introduce corporate liability for corruption offenses, investigate and prosecute high-profile and complex corruption cases, and increase transparency and strengthen monitoring in public procurement.  Armenia is also a member of the global Open Government Partnership initiative.

No specific law exists to protect NGOs dealing with anti-corruption investigations.

Resources to Report Corruption

For investigating corruption:
Investigation Department of Corruption, Organized and Official Crimes
Special Investigation Service of Armenia
13A Vagharsh Vagharshyan Street
Yerevan, Armenia
+374 11 900 002
press@investigatory.am

For prosecuting corruption:
Artur Chakhoyan
Head of Department for Combating Corruption and Economic Crimes
RA Prosecutor General’s Office
5 V. Sargsyan Street
Yerevan, Armenia
+374 10 511 655
info@prosecutor.am

For financial and asset declarations of high-level officials:
Haykuhi Harutyunyan
Chairperson
Corruption Prevention Commission
24 Baghramyan Street
Yerevan, Armenia
hhcpcarmenia@gmail.com

Watchdog organization:
Sona Ayvazyan
Executive Director
Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center
12 Saryan Street
Yerevan, Armenia
+374 10 569 589
sona@transparency.am

Australia

9. Corruption

Australia maintains a comprehensive system of laws and regulations designed to counter corruption.  In addition, the government procurement system is generally transparent and well regulated.  Corruption has not been a factor cited by U.S. businesses as a disincentive to investing in Australia, nor to exporting goods and services to Australia.  Non-governmental organizations interested in monitoring the global development or anti-corruption measures, including Transparency International, operate freely in Australia, and Australia is perceived internationally as having low corruption levels.

Australia is an active participant in international efforts to end the bribery of foreign officials.  Legislation exists to give effect to the anti-bribery convention stemming from the OECD 1996 Ministerial Commitment to Criminalize Transnational Bribery.  Legislation explicitly disallows tax deductions for bribes of foreign officials.  At the Commonwealth level, enforcement of anti-corruption laws and regulations is the responsibility of the Attorney General’s Department.

The Attorney-General’s Department plays an active role in combating corruption through developing domestic policy on anti-corruption and engagement in a range of international anti-corruption forums.  These include the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption Working Groups.  Australia is a member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery and a party to the key international conventions concerned with combating foreign bribery, including the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention).

Under Australian law, it is an offense to bribe a foreign public official, even if a bribe may be seen to be customary, necessary, or required.  The maximum penalty for an individual is 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of AUD 2.1 million (approximately USD 1.3 million).  For a corporate entity, the maximum penalty is the greatest of:  1) AUD 21 million (approximately USD 13.0 million); 2) three times the value of the benefits obtained; or 3) 10 percent of the previous 12-month turnover of the company concerned.

The legislation covering bribery of foreign officials is the Criminal Code Act 1995.  In 2019, the Commonwealth Government introduced an amendment to the Act that would expand the list of activities considered foreign bribery, but the amendment has not been legislated at the time of publishing.  Information on the amendment can be found at the following link: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s1246 

A number of national and state-level agencies exist to combat corruption of public officials and ensure transparency and probity in government systems.  The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) has the mandate to prevent, detect and investigate serious and systemic corruption issues in the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, the CrimTrac Agency, and prescribed aspects of the Department of Agriculture.

Various independent commissions exist at the state level to investigate instances of corruption. Details of these bodies are provided below.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Australia has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption and is a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Western Australia – Corruption and Crime Commission
86 St Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia
Tel. +61 8 9215 4888
https://www.ccc.wa.gov.au/

Queensland – Corruption and Crime Commission
Level 2, North Tower Green Square
515 St Pauls Terrace
Fortitude Valley, Queensland
Tel. +61 7 3360 6060
https://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/

Victoria – Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria
Tel. +61 1300 735 135
https://ibac.vic.gov.au

New South Wales – Independent Commission against Corruption
Level 7, 255 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel. +61 2 8281 5999
https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/

South Australia – Independent Commission against Corruption
Level 1, 55 Currie Street
Adelaide, South Australia
Tel. +61 8 8463 5173
https://icac.sa.gov.au

Austria

9. Corruption

Austria is a member of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and also ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.  As part of the UNCAC ratification process, Austria has implemented a national anti-corruption strategy.  Central elements of the strategy are promoting transparency in public sector decisions and raising awareness of corruption.  Corruption generally is not a major issue in Austria, which ranked 12th (out of 180 countries) in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

Bribery of public officials, their family members and political parties, is prohibited under the Austrian Criminal Code, and investors do not report corruption as significantly affecting business in Austria. However, the 2017 Ibiza scandal in which then-Vice Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache and Freedom Party FPOe chairman Johann Gudenus were filmed discussing the provision of government contracts in exchange for favors and party donations shook the public’s belief in the integrity of the political system.  This was compounded by further revelations in 2019 that the FPOe had promised gambling licenses to Casinos Austria in exchange for placing a party loyalist on the company’s executive board.  When this was made public, it led to a vote of no-confidence for the government, the resignation of the Chancellor and his cabinet, and snap elections.  It also led to public questioning of the process of appointment of candidates to high-ranking positions in state-owned enterprises, but so far there has been no change to the law.

Bribing members of Parliament is considered a criminal offense, and accepting a bribe is a punishable offense with the sentence varying depending on the amount of the bribe. The 2018 Austrian Federal Contracts Act implements EU guidelines prohibiting participating in public procurement contracts if there is a potential conflict of interest and requires measures to be put in place to detect and prevent such conflicts of interest. This required public authorities to set up compliance management systems or amend their existing structures accordingly. Virtually all Austrian companies have internal codes of conduct governing bribery and potential conflicts of interest.

Corruption provisions in Austria’s Criminal Code cover managers of Austrian public enterprises, civil servants, and other officials (with functions in legislation, administration, or justice on behalf of Austria, in a foreign country, or an international organization), representatives of public companies, members of parliament, government members, and mayors.  The term “corruption” includes the following in the Austrian interpretation:  active and passive bribery; illicit intervention; and abuse of office.  Corruption can sometimes include a private manager’s fraud, embezzlement, or breach of trust.

Criminal penalties for corruption include imprisonment ranging from six months to ten years , depending on the severity of the offence.  Jurisdiction for corruption investigations rests with the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption and covers corruption taking place both within and outside the country.  The Lobbying Act of 2013 introduced binding rules of conduct for lobbying.  It requires domestic and foreign organizations to register with the Austrian Ministry of Justice.  Financing of political parties requires disclosure of donations exceeding EUR 2,500 (USD 2,800).  No donor is allowed to give more than EUR 7,500 (USD 8,400) and total donations to one political party may not exceed EUR 750,000 (USD 840,000) in a single year. Foreigners are prohibited from making donations to political parties.  Private companies are subject to the Austrian Act on Corporate Criminal Liability, which makes companies liable for active and passive criminal offences.  Penalties include fines up to EUR 1.8 million (USD 2.0 million).

To date, U.S. companies have not reported any instances of corruption inhibiting FDI.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Wirtschafts- und Korruptionsstaatsanwaltschaft  (Central Public Prosecution for Business Offenses and Corruption)
Dampfschiffstraße 4
1030 Vienna, Austria
Phone:  +43-(0)1-52 1 52 0
E-Mail: wksta.leitung@justiz.gv.at

BAK – Bundesamt zur Korruptionsprävention und Korruptionsbekämpfung  (Federal Agency for Preventing and Fighting Corruption)
Ministry of the Interior
Herrengasse 7
1010 Vienna, Austria
Phone:   +43-(0)1-531 26 – 6800
E-Mail: BMI-III-BAK-SPOC@bak.gv.at

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Transparency International – Austrian Chapter
Berggasse 7
1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone:  +43-(0)1-960 760
E-Mail: office@ti-austria.at

Azerbaijan

9. Corruption

Corruption is a major challenge for firms operating in Azerbaijan and is a barrier to foreign investment, despite government efforts to reduce low-level corruption.  Azerbaijan does not require that private companies establish internal codes of conduct to prohibit bribery of public officials, nor does it provide protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.  U.S. firms have identified corruption in government procurement, licensing, dispute settlement, regulation, customs, and taxation as significant obstacles to investment.

The Azerbaijani government publicly acknowledges problems with corruption but has neither effectively nor consistently enforced anti-corruption laws nor regulations.  Azerbaijan has made modest progress in implementing a 2005 Anticorruption Law, which created a commission with the authority to require full financial disclosure from government officials.  The government has achieved a degree of success reducing red tape and opportunities for bribery through a focus on e-government and government service delivery through centralized ASAN service centers, which first opened in February 2013.  ASAN centers provide more transparent, efficient, and accountable services through a “one window” model that reduces opportunities for rent-seeking and petty government corruption and have become a model for other initiatives aimed at improving government service delivery.

Despite progress in reducing corruption in public services delivery, the civil service, public procurement apparatus, and the judiciary still suffer from corruption.  Tax reforms announced in January 2019 are partially aimed at reducing corruption in tax administration.

Azerbaijan signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention and is a signatory to the Council of Europe Criminal and Civil Law Conventions.  Azerbaijan is not currently a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Kamal Jafarov
Acting Executive Secretary
Commission on Combating Corruption
Baku, Azerbaijan
(+994 12) 492-04-65
kamal.jafarov@antikorrupsiya.gov.az

Bahamas

9. Corruption

The government has laws to combat corruption of and by public officials, but they have been inconsistently applied. Reports of corruption, including allegations of widespread patronage, the routine directing of contracts to party supporters and benefactors, and wealthy and/or politically connected foreign nationals and permanent residents receiving favorable treatment have plagued the political system for decades.

In The Bahamas, giving a bribe to, or accepting a bribe from, a government official is a criminal act under the Prevention of Bribery Act. The penalty under this act is a fine of up to $10,000, or a maximum prison term of four years, or both. In October 2015, the government charged and convicted a former state energy company board member under the Prevention of Bribery Act, the first significant case brought under the Act since 1989. In May 2017, the current government won election on a mandate to end corruption. Early in the administration, the government charged a former senator with extortion and bribery, although the Chief Magistrate dismissed the case for lack of evidence. In May 2017, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and former Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation was among nine people arrested for theft by reason of employment. Formal charges were never brought against them.

In late 2017, a former Senator and Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Chairman was charged with bribery and extortion over the award of a 2016 contract. At trial, the magistrate found that prima facie case had not been made and dismissed the case in February 2019. A writ has been filed in the Supreme Court while awaiting a Privy Council hearing following the Crown’s appeal of the acquittal.  In August 2017, a former Minister of Labor and National Insurance was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes to expedite payments owed to a service provider under the former administration. He was acquitted on all counts in November 2019 and the government confirmed it had no intention to appeal the acquittal. Following the acquittals, the former PHA Chairman and former Labor Minister sued the government for malicious prosecution and are seeking aggravated and exemplary damages and disciplinary proceedings for the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

seeking aggravated and exemplary damages and disciplinary proceedings for the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

In February 2019, the government arraigned a former Urban Renewal Deputy Director on charges related to defrauding the government. The case is ongoing.

The Public Disclosure Act requires senior public officials, including senators and members of Parliament, to declare their assets, income, and liabilities on an annual basis. The government publishes a summary of the individual declarations.

According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, The Bahamas ranked 29 out of 180 countries with a score of 64 out of 100. There are no protections for NGOs involved in investigating corruption. U.S firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI and have reported perceived corruption in government procurement and in the FDI approvals process.

The government does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs.  No charges of drug-related corruption were filed against government officials in 2019.

The Bahamas ratified major international corruption instruments, including the Inter-American Convention against Corruption since signing in 1998 (ratified in 2000), and has been a party to the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 2001. The Bahamas is not party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Royal Bahamas Police Force
Anti- Corruption Unit
P.O. Box N-458
(242) 322-4444
Email: info@rbpf.bs

Contacts at “watchdog” organizations:

Citizens for a Better Bahamas
Transparency International (Bahamas Chapter)
(242) 322-4195
Website: www.abetterbahamas.org 
Email: info@abetterbahamas.org

Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG)
Bay Street Business Center, Bethell Estates
East Bay Street (at Deveaux St.)
Website: www.orgbahamas.com 
Phone: 1-242-828-4459
Email: info@orgbahamas.com

Bahrain

9. Corruption

The King and Crown Prince have advocated publicly in favor of reducing corruption and some ministries have initiated clean-up efforts. Legislation regulating corruption is outlined in Bahrain’s “Economic Vision 2030” plan, and in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Bahrain joined the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003. Accordingly, Bahrain ratified its penal code on combatting bribery in the public and private sectors in 2008, mandating criminal penalties for official corruption. Under law, government employees at all levels are subject to prosecution and punishments of up to 10 years imprisonment if they use their positions to engage in embezzlement or bribery, either directly or indirectly. The law does not require government officials to make financial disclosures. In 2010, Bahrain ratified the UNCAC and the Arab Convention Against Corruption, and in 2016, it joined the International Anti-Corruption Academy. In 2019, the Public Prosecution initiated proceedings on 178 economic corruption cases. In 23 cases, offenders have been sentenced to prison; one was cleared; and 13 are pending investigation. The remaining 129 cases have been classified as administrative contraventions and closed.

Giving or accepting a bribe is illegal. The government, however, has not fully implemented the law, and some officials reportedly continue to engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Officials have at times been dismissed for what is widely believed to be blatant corruption, but the grounds for dismissal rarely have been tied to corruption.

The National Audit Office, established in 2002, is mandated to publish annual reports that highlight fiscal irregularities within government ministries and other public-sector entities. The reports enable legislators to exercise oversight and call for investigations of fiscal discrepancies in government accounts. In 2013, the Crown Prince established an Investigation Committee to oversee cases highlighted within the National Audit Office’s annual report.

The Minister of Follow-Up Affairs at the Royal Court was designated in 2015 to execute recommendations made in that year’s National Audit Report. At the same time, the Crown Prince urged all government entities and the Council of Representatives to work closely to implement the recommendations made in the report. Bahrain’s National Audit Office issues annual reports that list violations committed by various Bahraini state bodies and agencies.

As a result of the 2011 National Dialogue process, the Ministry of Interior established an anti-corruption directorate. In 2011, the Ministry of Interior signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Development Programme to enhance the anti-corruption directorate’s capabilities.

Bahrain has conflict-of-interest laws in place, however, in practice, their application in awarding contacts is not fully enforced.

Local NGOs generally do not focus their efforts on corruption-related issues, and human rights activists and members of the political opposition who have spoken out about corruption have at times been detained, prosecuted, and banned from travel for reasons related to their broader political activism. All civil society groups are required to register with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, which has the discretion to reject registration if it determines the organization’s services unnecessary, already provided by another society, or contrary to state security.

Few cases have been registered by U.S. companies reporting corruption as an obstacle to their investments in Bahrain.

Bahrain signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2005 and 2010, respectively. Bahrain, however, is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. In 2018, Bahrain joined the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

General Directorate of Anti- Corruption & Economic & Electronic Security
Ministry of Interior
P. O. Box 26698, Manama, Bahrain
Hotline: 992

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Sharaf AlMosawi
President
Bahrain Transparency Association
P.O. Box 26059
Phone: +973 39640929
Email: Sharaf115@gmail.com
Website: www.alshafafeyabh.org 

Bangladesh

9. Corruption

Corruption remains a serious impediment to investment and economic growth in Bangladesh. While the government has established legislation to combat bribery, embezzlement, and other forms of corruption, enforcement is inconsistent. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is the main institutional anti-corruption watchdog. With amendments to the Money Prevention Act, the ACC is no longer the sole authority to probe money-laundering offenses. Although it still has primary authority for bribery and corruption, other agencies will now investigate related offenses, including:

  • The Bangladesh Police (Criminal Investigation Department) – Most predicate offenses.
  • NBR – VAT, taxation, and customs offenses.
  • The Department of Narcotics Control – Drug related offenses.

The current Awami League-led government has publicly underscored its commitment to anticorruption efforts and reaffirmed the need for a strong ACC, but opposition parties claim that the ACC is used by the government to harass political opponents. Efforts to ease public procurement rules and a recent constitutional amendment that reduced the independence of the ACC may undermine institutional safeguards against corruption. Bangladesh is a party to the UN Anticorruption Convention, but has not joined the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Public Officials. Corruption is common in public procurement, tax and customs collection, and among regulatory authorities. Corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business. By some estimates, off-the-record payments by firms may result in an annual reduction of two to three percent of GDP. Corruption has a corrosive impact on the broader business climate market and opportunities for U.S. companies in Bangladesh. It also deters investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines the rule of law.

Resources to Report Corruption

Mr. Iqbal Mahmood
Chairman
Anti-Corruption Commission, Bangladesh
1, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka 1000
+88-02-8333350
chairman@acc.org.bd

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Mr. Iftekharuzzaman
Executive Director
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)
MIDAS Centre (Level 4 & 5), House-5, Road-16 (New) 27 (Old),

Dhanmondi, Dhaka -1209
+880 2 912 4788 / 4789 / 4792
edtib@ti-bangladesh.org, info@ti-bangladesh.org, advocacy@ti-bangladesh.org

Barbados

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implemented these laws effectively.  Barbados signed but did not yet ratify the UN Convention on Corruption and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

In 2012, Barbados enacted the Prevention of Corruption Act, which includes standards of integrity in public life.  However, it has not been proclaimed by the governor-general and consequently was not in force.  The Integrity in Public Life Bill 2018 remains pending in parliament.  This Bill seeks to establish an integrity commission, to promote the integrity of government officials, and strengthen measures for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of acts of corruption.  The law also requires public officials to declare income and assets and makes provisions for whistleblower protection.  Upon assuming power in 2018, the prime minister required all high-level public officials to disclose income and assets to the government.  While the government claimed officials complied with this directive, the disclosures were not published.

A government minister with the previous administration was arrested in the United States on charges of laundering proceeds from bribes paid in Barbados.  He was found guilty of two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  He intends appeal the conviction.

Barbados is a member of the regional Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Resources to Report Corruption

The Director
Financial Intelligence Unit
P.O. Box 1372, Bridgetown
246-436-4734
director@barbadosfiu.gov.bb

The Chairman
Anti-Money Laundering Authority
P.O. Box 1372, Bridgetown
246-436-4734
amla@sunbeach.net

Belarus

9. Corruption

According to official sources, most corruption cases involve soliciting and accepting bribes, fraud, and abuse of power, although anecdotal evidence indicates such corruption usually does not occur as part of day-to-day interaction between citizens and minor state officials. In Belarus, bribery is considered a form of corruption and is punishable with a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail and confiscation of property. The most corrupt sectors are considered to be state administration and procurement, the industrial sector, the construction industry, health care, and education. In the first half of 2020, Belarusian courts convicted 463 individuals “on corruption-related charges.” However, the absence of independent judicial and law enforcement systems, the lack of separation of powers, and a harried independent press largely barred from interaction with a nontransparent state bureaucracy make it virtually impossible to gauge the true scale of corruption.

Belarus has anti-corruption legislation consisting of certain provisions of the Criminal Code and Administrative Code as well as the Law on Public Service and the Law on Combating Corruption. The latter is the country’s main anti-corruption document and was adopted in 2015. Belarusian anti-corruption law covers family members of government officials and political figures. The country’s regulations require addressing any potential conflict of interests of parties seeking to win a government procurement contract. The list of such regulations include the July 13, 2012, law “On public procurement of goods (works, services),” the December 31, 2013, presidential decree “On conducting procurement procedures,” and the March 15, 2012, Council of Ministers resolution on the procurement of goods (works, services). Government organizations directly engaged in anti-corruption efforts are prosecutors’ offices, internal affairs, state security and state control agencies.

Belarus is a party to a number of international anti-corruption conventions and agreements. The Republic of Belarus has consistently ratified and complied with requirements of main international anti-corruption acts, such as the Convention of the Council of Europe 173 On criminal liability for corruption (S 173) (concluded in Strasbourg on 27 January, 1999); the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, signed by Belarus in Palermo on 24 December, 2000, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (concluded in New York on 31 October, 2003); and the Civil Law Convention on Corruption (concluded in Strasbourg on 4 November, 1999) (ratified in 2005). Belarus also signed a number of the intergovernmental agreements to address this problem. Belarus is currently considering joining the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

In 2019, the Council of Europe’s (COE) Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publicly declared Belarus non-compliant with GRECO’s anti-corruption standards.  This was GRECO’s first ever declaration of non-compliance. According to the COE, Belarus failed to address 20 out of 24 recommendations made in 2012; had not authorized the publication of the 2012 report or related compliance reports; and was non-responsive since 2017 to requests from GRECO to organize a high-level mission to Belarus. The majority of GRECO’s recommendations related to fundamental anti-corruption requirements, such as strengthening the independence of the judiciary and of the prosecution office, as well as increasing the operational autonomy of the law enforcement and limiting immunity protection of certain categories of persons. However, the COE contends that limited reporting indicates that corruption is particularly alarming higher up in the government hierarchy and in procurement for state-run enterprises.

According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, Belarus climbed from 70 to 66 out of 180 countries in the rankings.  In Belarus’ region, Poland ranked 36, Lithuania 38, Latvia 41, Ukraine 120, and Russia 138.

Resources to Report Corruption

General Prosecutor’s Office
Internatsionalnaya Street 22
Minsk, Belarus
+375 17 337-43-57
info@prokuratura.gov.by

Ms. Oksana Drebezova
Belarus National Contact
Transparency International
Levkova Street 15-113
Minsk, Belarus
+375 29 619 71 25
drebezovaoksana@gmail.com

Belgium

9. Corruption

Belgian anti-bribery legislation was revised completely in March 1999, when the competence of Belgian courts was extended to extraterritorial bribery. Bribing foreign officials is a criminal offense in Belgium. Belgium has been a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention since 1999, and is a participating member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery. In the Working Group’s Phase 3 review of Belgium in 2013 it called on Belgium to address the lack of resources available for fighting foreign bribery.

Under Article 3 of the Belgian criminal code, jurisdiction is established over offenses committed within Belgian territory by Belgian or foreign nationals. Act 99/808 added Article 10 related to the code of criminal procedure. This Article provides for jurisdiction in certain cases over persons (foreign as well as Belgian nationals) who commit bribery offenses outside the territory of Belgium. Various limitations apply, however. For example, if the bribe recipient exercises a public function in an EU member state, Belgian prosecution may not proceed without the formal consent of the other state.

Under the 1999 Belgian law, the definition of corruption was extended considerably. It is considered passive bribery if a government official or employer requests or accepts a benefit for him or herself or for somebody else in exchange for behaving in a certain way. Active bribery is defined as the proposal of a promise or benefit in exchange for undertaking a specific action. Until 1999, Belgian anti-corruption law did not cover attempts at passive bribery. The most controversial innovation of the 1999 law was the introduction of the concept of “private corruption,” or corruption among private individuals.

Corruption by public officials carries heavy fines and/or imprisonment between 5 (five) and 10 years. Private individuals face similar fines and slightly shorter prison terms (between six months and two years). The current law not only holds individuals accountable, but also the company for which they work. Contrary to earlier legislation, the 1999 law stipulates that payment of bribes to secure or maintain public procurement or administrative authorization through bribery in foreign countries is no longer tax deductible. Recent court cases in Belgium suggest that corruption is most serious in government procurement and public works contracting. American companies have not, however, identified corruption as a barrier to investment.

The responsibility for enforcing corruption laws is shared by the Ministry of Justice through investigating magistrates of the courts, and the Ministry of the Interior through the Belgian federal police, which has jurisdiction in all criminal cases. A special unit, the Central Service for

Combating Corruption, has been created for enforcement purposes but continues to lack the necessary staff. Belgium is also an active participant in the Global Forum on Asset Recovery.

The Belgian Employers Federation encourages its members to establish internal codes of conduct aimed at prohibiting bribery. To date, U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Belgium has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention of 1998, and is also party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Office of the Federal Prosecutor of Belgium
Transparency International Belgium
Resources to Report Corruption
Wolstraat 66-1 – 1000 Brussels
T 02 55 777 64
F 02 55 777 94

Transparency Belgium
Nijverheidsstraat 10, 1000 Brussels
tel: +32 (0)2 893 2584
email: infoa@transparencybelgium.be

Belize

9. Corruption    

Belize has anti-corruption laws that are seldom enforced.  Under the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act, public officials are required to make annual financial disclosures.  The Act criminalizes acts of corruption by public officials and includes measures on the use of office for private gain; code of conduct breaches; the misuse of public funds; and bribery.  Section 24 of the Act covers punishment for breach, which may include a fine of up to USD $5,000, severe reprimand, forfeiture of property acquired by corruption, and removal from office.  This Act also established an Integrity Commission mandated to monitor, prevent, and combat corruption by examining declarations of physical assets and financial positions filed by public officers.  The Commission is able to investigate allegations of corrupt activities by public officials, including members of the National Assembly, Mayors and Councilors of all cities, and Town Boards.  In practice, the office is understaffed, and charges are almost never brought against officials.  It is not uncommon for politicians disgraced in corruption scandals to return to government after a short period of time has elapsed.

The Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act identifies “politically exposed persons” to include family members or close associates of the politically exposed person.

The Ministry of Finance issues the Belize Stores Orders and Financial Orders – policies and procedures for government procurement.  The Manual for the Control of Public Finances provides the framework for the registration and use of public funds to procure goods and services.

Despite these legislative and regulatory measures, many businesspeople complain that both major political parties practice partisanship bias that affects businesses in terms of receiving licenses, the importation of goods, winning government contracts for procurement of goods and services, and transfer of government land to private owners.  Some middle-class citizens and business owners throughout the country have complained of government officials, including police, soliciting bribes.  A Select Senate Committee on Immigration deliberated for most of 2017 on such allegations by known members of the ruling United Democratic Party.  It concluded its inquiry in December 2017 but has not published its findings and recommendations.            Private companies are not required to establish internal codes of conduct.  There are few non-governmental institutions that monitor government activities; two of which are: the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB).  The first is comprised of concerned private citizens; the latter is an umbrella organization comprised of the various Belizean workers’ unions.  Environmental NGOs and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry often make statements regarding government policy as it affects their respective spheres of activity.  The Government does not provide protection to NGOs investigating corruption.

Private companies are not required to establish internal codes of conduct.  There are few non-governmental institutions that monitor government activities; two of which are: the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB).  The first is comprised of concerned private citizens; the latter is an umbrella organization comprised of the various Belizean workers’ unions.  Environmental NGOs and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry often make statements regarding government policy as it affects their respective spheres of activity.  The Government does not provide protection to NGOs investigating corruption.

Private companies do not use internal controls, ethics or compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.  Bribery is officially considered a criminal act in Belize, but laws against bribery are rarely enforced. Complaints related to government corruption relating to customs, land, and immigration are quite common.

In June 2001, the Government of Belize signed the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Convention on Corruption, which undergoes periodic review as provided for under the Convention.  In December 2016, Belize acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) amid public pressure and demonstrations from the teachers’ unions.  Government continues to be criticized for the lack of political will to fully implement UNCAC.

Resources to Report Corruption

Office of the Ombudsman
91 Freetown Road
Belize City, Belize
T: +501-223-3594
E:  ombudsman@btl.net
W:  www.ombudsman.gov.bz

For specific complaints within the police force:

Professional Standards Branch
1902 Constitutions Drive
Belmopan, Belize
T: +501-822-2218 or 822-2674

Benin

9. Corruption

Benin has laws aimed at combatting corruption, though corruption remains a recurring problem in areas including public administration, government procurement, customs and taxation, and the judiciary. The ANLC is the lead government entity on corruption issues and has the authority to refer corruption cases to court. The ANLC also has the authority to combat money laundering, electoral fraud, and economic fraud in the public and private sectors. Benin’s State Audit Office is also responsible for identifying and acting against corruption in the public sector. The CRIET processes cases related to economic crimes, which can include corruption. In 2018, the National Assembly approved the lifting of parliamentary immunity of a small number of opposition parliamentarians accused of corruption or embezzlement during their past positions in former governments.

Bribery is illegal and subject to up to ten years’ imprisonment, but enforcement is uneven. Private companies often establish their own codes of conduct.

Beninese procurement law allows for open and closed bid processes. Contracts are often awarded based on government solicitations to short-listed companies with industry-specific expertise, often identified based on companies’ commercial activities conducted in other overseas markets. The government often uses sole sourcing for projects, including for PAG implementation, and in these cases does not publish procurement requests before selecting a vendor. Foreign companies have expressed concerns about unfair treatment, biased consideration, and improper practices specific to the process of selecting short-listed companies.

Benin is a signatory of the UN Anticorruption Convention and the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

NAME: JeanBaptiste Elias
TITLE: President
ORGANIZATION: ANLC
ADDRESS:01 BP 7060 Cotonou, Benin
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +229 21 308 686
EMAIL ADDRESS: anlc.benin@yahoo.fr

NAME: Ms. Blanche Sonon
TITLE: President
ORGANIZATION: Social Watch
ADDRESS: 02 BP 937, Cotonou, Benin
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +229 21042012 229 95961644
EMAIL ADDRESS swbenin@socialwatchbenin.org;

Bolivia

9. Corruption

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Vice Minister of Justice and the Fight Against Corruption
Ministry of Justice
Calle Capitan Ravelo 2101, La Paz
+591-2-115773
http://www.transparencia.gob.bo/ 

Bolivian law stipulates criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the laws are not often implemented properly.  Governmental lack of transparency, and police and judicial corruption, remain significant problems.  The Ministry of Justice and Transparency and the Prosecutor’s Office are both responsible for combating corruption.  In September 2014, the former Transparency Minister reported that the Ministry was investigating 388 complaints against public servants.  The Ministry has obtained 100 convictions since 2006.  Cases involving allegations of corruption against the president and vice president require congressional approval before prosecutors may initiate legal proceedings, and cases against pro-government public officials are rarely allowed to proceed.  Despite the fact that the courts found that the awarding of immunity for corruption charges is unconstitutional, their rulings were ignored by the government.

Police corruption remains a significant problem.  There are also reports of widespread corruption in the country’s judiciary.

There is an Ombudsman appointed by Congress and charged with protecting human rights and guarding against government abuse.  In his 2014 annual report, the Ombudsman cited the judicial system, the attorney general’s office, and the police as the most persistent violators of human rights due to widespread inefficiencies and corruption.  Public opinion reflected the Ombudsman’s statements.  The 2017 Transparency International corruption perception index ranked Bolivia as 112 of 180 countries and found that Bolivian citizens believe the most corrupt institutions in Bolivia are the judiciary, the police, and executive branch institutions

Bolivia has laws in place which govern public sector-related contracts (Law 1178 and Supreme Decree 181), including contracts for the acquisition of goods, services, and consulting jobs.  Bribery of public officials is also a criminal offense under Articles 145 and 158 of Bolivia’s Criminal Code.  Laws also exist that provide protection for citizens filing complaints against corruption.

Bolivia signed the UN Anticorruption Convention in December 2003 and ratified it in December 2005.  Bolivia is also party to the OAS Inter-American Convention against Corruption.  Bolivia is not a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

9. Corruption

Corruption remains prevalent in many political and economic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and raises the costs and risks of doing business.  BiH’s overly complex business registration and licensing process is particularly vulnerable to corruption.  The multitude of state, entity, cantonal, and municipal administrations, each with the power to establish laws and regulations affecting business, creates a system that lacks transparency and opens opportunities for corruption via parafiscal fees.  Paying bribes to obtain necessary business licenses and construction permits, or simply to expedite the approval process, occurs regularly.  Foreign investors have criticized government and public procurement tenders for a lack of openness and transparency.

Transparency International’s (TI) 2019 Corruption Perception Index ranked BiH 101 out of 180 countries.  According to TI, relevant institutions lack the will to actively fight corruption; law enforcement agencies and the judiciary are not effective in the prosecution of corruption cases and are visibly exposed to political pressures; and prosecutors complain that citizens generally do not report instances of corruption and do not want to testify in these cases.  In 2011, BiH established a state level agency to prevent and coordinate efforts to combat corruption; while officially active, the agency has shown limited results.

Corruption has a corrosive impact on both market opportunities overseas for U.S. companies and the broader business climate.  It deters foreign investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines the rule of law.  U.S. companies must carefully assess the business climate and develop an effective compliance program and measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery.  U.S. individuals and firms should take the time to become familiar with the relevant anticorruption laws of both BiH and the United States in order to properly comply, and where appropriate, seek the advice of legal counsel.

The U.S. government seeks to level the global playing field for U.S. businesses by encouraging other countries to take steps to criminalize their own companies’ acts of corruption, including bribery of foreign public officials, and uphold obligations under relevant international conventions.  A U.S. firm that believes a competitor is seeking to use bribery of a foreign public official to secure a contract should bring this to the attention of appropriate U.S. agencies.

U.S. firms should become familiar with local anticorruption laws, and, where appropriate, seek legal counsel.  While the U.S. Department of Commerce cannot provide legal advice on local laws, the Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service can provide assistance with navigating the host country’s legal system and obtaining a list of local legal counsel.

The U.S. Department of Commerce offers a number of services to aid U.S. businesses.  For example, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service can provide services that may assist U.S. companies in conducting due diligence when choosing business partners or agents overseas and provide support for qualified U.S. companies bidding on foreign government contracts.  For a list of U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service offices, please visit the Commercial Service website:  www.trade.gov/cs 

Alleged corruption by foreign governments or competitors can be brought to the attention of appropriate U.S. government officials, including U.S. Embassy personnel or through the Department of Commerce Trade Compliance Center “Report a Trade Barrier” Website at: https://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/index.asp 

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

BiH Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption
Phone: +387 57 322 540
email: kontakt@apik.ba
www.apik.ba 

Contact at “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption):

Transparency International BiH
Phone: +387 51 216928
Fax: +387 51 216369
email: info@ti-bih.org
www.ti-bih.org 

BiH signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in October 2006.  BiH is also party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Botswana

9. Corruption 

Botswana has a reputation for a relative lack of corruption and a willingness to prosecute corrupt officials.  Transparency International ranks Botswana as the least corrupt country in Africa (34th worldwide).  Investors with experience in other developing nations describe the relative lack of obstruction or interference by law enforcement or other government agents as among the country’s most important assets.  Nevertheless, private sector representatives note rising corruption levels in government tender procurements.

The major corruption investigation body is the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).  Anecdotal reports on the DCEC’s effectiveness vary.  The DCEC has embarked on an education campaign to raise public awareness about the cost of corruption and is also working with GoB departments to reform their accountability procedures. Corruption is punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years, a fine of USD 50,000, or both.  The GoB has prosecuted high-level officials.  Corruption allegations have surfaced recently around pension fund management and government procurement procedures and are still under investigation.

The 2000 Proceeds of Serious Crime Act expanded the DCEC’s mandate to include combatting money laundering.  The 2009 Financial Intelligence Act provides a comprehensive legal framework to address money laundering and establishes a financial intelligence agency (FIA).  The FIA, which operates under the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, cooperates with various institutions, such as Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Botswana Police Service, Bank of Botswana, the Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, the DCEC, and foreign FIAs to uncover and investigate suspicious financial transactions.  Botswana is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a regional standards-setting body for ensuring appropriate laws, policies, and practices to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  In October 2018, Botswana was “gray-listed” by the Financial Action Task Force and is currently implementing an action plan to address shortcomings that led to the listing.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Botswana is not a party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, but is a party to the 2005 United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts for agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Name: Brigadier Joseph Mathambo
Tittle: Director General
Organization: Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime
Address: Madirelo Extension 6, Gaborone, Botswana
Telephone Number: +267 3914002/+267 3604200
Email:  dcec@gov.bw

Name: Mr. Elijah Motshidi
Tittle: Executive Director
Organization: Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board
Address: Private Bag 0058, Gaborone, Botswana
Telephone Number: +267 3602000
Email:  webmaster@ppadb.co.bw

Name: Mr. Abraham Sethibe
Tittle: Director
Organization: Financial Intelligence Agency
Address: Private Bag 0190, Gaborone, Botswana
Telephone Number: +267 3998400
Email:  asethibe@gov.bw

One can also reach out to the Minister of the relevant Ministry for a particular tender and provide a copy of the complaint to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Executive Director.

Brunei

9. Corruption

Since 1982, Brunei has enforced the Emergency (Prevention of Corruption) Act. In 1984, the Act was renamed the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 131). The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was established in 1982 for the purpose of enforcing the Act. The Prevention of Corruption Act provides specific powers to the ACB for the purpose of investigating accusations of corruption. The Act authorizes ACB to investigate certain offences under other written laws, provided such offences were disclosed during the course of ACB investigation. Corrupt practices are punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which also applies to Brunei citizens abroad. Brunei is a member of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities.

In 2019, Brunei was ranked 35th of 180 countries worldwide in Transparency International’s corruption perception index. U.S. companies do not generally identify corruption as an obstacle to conducting business in Brunei. The level and extent of reported corruption in Brunei is generally low. In January 2020, however, the government convicted two former judges with embezzling large sums from the court system. The Sultan has made repeated statements to the effect that corruption is unacceptable.

Apart from the Anti-Corruption Bureau, there are no international, regional, local, or nongovernmental organizations operating in Brunei that monitor corruption.

Brunei has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government Point of Contact:
Name: Hjh Suhana binti Hj Sudin
Title: Acting Director
Organization: Anti-Corruption Bureau Brunei Darussalam
Address: Old Airport Berakas, BB 3510 Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673 238-3575
Fax: +673 238-3193
Mobile: +673 8721002 / +673 8130002
Email: info.bmr@acb.gov.bn

Bulgaria

9. Corruption

Bribery is a criminal act under Bulgarian law for both the giver and the receiver. Individuals who mediate and facilitate a bribe are also held accountable. With the gradual introduction of technology in public administration, some progress has been made in addressing petty corruption.  However, widespread higher-level corruption, particularly in public procurement and use of EU funds, continues to be one of the most difficult problems in Bulgaria’s investment climate. Human trafficking, narcotics, and contraband smuggling channels contribute to corruption in Bulgaria. Bulgaria has laws, regulations, and specialized institutions penalties on the books to combat corruption, but its law enforcement investigative capacity remains limited and the authorities often opt for easy-to-prove, low-level cases. As a result, Bulgaria has yet to convict a senior corrupt official.  There have been a few cases of high public interest, such as involving alleged siphoning of millions from the state coffers or EU funds, and in particular those involving public tenders for large energy and infrastructure projects.  The high-profile prosecutions that do take place are often seen as selective or politically motivated and typically end in acquittals after a lengthy judicial process.  Bulgaria ranks 77th  out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2019, the most challenging environment among EU members.

In early 2018, the government established a new Anti-Corruption Commission as an Center for Prevention and Countering Corruption and Organized Crime became the umbrella agency incorporating previously independent bodies combating corruption.

Bulgaria has ratified the Anti-Bribery Convention and is a participating member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery. Bulgaria has also ratified the Council of Europe’s Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure, and Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime (1994) and Civil Convention on Corruption (1999). Bulgaria has signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (2003); the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption; and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In 2018, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which transposes the 2015 EU Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Resources to Report Corruption  

Organizations or agencies responsible for reporting on or combating corruption:

Mr. Plamen GeorgievSotir Tsatsarov, Chairman
Commission on Corruption Prevention and Illegal Assets Forfeiture
Rakovski Blvd, Sofia, 1000
ciaf@ciaf.government.bg
Mr. Ognyan Minchev, Board President

Transparency International Bulgaria
50 Sandor Petofi Str., Sofia
mbox@transparency.bg

Burkina Faso

9. Corruption

Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index indicates that Burkina Faso ranks 85 out of 180 countries.  The State Supreme Audit Authority (ASCE-LC) is the leading government anti-corruption body that publishes an annual report documenting financial irregularities, embezzlement, and improper use of public funds in various ministries, government agencies, and state-run companies.  In 2018, the ASCE-LC opened at least two high profile corruption investigations against the Ministers of Defense and Infrastructure, still under review. The Burkinabe government continues to grant access within its own ministries to the non-governmental watchdog National Network to Fight against Corruption (REN-LAC) that examines the management of private and public-sector entities and publishes annual reports on corruption levels within the country.

Legislation requires government officials, including the president, lawmakers, ministers, ambassadors, members of the military leadership, judges, and anyone charged with managing state funds, to declare their assets as well as any gifts or donations received while in office.  Infractions are punishable by a maximum jail term of 20 years and fines of up to USD 41,670. In May 2020, former Minister of Defense, Jean-Claude Bouda, was arrested on “money laundering” and “illicit enrichment” charges following a complaint by the National Anti-Corruption Network.  On June 18, State Prosecutor Harouna Yoda announced that the Deputy Director General of Customs, William Alassane Kaboré, was placed under “judicial control,” for acts of illicit enrichment and money laundering amounting to 1.3 billion CFA (USD 2.2 million).  Additionally, investigations are underway on the mayor of Ouagadougou and some magistrates who allegedly tried to bury this case.

According to public perception, civil servants who most commonly engage in corruption include customs officials, members of the police force and gendarmerie, justice officials, healthcare workers, educators, tax collectors, and civil servants working in government procurement.

One of the main governmental bodies for fighting official corruption is the Superior Authority of State Control (ASCE), an entity under the authority of the Prime Minister.  ASCE has the authority to investigate ethics violations and mismanagement of public funds in the public sector, including state civil service employees, local and public authorities, state-owned companies, and all national organizations involved with public service missions.  ASCE publishes an annual report of activities, which provides details on its investigations and issues recommendations on how to resolve them.  Many of its findings are followed by judicial action.

The Autorité de Régulation de la Commande Publique (ARCOP), established in July 2008, is the regulatory oversight body that ensures fairness in the procurement process by monitoring the execution of all government contracts.  ARCOP may impose sanctions, initiate lawsuits, and publish the names of fraudulent or delinquent businesses.  It also educates communities benefiting from public investment monies to take a more active part in monitoring contractors.  ARCOP works with the media to strengthen journalists’ capacity to investigate suspected fraud cases.  Since 2012, the media has noticeably increased its coverage of high-profile corruption cases.

The Reseau National de Lutte Contre la Corruption (REN-LAC) publishes an annual report on the state of corruption in the country, and has established a wide range of anti-corruption initiatives and tools.  REN-LAC has a 24-hour hotline that allows it to gather information on alleged corrupt practices anonymously reported by citizens. African Parliamentarians’ Network against Corruption also has a local chapter in Burkina Faso and cooperates with REN-LAC.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Burkina Faso has agreed to enforce a regional law against money laundering and has issued a national law against money laundering and financial crimes.

Burkina Faso has taken steps to fully adopt regional and international anti-corruption frameworks, and the country ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in October 2006.

However, the World Bank rating for control of corruption for Burkina Faso has declined since 2003 from the 56th percentile to the 33rd percentile.  This means that while Burkina Faso was once rated much more favorably than its regional peers for limiting corruption, it is now close to the average for sub-Saharan African countries.

Resources to Report Corruption

REN-LAC hotline: (+226) 8000 1122

Or contact:

Sagado NACANABO
Executive Secretary
REN-LAC
Telephone: +226 25 36 32 15

Luc Marius Ibriga
Contrôleur Général d’Etat
Autorité Supérieure de Contrôle d’Etat et de la Lutte contre la Corruption (ASCE-LC)
Telephone: +226 25 30 10 91 or +226 25 33 60 39

Burma

9. Corruption

The Burmese government has continued to prioritize fighting corruption, and resources have been allocated to facilitate the growth of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) into an institution vested with the authority to lead that fight. In 2018, the government amended its anti-corruption law to give the ACC authority to scrutinize government procurements. The ACC has used that authority to initiate criminal cases even in the absence of victim complaints, leading to cases against several high-ranking and some mid-ranking officials for financial impropriety and abuse of office. Family members of politicians can also be prosecuted under the anti-corruption law, though office holders face higher penalties. The ACC opened branch offices in Yangon and Mandalay in 2019, as it continues to increase its investigative capacity.

Some companies are legally required to have compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. Under Burma’s Anti-Money Laundering Law, law firms, banks, and companies operating in the insurance and gemstone sectors are required to appoint compliance officers and conduct heightened due diligence on certain customers.

There have also been non-legislative actions to counter corruption. Burma does not have laws to counter conflicts-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement. However, the President’s office has issued orders to prevent conflicts-of-interest for construction contracts and several ministries have put in place internal rules to avoid conflicts-of-interest in awarding tenders. In the private sector, some of Burma’s largest companies have developed anti-corruption policies, which they have published on-line.

Enforcement of Burma’s anti-corruption laws remains a challenge. While there have been efforts to reduce some opportunities for higher-level corruption, the lack of transparency regarding military budgets and expenditures remains a substantial impediment to reforms. In addition, a large swath of the economy is engaged in illegal activities beyond the control of the government. These include the production, transportation and distribution of narcotics, and the smuggling of jade, gemstones, timber, wildlife, and wildlife products. NGOs are working with the government to assist in fighting corruption in these areas, but lack any formal role in conducting investigations. There are efforts to promote accountability for government officials, but the lack of resources for key government functions, including law enforcement and civil service salaries, remains a driver for low-level corruption. In its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International rated Burma 130 out of 175 countries. Investors might encounter corruption when seeking investment permits, during the taxation process, when applying for import and export licenses, and when negotiating land and real estate leases.

Burma signed the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2005, and ratified it on December 20, 2012.

Burma is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Anti Corruption Commission
Cluster (1), Sports’ Village, Wunna Theikdi Ward,*
Nay Pyi Taw
Phone: + 95 67 810 334 7
Email: myanmaracc2014@gmail.com
http://www.accm.gov.mm/acc/index.php?route=common/home 

* A new Anti Corruption Commission head office is currently under construction. However, the above address is still used for all official communications until the new office becomes operational.

Burundi

9. Corruption

The government has an anti-corruption law and an enforcement organization, the Anti-Corruption Brigade, responsible for enforcing this legislation. Cabinet members, parliamentarians, and officials appointed by presidential decree have immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, insulating them from accountability. Laws designed to combat corruption do not extend to family members of officials or to political parties.

Article 60 of the April 2016 law “Bearing Measures for the Prevention and Punishment of Corruption and Related Offenses” regulates conflicts of interest, including in awarding government procurement. Burundian legislation criminalizes bribery of public officials, but there is no specific requirement for private companies to establish internal codes of conduct.

Burundi is a signatory to the UN Anti-Corruption Convention and the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. Burundi has also been a member of the East African Anti-Corruption Authority since joining the EAC in 2007. The country does not provide protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

A number of U.S. firms have specifically noted corruption as an obstacle to direct investment in Burundi. Corruption is most pervasive in the award of licenses and concessions, which takes place in a non-transparent environment with frequent allegations of bribery and cronyism. Customs officials are also reportedly corrupt, regularly extorting bribes from exporters and importers.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Name: Roger Ndikumana
Title: Commissaire Général
Organization: Anti-Corruption Brigade
Address: PO Box 890 Bujumbura
Telephone Number: (+257) 22 25 62 37
Email Address: brigadeanticorruption@yahoo.fr

Contact at a “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local, or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption, such as Transparency International):

Name: Gabriel Rufyiri
Title: President
Organization: OLUCOME
Address: 47, Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore, n°47, 1st Floor
Telephone Number: (+257) 22 25 20 20 /22 25 89 00
Email Address: rufyirig@gmail.com / olucome2003@gmail.com

Cabo Verde

9. Corruption

In 2019, Cabo Verde ranked 41st on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index; it was third among African states, following Botswana and Seychelles. Cabo Verde is considered the second-best democracy in Africa and ranks third in good governance in Africa per the Mo Ibrahim Index.

Cabo Verde has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention. Corruption is a crime punishable by law. Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act and conviction could result in up to eight years in prison. To combat corruption effectively, the Cabo Verdean government established the High Authority against Corruption, and the National Assembly has added three additional prosecutors to enforce the law. Other institutions active in combating corruption include the Judicial Police, the Prosecuting Counsel, and the courts. Although periodically there have been rumors of alleged corruption, corruption or the bribery of political officials and/or public servants is not a significant concern in Cabo Verde.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Luis Jose Tavares Landim
Attorney General
Procuradoria Geral da Republica
CP 268 Praia – Cabo Verde
Tel +238 261 1665

Contact at international organizations:

Cristina Andrade
Senior National Coordinator
UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Av OUA, ASA
Praia – Cabo Verde
Phone: +238 260 9644
E-mail: cristina.andrade@unodc.org

Political and Economic Section
U.S. Embassy
R. Abilio Macedo 6
Phone: +238 2608925
Praia_PolEcon@State.gov

Cambodia

9. Corruption 

Corruption remains a significant issue in Cambodia for investors, and is a widespread practice. An increase in foreign investment from investors willing to engage in corrupt practices, combined with sometimes opaque official and unofficial investment processes, has served to facilitate an overall rise in corruption, already at high levels. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2019, the World Economic Forum ranked Cambodia 134th out of 141 countries for incidence of corruption. Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception index ranked Cambodia 162 of 180 countries globally, the lowest ranking among ASEAN member states.

Those engaged in business have identified corruption, particularly within the judiciary, customs services, and tax authorities, as one of the greatest deterrents to investment in Cambodia. Foreign investors from countries that overlook or encourage bribery have significant advantages over foreign investors from countries that criminalize such activity.

Cambodia adopted an Anti-Corruption Law in 2010 to combat corruption by criminalizing bribery, abuse of office, extortion, facilitation payments, and accepting bribes in the form of  donations or promises. Under the law, all civil servants must also declare their financial assets to the government every two years. Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), established the same year, has investigative powers and a mandate to provide education and training to government institutions and the public on anti-corruption compliance. Since its formation, the ACU has launched a few high-profile prosecutions against public officials, including members of the police and judiciary, and has tackled the issue of ghost workers in the government, in which salaries are collected for non-existent employees.

donations or promises. Under the law, all civil servants must also declare their financial assets to the government every two years. Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), established the same year, has investigative powers and a mandate to provide education and training to government institutions and the public on anti-corruption compliance. Since its formation, the ACU has launched a few high-profile prosecutions against public officials, including members of the police and judiciary, and has tackled the issue of ghost workers in the government, in which salaries are collected for non-existent employees.

The ACU, in collaboration with the private sector, has also established guidelines encouraging companies to create internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery and corrupt practices. Companies can sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ACU pledging to operate corruption-free and to cooperate on anti-corruption efforts. Since the program started in 2015, more than 80 private companies have signed a MOU with the ACU. In 2018, the ACU completed a first draft of a code of conduct for public officials, which has not yet been finalized.

Despite the passage of the Anti-Corruption Law and creation of the ACU, enforcement remains weak. Local and foreign businesses report that they must often make informal payments to expedite business transactions. Since 2013, Cambodia has published the official fees for public services, but the practice of paying additional fees remains common.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Cambodia ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2007 and endorsed the Action Plan of the Asian Development Bank / OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific in 2003. Cambodia is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption 

Om Yentieng President, Anti-Corruption Unit
No. 54, Preah Norodom Blvd, Sangkat Phsar Thmey 3,
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Telephone: +855-23-223-954
Email: info@acu.gov.kh

Transparency International Cambodia
#13 Street 554, Phnom Penh
Telephone: +855-23-214430
Email: info@ticambodia.org

Cameroon

9. Corruption

Corruption is punishable under sections 134 and 134 (a) of the Pena1 Code of Cameroon.   Despite these rules, corruption remains endemic in the country.  In 2019, Cameroon ranked 153 (of 180 countries) in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.  Arrests of high-ranking officials for corruption are widely viewed as political.

Anti-corruption laws are applicable to all citizens and institutions throughout the national territory. If Cameroon has laws or regulations to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement, Post is unaware of them.  U.S. firms indicate that corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, transfers, performance requirements, dispute settlement, regulatory system, customs, and taxation.

The National Anti-corruption Commission (CONAC) recently began encouraging private companies to establish internal codes of conduct and ethics committees to review practices.  Post is unaware of how many companies have instituted either program.  Bribery of government officials remains common.  While some companies use internal controls to detect and prevent such bribery, Post is unaware of how widespread these internal controls are.

Cameroon is signatory to the United Nations and the African Union anti-corruption initiatives, but the international initiatives have practical limited effects on the enforcement of laws in the country.  Post is unaware of any NGO’s involvement in investigating corruption.  The government prefers the state-controlled anti-corruption commission, CONAC, to investigate potential cases. U.S. firms indicate that corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, transfers, performance requirements, dispute settlement, regulatory system, customs, and taxation.

Resources to Report Corruption

NAME:  Rev. Dieudonné MASSI GAMS
TITLE:  Chairman
ORGANIZATION:  National Anti-Corruption Commission
ADDRESS:  B.P. 33200 Yaoundé Cameroon
TELEPHONE NUMBER:  (+237) 22 20 37 32
EMAIL ADDRESS: www.conac-cameroun.net
infos@conac-cameroun.net

NAME:  Barrister Charles NGUINI
TITLE:  Country Representative
ORGANIZATION:  Transparency International Cameroon
ADDRESS:  Nouvelle route Bastos, rue 1.839,  BP : 4562 Yaoundé
TELEPHONE NUMBER:  (+237) 33 15 63 78
EMAIL ADDRESS: transparency@ti-cameroon.org

Canada

9. Corruption

On an international scale, corruption in Canada is low and similar to that found in the United States. In general, the type of due diligence that would be required in the United States to avoid corrupt practices would be appropriate in Canada. Canada is a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption. Canada is a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, as well as the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Canada’s Criminal Code prohibits corruption, bribery, influence peddling, extortion, and abuse of office. The 1998 Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act prohibits individuals and businesses from bribing foreign government officials to obtain influence and prohibits destruction or falsification of books and records to conceal corrupt payments. The law has extended jurisdiction that permits Canadian courts to prosecute corruption committed by companies and individuals abroad. Canada’s anti-corruption legislation is vigorously enforced, and companies and officials guilty of violating Canadian law are being effectively investigated, prosecuted, and convicted of corruption-related crimes. In March 2014, Public Works and Government Services Canada (now Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC) revised its Integrity Framework for government procurement to ban companies or their foreign affiliates for 10 years from winning government contracts if they have been convicted of corruption. In August 2015, the Canadian government revised the framework to allow suppliers to apply to have their ineligibility reduced to five years where the causes of conduct are addressed and no longer penalizes a supplier for the actions of an affiliate in which it had no involvement. PSPC has a Code of Conduct for Procurement, which counters conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts. Canadian firms operating abroad must declare whether they or an affiliate are under charge or have been convicted under Canada’s anti-corruption laws during the past five years in order to receive help from the Trade Commissioner Service. U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI in Canada.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Mario Dion
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (for appointed and elected officials, House of Commons)
Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
Parliament of Canada
66 Slater Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario (Mailing address)

Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
Parliament of Canada
Centre Block, P.O. Box 16
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Pierre Legault
Office of the Senate Ethics Officer (for appointed Senators)
Thomas D’Arcy McGee Building
Parliament of Canada
90 Sparks St., Room 526
Ottawa, ON K1P 5B4

Chad

9. Corruption

Foreign investors should also be aware that corruption remains common in Chad. Corruption in Chad remains a significant deterrent to U.S. investment. Corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, dispute settlement, regulation enforcement, customs, and taxation.

Chad is not a signatory country of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Chad is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention”).

There is an independent Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes), equivalent to a supreme audit institution (SAI), to enhance independent oversight of government decisions, although its members are nominated by presidential decree. Concurrently, the GOC created a General Inspectorate for State Control within the Presidency to oversee government accountability. No reports have been published, however. In addition to these bodies, the National Assembly’s Finance Committee carries out verifications of the GOC’s annual financial statement. No audits have been made publicly available during the reporting period.

A February 2000 anti-corruption law stipulates penalties for corrupt practices. The law does not single out family members and political parties. As in other developing countries, low salaries for most civil servants, judicial employees and law enforcement officials, coupled with a weak state system and a culture of rent seeking, have contributed to corruption.

The Ministry of Finance and Budget set up a toll-free number (700) to fight corruption and embezzlement. According to the Minister of Finance and Budget, the toll-free number 700 allows each economic operator or any other individual to alert the Inspectorate General of Finance to denounce any unscrupulous agent who seeks to be corrupted in the context of the issue of administrative paper or the payment of a tax. There are no specific laws to counter conflict of interest. The GOC does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.

A prominent local NGO, the Center for Studies and Research on Governance, Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (CERGIED), formerly GRAMP-TC (Groupe Alternatif de Recherche et de Monitoring de Petrole – Tchad), tracks government expenditures of oil revenue. There are no indications that anti-corruption laws are enforced differently on foreign investors than on Chadian citizens. There is no specific protection for NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

Corruption is an obstacle to FDI. It is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, transfers, performance requirements, dispute settlement, regulatory system and customs or taxation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agency contact responsible for combating corruption:

Inspection Generale d’Etat
Ministry of Finance and Budget toll free number 700 (inside Chad)
Presidence de la Republique
Ndjamena, Chad
+235 22 51 51 39 / 22 51 44 37

Contact at watchdog organizations:

Gilbert Maoundonodji
Coordinator
CERGIED (formerly GRAMP –TC)
BP 4021, N’Djamena, Chad
+235 6058 2016 / 9317 7678
infos@cergied.org / secretariat@cergied.org / https://cergied.org/ 

Chile

9. Corruption

Chile applies, in a non-discriminatory manner, various laws to combat corruption of public officials, including the 2009 Transparency Law that mandated disclosure of public information related to all areas of government and created an autonomous Transparency Council in charge of overseeing its application. Subsequent amendments expanded the number of public trust positions required to release financial disclosure, mandated disclosure in greater detail, and allowed for stronger penalties for noncompliance.

In March 2020, the Piñera administration proposed new legislation aimed at combatting corruption, as well as economic and electoral crimes. The four new pieces of legislation, part of the Piñera administration’s “anti-abuse agenda” launched in December 2019 in response to societal demands to increase penalties for white-collar crimes, seeks to strengthen enforcement and increase penalties for collusion among firms; increase penalties for insider trading; provide protections for whistleblowers seeking to expose state corruption; and expand the statute of limitations for electoral crimes.

Anti-corruption laws, and in particular mandatory asset disclosure, do extend to family members of officials. Political parties are subject to laws that limit campaign financing and require transparency in party governance and contributions to parties and campaigns.

Regarding government procurement, the website of ChileCompra (central public procurement agency) allows users to anonymously report irregularities in procurement. There is a decree that defines sanctions for public officials who do not adequately justify direct contracts.

The Corporate Criminal Liability Law provides that corporate entities can have their compliance programs certified. Chile’s Securities and Insurance Superintendence (SVS) authorizes a group of local firms to review companies’ compliance programs and certify them as sufficient. Certifying firms are listed on the SVS website.

Private companies have increasingly incorporated internal control measures, as well as ethics committees as part of their corporate governance, and compliance management sections. Additionally, Chile Transparente (Chilean branch of Transparency International) developed a Corruption Prevention System to provide assistance to private firms to facilitate their compliance with the Corporate Criminal Liability Law.

Chile signed and ratified the Organization of American States (OAS) Convention against Corruption. The country also ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention on September 13, 2006. Chile is also an active member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and, as an OECD member, adopted the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

NGO’s that investigate corruption operate in a free and adequately protected manner.

U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI.

Resources to Report Corruption

Andrea Ruiz Rojas
Director General
Consejo para la Transparencia
Morande 360 piso 7
T: (+56)-(2)-2495-2000
rferrada@consejotransparencia.cl
contacto@consejotransparencia.cl

Alberto Precht
Executive Director
Chile Transparente (Chile branch of Transparency International)
Perez Valenzuela 1687, piso 1, Providencia, Santiago, Chile
T: (+56)-(2)-2236-4507
chiletransparente@chiletransparente.cl

Renata Avila
Executive Director
Ciudadania Inteligente
Holanda 895, Providencia, Santiago, Chile
T: (+56)-(2)-2419-2770

Daniel Garcia
Executive Director
Espacio Publico
Santa Lucía 188, piso 7, Santiago, Chile
T: (+56)-(9)-6258-3871
contacto@espaciopublico.cl

Observatorio Anticorrupción (Run by Espacio Publico and Ciudadania Inteligente) https://observatorioanticorrupcion.cl/

Jeannette von Wolfersdorff
Executive Director
Observatorio Fiscal (focused on public spending)
Don Carlos 2983, Oficina 3, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
T: (+56)-(2)-2457-2975
contacto@observatoriofiscal.cl

China

9. Corruption

Since Xi’s rise to power in 2012, China has undergone an intensive and large-scale anti-corruption campaign, with investigations reaching into all sectors of the government, military, and economy.  Xi labeled endemic corruption an “existential threat” to the very survival of the CCP.  Since then, each CCP annual plenum has touched on judicial, administrative, and CCP discipline reforms needed to root out corruption.  In 2018, the CCP amended the constitution to enable the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) to become a state organ, calling the new body the National Supervisory Commission-Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (NSC-CCDI). The NSC-CCDI wields the power to investigate any public official and those involved in corrupt officials’ dealings.  From 2012 to 2019, the NSC-CCDI claimed it investigated 2.78 million cases – more than the total of the preceding 10 years.  In 2019 alone, the NSC-CCDI investigated 619,000 cases and disciplined approximately 587,000 individuals, of whom 45 were officials at or above the provincial or ministerial level.  The PRC’s overseas fugitive-hunting campaign, called “Operation Skynet,” has led to the capture of more than 7,500 fugitives suspected of corruption who were living in other countries.  The PRC did not notify host countries of these operations.  In 2019 alone, NSC-CCDI reported apprehending 2,041 alleged fugitives suspected of official crimes, including 860 corrupt officials, as well as recovering about USD797.5 million in stolen money.

Anecdotal information suggests the PRC’s anti-corruption crackdown is inconsistently and discretionarily applied, raising concerns among foreign companies in China.  For example, to fight rampant commercial corruption in the medical/pharmaceutical sector, the PRC’s health authority issued “black lists” of firms and agents involved in commercial bribery, including several foreign companies.  Anecdotal information suggests many PRC officials responsible for approving foreign investment projects, as well as some routine business transactions, delayed approvals so as not to arouse corruption suspicions, making it increasingly difficult to conduct normal commercial activity.  While central government leadership has welcomed increased public participation in reporting suspected corruption at lower levels, direct criticism of central government leadership or policies remains off-limits and is seen as an existential threat to China’s political and social stability.

China ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2005 and participates in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and OECD anti-corruption initiatives.  China has not signed the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery, although Chinese officials have expressed interest in participating in the OECD Working Group on Bribery meetings as an observer.

Resources to Report Corruption

The following government organization receives public reports of corruption:  Anti-Corruption Reporting Center of the CCP Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision, Telephone Number:  +86 10 12388.

Colombia

9. Corruption

Corruption, and the perception of it, is a serious obstacle for companies operating or planning to invest in Colombia.  Analyses of the business environment, such as the WEF Global Competitiveness Index, consistently cite corruption as a problematic factor, along with high tax rates, inadequate infrastructure, and inefficient government bureaucracy.  Transparency International’s latest “Corruption Perceptions Index” ranked Colombia 96th out of 180 countries assessed, assigned it a score of 37/100, unchanged from four years earlier.  Among OECD member states, only Mexico ranked lower.  Customs, taxation, and public works contracts are commonly-cited areas where corruption exists.

Colombia has adopted the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and is a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Committee.  It also passed a domestic anti-bribery law in 2016.  It has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.  Additionally, it has adopted the OAS Convention against Corruption.  The CTPA protects the integrity of procurement practices and criminalizes both offering and soliciting bribes to/from public officials.  It requires both countries to make all laws, regulations, and procedures regarding any matter under the CTPA publicly available.  Both countries must also establish procedures for reviews and appeals by any entities affected by actions, rulings, measures, or procedures under the CTPA.

Resources to Report Corruption

Useful resources and contact information for those concerned about combating corruption in Colombia include the following:

  • The Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory is an interactive tool of the Colombian government aimed at promoting transparency and combating corruption available at http://www.anticorrupcion.gov.co/.
  • The National Civil Commission for Fighting Corruption, or Comisión Nacional Ciudadana para la Lucha Contra la Corrupción (CNCLCC), was established by Law 1474 of 2011 to give civil society a forum to discuss and propose policies and actions to fight corruption in the country. Transparencia por Colombia is the technical secretariat of the commission. http://ciudadanoscontralacorrupcion.org/es/inicio
  • The national chapter of Transparency International, Transparencia por Colombia: http://transparenciacolombia.org.co/
  • The Presidential Secretariat of Transparency advises and assists the president to formulate and design public policy about transparency and anti-corruption. This office also coordinates the implementation of anti-corruption policies. http://wsp.presidencia.gov.co/secretaria-transparencia/Paginas/default.aspx/.

Costa Rica

9. Corruption

Costa Rica has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption. Though the resources available to enforce those laws are limited, Costa Rica’s institutional framework is strong, such that those cases that are prosecuted are generally perceived as legitimate. Anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials, contemplate conflict-of-interest in both procurement and contract award, and penalizes bribery by local businessmen of both local and foreign government officials. Public officials convicted of receiving bribes are subject to prison sentences up to ten years, according to the Costa Rican Criminal Code (Articles 347-360). Entrepreneurs may not deduct the costs of bribes or any other criminal activity as business expenses. In recent years, Costa Rica saw several publicized cases of firms prosecuted under the terms of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Costa Rica ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in 1997. This initiative of the OECD and the Organization of American States (OAS) obligates subscribing nations to implement criminal sanctions for corruption and implies a series of follow up actions: http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/cri.htm . Costa Rica also ratified the UN Anti-Corruption Convention in March 2007, has been a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) since 2012, and as of July 2017 is a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.

The Costa Rican government has encouraged civil society interest in good governance, open government and fiscal transparency, with a number of NGO’s operating unimpeded in this space. While U.S. firms do not identify corruption as a major obstacle to doing business in Costa Rica, some have made allegations of corruption in the administration of public tenders and in approvals or timely processing of permits. Developers of tourism facilities periodically cite municipal-level corruption as a problem when attempting to gain a concession to build and operate in the restricted maritime zone.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact within government Anti-Corruption Agency:

Name: Armando López Baltodano
Title: Procurador Director de la Area de la Etica Publica, PGR
Organization: Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR)
Address: Avenida 2 y 6, Calle 13. San Jose, Costa Rica.
Telephone Number: 2243-8330, 2243-8321
Email Address: evelynhk@pgr.go.cr

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Evelyn Villarreal F.
Asociación Costa Rica Íntegra
Tel:. (506) 8355 3762
Email 1: evelyn.villarreal@cr.transparency.org
Email 2: crintegra.vice@gmail.com

Côte d’Ivoire

9. Corruption

Corruption is a concern for businesses.  In 2013, the Ivoirian government issued Executive Order number 2013-660 related to the prevention and the fight against corruption.  The High Authority for Good Governance covers corruption issues and requires that all public officials submit asset declarations at the beginning and end of their tenures in office.  The country’s financial intelligence office, CENTIF, has broad authority to investigate suspicious financial transactions, including those of government officials.  Despite the establishment of these bodies and credible allegations of widespread corruption, there have been few charges filed, and few prosecutions and judgments against prominent people for corruption.  The former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, now an opposition presidential candidate, was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 20 years in prison on April 28, 2020.  The domestic business community generally assesses that these watchdog agencies lack the power and/or will to actively combat corruption.

Anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties.

The country’s Code of Public Procurement No. 259 and the associated WAEMU directives cover conflicts-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

Under the Ivoirian Penal Code, a bribe by a local company to a foreign official is a criminal act.

Some private companies use compliance programs or measures to prevent bribery of government officials.  U.S. firms underscore to their Ivoirian counterparts that they are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Côte d’Ivoire ratified the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, but the country is not a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (which is open to non-OECD members).  In 2016, Côte d’Ivoire joined the Partnership on Illicit Finance, which obliges it to develop an action plan to combat corruption.

There are no special protections for NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

Corruption in many forms is deeply ingrained in public and private sector practices and remains a serious impediment to investment and economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire.  Many companies cite corruption as the most significant obstacle to investment in Côte d’Ivoire.  It has the greatest impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues.  Lack of transparency and failure to follow the government’s own tender procedures in the awarding of contracts lead businesses to conclude bribery was involved.  Businesses have reported encountering corruption at every level of the civil service, with some judges appearing to base their decisions on bribes.  Clearance of goods at the ports often requires substantial “commissions,” and the Embassy has heard anecdotal accounts of customs agents rescinding valuations that were declared by other customs colleagues in an effort to extract bribes from customers.  The demand for bribes can mean that containers stay at the Port of Abidjan for months, incurring substantial demurrage charges, despite having the paperwork in order.

No local industry or non-profit groups offer services for vetting potential local investment partners.

Resources to Report Corruption

These contacts at agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Inspector General of Finance
(Brigade de Lutte Contre la Corruption)
Lassina Sylla
Inspector General
TELEPHONE: +225 20212000/2252 9797
FAX: +225 20211082/2252 9798
HOTLINE: +225 8000 0380
http://www.igf.finances.gouv.ci/ 
info@igf.finances.gouv.ci

High Authority for Good Governance
(Haute Autorite pour la Bonne Gouvernance)
N’Golo Coulibaly
President
TELEPHONE: +225 22479 5000
FAX: +225 2247 8261

Police Anti-Racketeering Unit
(Unite de Lutte Contre le Racket –ULCR)
Alain Oura
Unit Commander
TELEPHONE: +225 2244 9256
info@ulcr.ci

Croatia

9. Corruption

Croatia has a suitable legal framework, including regulations and penalties, to combat corruption.  The Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Act define the tools available to the investigative authorities to fight corruption.  The criminal code also provides for asset seizure and forfeiture.  In terms of a corruption case, it is assumed that all of a defendant’s property was acquired through criminal offences unless the defendant can prove the legal origin of the assets in question.  Financial gain in such cases is also confiscated if it is in possession of a third party (e.g. spouse, relatives, or family members) and was not acquired in good faith.  Croatian laws and provisions regarding corruption apply equally to domestic and foreign investors, to public officials, their family members and political parties.  The Croatian Criminal Code covers such acts as trading in influence, abuse of official functions, bribery in the private sector, embezzlement of private property, money laundering, concealment and obstruction of justice.  The Act on the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized crime provides broad authority to prosecute tax fraud linked to organized crime and corruption cases.

The Law on Public Procurement is entirely harmonized with EU legislation and prescribes transparency and fairness for all public procurement activities.  Government officials use public speeches to encourage ethical business.  The Croatian Chamber of Economy created a Code of Business Ethics which it encourages all companies in Croatia to abide by, but it is not mandatory. The Code can be found at:  https://www.hgk.hr/documents/kodeksposlovneetikehrweb581354cae65c8.pdf .

Additional laws for the suppression of corruption include: the State Attorney’s Office Act; the Public Procurement Act; the Act on Procedure for Forfeiture of Assets Attained Through Criminal Acts and Misdemeanors; the Budget Act; the Conflict of Interest Prevention Act; the Corporate Criminal Liability Act; the Money Laundering Prevention Act; the Witness Protection Act; the Personal Data Protection Act; the Right to Access Information Act; the Act on Public Services; the Code of Conduct for Public Officials; and the Code of Conduct for Judges.  The Labor Act contains whistleblower protections, which as yet remain unproven.

Croatia has not signed but has requested to join the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, but it is a member and currently chairs the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), a peer monitoring organization that allows members to assess anticorruption efforts on a continuing basis.  Croatia has been a member of INTERPOL since 1992.  Croatia cooperates regionally through the Southeast European Co-operative Initiative (SECI), the Southeast Europe Police Chiefs Association (SEPCA), and the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI).  Croatia is a member of Eurojust, the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, and is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Croatian legislation provides protection for NGOs involved in investigating or drawing attention to corruption.  GONG, a non-partisan citizens’ organization founded in 1997, which also acts as a government watchdog, monitors election processes, educates citizens about their rights and duties, encourages communication between citizens and their elected representatives, promotes transparency within public services, manages public advocacy campaigns, and assists citizens in self-organizing initiatives.  The Partnership for Social Development is another nongovernmental organization active in Croatia dealing with the suppression of corruption.

Historically, the business community has identified corruption in healthcare, public procurement, and construction, and continues to raise it as an obstacle to FDI.  During the years ahead of EU accession, Croatia invested considerable efforts in establishing a wide-ranging legal and institutional anti-corruption framework.  The Strategy for Combatting Corruption from 2015-2020 is currently being implemented, and the Ministry of Justice published an action plan in April 2019 for 2019-2020 to complement it.  Croatian prosecutors have secured corruption convictions against a number of high-level former government officials, former ministers, other high-ranking officials, and senior managers from state-owned enterprises, although many such convictions have later been overturned.

Resources to Report Corruption

The State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) is tasked with directing police investigations and prosecuting cases.  USKOK is headquartered in Zagreb, with offices in Split, Rijeka and Osijek.  In addition, the National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime (PN-USKOK) conducts corruption-related investigations and is based in the same cities.  Specialized criminal judges are situated in the four largest county courts in Croatia, again in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, and Osijek, and are responsible for adjudicating corruption and organized crime cases.  The cases receive high priority in the justice system, but still encounter excessive delays.  The Ministry of Interior, the Office for Suppression of Money Laundering, the Tax Administration, and the Anti-Corruption Sector of the Ministry of Justice, all have a proactive role in combating and preventing corruption.  GONG is a civil society organization founded in 1997 to encourage citizens to actively participate in the political process.

Contact information below:

Office of the State Attorney of the Republic of Croatia
Gajeva 30, 10000 Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
+385 1 4591 855
tajnistvo.dorh@dorh.hr

Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime
Gajeva 30a, 10000 Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
+385 1 4591 874
tajnistvo@uskok.dorh.hr

GONG
Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica 15/IV, 10000 Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
+385 1 4825 444
gong@gong.hr

Cyprus

9. Corruption

REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS

Corruption continues to undermine growth and investment in the ROC, despite the existence of a strong-anti corruption framework.  Ninety-five percent of Cypriots think the problem of corruption is widespread in their country, compared to an average of 71 percent in the EU28, according to a Eurobarometer survey on corruption conducted by the European Commission in December 2019.  In the same survey, 60 percent of Cypriots said they were personally affected by corruption in their daily life, compared to an average of just 26 across the EU.  Perhaps even more alarmingly, a 69 percent majority of Cypriots said they thought the level corruption had increased in the past three years, against 42 percent in the EU, who thought the same for their countries.  Cypriots put political parties at the top of their list of groups they thought perpetrated corruption (at 63 percent), followed by the healthcare system (59 percent), the police/customs (53 percent), and officials awarding public tenders (52 percent).  The Eurobarometer survey for Cyprus can be accessed at:  https://ec.europa.eu/cyprus/news/20200610_3_en.  Corruption, both in the public and private sectors, constitutes a criminal offense.  Under the Constitution, the Auditor General controls all government disbursements and receipts and has the right to inspect all accounts on behalf of the Republic, and fear of the Auditor General’s scrutiny is widespread.  Government officials sometimes manage procurement efforts with greater concern for the Auditor General than for getting the best outcome for the taxpayer.  Private sector concerns focus on the inertia in the system, as reflected in the Auditor General’s annual reports, listing hundreds of alleged incidents of corruption and mismanagement in public administration that usually remain unpunished or unrectified.

Transparency International, the global anti-corruption watchdog, ranked Cyprus 41st out of 180 countries in its 2019 Corruption Perception Index.  For reference, please see: https://www.transparency.org/country/CYP.  Disagreements between the Berlin-based headquarters of Transparency International and its Cypriot division in 2017 led to the dis-accreditation of the latter in 2017 and the launch of a successor organization on the island called the Cyprus Integrity Forum (contact details follow).

GAN Integrity, a business anti-corruption portal with offices in the United States and Denmark, released a report on corruption in Cyprus April 2018 noting the following:  “Although Cyprus is generally free from corruption, high-profile corruption cases in recent years have highlighted the presence of corruption risks in the Cypriot banking sector, public procurement, and land administration sector.  Businesses may encounter demands for irregular payments, but the government has established a strong legal framework to combat corruption and generally implements it effectively.  Bribery, facilitation payments and giving or receiving gifts are criminal offenses under Cypriot law.  The government has a strong anti-corruption framework and has developed effective e-governance systems (the Point of Single Contact and the e-Government Gateway project) to assist businesses.”  The report can be accessed at:  https://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/cyprus/

Cyprus cooperates closely with EU and other international authorities to fight corruption and provide mutual assistance in criminal investigations.  Cyprus ratified the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.  Cyprus also uses the foreign Tribunal Evidence Law, Chapter 12, to execute requests from other countries for obtaining evidence in Cyprus in criminal matters.  Additionally, Cyprus is an active participant in the Council of Europe’s Multidisciplinary Group on Corruption.  Cyprus signed and ratified the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and has joined the Group of States against Corruption in the Council of Europe (GRECO).  GRECO’s most recent report on Cyprus is available at: https://www.coe.int/en/web/greco/evaluations/cyprus.

Cyprus is also a member of the UN Anticorruption Convention (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html) but it is not a member of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery (http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/countryreportsontheimplementationoftheoecdanti-briberyconvention.htm).

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Financial Crime Unit
Cyprus Police Headquarters
Athalassa
1478 Nicosia
Tel. +357-22-808080
E-mail: fcu@police.gov.cy
Website: www.police.gov.cy

Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS)
7 Pericleous Str.
2020 Strovolos
Tel. +357-22-446004
E-mail: mokas@mokas.law.gov.cy
Website: http://www.law.gov.cy/law/mokas/mokas.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument

Auditor General of the Republic
6 Deligiorgi Str.
1406 Nicosia
Tel. +357-22-401300
E-mail: omichaelides@audit.gov.cy
Website: www.audit.gov.cy

Anti-corruption NGO:

Cyprus Integrity Forum (CIF)
38 Grivas Dhigenis Avenue & 3 Deligiorgis Street
POBox 21455
1509 Nicosia
+357 22 025772
F. +357 22 025773
E-mail: info@cyprusintegrityforum.org
Website: http://cyprusintegrityforum.org/

AREA ADMINISTERED BY TURKISH CYPRIOTS

Corruption in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots continues to be a major problem, mainly in the public sector, allegedly involving politicians, political parties, and bureaucrats.

Given its small size and disputed status, international anti-corruption organizations do not evaluate conditions in the north.

According to a 2018 Corruptions Perception Report carried out by Turkish Cypriot researchers at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a non-profit foundation funded by the German Government, an overwhelming 89 percent of Turkish Cypriot business people believe that bribery and corruption is widespread in the area administrated by Turkish Cypriots. According to the report, northern Cyprus scored 37 on a scale from zero to 100, where zero signifies the worst levels of perceived corruption and 100 the most rule-abiding states, and marked northern Cyprus 93rd place according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index among 180 countries. Corruption, both in the public and private sectors, constitutes a criminal offense.  The “Audit Office” controls all disbursements and receipts and has the right to inspect all accounts.  In its annual report, this office identifies specific instances of mismanagement or deviation from proper procedures and anecdotal evidence suggests corruption and patronage continue to be a factor in the economy.  For more information, visit http://sayistay.gov.ct.tr.

Czech Republic

9. Corruption

Current law criminalizes both payment and receipt of bribes, regardless of the perpetrator’s nationality.  Prison sentences for bribery or abuse of power can be as high as 12 years for officials.  There have been several successful cases prosecuting corruption, though some experts have noted proceedings can be lengthy and subject to delays.  A 2016 police reform merged the special Organized Crime Police Unit (UOOZ) and the Unit for Combating Corruption and Serious Financial Criminality (UOKFK) into a new body called the National Center for Organized Crime (NCOZ).  NCOZ is now primarily responsible for investigating high-level corruption cases, however some experts have raised concerns about cumbersome procedural requirements.  Anti-corruption laws authorize seizures of proceeds or instruments of crime and apply equally to Czech and foreign investors.

Czech law obliges legislators, members of the cabinet, and other selected public officials to declare their assets annually.  Summarized declarations are available online and complete declarations are available upon request from the Ministry of Justice.  The Ministry of Justice can impose penalties of up to CZK50,000 (approximately USD2,000) for non-compliance.  The law also requires judges, prosecutors and directors of research institutions to disclose their assets, however their declarations are not publicly available for security reasons.

In addition to the financial disclosure law, Czech laws regulate political parties financing, public procurements, and the register of public contracts.  The law on the register of public contracts requires all national, regional, and local authorities as well as private companies to make publicly available all newly concluded contracts (including subsidies and repayable financial assistance) valued at CZK50,000 (USD2,400) or more within 30 days; noncompliance renders contracts null and void.  Additionally, as of November 2019, major state-owned companies are required to publish all contracts, except in limited circumstances.  The Registry of Contracts has a website in Czech only at:  https://smlouvy.gov.cz/ .

Public procurement law requires every contracting authority to post winning contracts on its website within 15 working days of signing.  Subject to limited exceptions, the law mandates more than one bidder for all public procurements and requires bidders to disclose their ownership structure prior to bidding.  The public procurement law also addresses conflict-of-interest issues related to government procurements, however the European Commission and the latest Council of Europe GRECO evaluation report have criticized the Czech conflict-of-interest legislation.  In a 2019 interim report, GRECO deemed Czech anti-corruption efforts as globally unsatisfactory, noting the government had only implemented one out of 14 recommendations.  In addition to conflict-of-interest concerns, the report underscored the Czech government must still regulate lobbying, transparency in the work of parliamentary committees and subcommittees, and selection and dismissal procedures for judicial officials.

New legislation went into effect in January 2020 prohibiting political candidates or close acquaintances from filling supervisory board positions in state-owned companies.  The law stipulates that candidates for these positions must be selected in a clear, transparent process that prioritizes technical expertise and is reviewed by an advisory committee.  Separately, the government recommends companies maintain internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.  Many companies have adopted such codes.

The government ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 2000 and the UN Convention against Corruption in 2014.  According to the 2017 OECD Phase 4 Evaluation Report, the Czech Republic should take steps to improve enforcement of its foreign bribery laws, enhance efforts to detect, investigate, and prosecute foreign bribes, increase protections for whistleblowers, and better implement the criminal liability of the legal entities law.

Several NGOs such as Frank Bold, Transparency International, and Anticorruption Endowment receive corruption reports online.  The reports most frequently involve minor offenses, such as attempts to bribe police officers or other public officials to receive benefits or avoid liability.  While there is not a specific law to protect NGOs involved in investigating corruption, NGO activities are protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom that protects civil society and free speech.  .

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Conflict of Interest and Anti-Corruption Department
Anti-Corruption Unit
Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic
Vyšehradská 16
12800 Prague 2
www.justice.cz
+420 221 997 595
korupce@msp.justice.cz

Contact at “watchdog” organizations:

David Ondracka
Director
Transparency International Czech Republic
Sokolovska 260/143
+420-224 240 895-7
ondracka@transparency.cz
www.transparency.cz

Frank Bold
Udolni 33, Brno
tel: +420 545 231 975
info@frankbold.org
www.frankbold.org

Anticorruption Endowment
Nadacni Fond Proti Korupci
Revoluční 8, building A, 5th floor, 110 00 Praha 1
+420 226 209 047
info@nfpk.cz
www.nfpk.cz

Democratic Republic of the Congo

9. Corruption

The Tshisekedi government has used public prosecutions of high-level officials and the creation of an anti-corruption unit to improve the DRC’s reputation on corruption.  DRC’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index score—161 out of 180—underlines the endemic and deep roots of corruption in the country.  The DRC constitution includes laws intended to fight corruption and bribery by all citizens, including public officials.  Anti-corruption laws extend to family members and political parties.  Private companies have applied their own controls to limit corruption, and have in the past been more effective at controlling it.

In March 2020, President Tshisekedi created the National Agency to Fight Corruption.  In June 2020, the National Assembly began discussing the law on the creation, organization, and  function of the Agency.  The National Assembly forwarded the proposal to the Political, Administrative, and Judiciary Commission for analysis prior to a vote.  Currently corruption investigations are ongoing for three Managing Directors of SOEs.  In June, the court convicted Tshisekedi’s former Chief of Staff of embezzlement and public corruption, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The DRC is a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention, but not to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.  The DRC ratified a protocol agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Fighting Corruption.  NGOs such as the group “The Congo is Not for Sale,” have an important role in revealing corrupt practices, and the law protects NGOs in a whistleblower role.

U.S. firms see corruption as one of the main hurdles to investment in the DRC, particularly in the awarding of concessions, government procurement, and taxation treatment.

The Agency in charge of fighting corruption in the DRC is:

Agence de Prévention et de Lutte contre la Corruption (APLC)
Ghislain Kikangala, Coordinator
Tel: +243 893 302 819

Denmark

9. Corruption

Denmark is perceived as the least corrupt country in the world according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, which has local representation in Denmark. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for combating corruption, which is covered under the Danish Penal Code. Penalties for violations range from fines to imprisonment of up to four years for a private individual’s involvement and up to six years for a public employee’s involvement. Since 1998, Danish businesses cannot claim a tax deduction for the cost of bribes paid to officials abroad.

Denmark is a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery, the UN Anticorruption Convention, and a participating member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery. In the Working Group’s 2015 Phase 3 follow-up report on Denmark, the Working Group concluded “that Denmark has partially implemented most of its Phase 3 recommendations. However, concerns remain over Denmark’s enforcement of the foreign bribery offence.”

Resources to Report Corruption

Resources to which corruption may be reported:

The Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime,
Kampmannsgade 1
1604 København V.
Phone: +45 72 68 90 00
Fax: +45 45 15 01 19
Email: saoek@ankl.dk

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s development assistance agency DANIDA to report any knowledge of corruption within DANIDA projects or among staff or DANIDA partners.

http://um.dk/en/danida-en/about-danida/Danida-transparency/anti-corruption/report-corruption/ 

“Watchdog” organization:

Transparency International Danmark
c/o CBS
Dalgas Have 15, 2. sal, lokale 2c008
2000 Frederiksberg

The Secretariat is manned by Julian Bøje Ekberg and Rosa Bisgaard who can be reached at sekretariatet@transparency.dk

Contact at Embassy Copenhagen responsible for combating corruption:

Aaron Daviet
Political Officer
U.S. Department of State
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
+45 3341 7100
CopenhagenICS@state.gov

Djibouti

9. Corruption

Djibouti has several laws to combat corruption by public officials. These laws were either passed by the government or contained in the Penal Code. However, there have been no records of cases to combat corruption by public officials. Corruption laws are extended to all family members of officials and across political parties, but they have not been applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Djibouti does not have laws or regulations to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

Djibouti is a party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. There are two government entities responsible for investigating corruption and enforcing the regulations. The State General Inspection (SGI) is tasked with ensuring human and material resources in the public sector are properly utilized. The Court of Auditors is mandated to verify and audit all public establishments for transparency and accountability, and to implement necessary legal sanctions. Both institutions are mandated to produce annual corruption reports. Despite the legal mandates, both institutions lack the authority to push for meaningful reform. The newly-created National Commission for Anti-Corruption is also mandated to enforce the laws on combatting corruption and provide safe haven for whistleblowers. This Commission launched a program in March 2018 to urge high-ranking government officials to publicly declare all of their assets. However, its effectiveness has not been proven so far. The contracting code and other laws passed by Djibouti contain provisions to counter conflict-of-interest contracts or government procurement.

According to a law passed in 2013, the government requires private and public companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prevent and prohibit bribery of public officials. However, these codes have not been implemented. Likewise, the government requirement that private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance to detect and prevent bribery of government officials is not enforced. Djibouti is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Djibouti is a signatory country of the UN Convention against Corruption.

U.S. firms have not specifically noted corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment in Djibouti, but there were allegations of foreign companies having to meet requirements such as renting houses of high dignitaries or hiring certain employees as a condition of receiving government procurement contracts. In addition, one company reported harassment of employees by local competitors. Prosecution and punishment for corruption is rare.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption is listed below:

Fatouma Mahamoud Abdillahi
President
Commission Nationale Independante pour la Prevention et de Lutte Contre la Corruption
Plateau du Serpent+253 21 35 16 03
anticorruption@intnet.dj

No “watchdog” organization is present in Djibouti.

Dominica

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implements these laws effectively. According to civil society sources and members of the political opposition, officials sometimes engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Civil society groups staged a protest alleging the government had misappropriated $370 million (1 billion Eastern Caribbean dollars) in revenues from the CBI program. A 2019 al-Jazeera video documented allegations of government officials selling diplomatic passports. The government denied both allegations. Dominica acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2010. The country is party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

The Integrity in Public Office Act, 2003 and the Integrity in Public Office (Amendment) Act 2015 require government officials to account annually for their income, assets, and gifts. All offenses under the act, including the late filing of declarations, are criminalized. The Integrity Commission was established and functions under this Act. The Integrity Commission’s mandate and decisions can be found at http://www.integritycommission.gov.dm . Generally, the Integrity Commission reports on late submissions and on inappropriately completed forms, but does not share financial disclosures of officials with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Additionally, the Integrity Commission has not updated documents on its website since 2015.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for prosecuting corruption offenses, but it lacks adequate personnel and resources to handle complicated money laundering and public corruption cases.

Resources to Report Corruption

Dermot Southwell
Chairman, Integrity Commission
Cross Street, Roseau, Dominica
Tel: 1-767-266-3436
Email: integritycommission@dominica.gov.dm

Dominican Republic

9. Corruption

The Dominican Republic has a legal framework that includes laws and regulations to combat corruption, and which provide criminal penalties for corruption by officials.  However, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.  Enforcement of existing laws is often ineffective.  Individuals and NGOs noted the greatest hindrance to effective investigations was a lack of political will to prosecute individuals accused of corruption, particularly well-connected individuals or high-level politicians.  Government corruption remained a serious problem and a public grievance.

The Dominican Republic’s rank on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index fell from 129 in 2018 to 137 in 2019 (out of 180 countries assessed).  The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Competitiveness report ranked the Dominican Republic as 110 of 141 countries for incidence of corruption.

In September 2019, the Dominican Supreme Court began a trial against six of the 14 defendants indicted in 2017 for alleged links to $92 million in bribes paid by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to obtain public works contracts.  A 2016 plea agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Odebrecht implicated high-level public officials in the Dominican Republic; the six current defendants include a senator, a lower house representative, a former senator, and a former minister of public works.  Civil society welcomed the trial as a step forward in the fight against corruption, but activists highlighted what they perceived as a lack of political will to investigate thoroughly the case, which involved the country’s political and economic elites.

U.S. companies identified corruption as a barrier to FDI and some firms reported being solicited by public officials for bribes.  It appears most pervasive in public procurement and the awarding of tenders or concessions, but complaints from U.S. investors indicate corruption occurs at all phases of investment.  At least one firm said it intended to back out of a competition for a public concession as a result of a solicitation from government officials.  U.S. companies also frequently cite the government’s slow response to the Odebrecht scandal as contributing to a culture of perceived impunity for high-level government officials, which fuels widespread acceptance and tolerance of corruption at all levels.  U.S. businesses operating in the Dominican Republic often need to take extensive measures to ensure compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Civil society is engaged in anti-corruption campaigns.  Several non-governmental organizations are particularly active in transparency and anti-corruption, notably the Foundation for Institutionalization and Justice (FINJUS), Citizen Participation (Participacion Ciudadana), and the Dominican Alliance Against Corruption (ADOCCO).

The Dominican Republic signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.  The Dominican Republic is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Procuraduría Especializada contra la Corrupción Administrativa (PEPCA)
Calle Hipólito Herrera Billini esq. Calle Juan B. Pérez,
Centro de los Heroes, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Telephone: (809) 533-3522
Fax: (809) 533-4098
Email: info@pepca.pgr.gob.do

Linea 311 (government service for filing complaints and denunciations)
Phone: 311 (from inside the country)
Website: http://www.311.gob.do/ 
Participación Ciudadana
Phone: 809 685 6200
Fax: 809 685 6631
Email: info@pciudadana.org

Ecuador

9. Corruption

Corruption is a serious problem in Ecuador, and one that the government is confronting. Numerous cases of corruption have recently been tried, resulting in convictions of high-level officials, including former Vice President Jorge Glas. U.S. companies have cited corruption as an obstacle to investment, with concerns related specifically to non-transparent public tenders, dispute resolution and payment of arbitration awards.

Ecuadorian law provides criminal penalties for corruption by public officials, but the government has not implemented the law effectively, and officials have engaged in corrupt practices. Ecuador ranked 93 out of 198 countries surveyed for Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index and received a score of 38 out of 100. High-profile cases of alleged official corruption involving state-owned petroleum company PetroEcuador and Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht illustrate the significant challenges that confront Ecuador with regards to corruption.

Illicit payments for official favors and theft of public funds reportedly take place frequently. Dispute settlement procedures are complicated by the lack of transparency and inefficiency in the judicial system. Offering or accepting a bribe is illegal and punishable by imprisonment for up to five years. The Controller General is responsible for the oversight of public funds and there are frequent investigations and occasional prosecutions for irregularities.

Ecuador ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in September 2005. Ecuador is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. The 2008 Constitution created the Transparency and Social Control (CPCCS) branch of government, tasked with preventing and combating corruption, among other things. The 2018 national referendum converted the CPCCS from an appointed to a popularly elected body. In December 2008, President Correa issued a decree that created the National Secretariat for Transparency (SNTG) to investigate and denounce acts of corruption in the public sector. The SNTG became an undersecretariat and was merged with the National Secretariat of Public Administration June 2013. President Moreno established the Anticorruption Secretariat within the Presidency in February 2019 but disbanded it in May 2020 for allegedly intervening in corruption investigations conducted by the Office of the Prosecutor General. The CPCCS can receive complaints and conduct investigations into alleged acts of corruption. Responsibility for prosecution remains with the Office of the Prosecutor General.

Resources to Report Corruption

Through the Function of Transparency and Social Control, alleged acts of corruption can be reported by dialing 159 within Ecuador. The Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control also maintains a web portal for reporting alleged acts of corruption: http://www.cpccs.gob.ec . The Attorney General’s Office actively pursues corruption cases and receives reports of corruption as well.

Egypt

9. Corruption

Egypt has a set of laws to combat corruption by public officials, including an Anti-Bribery Law (which is contained within the Penal Code), an Illicit Gains Law, and a Governmental Accounting Law, among others. Countering corruption remains a long-term focus.  There have been cases involving public figures and entities, including the arrests of Alexandria’s deputy governor and the secretary general of Suez on several corruption charges and the investigation into five members of parliament alleged to have sold Hajj visas.  However, corruption laws have not been consistently enforced.  Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Egypt 117 out of 180 in its 2017 survey, a drop of 9 places from its rank of 108 in 2016.  Transparency International also found that approximately 50 percent of Egyptians reported paying a bribe in order to obtain a public service.

Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.  There is no government requirement for private companies to establish internal codes of conduct to prohibit bribery.

Egypt ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in February 2005.  It has not acceded to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery or any other regional anti-corruption conventions.

While NGOs are active in encouraging anti-corruption activities, dialogue between the government and civil society on this issue is almost non-existent, the OECD found in 2009 and a trend that continues today.  While government officials publicly asserted they shared civil society organizations’ goals, they rarely cooperated with NGOs, and applied relevant laws in a highly restrictive manner against NGOs critical of government practices.  Media was also limited in its ability to report on corruption, with Article 188 of the Penal Code mandating heavy fines and penalties for unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI in Egypt.  Companies might encounter corruption in the public sector in the form of requests for bribes, using bribes to facilitate required government approvals or licenses, embezzlement, and tampering with official documents.  Corruption and bribery are reported in dealing with public services, customs (import license and import duties), public utilities (water and electrical connection), construction permits, and procurement, as well as in the private sector.  Businesses have described a dual system of payment for services, with one formal payment and a secondary, unofficial payment required for services to be rendered.

Resources to Report Corruption

Several agencies within the Egyptian government share responsibility for addressing corruption.   Egypt’s primary anticorruption body is the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), which has jurisdiction over state administrative bodies, state-owned enterprises, public associations and institutions, private companies undertaking public work, and organizations to which the state contributes in any form.  In October 2017, Parliament approved and passed amendments to the ACA law, which grants the organization full technical, financial, and administrative authority to investigate corruption within the public sector (with the exception of military personnel/entities).  The law is viewed as strengthening an institution which was established in 1964.  The ACA appears well funded and well trained when compared with other Egyptian law enforcement organizations.  Strong funding and the current ACA leadership’s close relationship with President Sisi reflect the importance of this organization and its mission.  It is too small for its mission (roughly 300 agents) and is routinely over-tasked with work that would not normally be conducted by a law enforcement agency.

The ACA periodically engages with civil society.  For example, it has met with the American Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to encourage them to seek it out when corruption issues arise.

In addition to the ACA, the Central Auditing Authority (CAA) acts as an anti-corruption body, stationing monitors at state-owned companies to report corrupt practices.  The Ministry of Justice’s Illicit Gains Authority is charged with referring cases in which public officials have used their office for private gain.  The Public Prosecution Office’s Public Funds Prosecution Department and the Ministry of Interior’s Public Funds Investigations Office likewise share responsibility for addressing corruption in public expenditures.

Resources to Report Corruption

Minister of Interior
General Directorate of Investigation of Public Funds
Telephone: 02-2792-1395 / 02-2792 1396
Fax: 02-2792-2389

El Salvador

9. Corruption

U.S. companies operating in El Salvador are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Corruption can be a challenge to investment in El Salvador. El Salvador ranks 113 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. While El Salvador has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption, their effectiveness is at times questionable. Soliciting, offering, or accepting a bribe is a criminal act in El Salvador. The Attorney General’s Anticorruption and Anti-Impunity Unit handles allegations of corruption against public officials. The Constitution establishes a Court of Accounts that is charged with investigating public officials and entities and, when necessary, passing such cases to the Attorney General for prosecution. Executive-branch employees are subject to a code of ethics, including administrative enforcement mechanisms, and the government established an Ethics Tribunal in 2006.

In September 2019, El Salvador signed an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) for the establishment of the International Commission Against Impunity and Corruption (CICIES), which was followed by a November agreement to determine CICIES objectives and competences. The CICIES will run for four years as an independent entity outside the GOES and underneath the OAS. OAS has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Attorney General’s Office, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security codifying the role of the CICIES with each entity. CICIES will assist in instituting policies to combat corruption and impunity, support investigations conducted by the Attorney General‘s Office and the National Civil Police, and capacity building to strengthen institutions actively involved in the fight against corruption.

Corruption scandals at the federal, legislative, and municipal levels are commonplace and there have been credible allegations of judicial corruption. Three of the past four presidents have been indicted for corruption, a former Attorney General is in prison on corruption-related charges, and a former president of the Legislative Assembly, who also served as president of PROESA, the investment promotion agency during the prior administration, is being prosecuted for embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering. The law provides criminal penalties for corruption, but implementation is generally perceived as ineffective. In 2017, a civil court found former president Mauricio Funes guilty of illicit enrichment and ordered him to repay over $200,000. In 2018, the Attorney General brought additional embezzlement and money laundering charges against Funes, who fled to Nicaragua in 2017. In March 2019, the Supreme Court unanimously approved the Attorney General’s 2018 petition to request Funes’ extradition. In June 2019, Nicaragua granted Funes citizenship, and he cannot be extradited because the Nicaraguan Constitution prohibits the extradition of nationals. In 2018, former president Elias Antonio (Tony) Saca pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $300 million in public funds. The court sentenced him to 10 years in prison and ordered him to repay $260 million.

The NGO Social Initiative for Democracy stated that officials, particularly in the judicial system, often engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Long-standing government practices in El Salvador, including cash payments to officials, shielded budgetary accounts, and diversion of government funds, facilitate corruption and impede accountability.  For example, the accepted practice of ensuring party loyalty through off-the-books cash payments to public officials (i.e., sobresueldos) persisted across five presidential administrations. However, President Bukele eliminated these cash payments to public officials and the “reserved spending account,” nominally for state intelligence funding. At his direction, in July 2019, the Court of Accounts began auditing reserve spending of the Sanchez Ceren administration

El Salvador has an active, free press that reports on corruption. In 2015, the Probity Section of the Supreme Court began investigating allegations of illicit enrichment of public officials. In 2017, Supreme Court Justices ordered its Probity Section to audit legislators and their alternates. In January 2019, in observance of the Constitution, the Supreme Court instructed the Probity Section to focus its investigations only on public officials who left office within ten years. The illicit enrichment law requires appointed and elected officials to declare their assets to the Probity Section. The declarations are not available to the public, and the law only sanctions noncompliance with fines of up to $500.

The law provides for the right of access to government information, but authorities have not always effectively implemented the law. The law gives a narrow list of exceptions that outline the grounds for nondisclosure and provide for a reasonably short timeline for the relevant authority to respond, no processing fees, and administrative sanctions for non-compliance.

In 2011, El Salvador approved the Law on Access to Public Information and joined the Open Government Partnership. The Open Government Partnership promotes government commitments made jointly with civil society on transparency, accountability, citizen participation and use of new technologies (http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/el-salvador ).

El Salvador is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. El Salvador is a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Doctor Jose Nestor Castaneda Soto, President of the Court of Government Ethics
Court of Government Ethics (Tribunal de Etica Gubernamental)
87 Avenida Sur, No.7, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador
(503) 2565-9403
Email: n.castaneda@teg.gob.sv
http://www.teg.gob.sv/ 

Licenciado Raúl Ernesto Melara Morán
Fiscalia General de La Republica (Attorney General’s Office)
Edificio Farmavida, Calle Cortéz Blanco
Boulevard y Colonia Santa Elena
(503) 2593-7400
(503) 2593-7172
Email: xvpocasangre@fgr.gob.sv
http://www.fiscalia.gob.sv/ 

Chief Justice
Oscar Armando Pineda Navas
Avenida Juan Pablo II y 17 Avenida Norte
Centro de Gobierno
(503) 2271-8743
Email: conchita.presidenciacsj@gmail.com
http://www.csj.gob.sv 

Contact at “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption, such as Transparency International):

Roberto Rubio-Fabián
Executive Director
National Development Foundation (Fundación Nacional para el Desarrollo – FUNDE)
Calle Arturo Ambrogi #411, entre 103 y 105 Avenida Norte, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador
(503) 2209-5300
Email: direccion@funde.org

Resources to request government information

Access to Public Information Institute (IAIP for its initials in Spanish)
Silvia Cristina Pérez
Acting Commissioner President of the IAIP
Prolongación Ave. Alberto Masferrer y
Calle al Volcán, Edif. Oca Chang # 88
(503) 2205-3801
Email: sperez@iaip.gob.sv
https://www.iaip.gob.sv/ 

Equatorial Guinea

9. Corruption

There is no publicly designated contact at a government agency responsible for combating corruption. Various ministries, including the office of the Prime Minister, nominally have responsibility for combatting corruption either within their own ministry or in the government at large. A commission to combat corruption was formed in 2019 but there has not been a public announcement of its results or projects. There are no “watchdog” organizations operating in country.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has laws and regulations against corruption, but many businesses have complained that they are not often enforced, and as a result, corruption is very common. There are no specific laws about conflict of interest or nepotism. Numerous foreign investigations continued into high-level official corruption. For example, on September 14, 2018, Brazilian authorities seized two suitcases with USD 1.4 million in cash and another suitcase containing approximately 20 watches valued at USD 15 million from Vice President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo upon landing in Sao Paulo on an unofficial visit. The press reported on October 10, 2018, that Brazilian officials launched an investigation because they believed the undeclared cash and luxury watches, along with apartments and cars owned by the vice president in Brazil, might have been part of an effort to launder money embezzled from Equatorial Guinea’s government. Separately, one government official within the Ministry of Transport, Telecommunications, and Mail was fired and reportedly arrested in April 2019, and was expected to be charged with corruption. A military court sentenced a former Army Chief of Staff to 18 years in prison in October 2019 for embezzlement of public funds. He was also ordered to reimburse the 38 million CFA francs (USD 65,000).

U.S. companies operating in Equatorial Guinea are required to adhere to the rules of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Some U.S. firms report that they are concerned about corruption related to government procurement, award of licenses and concessions, customs, and dispute settlement. Major U.S. firms have internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. It is unclear what controls exist at smaller companies and other foreign and domestic firms.

The country’s greatest concerns in terms of money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border currency transactions and the illegal international transfer of money by companies or corrupt individuals. Some report that widespread corruption, at times involving members of the government, is a primary catalyst for money laundering and other financial crimes. Certain businesses have noted that diversion of public funds and corruption are widespread in both commerce and government, particularly as regards the use of proceeds from the extractive industries, including oil, gas, and timber, and infrastructure projects.

Equatorial Guinea became a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption on May 30, 2018. Equatorial Guinea is a member of the Task Force against Money Laundering in Central Africa, an entity in the process of becoming a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The country is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

N/A

Estonia

9. Corruption

Estonia has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption, and while corruption is not unknown, it has generally not been reported to pose a major problem for foreign investors. Both offering and taking bribes are criminal offenses which can bring imprisonment of up to five years. While “payments” that exceed the services rendered are not unknown, and “conflict of interest” is not a well-understood issue, surveys of American and other non-Estonian businesses have shown the issue of corruption is not a serious concern.

In 2019, Transparency International (TI) ranked Estonia 18th out of 180 countries on its Corruption Perceptions Index.

Anti-corruption policy and implementation are coordinated by the Ministry of Justice and the strategy is implemented by all ministries and local governments.  The Internal Security Service is effective in investigating corruption offences and criminal misconduct, leading to the conviction of several high-ranking state officials. Until recently corruption was most commonly associated with public sector activities. Recently the government initiated efforts to educate private sector businesses about the risks of business-to-business corruption, for example within procurement activities.

Estonia cooperates in fighting corruption at the international level and is a member of GRECO (Group of States Against Corruption). Estonia is a party to both the Council of Europe (CoE) Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and the Civil Law Convention. The Criminal Law Convention requires criminalization of a wide range of national and transnational conduct, including bribery, money-laundering, and accounting offenses. It also incorporates provisions on liability of legal persons and witness protection. The Civil Law Convention includes provisions on compensation for damage relating to corrupt acts, whistleblower protection, and validity of contracts, inter alia.

More info on the corruption level in different sectors in Estonia can be found at: https://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/estonia/

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

The UN Anticorruption Convention entered into force in Estonia in 2010. Estonia has been a full participant in the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business since 2004; the underlying Convention entered into force in Estonia in 2005. The Convention obligates Parties to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in the conduct of international business.

The United States meets its international obligations under the OECD Anti-bribery Convention through the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agency contacts responsible for combating corruption:

+372 6123657 Central Criminal Police corruption hotline

Or e-mail: korruptsioonivihje@politsei.ee

Transparency International in Estonia: http://www.transparency.org/whoweare/contact/org/nc_estonia 

Eswatini

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the government does not implement the law effectively. Officials sometimes engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Corruption continues to be a problem, most often involving personal relationships and bribes being used to secure government contracts on large capital projects.

The Prevention of Corruption Act and the Swaziland Public Procurement Act are the two laws that combat corruption by all persons, including public officials. The Public Procurement Act prohibits public sector workers and politicians from supplying the government with goods or services; however, this prohibition does not extend to family members of officials. The Eswatini Public Procurement Agency (ESPPRA) conducted capacity building exercises nationwide with both public and private companies to increase knowledge and encourage adoption of universally practiced purchasing systems. According to Section 27 of the Public Procurement Regulations, suppliers are prohibited from offering gifts or hospitality, directly or indirectly, to staff of a procuring entity, members of the tender board, and members of the ESPPRA. While avoiding conflict of interest and establishing codes of conduct are policies that are encouraged, they are not effectively enforced. Some companies use internal controls and audit compliance programs to try to track and prevent bribery.

Eswatini is a signatory to the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Related Offenses and the SADC Protocol against Corruption. Eswatini has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention, but it is not party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is legally allowed to investigate corruption, and does so. The ACC does not provide protection to NGOs involved in investigating corruption. Given the Commission’s current capacity, “government procurement” is the most likely area to find corruption in Eswatini. The global competitiveness report ranks Swaziland 79 of 140 countries on incidence of corruption. Transparency International reports Eswatini as the 14th least corrupt country in Africa

Though no US firms have cited corruption, the 2015 Africa Competitiveness report found that 12.8% of business owners saw corruption as a hurdle to doing business in Eswatini, impacting profits, contracts, and investment decisions for their companies. There is a public perception of corruption in the executive and legislative branches of government and a consensus that the government does little to combat it. There have been credible reports that a person’s relationship with government officials influenced the awarding of government contracts; the appointment, employment, and promotion of officials; recruitment into the security services; and school admissions. Authorities rarely took action on reported incidents of nepotism.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Dan Dlamini
Commissioner
Eswatini Anti-Corruption Commission
3rd Floor, Mbandzeni House, Mbabane +268-2404-3179/0761
+268-2404-3179/0761
anticorruption@realnet.co.sz

Ethiopia

9. Corruption

The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) is charged with preventing corruption and is accountable to the Office of the Prime Minister. The Commission provides ethics training and education to prevent corruption. The Federal Police Commission is responsible for investigating corruption crimes and the Federal Attorney General handles corruption prosecutions.

The Attorney General’s Office opened in February a new and consolidated Anti-Corruption Directorate to recover stolen assets and fight corruption. The Directorate is empowered to enter into mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT’s) and otherwise coordinate with foreign nations to fight corruption.

The Federal Police is mandated with investigating corruption crimes committed by public officials as well as “Public Organizations.” The latter are defined as any organ in the private sector that administers money, property, or any other resources for public purposes. Examples of such organizations include share companies, real estate agencies, banks, insurance companies, cooperatives, labor unions, professional associations, and others.

Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public sector corruption, rated Ethiopia’s corruption at 37 (the score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of zero to 100, with the former indicating highly corrupt and the latter indicating very clean). Its comparative rank in 2019 was 96 out of 180 countries, an improvement from its rank of 114 out of 180 countries in 2018. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ethiopia recently polled its members and asked what the leading business climate challenges were; transparency and governance ranked as the 4th leading business climate challenge, ahead of licensing and registration and public procurement.

Ethiopian and foreign businesses routinely encounter corruption in tax collection, customs clearance, and land administration. Many past procurement deals for major government contracts, especially in the power generation, telecommunications, and construction sectors were widely viewed as corrupt.

PM Abiy Ahmed has launched a corruption clean-up that has resulted in several hundred arrests. In connection with the embezzlement schemes involving hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars, particularly with government procurement irregularities, the government arrested and charged in September 2018 over 40 mid- and senior-level Metal Engineering Technology Corporation (METEC) officials. In addition, the PM transferred the management of large government projects from METEC (which is widely viewed by the public as corrupt) to other government organizations. Similarly, the government arrested 59 officials and business people suspected of corruption in April of 2019. The officials are primarily from the following government institutions: Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service, Food & Drug Administration Agency, Pharmaceuticals Fund & Supply Agency, and the Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise. A former Communications Minister was charged with corruption and mismanagement of public companies in May; he was sentenced to six years in jail.

Ethiopia is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Ethiopia is a signatory to the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Ethiopia is also member of the East African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities. Ethiopia signed the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2003, which was eventually ratified in November 2007. It is a criminal offense to give or receive bribes, and bribes are not tax deductible.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Federal Police Commission
Addis Ababa +251 11 861-9595
+251 11 861-9595

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Transparency Ethiopia
Addis Ababa +251 11 827-9746
+251 11 827-9746
Email: TiratEthiopia@gmail.com

Fiji

9. Corruption

The legal code provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the government does not implement the law effectively. The government established the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), which has broad powers of investigation. FICAC’s public service announcements encouraging citizens to report corrupt government activities have had some effect on systemic corruption. The media publishes articles on FICAC investigations into abuse of office, and anonymous blogs report on government corruption. However, Fiji’s relatively small population and limited circles of power often lead to personal relationships playing a major role in business and government decisions.

Resources to Report Corruption

NAME: Mr. Rashmi Aslam
TITLE: Acting Deputy Commissioner
ORGANISATION: Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2335, Government Buildings, Suva, FIJI
TELEPHONE NUMBER: (679) 3310290
EMAIL ADDRESS: info@ficac.org.fj

Finland

9. Corruption

The National Risk Assessment of 2018 does not list corruption as a risk in Finland, nor does the 2017 Security Strategy for Society and there is no dedicated national anti-corruption strategy. In April 2020, the Ministry of Justice appointed an anti-corruption working group to draft Finland’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2020-2023. The term of the working group ends in March 2023.

Over the past decade, Finland has ranked in the top three on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). In 2019, Finland was ranked third on the CPI.

Corruption in Finland is covered by the Criminal Code and penalties range from fines to imprisonment of up to four years. Both giving and accepting a bribe is considered criminal and Finland has statutory tax rules concerning non-deductibility of bribes. Finland does not have an authority specifically charged to prevent corruption. The Ministry of Justice coordinates anti-corruption matters, but Finland’s EU anti-corruption contact is the Ministry of the Interior. The National Bureau of Investigation also monitors corruption, while the tax administration has guidelines obliging tax officials to report suspected offences, including foreign bribery, and the Ministry of Finance has guidelines on hospitality, benefits, and gifts. The Ministry of Justice describes its anti-corruption efforts at https://oikeusministerio.fi/en/anti-corruption-activities .

The Ministry of Justice is maintaining an Anti-Corruption.fi website, https://korruptiontorjunta.fi/en/home , providing both ordinary citizens and professional operators with impartial and fact-based information on corruption and its prevention in Finland. The goal is a transparent, impartial and corruption-free culture and society.

The Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding (273/2009) delineates election funding and disclosure rules. The Act requires presidential candidates, Members of Parliament, and Deputy Members to declare total campaign financing, the financial value of each contribution, and donor names for donations exceeding EUR 1,500: https://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/2009/en20090273.pdf . The Act on Political Parties (10/1969) concerning the funding of political parties is at: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1969/en19690010.pdf . The National Audit Office of Finland keeps a register containing election-funding disclosures at: http://www.vaalirahoitusvalvonta.fi  (available in Finnish and Swedish). Election funding disclosures must be filed with the National Audit Office of Finland within two months of election results being confirmed.

Finland does not regulate lobbying; there is no requirement for lobbyists to register or report contact with public officials. However, in March 2019, a parliamentary working group headed by the Speaker urged the establishment of a lobbying register to improve transparency regarding possible interest groups influences on members of Parliament. The working group said the registry would initially cover national-level decision making, later being extended to municipal and regional decision-making organs. The group is calling for the registry — already in use in the European Parliament — to be implemented during this government term. In accordance with the Government Program of Prime Minister Marin, an Act on a Transparency Register will be enacted in Finland on the basis of parliamentary preparation and in consultation with civil society. The purpose of the act is to improve the transparency of decision-making and, by doing this, to prevent undue influence and reinforce public confidence.

The ethical Guidelines of the Finnish Prosecution Service can be found from a new website that was opened on October 1, 2019. https://syyttajalaitos.fi/en/the-ethical-guidelines .

The following are ratified or in force in Finland: the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime; the Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption; the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; and, the UN Anticorruption Convention. Finland is a member of the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC).

Finland is a signatory to the OECD Convention on Anti-Bribery, but Transparency International released a progress report in September 2018 rating Finland as having “little to no enforcement” and opining that the most significant deterioration of the level of enforcement had taken place in Finland: https://www.transparency.org/exporting_corruption/Finland .

In March 2019, the OECD Working Group on Bribery noted that Finland has shown limited progress in addressing the Working Group’s concerns. In 2017 the Working Group stated that Finland still faces issues related to “old-boys’ networks,” and noted several conflict of interest scandals in 2017 that involved issues concerning blurred lines between public and private interests, and public office holders who had not recused themselves from decisions affecting them. Nonetheless, in the latest report the Working Group notes that Finland has taken steps to amend its Criminal Code on sanctions and to develop guidance specifically targeting SMEs.

Other reforms are also ongoing and seem to be pointing to the right direction, including in relation to institutional arrangements: http://www.oecd.org/corruption/Finland-phase-4-follow-up-report-ENG.pdf .

In March 2018, in its fifth evaluation round the Council of Europe’s anticorruption body GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) issued recommendations to Finland for preventing corruption among ministers, senior government officials and members of law enforcement agencies (the police and the Border Guard). The report recommended that Finland adopt and implement a national anticorruption strategy and pay special attention to the risks related to privatization in the planned health, social services and regional government reform.

The National Bureau of Investigation is responsible for the investigation of organized and international crimes, including economic crime and corruption, and operates an anti-corruption unit to detect economic offences. The Ministry of Justice has set up a specialist network, the anti-corruption cooperation network, which meets a few times a year to discuss and exchange information. The committee drafted an anti-corruption strategy for Finland and submitted it to the Ministry of Justice in 2017. The government has not yet adopted the strategy. Finnish Defense Forces, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports joined the anti-corruption network in 2020.

In November 2018, the City of Helsinki announced plans for a new whistleblower hotline service to anonymously inform authorities about suspected corruption.

At the beginning of 2017, a new Public Procurement Act based on the new EU directives on public procurement entered into force. Under the new law, a foreign bribery conviction remains mandatory grounds for exclusion from public contracts.

Resources to Report Corruption

Markku Ranta-Aho
Head of Financial Crime Division
National Board of Investigation
P.O. Box 285, 01310 Vantaa, Finland
markku.ranta-aho@poliisi.fi

Jaakko Korhonen
Chairperson
Transparency Finland
info@transparency.fi

France and Monaco

9. Corruption

In line with President Macron’s campaign promise to clean up French politics, the French parliament adopted in September 2017 the law on “Restoring Confidence in Public Life.” The new law bans elected officials from employing family members, or working as a lobbyist or consultant while in office. It also bans lobbyists from paying parliamentary, ministerial, or presidential staff and requires parliamentarians to submit receipts for expenses.

France’s “Transparency, Anti-corruption, and Economic Modernization Law,” also known as the “Loi Sapin II,” came into effect on June 1, 2017.  It brought France’s legislation in line with European and international standards.  Key aspects of the law include: creating a new anti-corruption agency; establishing “deferred prosecution” for defendants in corruption cases and prosecuting companies (French or foreign) suspected of bribing foreign public officials abroad; requiring lobbyists to register with national institutions; and expanding legal protections for whistleblowers.  The Sapin II law also established a High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP).  The HATVP promotes transparency in public life by publishing the declarations of assets and interests it is legally authorized to share publicly.  After review, declarations of assets and statements of interests of members of the government are published on the High Authority’s website under open license.  The declarations of interests of members of Parliament and mayors of big cities and towns, but also of regions are also available on the website.  In addition, the declarations of assets of parliamentarians can be accessed in certain governmental buildings, though not published on the internet.

France is a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.  The U.S. embassy in Paris has received no specific complaints from U.S. firms of unfair competition in France in recent years. France ranked 23rd of 180 on Transparency International’s (TI) 2019 corruption perceptions index. See https://www.transparency.org/country/FRA .

Resources to Report Corruption

The Central Office for the Prevention of Corruption (Service Central de Prevention de la Corruption or SCPC) was replaced in 2017 by the new national anti-corruption agency – the Agence Francaise Anticorruption (AFA).  The AFA is charged with preventing corruption by establishing anti-corruption programs, making recommendations, and centralizing and disseminating information to prevent and detect corrupt officials and company executives.  The AFA will also administrative authority to review the anticorruption compliance mechanisms in the private sector, in local authorities and in other government agencies.

Contact information for Agence Française Anti-corruption (AFA):

Director: Charles Duchaine
23 avenue d’Italie
75013 Paris
Tel : (+33) 1 44 87 21 14
Email: charles.duchaine@afa.gouv.fr

Contact information for Transparency International’s French affiliate:

Transparency International France
14, passage Dubail
75010 Paris
Tel: (+33) 1 84 16 95 65;
Email: contact@transparency-france.org

Gabon

9. Corruption

Gabon has established a legal framework to fight corruption, yet enforcement remains limited and official impunity is a problem.  Corruption is rarely, if ever, prosecuted in Gabon.  Transparency International lists Gabon rank is 123 of 180 countries (2019 Transparency International report).  The Gabonese Penal Code criminalizes abuse of office, embezzlement, passive and active bribery, trading in influence, extortion, offering or accepting gifts, and other undue advantages in the public sector.  Private sector corruption is criminalized whenever a given company is related to a public entity.  Punishments for public officials found guilty of soliciting or accepting bribes include prison sentences ranging from two to 10 years, and a fine of CFA five million (USD 8,572).

The government established the Commission to Combat Illicit Enrichment (CNLCEI) in 2004.  In summer 2018, the CNLCEI’s five-year mandate was not renewed.   The CNLCEI regulations do not extend to family members of civil servants or to political parties.

The Gabonese government launched an anti-corruption campaign in January 2017 called Operation Mamba.  The first conviction occurred in April 2018 but was overturned on appeal in April 2019.  Few details of the investigations have been made public.  In 2019, the anti-corruption campaign Operation Scorpion generated eight arrests of senior Gabonese administration officials, accused of “siphoning off public funds and money laundering” through the end of October 2019. On December 13, 2019, the former presidential Chief of Staff Brice Laccruche was arrested and sent to prison.  Pro-government newspaper L’Union reported in November 2019 that more than 85 billion CFA ($142 million) has “evaporated” over the past two years from the funds of the Gabon Oil Company (GOC). Under Gabonese law, embezzlement of public funds is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 100 million CFA ($170,000).

There are no known laws or regulations to counter conflict of interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.  There is no information about action on the part of the government to encourage or require private companies to establish codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

Gabon is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and is a member of The Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (Groupe d’action contre le blanchiment d’argent en Afrique Centrale, or GABAC).

No international or regional watchdog organizations operate in Gabon.  Local civil society lacks the capacity to play a significant role in highlighting cases of corruption.

Companies contend with a high risk of corruption when dealing with the Gabonese extractive industries.  Gabon has vast oil, manganese, and timber resources; however, contracting and licensing processes lack transparency.

Resources to Report Corruption

National Financial Investigations Agency
Tel: +241 0176 1773
Agence Nationale d’Investigation Financière
Immeuble Arambo, Boulevard Triomphal
BP:189
Libreville, Gabon
contact@anif.ga

Gambia

9. Corruption

There are laws in place to combat corruption by public officials in The Gambia. These laws are largely ineffective because the committees, which are commissioned to enforce them, are yet to be fully established. In cases when trials are conducted, they are conducted in a non-discriminatory manner. The anti-corruption laws of The Gambia extend to family members of officials and political parties alike. The anti-corruption laws of The Gambia contain laws or regulations that counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

The Gambian Government encourages private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials. The constitution of The Gambia calls for internal codes of conduct (Section 222), as do the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance to which The Gambia is a signatory. Private companies use internal controls and other programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. Private companies use internal controls and other programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

The Gambia has signed and ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Related Offences, but has not ratified the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. In May 2014, The Gambia ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention. During former President Jammeh’s rule, the GOTG did not provide protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption. However, such protections are likely as part of the new administration’s pledge to take action regarding the African Union convention on preventing and combatting corruption.

At least one U.S. firm complained in 2016 of corruption as an obstacle to FDI. This was reported in the water resource management sector and involved a commercial dispute between the GOTG and a U.S. firm. The firm has since indicated that the new administration is taking steps to resolve the matter.

Resources to Report Corruption

Commanding Officer, Fraud & Commercial Crime Unit
Gambia Police Force
Police Headquarters,
ECOWAS Avenue,
Banjul,
The Gambia (+220) 4223015 / 4222307

No international, regional, or local NGO operating as “watchdog” organizations monitoring corruption are known to exist in the country.

Georgia

9. Corruption

Georgia has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption. Georgia criminalizes bribery under Articles 332-342 of the Criminal Code. Senior public officials must file financial disclosure forms, which are available online, and Georgian legislation provides for the civil forfeiture of undocumented assets of public officials who are charged with corruption-related offenses. Penalties for accepting a bribe start at six years in prison and can extend to 15 years, depending on the circumstances. Penalties for giving a bribe can include a fine, a minimum prison sentence of two years, or both. In aggravated circumstances, when a bribe is given to commit an illegal act, the penalty is from four to seven years. Abuse of authority and exceeding authority by public servants are criminal acts under Articles 332 and 333 of the criminal code and carry a maximum penalty of eight years imprisonment. The definition of a public official includes foreign public officials and employees of international organizations and courts. White collar crimes, such as bribery, fall under the investigative jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Georgia is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Georgia has, however, ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Georgia cooperates with the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Network for Transition Economies (ACN).

Following its assessment of Georgia in June 2016, the OECD released a report in September 2016 that concluded Georgia had achieved remarkable progress in eliminating petty corruption in public administration and should now focus on combating high-level and complex corruption. The report commends Georgia’s mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of its Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan, as well as the role given to civil society in this process. It also welcomes the adoption of a new Law on Civil Service and recommends that the remaining legislation to implement civil service reforms is adopted without delay. The report notes that the Civil Service Bureau and Human Resources units in state entities should be strengthened to ensure the implementation of the required reforms. The report highlights Georgia’s good track record in prosecuting corruption crimes and in using modern methods to confiscate criminal proceeds. It recommends that Georgia increase enforcement of corporate liability and the prosecution of foreign bribery to address the perception of corruption among local government officials. The full report is available at: http://www.oecd.org/corruption/anti-bribery/Georgia-Round-4-Monitoring-Report-ENG.pdf .

Since 2003, Georgia has significantly improved its ranking in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report.

Transparency International (TI) ranked Georgia 44th out of 180 countries in the 2019 edition  of its Corruption Perceptions Index (the same rank as Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, and Latvia).

While Georgia has been successful in fighting visible, low-level corruption, Georgia remains vulnerable to what Transparency International calls “elite” corruption: high-level officials exploiting legal loopholes for personal enrichment, status, or retribution. Although the evidence is mostly anecdotal, this form of corruption, or the perception of its existence, has the potential to erode public and investor confidence in Georgia’s institutions and the investment environment. Corruption remains a potential problem in public procurement processes, public administration practices, and the judicial system due to unclear laws and ethical standards.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Anti-Corruption Agency at the State Security Service of Georgia
Address: 72, Vazha Pshavela Ave.
Tel: +995-32-241-20-28

Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia
Mr. Gocha Gochashvili,
Head of Division of Criminal Prosecution of Corruption CrimesAddress: 24, Gorgasali Street, Tbilisi
Tel: +995-32-240-52-52
Email: ggochashvili@pog.gov.ge

Ministry of Justice of Georgia
Secretariat of the Anti-Corruption Council
Address: 24, Gorgasali Street, Tbilisi
Tel: +995-32-240-58-04
Email: ACCouncil@justice.gov.ge

Business Ombudsman’s Office
Mr. Mikheil Daushvili, Ombudsman
Address: 7, Ingorokva street
Hotline: +995 32 2 282828
Email: ask@businessombudsman.ge

Non-governmental organization:
Ms. Eka Gigauri
Director
Transparency International
26, Rustaveli Ave, 0108, Tbilisi, Georgia
Telephone: +995-32-292-14-03
ekag@transparency.ge

Germany

9. Corruption

Among industrialized countries, Germany ranks 9th out of 180, according to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index.  Some sectors including the automotive industry, construction sector, and public contracting, exhibit political influence and party finance remains only partially transparent.  Nevertheless, U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an impediment to investment in Germany. Germany is a signatory of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and a participating member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

Over the last two decades, Germany has increased penalties for the bribery of German officials, corrupt practices between companies, and price-fixing by companies competing for public contracts.  It has also strengthened anti-corruption provisions on financial support extended by the official export credit agency and has tightened the rules for public tenders. Government officials are forbidden from accepting gifts linked to their jobs.  Most state governments and local authorities have contact points for whistle-blowing and provisions for rotating personnel in areas prone to corruption. There are serious penalties for bribing officials and price fixing by companies competing for public contracts.

According to the Federal Criminal Office, in 2018, 73 percent of all corruption cases were directed towards the public administration (up from 63 percent in 2017), 18 percent towards the business sector (down from 22 percent in 2017), 7 percent towards law enforcement and judicial authorities (down from 12 percent in 2017), and 2 percent to political officials (down from 3 percent in 2017).

Parliamentarians are subject to financial disclosure laws that require them to publish earnings from outside employment.  Disclosures are available to the public via the Bundestag website (next to the parliamentarians’ biographies) and in the Official Handbook of the Bundestag. Penalties for noncompliance can range from an administrative fine to as much as half of a parliamentarian’s annual salary.

Donations by private persons or entities to political parties are legally permitted.  However, if they exceed €50,000, they must be reported to the President of the Bundestag, who is required to immediately publish the name of the party, the amount of the donation, the name of the donor, the date of the donation, and the date the recipient reported the donation.  Donations of €10,000 or more must be included in the party’s annual accountability report to the President of the Bundestag.

State prosecutors are generally responsible for investigating corruption cases, but not all state governments have prosecutors specializing in corruption.  Germany has successfully prosecuted hundreds of domestic corruption cases over the years, including large scale cases against major companies.

Media reports in recent years about bribery investigations against Siemens, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bank, and Ferrostaal have increased awareness of the problem of corruption.  As a result, listed companies and multinationals have expanded compliance departments, tightened internal codes of conduct, and offered more training to employees.

The Federation of Germany Industries (BDI), the Association of German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) provide guidelines in paper and electronic format on how to prevent corruption in an effort to convince all including small- and medium- sized companies to catch up.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Germany was a signatory to the UN Anti-Corruption Convention in 2003.  The Bundestag ratified the Convention in November 2014.

Germany adheres to and actively enforces the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention which criminalizes bribery of foreign public officials by German citizens and firms.  The necessary tax reform legislation ending the tax write-off for bribes in Germany and abroad became law in 1999.

Germany participates in the relevant EU anti-corruption measures and signed two EU conventions against corruption.  However, while Germany ratified the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption in 2017, it has not yet ratified the Civil Law Convention on Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

There is no central government anti-corruption agency in Germany.

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Hartmut Bäumer, Chair
Transparency International Germany
Alte Schönhauser Str. 44, 10119 Berlin
+49 30 549 898 0
office@transparency.de

The Federal Criminal Office publishes an annual report: “Bundeslagebild Korruption” – the latest one covers 2018.

https://www.bka.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Publikationen/JahresberichteUndLagebilder/Korruption/korruptionBundeslagebild2018.html?nn=28078 

Greece

9. Corruption

Greece saw a slight increase in perceptions of corruption, as it went up eight places to 60 on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, from 67 in 2018.  By contrast, the country had improved since 2012, partly due to mandatory structural reforms.  Despite these structural improvements, burdensome bureaucracy is reportedly slowing the progress.  Transparency International issued a report in 2018 criticizing the government for improper public procurement actions involving Greek government ministers and the recent appointment of the close advisor to the country’s prime minister to be the head of the Hellenic Competition Commission, which oversees the enforcement of anti-trust legislation.  Transparency International released another report in October 2018, warning of the corruption risks posed by golden visa programs, mentioning Greece as a top issuer of golden visas.

On March 19, 2015, the government passed Law 4320, which provides for the establishment of a General Secretariat for Combatting Corruption under the authority of a new Minister of State.  Under Article 12 of the Law, this entity drafts a national anti-corruption strategy, with an emphasis on coordination between anti-corruption bodies within various ministries and agencies, including the Economic Police, the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE), the Ministries’ Internal Control Units, and the Health and Welfare Services Inspection Body.  Based on Law 4320, two major anti-corruption bodies, the Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration (SEEDD) and the Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Works (SEDE), were moved under the jurisdiction of the General Secretariat for Combatting Corruption.  A Minister of State for combatting corruption was appointed to the cabinet following the January 2015 elections and given oversight of government efforts to combat corruption and economic crimes.  The minister drafted coordinated plans of action, monitored their implementation, and was given operational control of the Economic Crime division of the Hellenic Police, the SDOE, ministries’ internal control units, and the Health and Welfare Services’ inspection body.  Following the September 2015 national elections, the cabinet post of Minister of State for combatting corruption was abolished, and those duties were assigned to a new alternate minister for combatting corruption in the Ministry of Justice, Transparency, and Human Rights.

Legislation passed on May 11, 2015, provides a wider range of disciplinary penalties against state employees accused of misconduct or breach of duty, while eliminating the immediate suspension of an accused employee prior to the completion of legal proceedings.  If found guilty, offenders could be deprived of wages for up to 12 months and forced to relinquish their right to regain a senior post for a period of one to five years.  Certain offenders could also be fined from €3,000 to €100,000.  The law requires income and asset disclosure by appointed and elected officials, including nonpublic sector employees, such as journalists and heads of state-funded NGOs.  Several different agencies are mandated to monitor and verify disclosures, including the General Inspectorate for Public Administration, the police internal affairs bureau, the Piraeus appeals prosecutor, and an independent permanent parliamentary committee.  Declarations are made publicly available.  The law provides for administrative and criminal sanctions for noncompliance. Penalties range from two to ten years’ imprisonment and fines from €10,000 to €1 million.  On August 7, 2019, Parliament passed legislation establishing a unified transparency authority by transferring the powers and responsibilities of public administration inspection services to an independent authority.

Bribery is a criminal act and the law provides severe penalties for infractions, although diligent implementation and haphazard or uneven enforcement of the law remains an issue.  Historically, the problem has been most acute in government procurement, as political influence and other considerations are widely believed to play a significant role in the evaluation of bids.  Corruption related to the health care system and political party funding are areas of concern, as is the “fragmented” anti-corruption apparatus.  NGOs and other observers have expressed concern over perceived high levels of official corruption.  Permanent and ad hoc government entities charged with combating corruption are understaffed and underfinanced. There is a widespread perception that there are high levels of corruption in the public sector and tax evasion in the private sector, and many Greeks view corruption as the main obstacle to the economic recovery.

The Ministry of Justice prosecutes cases of bribery and corruption.  In cases where politicians are involved, the Greek parliament can conduct investigations and/or lift parliamentary immunity to allow a special court action to proceed against the politician.  A December 2014 law does not allow high ranking officials, including the prime minister, ministers, alternate, and deputy ministers, parliament deputies, European Parliament deputies, general and special secretaries, regional governors and vice governors, and mayors and deputy mayors to benefit from more lenient sentences in cases involving official bribes.  In 2019, Parliament passed a new amendment to Article 62 of the constitution, which limits parliamentary immunity to acts carried out in the course of parliamentary duties.  Under the current constitution, parliamentary immunity applies to all acts conducted while in the office, irrespective if the act is connected to the parliamentary duties.  In addition, Parliament amended Article 86 of the constitution, abolishing the statute of limitations for crimes committed by ministers and to disallow postponements for trials of ministers.

Greece is a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention..  As a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Government Officials and all relevant EU-mandated anti-corruption agreements, the Greek government is committed in principle to penalizing those who commit bribery in Greece or abroad.  The OECD Convention has been in effect since 1999.  Greek accession to other relevant conventions or treaties:  Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption, Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, and United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government Agency

Organization: The Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration
Address: 60 Sygrou Avenue, 11742, Athens
Telephone number: +30-213-215-8800
Email address: seedd@seedd.gr

Watchdog Organization

Organization:  Transparency International Greece
Address:  Solomou 54, 4th floor, 10682 Athens
Telephone number: +30-210-722-4940
Email address: tihellas@otenet.gr

Grenada

9. Corruption

Grenada is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.  In 2013, parliament passed the Integrity in Public Life Act (Act No.24 of 2013), the country’s first anticorruption bill.  It requires that all public servants report their income and assets to the independent Integrity Commission for review.

The Ombudsman Act of 2007 established the Office of Ombudsman.  The country’s first Ombudsman since independence was appointed in September 2009.  The Office aims to provide effective service, handle complaints in a timely manner, and ensure the highest level of confidentiality and impartiality.

In 2018, the Ombudsman received 64 complaints, compared to 40 in 2017.  Of the 64 complaints, 10 were closed, 26 are ongoing, advice was given for 24, two were discontinued, and two were outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.  The Royal Grenada Police Force was the subject of the highest number of complaints, totaling 14 compared to seven in 2017.  Of those fourteen, three cases were resolved, six cases are ongoing, and advice was given in five cases.

Bribery is illegal in Grenada, and Grenadian officials take bribery allegations seriously.  The Integrity in Public Life Commission monitors and verifies disclosures, although disclosures are not made public except in court.  According to the provisions of the act, failure to file a disclosure should be noted in the Official Gazette.  If the office holder in question fails to file in response to this notification, the commission can seek a court order to enforce compliance.  For the most part, the enforcement of these laws and procedures is effective and they are applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

Grenada is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.  The country accepted and acknowledged the UN Convention against Corruption but has not yet signed or ratified it.

U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI in Grenada.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Tafawa Pierre
Superintendent of Police/Head of FIU
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
The Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 435-2373 / 2374
gdafiu@spiceisle.com

Allison Miller
Acting Ombudsman
Office of the Ombudsman
Tanteen, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 435-9315
ombudsmangd@spiceisle.com

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph
Chairperson
Office of the Integrity Commission
Archibald Avenue, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 439-9212 / 534-5190
office@grenadaintegritycommission.org

Guatemala

9. Corruption

Bribery is illegal under Guatemala’s Penal Code.  However, corruption remains a serious problem that companies may encounter at many levels.  Guatemala scored 26 out of 100 points on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, ranking it 146 out of 180 countries globally, and 29 out of 32 countries in the region.  The score dropped one point compared to the score observed in the 2018 report.

Investors find corruption especially pervasive in customs transactions, particularly at ports and borders away from the capital.  The Tax and Customs Authority (SAT) launched a customs modernization program in November 2006, which implemented an advanced electronic manifest system and resulted in the removal of many corrupt officials.  However, reports of corruption at major customs locations such as ports and border points remain prevalent.  From 2006 to 2019, the UN-sponsored International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) undertook numerous high-profile official corruption investigations, leading to significant indictments.  Notably, CICIG unveiled a customs corruption scheme in 2015 that led to the resignations of the president and vice president.

Guatemala’s Government Procurement Law requires most government purchases over USD 116,933 to be submitted for public competitive bidding.  Since March 2004, GoG entities are required to use Guatecompras, an Internet-based electronic procurement system to track GoG procurement processes.  GoG entities must also comply with GoG procurement commitments under CAFTA-DR.  In August 2009, the Guatemalan Congress approved reforms to the Government Procurement Law, which simplified bidding procedures; eliminated the fee previously charged to receive bidding documents; and provided an additional opportunity for suppliers to raise objections over the bidding process.  Despite these reforms, large government procurements are often subject to appeals and injunctions based on claims of irregularities in the bidding process (e.g., documentation issues and lack of transparency).  In November 2015, the Guatemalan Congress approved additional amendments to the Government Procurement Law that improved transparency of procurement processes by barring government contracts for some financers of political campaigns and parties, members of Congress, other elected officials, government workers, and their immediate family members.  The 2015 reforms expanded the scope of procurement oversight to include public trust funds and all institutions (including NGOs) executing public funds.  The U.S. government continues to advocate for the use of open, fair, and transparent tenders in government procurement as well as procedures that comply with CAFTA-DR obligations, which would allow open participation by U.S. companies.

Guatemala ratified the U.N. Convention against Corruption in November 2006, and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption in July 2001.  Guatemala is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.  In October 2012, the Guatemalan Congress approved an anti-corruption law that increases penalties for existing crimes and adds new crimes such as illicit enrichment, trafficking in influence, and illegal charging of commissions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Public Ministry
Address: 23 Calle 0-22 Zona 1, Ciudad de Guatemala
Phone: (502) 2251-4105; (502) 2251-4219; (502) 2251-5327; (502) 2251-8480; (502) 2251-9225
Email address: fiscaliacontracorrupcion@mp.gob.gt

Comptroller General’s Office
Address: 7a Avenida 7-32 Zona 13
Phone: (502) 2417-8700

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Name: Accion Ciudadana (Guatemalan Chapter of Transparency International)
Address: Avenida Reforma 12-01 Zona 10, Edificio Reforma Montufar, Nivel 17, Oficina 1701
Phone: (502) 2388- 3400
Toll free to submit corruption complaints: 1-801-8111-011
Email address: alac@accionciudadana.org.gt; accionciudadana@accionciudadana.org

Guinea

9. Corruption

In its 2019 Ease of Doing Business index, the World Bank ranked Guinea 156th of 190 countries worldwide, down four places from 2018. However, according to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, Guinea moved up eight places to 130 out of 180 countries listed. Guinea passed an Anti-Corruption Law in 2017. In April 2019, a former director of the Guinean Office of Advertising was sentenced to 5 years in prison for embezzlement of GNF39 billion, approximately USD four million, however, in June 2019 he was acquitted by the Appeals Court, and was elected as a member of the National Assembly during the March 2020 legislative elections. It is not clear whether the Anti-Corruption Law was used to prosecute the case. According to the World Bank Enterprise Survey of 2016, Guinea fares better in the incidence of bribery that most sub-Saharan African countries, but this may be a matter of perception. For example, of 150 firms surveyed, 48.7 percent reported that they were expected to give gifts to public officials to get things done, but only 7.9 percent reported having paid a bribe. http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/data/exploreeconomies/2016/guinea#corruption 

The business and political culture, coupled with low salaries, have historically combined to promote and encourage corruption. Requests for bribes are a common occurrence. Though it is illegal to pay bribes in Guinea, there is little enforcement of these laws. In practice, it is difficult and time-consuming to conduct business without giving “gifts” in Guinea, leaving U.S. companies, who must comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, at a disadvantage.

Although the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, the law does not extend to family members. It does include provisions for political parties. According to the World Bank’s 2018 Worldwide Governance Indicators, corruption continues to remain a severe problem, and Guinea is in the 13th percentile, down from being in the 15th percentile in 2012. Public funds have been diverted for private use or for illegitimate public uses, such as buying vehicles for government workers. Land sales and business contracts generally lack transparency. http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/#reports 

Guinea’s Anti-Corruption Agency (ANLC) is an autonomous agency established by presidential decree in 2004. The ANLC reports directly to the President and is currently the only state agency focused solely on fighting corruption. However, it has been largely ineffective in its role, with no successful convictions. The ANLC’s Bureau of Complaint Reception fields anonymous tips forwarded to the ANLC. Investigations and cases must then be prosecuted through criminal courts. According to the ANLC, during the past year there were no prosecutions as a result of tips. The agency is underfunded, understaffed, and lacks computers and vehicles. The ANLC is comprised of 52 employees in seven field offices, with a budget of USD 1.1 million in 2018.

The Conde administration has named corruption in both the governmental and commercial spheres as one of its top agenda items. In November 2019, Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria, and President Alpha Conde reached an agreement through which the Commission will assist Guinea to establish a anti-corruption agency, however, it is not clear if that means reforming the existing anti-corruption agency or establishing a new anti-corruption agency.

A 2016 survey by the ANLC, the Open Society Initiative-West Africa (OSIWA), and Transparency International found that among private households, 61 percent of the respondents stated they were asked to pay a bribe for national services and 24 percent for local services. Furthermore, 24 percent claimed to have paid traffic-related bribes to police, 24 percent for better medical treatment, 19 percent for better water or electricity services, and 8 percent for better judicial treatment.

Guinea is a party to the UN Anticorruption Convention. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html 

Guinea is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery. http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/countryreportsontheimplementationoftheoecdanti-briberyconvention.htm 

Since 2012, Guinea has had a Code for Public Procurement (Code de Marches Publics et Delegations de Service Public) that provides regulations for countering conflicts of interest in awarding contracts or in government procurements. In 2016, the government issued a Transparency and Ethics chart for public procurement that provides the main do’s and don’ts in public procurement, highlighting avoidance of conflict of interest as a priority. The chart also includes a template letter that companies have to sign when bidding for public contracts stating that they will comply with local legislation and public procurement provisions, including practices to prevent corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Seko Mohamed Sylla
Deputy Executive Director
Agence Nationale de Lutte Contre la Corruption (ANLC – National Agency Against Corruption)
Cite des Nations, Conakry, Guinea +224- 669 22 82 51
EMAIL ADDRESS: tourealnc@gmail.com

Transparency International
Dakar, Senegal +221-33-842-40-44
+221-33-842-40-44
forumcivil@orange.sn

Guyana

9. Corruption 

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the government generally does not enforce the law effectively or uniformly. The relevant laws enacted include: the Integrity Commission Act, State Assets Recovery Act, and the Audit Act. Officials appear to engage in corrupt practices at times with impunity. Several media outlets reported on government corruption in recent years and it remains a significant public concern.  Media and civil society organizations continued to criticize the government for being slow to prosecute corruption cases.  Although the government passed legislation in 1997 that requires public officials to disclose their assets to an Integrity Commission prior to assuming office, media reports suggest that a significant section of public officials did not honor this requirement in 2019.

Widespread concerns remain about inefficiencies and corruption regarding the awarding of contracts, particularly with respect to concerns of collusion and non-transparency.  In his annual report, the Auditor General noted continuous disregard for the procedures, rules, and the laws that govern public procurement system.  There were reports on overpayments of contracts and procurement breaches.  Nevertheless, the country has made some improvements.  According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Guyana is ranked 85 out of 180 countries for perceptions of corruption, advancing 8 spots in comparison to 2018.

Haiti

9. Corruption

Haitian law, applicable to individuals and financial institutions, criminalizes corruption and money laundering. Bribes or attempted bribes toward a public official are a criminal act and are punishable by the criminal code (Article 173) for one to three years of imprisonment. The law also contains provisions for the forfeiture and seizure of assets. In practice, however, it has been reported that the law has rarely been applied.

Corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business in Haiti. U.S. firms have complained that corruption is a major obstacle to effective business operation in Haiti. They frequently point to requests for payment by customs officials in order to clear import shipments as examples of solicitation for bribes.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2019 ranked Haiti in the second lowest spot in the Americas region, with a score of 18 out of 100 in perceived levels of public corruption, a decline from a score of 20 in 2018. Drawing on 13 surveys and expert assessment, the index scores on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index report ranks Haiti 168 out of 180 countries worldwide. The Haitian government has made some progress in enforcing public accountability and transparency, but substantive institutional reforms are still needed. In 2004, the government of Haiti established the Anti-Corruption Commission (ULCC), however it lacks the necessary resources and political will to be effective. In 2008, Parliament approved the law on disclosure of assets by civil servants and high public officials prepared by ULCC, but to date, compliance has been almost nonexistent.

The government of Haiti created the National Commission for Public Procurement (CNMP) to ensure that government of Haiti contracts are awarded through competitive bidding and to establish effective procurement controls in public administration. The CNMP publishes lists of awarded government of Haiti contracts. The procurement law of 2009 requires contracts to be routed through CNMP. In 2012, however, a presidential decree substantially raised the threshold at which public procurements must be managed by the CNMP, resulting in what companies have identified as a decrease transparency for many smaller government contracts. Moreover, the government frequently enters into no-bid contracts, sometimes issued using “emergency” authority derived from natural disasters, even when there is no apparent connection between the alleged emergency and the government contract, according to foreign investors. Haiti’s Superior Court of Auditors issued two reports in January and May 2019 citing poor management practices by the Haitian government and the alleged diversion of nearly USD 2 billion of the Petrocaribe funds. Public anger over the Petrocaribe scandal has since burgeoned into a grassroots movement against widespread corruption in Haiti.

Haiti is not a party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Any corruption-related activity can be reported to the Haitian Anti-Corruption Unit, responsible for combatting corruption or to Transparency International’s branch in Haiti, Haiti Heritage Foundation, which monitors corruption:

Rockfeller Vincent
Director General
Unite de Lutte Contre la Corruption
13, rue Capotille, Pacot, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: (509) 2811-0661 / (509) 2816-7071
Email: info@ulcc.gouv.ht

Marilyn B. Allien
President
Fondation Heritage pour Haiti
Petion-Ville, Haiti
Telephone: (509) 3701-7089
Email: admlfhh@yahoo.com / heritagehaiti@yahoo.com

Some useful resources for individuals and companies regarding combating corruption in global markets include the following:

  • Information about the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including a “Lay-Person’s Guide to the FCPA” is available at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Website at:
  • Information about the OECD Anti-bribery Convention including links to national implementing legislation and country monitoring reports is available at: . Please also see the Anti-bribery Recommendation and Good Practice Guidance Annex for companies:
  • General information about anti-corruption initiatives, such as the OECD Convention and the FCPA, including translations of the statute into several languages, is available at the Department of Commerce Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce website:
  • The International Chamber of Commerce provides rules, guidelines, and comments on efforts by businesses to combat corruption at:
  • Transparency International (TI) publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. The CPI is available at  . TI also publishes an annual Global Corruption Report that provides a systematic evaluation of the state of corruption around the world. It includes an in-depth analysis of a focal theme, a series of country reports that document major corruption-related events and developments from all continents. For more information, please visit
  • The World Bank Institute publishes Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI). These indicators assess six dimensions of governance in 212 countries, including Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. For additional information, please visit: . The World Bank Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys are also available at:
  • The World Economic Forum publishes the Global Enabling Trade Report, which presents the rankings of the Enabling Trade Index, and includes an assessment of the transparency of border administration (focused on bribe payments and corruption) and a separate segment on corruption and the regulatory environment. Please see:  for more information
  • Global Integrity, a nonprofit organization, publishes its annual Global Integrity Report, which provides indicators for 92 countries with respect to governance and anti-corruption. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of national level anti-corruption systems and is available at:

Honduras

9. Corruption

Despite international pressure, President Hernandez allowed the four-year mandate of the OAS Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) that expired in January 2020.  MACCIH began work in 2015 following widespread anti-corruption protests in the wake of a scandal involving Honduras’ social security fund. During its tenure, MACCIH  worked with the Public Ministry to bring cases against current and former public officials and to advance justice reform, including by presenting draft legislation for a Law of Effective Collaboration (similar to plea-bargaining law) to the Honduran authorities which remains under consideration in Congress.  MACCIH and the Public Ministry created a special anti-corruption unit (UFECIC) to pursue large-scale corruption cases which continues to exist despite the end of MACCIH’s mandate. Its replacement, UFERCO, operates within the Public Ministry with fewer resources and personnel.

U.S. businesses and citizens report corruption in the public sector and the judiciary is a significant constraint to investment in Honduras.  Historically, corruption has been pervasive in government procurement, issuance of government permits, customs, real estate transactions (particularly land title transfers), performance requirements, and the regulatory system.  Civil society groups are critical of recent legislation granting qualified immunity to government officials and a law that gives the highly politicized government audit agency a first look at corruption cases.  In 2018, Congress passed a revision of the 1984 penal code that lowered penalties for some corruption offenses and critics argue contributes to a culture of impunity. The new code went into effect in June 2020.  Since 2012, the Honduran government has signed agreements with Transparency International, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.  Honduras is also receiving support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation in the development of an e-procurement platform and public procurement auditing.

Honduras’s Rankings on Key Corruption Indicators
Measure Year Index/Ranking
TI Corruption Index 2019 26.0/100, 146 of 198
World Bank Doing Business Oct 2019 133/190
MCC Government Effectiveness FY 2019 -0.19 (30 percent)
MCC Rule of Law FY 2019 -0.66 (15 percent)
MCC Control of Corruption FY 2019 -0.10 (37 percent)

The United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) deems it unlawful for a U.S. person, and certain foreign issuers of securities to make corrupt payments to foreign public officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for directing business to any person. The FCPA also applies to foreign firms and persons who take any act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment while in the United States. For more information, see the FCPA Lay-Person’s Guide: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/ .

Honduras is a member of the UN Anticorruption Convention, which entered into force on December 14, 2005. The UN Convention is the first global comprehensive international anti corruption agreement and requires countries to establish criminal penalties for a wide range of acts of corruption. The UN Convention covers a broad range of issues from basic forms of corruption such as bribery and solicitation, embezzlement, trading in influence to the concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corruption. The UN Convention contains transnational business bribery provisions that are functionally similar to those in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Anti-Bribery Convention.

Honduras is a member of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (OAS Convention), which entered into force in March 1997. The OAS Convention establishes a set of preventive measures against corruption; provides for the criminalization of certain acts of corruption, including transnational bribery and illicit enrichment; and contains a series of provisions to strengthen the cooperation between its states parties in areas such as mutual legal assistance and technical cooperation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Companies that face corruption-related challenges in Honduras may contact the following organizations to request assistance.

Public Ministry
Eva Nazar
Coordinator for External Cooperation
cooperacionexterna.mp@gmail.com
The Public Ministry is the Honduran government agency responsible for criminal prosecutions, including corruption cases.

Association for a More Just Society (ASJ)
Yahayra Yohana Velasquez Duce
Director of Transparency
Residencial El Trapiche, 2da etapa Bloque B, Casa #25 +504-2235-2291
info@asjhonduras.com
ASJ is a nongovernmental Honduran organization that works to reduce corruption and increase transparency. It is an affiliate of Transparency International.

National Anti-Corruption Council (CNA)
Alejandra Ferrera
Executive Board Assistant
Colonia San Carlos, calle Republica de Mexico
504-2221-1181
aferrera@cna.hn
CNA is a Honduran civil society organization comprised of Honduran business groups, labor groups, religious organizations, and human rights groups.

U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Attention: Economic Section
Avenida La Paz
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Telephone Numbers: (504) 2236-9320, 2238-5114
Fax Number: (504) 2236-9037

Companies can also report corruption through the Department of Commerce Trade Compliance Center Report a Trade Barrier website: http://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/index.asp .

Hong Kong

9. Corruption

Mainland China ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in January 2006, and it was extended to Hong Kong in February 2006. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is responsible for combating corruption and has helped Hong Kong develop a track record for combating corruption. U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI. A bribe to a foreign official is a criminal act, as is the giving or accepting of bribes, for both private individuals and government employees. Offences are punishable by imprisonment and large fines.

The Hong Kong Ethics Development Center (HKEDC), established by the ICAC, promotes business and professional ethics to sustain a level-playing field in Hong Kong. The International Good Practice Guidance – Defining and Developing an Effective Code of Conduct for Organizations of the Professional Accountants in Business Committee published by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and is in use with the permission of IFAC.

Resources to Report Corruption

Simon Pei, Commissioner
Independent Commission Against Corruption
303 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong
+852-2826-3111
Email: com-office@icac.org.hk

Hungary

9. Corruption

Hungary has legislation in place to combat corruption.  Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal offense, as is an official’s failure to report such an incident.  Penalties can include confiscation of assets, imprisonment, or both. Since Hungary’s entry into the EU, legal entities can also be prosecuted.  Legislation prohibits members of parliament from serving as executives of state-owned enterprises. An extensive list of public officials and many of their family members are required to make annual declarations of assets, but there is no specified penalty for making an incomplete or inaccurate declaration.  It is common for prominent politicians to be forced to amend declarations of assets following revelations in the press of omission of ownership or part-ownership of real estate and other assets in asset declarations. Politicians are not penalized for these omissions. Transparency advocates claim that Hungarian law enforcement authorities are often reluctant to prosecute cases with links to high-level politics.  For example, they reported that, in November 2018, Hungarian authorities dropped the investigation into USD 50 million in EU-funded public lighting tenders won by a firm co-owned by a relative of the prime minister, despite the fact that OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Office, raised concerns about evidence of conflict of interest and irregularities involving the deal. According to media reports, OLAF concluded that at least some of the tenders were won due to what it considered organized criminal activity.

Annual asset declarations for the family members of public officials are not public and only parliamentary committees can look into them if there is a specified suspicion of fraud.  Transparency watchdogs warn that this makes the system of asset declarations inefficient and easy to circumvent as politicians can hide assets and revenues in their family members’ name.

The Public Procurement Act of 2015 initially included broad conflict of interest rules on excluding family members of GOH officials from participating in public tenders, but Parliament later amended the law to exclude only family members living in the same household.  While considered in line with the overarching EU directive, the law still leaves room for subjective evaluations of bid proposals and tender specifications that could potentially be tailored to favored companies.

While public procurement legislation is in place and complies with EU requirements, private companies and watchdog NGOs expressed concerns about pervasive corruption and favoritism in public procurements in Hungary.  According to their criticism, public procurements in practice lack transparency and accountability and are characterized by uneven implementation of anti-corruption laws. Additionally, transparency NGOs calculate that government allied firms have won a disproportionate percentage of public procurement awards.  The business community and foreign governments share many of these concerns.  Multinational firms have complained that competing in public procurements presents unacceptable levels of corruption and compliance risk.  A recent EU study found that Hungary had the second highest rate of one-bidder EU funded procurement contracts in the European Union.  In addition, observers have raised concerns about the appointments of Fidesz party loyalists to the heads of quasi-independent institutions like the Competition Authority, the Media Council, and the State Audit Office. Because it is generally understood that companies without political connections are unlikely to win public procurement contracts, many firms lacking such connections do not bid or compete against politically-connected companies.

The GOH does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct.

Generally, larger private companies and multinationals operating in Hungary have internal codes of ethics, compliance programs, or other controls, but their efficacy is not uniform.

The Hungarian Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior are responsible for combating corruption.  There is a growing legal framework in place to support their efforts. Hungary is a party to the UN Anticorruption Convention and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and has incorporated its provisions into the penal code, as well as subsequent OECD and EU requirements on the prevention of bribery.  Parliament passed the Strasbourg Criminal Law Convention on Corruption of 2002 and the Strasbourg Civil Code Convention on Corruption of 2004. Hungary is a member of GRECO (Group of States against Corruption), an organization established by members of the Council of Europe to monitor the observance of their standards for fighting corruption.  GRECO’s reports on evaluation and compliance are confidential unless the Member State authorizes the publication of its report.  For several years, the GOH has kept confidential GRECO’s most recent compliance report on prevention of corruption with respect to members of parliament, judges, and prosecutors, and a report on transparency of party financing. Following calls from opposition, NGOs, and other GRECO Member States and a March 2019 visit by senior GRECO officials to Budapest, the GOH agreed to publish the reports in August 2019. The reports revealed that Hungary failed to meet 13 out of 18 recommendations issued by GRECO in 2015; assessed that Hungary’s level of compliance with the recommendations was “globally unsatisfactory”; and concluded that the country would therefore remain subject to GRECO’s non-compliance procedure. The compliance report on transparency of party financing noted some progress, but added that “the overall picture is disappointing.”

In December 2016, the GOH withdrew its membership in the international anti-corruption organization the Open Government Partnership (OGP).  Following a letter of concern by transparency watchdogs to OGP’s Steering Committee in summer 2015, OGP launched an investigation into Hungary and issued a critical report.  The OGP admonished the GOH for its harassment of NGOs and urged it to take steps to restore transparency and to ensure a positive operating environment for civil society. The GOH — only the second Member State after Azerbaijan to be reprimanded by the organization — rejected the OGP report conclusions and withdrew from the organization.

In recent years, the GOH has amplified its attacks on NGOs – including transparency watchdogs – accusing them of acting as foreign agents and criticizing them for allegedly working against Hungarian interests.  This anti-NGO rhetoric endangered the continued operation of anti-corruption NGOs crucial to promoting transparency and good governance in Hungary. In 2017, Parliament passed legislation that many civil society activists criticized for placing undue restrictions on NGOs, including compelling organizations to register as “foreign funded” if they receive funding from international sources.  In July 2018, the GOH passed legislation that criminalizes many legal activities, primarily conducted by international NGOs that assist migrants and asylum seekers.  Although the legislation does not directly target transparency NGOs, transparency experts claim the GOH could use the overly broad definitions in the legislation to target virtually any NGO in Hungary.

Transparency International (TI) is active in Hungary.  TI’s 20198 Corruption Perceptions Index rated Hungary 70 out of 180 countries.  Among the 28 EU members, Hungary was tied for 26th place with only one other member state scoring lower. TI has noted that state institutions responsible for supervising public organizations were headed by people loyal to the ruling party, limiting their ability to serve as a check on the actions of the GOH.  After the GOH amended the Act on Freedom of Information in 2013 and 2015, TI and other watchdogs note that data on public spending remains problematically difficult to access. Moreover, according to watchdogs and investigative journalists, the GOH, state agencies, and SOEs are increasingly reluctant to answer questions related to public spending, resulting in lengthy court procedures simply to receive answers to questions.  Even if the court orders the release of data, by the time it happens, the data loses significance and has a weaker impact, watchdogs warn. In some cases, even when ordered to provide information, state agencies and SOEs release data in nearly unusable or undecipherable formats.

U.S. firms – along with other investors – identify corruption as a significant problem in Hungary.  According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Competitiveness Report, businesses considered corruption as the second most important obstacle to making a successful business in Hungary.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced in 2019 that Microsoft Hungary, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, agreed to pay an $8.7 million Department of Justice fine and an additional $16.6 million fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Hungary.  According to the investigation, Microsoft admitted that senior executives at Microsoft Hungary convinced Microsoft executives to issue deep discounts on Microsoft products to local resellers who then sold the products to the GOH at full price.  DOJ stated that resellers used the difference for “corrupt purposes,” and were falsely recorded as discounts.  Media reporting on the case note that of the four top Microsoft executives dismissed over the corruption allegations, two subsequently found employment with the GOH.  Despite the U.S. findings, the Hungarian prosecutor’s office has not pursued charges against any of the Hungarians involved in the scheme.

State corruption is also high on the list of EC concerns with Hungary.  The EC Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has found high indices of fraud in EU-funded projects in Hungary and has levied fines and withheld development funds on several occasions.  Over the past few years, the European Commission (EC) has suspended payments of EU funds several times due to numerous irregularities in Hungary’s procurement system. In December 2016, after completing an investigation into the construction of the EU-funded Budapest M4 metro line, OLAF discovered that contracts valued at more than USD 1 billion had been affected by corruption and determined that Hungary should return USD 240 million to the EU.  In a January 2018 report, OLAF recommended Hungarian authorities investigate a high-profile corruption case linked to PM Orban’s son-in-law, whose firm the report alleges was fraudulently awarded EU-funded public contracts by local municipalities in Hungary. OLAF requested the GOH return USD 54 million to compensate for the amount of misused EU funds. In November 2018, Hungarian authorities announced they were closing the investigation, claiming to have found no evidence of a crime.  In February 2019, the GOH withdrew its request that the EU fund the controversial projects.

TI and other anti-corruption watchdogs have highlighted EU-funded development projects as the largest source of corruption in Hungary.  A TI study found indices of corruption and overpricing in up to 90 percent of EU-funded projects. A 2016 study by Corruption Research Center Budapest (CRCB) based on public procurement data from 2009-2015 revealed that the massive influx of EU funds reduced competition and increased levels of corruption risk and overpricing in public procurements.  According to the study, EU-funded tenders perform poorly with regard to corruption risks, competitive intensity, and transparency, compared with Hungarian-funded tenders. Besides their positive impact on GDP growth and development, EU funds in Hungary contribute to the system of political favoritism and fuel crony capitalism, the study concluded. A September 2018 CRCB report found – after analyzing more than 120,000 public procurement contracts of the 2010-2016 period – that companies owned by individuals with links to senior government officials enjoy a preferential treatment at public tenders and face less competition than other companies.

Resources to Report Corruption

GOH Office Responsible for Combatting Corruption:

National Protective Service
General Director Zoltan Bolcsik
Phone: +36 1 433 9711
Fax: +36 1 433 9751
E-mail: nvsz@nvsz.police.hu

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Transparency International Hungary
1055 Budapest
Falk Miksa utca 30. 4/2
Phone: +36 1 269 9534
Fax: +36 1 269 9535
E-mail: info@transparency.hu

Iceland

9. Corruption

Isolated cases of corruption have been known to occur, but are not an obstacle to foreign investment in Iceland or a recognized issue of concern in the government.  In 2019 Iceland ranked 11 out of 198 economies on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.  Iceland has signed the UN Convention against Corruption.  Iceland is a member of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

The Council of Europe body Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) published its fifth evaluation report on Iceland on April 12, 2018.  The key findings were concerns that Iceland currently has no dedicated government-wide policy plan on anti-corruption and that its existing agency and institution-specific codes of conduct were not sufficiently detailed and are often implemented in an ad hoc manner.  For more information, see the GRECO report (https://rm.coe.int/fifth-evaluation-round-preventing-corruption-and-promoting-integrity-i/16807b8218 ).

In the wake of the financial collapse in Iceland in 2008, a Code of Conduct for Staff in the Government Offices of Iceland was established in 2012, “with the purpose of promoting professional methods and of confidence in public administration.”  The code of conduct addresses workplace relations and procedures; behavior and conduct; conflicts of interest and shared interests; communication with the media, public and surveillance bodies; and responsibility and monitoring for Government Offices staff.  For more information see the Government of Iceland’s website (https://www.government.is/ministries/prime-ministers-office/code-of-conduct-for-staff/ ).  The code does not extend to family members of officials or political parties.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Ragna Bjarnadottir
Director
Ministry of Justice
Solvholsgata 7, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
+354-545-9000
ragna.bjarnadottir@dmr.is / dmr@dmr.is

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Valgerdur Bjarnadottir
Chairman
Gagnsæi (Icelandic chapter of Transparency International)
Gimli, Haskolatorg, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
fyrirspurnir@gagnsaei.is / transparency@transparency.is

India

9. Corruption

India is a signatory to the United Nation’s Conventions Against Corruption and is a member of the G20 Working Group against corruption. India showed marginal improvement and scored 41 out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index, with a ranking of 78 out of the 180 countries surveyed (as compared to a score of 40 out of 100 and ranked 81 in 2017).

Corruption is addressed by the following laws: the Companies Act, 2013; the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; the Code of Criminal Procedures, 1973; the Indian Contract Act, 1872; and the Indian Penal Code of 1860. Anti- corruption laws amended since 2004 have granted additional powers to vigilance departments in government ministries at the central and state levels. The amendments also elevated the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to be a statutory body. In addition, the Comptroller and Auditor General is charged with performing audits on public-private-partnership contracts in the infrastructure sector on the basis of allegations of revenue loss to the exchequer.

In November 2016, the Modi government ordered that INR 1000 and 500 notes, comprising approximately 86 percent of cash in circulation, be demonetized to curb “black money,” corruption, and the financing of terrorism. An August 2018 RBI report stated 99 percent of demonetized cash was deposited in legitimate bank accounts, leading analysts to question if the exercise enabled criminals to launder money into the banking system. Digital transactions increased due to demonetization, as mobile banking inclusion jumped from 40 percent to 60 percent of the populace. India is investigating 1.8 million bank accounts and 200 individuals associated with unusual deposits during demonetization, and banks’ suspicious transaction reports quadrupled to 473,000 in 2016. On August 7, SEBI directed stock exchanges to restrict trading and audit 162 suspected shell companies on the basis of large cash deposits during demonetization.

The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act of 2016 entered into effect in November 2016, and strengthened the legal and administrative procedures of the Benami Transactions Act 1988, which was ultimately never notified. (Note: A benami property is held by one person, but paid for by another, often with illicit funds.) Analysts expect the government to issue a roadmap in 2017-2018 to begin implementing the Act. In May 2017, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 came into effect. The Act will regulate India’s real estate sector, which is notorious for its corruption and lack of transparency.

In November 2016, India and Switzerland signed a joint declaration to enter into an Agreement on the Exchange of Information (AEOI) to automatically share financial information on accounts held by Indian residents, beginning in 2018. India also amended its Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Singapore, Cyprus, and Mauritius in 2016 to prevent income tax evasion. The move follows the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, which replaced the Income Tax (IT) Act of 1961 regarding the taxation of foreign income. The new Act penalizes the concealment of foreign income, as well as provides criminal liability for foreign income tax evasion.

In February 2014, the government enacted the Whistleblower Act, intended to protect anti- corruption activists, but it has yet to be implemented. Experts believe that the prosecution of corruption has been effective only among the lower levels of the bureaucracy; senior bureaucrats have generally been spared. Businesses consistently cite corruption as a significant obstacle to FDI in India and identify government procurement as a process particularly vulnerable to corruption. To make the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014 more effective, the government proposed an amendment bill in 2015. This bill is still pending with the Upper House of Parliament; however anti-corruption activists have expressed concern that the bill will dilute the Act by creating exemptions for state authorities, allowing them to stay out of reach of whistleblowers.

The Companies Act of 2013 established rules related to corruption in the private sector by mandating mechanisms for the protection of whistle blowers, industry codes of conduct, and the appointment of independent directors to company boards. As yet, the government has established no monitoring mechanism, and it is unclear the extent to which these protections have been instituted. No legislation focuses particularly on the protection of NGOs working on corruption issues, though the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, may afford some protection once it has been fully implemented.

In 2013, Parliament enacted the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013, which created a national anti- corruption ombudsman and requires states to create state-level ombudsmen within one year of the law’s passage. Till December 2018, the government had not appointed an ombudsman. (Note: An ombudsman was finally appointed in March 2019.)

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

India is a signatory to the United Nations Conventions against Corruption and is a member of the G20 Working Group against Corruption. India is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Matt Ingeneri
Economic Growth Unit Chief U.S. Embassy New Delhi Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi
+91 11 2419 8000 ingeneripm@state.gov

Ashutosh Kumar Mishra
Executive Director
Transparency International, India
Lajpat Bhawan, Room no.4
Lajpat Nagar,
New Delhi – 110024 +91 11 2646 0826
info@transparencyindia.org

Indonesia

9. Corruption

President Jokowi was elected in 2014 on a strong good-governance platform. However, corruption remains a serious problem according to some U.S. companies. The Indonesian government has issued detailed directions on combating corruption in targeted ministries and agencies, and the 2018 release of the updated and streamlined National Anti-Corruption Strategy mandates corruption prevention efforts across the government in three focus areas (licenses, state finances, and law enforcement reform). The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in 2002 as the lead government agency to investigate and prosecute corruption.  KPK is one of the most trusted and respected institutions in Indonesia. The KPK has taken steps to encourage companies to establish effective internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of public officials. By law, the KPK is authorized to conduct investigations, file indictments, and prosecute corruption cases involving law enforcement officers, government executives, or other parties connected to corrupt acts committed by those entities; attracting the “attention and the dismay” of the general public; and/or involving a loss to the state of at least IDR 1 billion (approximately USD 66,000).  The government began prosecuting companies who engage in public corruption under new corporate criminal liability guidance issued in a 2016 Supreme Court regulation, with the first conviction of a corporate entity in January 2019.  Presidential decree No. 13/2018 issued in March 2018 clarifies the definition of beneficial ownership and outlines annual reporting requirements and sanctions for non-compliance.

Indonesia’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index in 2019 improved to 85 out of 180 countries surveyed, compared to 89 out of 180 countries in 2018.  Indonesia’s score of public corruption in the country, according to Transparency International, improved to 40 in 2019 (scale of 0/very corrupt to 100/very clean).  At the beginning of President Jokowi’s term in 2014, Indonesia’s score was  34. Indonesia ranks 4th of the 10 ASEAN countries.

Nonetheless, according to certain reports, corruption remains pervasive despite laws to combat it. Some have noted that KPK leadership, along with the commission’s investigators and prosecutors, are sometimes harassed, intimidated, or attacked due to their anticorruption work. In early 2019, a Molotov cocktail and bomb components were placed outside the homes of two KPK commissioners, and in 2017 unidentified assailants committed an acid attack against a senior KPK investigator. Police have not identified the perpetrators of either attack. The Indonesian National Police and Attorney General’s Office also investigate and prosecute corruption cases; however, neither have the same organizational capacity or track-record of the KPK. Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act, with possible fines ranging from USD 3,850 to USD 77,000 and imprisonment up to a maximum of 20 years or life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the charge.

On September 2019, the Indonesia House of Representatives (DPR) passed Law No. 19/2019 on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) which revised the KPK’s original charter. This revised law introduced several changes relating to the authority and supervision of the KPK, including KPK’s status as a state agency under the authority of the executive branch (it was previously an independent body outside of the judicial, legislative, or executive branches) and establishment of a Supervisory Council to oversee certain KPK activities.  The new law also changed the KPK’s status as a separate law enforcement authority and mandated the KPK to provide performance review reports to the President, the DPR RI, and the supervisory board.  Finally, the KPK’s previous independent authority to terminate corruption investigations and prosecutions, as well as authorize wiretaps, searches, arrests, and asset seizures, has now been transferred to the Supervisory Council.  Many observers view these changes as limiting KPK’s ability to pursue corruption investigations without political interference.

Indonesia ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in September 2006. Indonesia has not yet acceded to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, but attends meetings of the OECD Anti-Corruption Working Group. In 2014, Indonesia chaired the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral platform to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and strengthen governance. Several civil society organizations function as vocal and competent corruption watchdogs, including Transparency International Indonesia and Indonesia Corruption Watch.

Resources to Report Corruption

Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Anti-Corruption Commission)
Jln. Kuningan Persada Kav 4, Setiabudi
Jakarta Selatan 12950
Email: informasi@kpk.go.id

Indonesia Corruption Watch
Jl. Kalibata Timur IV/D No. 6 Jakarta Selatan 12740
Tel: +6221.7901885 or +6221.7994015
Email: info@antikorupsi.org

Iraq

9. Corruption

Iraq ranked 162 out of 180 on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index. Public corruption is a major obstacle to economic development and political stability. Corruption is pervasive in government procurement, in the awarding of licenses or concessions, dispute settlement, and customs.

While large-scale investment opportunities exist in Iraq, corruption remains a significant impediment to conducting business, and foreign investors can expect to contend with corruption in many forms, at all levels. While the GOI has moved toward greater effectiveness in reducing opportunities for procurement corruption in sectors such as electricity, oil, and gas, credible reports of corruption in government procurement are widespread, with examples ranging from bribery and kickbacks to awards involving companies connected to political leaders. Investors may come under pressure to take on well-connected local partners to avoid systemic bureaucratic hurdles to doing business. Similarly, there are credible reports of corruption involving large-scale problems with government payrolls, ranging from “ghost” employees and salary skimming to nepotism and patronage in personnel decisions.

Moving goods into and out of the country continues to be difficult, and bribery of or extortion by port officials is commonplace; Iraq ranks 181 out of 190 countries in the category of “Trading Across Borders” in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report.

U.S. firms frequently identify corruption as a significant obstacle to foreign direct investment, particularly in government contracts and procurement, as well as performance requirements and performance bonds.

Several institutions have specific mandates to address corruption in Iraq. The Commission of Integrity, initially established under the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), is an independent government agency responsible for pursuing anti-corruption investigations, upholding the enforcement of laws, and preventing crime. The COI investigates government corruption allegations and refers completed cases to the Iraqi judiciary. COI Law No. 30, passed in 2011, updated the CPA provisions by granting the COI broader responsibilities and jurisdiction through three newly created directorates: asset recovery, research and studies, and the Anti-Corruption Academy. On October 28, the COR abrogated CPA Order 57, which had established Inspectors General (IGs) for each of Iraq’s ministries. Similar to the role of IGs in the U.S. government, these offices had been responsible for inspections, audits, and investigations within their ministries, although detractors claimed they in fact added another layer of bureaucracy and corruption.

The Board of Supreme Audit, established in 1927, is an analogue to the U.S. government’s General Accountability Office. It is a financially and administratively independent body that derives its authority from Law 31 of 2011 — the Law of the Board of Supreme Audit. It is charged with fiscal and regulatory oversight of all publicly-funded bodies in Iraq and auditing all federal revenues, including any revenues received from the IKR.

None of these organizations have provided an effective check on public corruption.

Neither the Commission for Integrity nor the IGs has effective jurisdiction within the IKR. The Kurdistan Board of Supreme Audit is responsible for auditing regional revenues with IKP and GOI oversight. The IKP established a regional Commission of Integrity in late 2013 and increased its jurisdiction the next year to include other branches of the KRG and money laundering.

Iraq is a party but not a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention. Iraq is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

According to Iraqi law, any person or legal entity has the right to submit corruption-related complaints to the Commission for Integrity and the inspector general of a GOI ministry or body.

Commission for Integrity
Department of Complaints and Reports
Mobile: 07901988559
Landline: 07600000030
Hotline@nazaha.iq

Ireland

Israel

9. Corruption

Bribery and other forms of corruption are illegal under several Israeli laws and Civil Service regulations. Israel became a signatory to the OECD Bribery convention in November 2008 and a full member of the OECD in May 2010. Israel ranks 35 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, dropping one place from its 2018 ranking. Several Israeli NGOs focus on public sector ethics in Israel and Transparency International has a local chapter.

Israel is a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

The Israeli National Police, state comptroller, Attorney General, and Accountant General are responsible for combating official corruption. These entities operate effectively and independently and are sufficiently resourced. NGOs that focus on anticorruption efforts operate freely without government interference.

The international NGO Transparency International closely monitors corruption in Israel.

Resources to Report Corruption

Ministry of Justice
Office of the Director General
29 Salah a-Din Street Jerusalem
02-6466533, 02-6466534, 02-6466535
mancal@justice.gov.il

Transparency International Israel
Ms. Ifat Zamir
Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Management +972 3 640 9176
+972 3 640 9176
ifat@ti-israel.org

Italy

9. Corruption

Corruption and organized crime continue to be significant impediments to investment and economic growth in parts of Italy, despite efforts by successive governments to reduce risks.  Italian law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials.  The government has usually implemented these laws effectively, but officials sometimes have engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.  While anti-corruption laws and trials garner headlines, they have been only somewhat effective in stopping corruption.  Italy has steadily improved in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, in overall rank and score every year since 2014, and ranked 51 in the 2019 Index.

In December 2018 Italy’s Parliament passed an anti-corruption bill that introduced new provisions to combat corruption in the public sector and regulate campaign finance.  The measures in the bill changed the statute of limitations for corruption-related crimes as well as other crimes and made it more difficult for people to “run out the clock” on their respective cases.  Italy’s anti-money-laundering laws also apply to public officials, defined as any person who has been entrusted with important political functions, as well as their immediate family members.  (This encompasses anyone from the head of state to members of the executive body in state-owned companies.)

U.S. individuals and firms operating or investing in foreign markets should take the time to become familiar with the anticorruption laws of both the foreign country and the United States in order to comply with them and, where appropriate, they should seek the advice of legal counsel.  While the U.S. Embassy has not received specific complaints of corruption from U.S. companies operating in Italy, commercial and economic officers are familiar with high-profile cases that may affect U.S. companies.  The Embassy has received requests for assistance from companies facing a lack of transparency and complicated bureaucracy, particularly in the sphere of government procurement and specifically in the aerospace industry.  There have been no reports of government failure to protect NGOs that investigate corruption (such as Transparency International Italy).

Italy has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention and the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione (ANAC)
Via Marco Minghetti, 10 – 00187 Roma
Phone:  +39 06 367231
Fax:  +39 06 36723274
Email:  protocollo@pec.anticorruzione.it

Contact Info page:  http://www.anticorruzione.it/portal/public/classic/MenuServizio/Contatti 

ANAC’s whistleblowing web page is:  http://www.anticorruzione.it/portal/public/classic/Servizi/ServiziOnline/SegnalazioneWhistleblowing 

Transparency International Italia
P.le Carlo Maciachini 11
20159 Milano – Italy
T:  +39 02 40093560
F:  +39 02 406829
E:  info@transparency.it
General web site:  www.transparency.it 
Corruption Specific:  https://www.transparency.it/alac/ 

Jamaica

9. Corruption

Jamaican law provides criminal penalties for corruption by public officials, however, there is at least circumstantial evidence that some officials engage in corrupt practice. There were also reports of government corruption in 2019 and it remained a significant problem of public concern. Media and civil society organizations continued to criticize the government for being slow and at times reluctant to tackle corruption .

Under the Corruption Prevention Act, public servants can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined as much as USD 100,000 if found guilty of engaging in acts of bribery, including bribes to foreign public officials.

In 2017, Jamaica passed an Integrity Commission Act that consolidated three agencies with anti-corruption mandates into a single entity, the Integrity Commission, which now has limited prosecutorial powers.  The three agencies are the precursor Integrity Commission, which received and monitored statutory declarations from parliamentarians; the Office of the Contractor General (OCG), which monitored government contracts; and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, which received the financial filings of specified public servants. A key area of concern for corruption is in government procurement. However, successful prosecutions – particularly for high-level corruption – are rare.

Two Ministers of government demitted office between 2018 and March 2019, in the wake of corruption allegations.

Corruption, and its apparent linkages with organized crime, appear to be one of the root causes of Jamaica’s high crime rate and economic stagnation.  In 2019, Transparency International gave Jamaica a score of 43 out of a possible 100 on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), demoting the island four spots from its ranking of 70th in 2018 to 74th globally.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Jamaica ratified major international corruption instruments, including the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Jamaica is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA)
24hr Hotline:
1-800-CORRUPT (1-800-267-7878)
Email: info@moca.gov.jm

National Integrity Action
2 Holborn Road
Kingston 10, Jamaica
Phone: 1 876 906 4371/ Fax: 876-754-7951
Email: info@niajamaica.org

Japan

9. Corruption

Japan’s penal code covers crimes of official corruption, and an individual convicted under these statutes is, depending on the nature of the crime, subject to prison sentences and possible fines.  With respect to corporate officers who accept bribes, Japanese law also provides for company directors to be subject to fines and/or imprisonment, and some judgments have been rendered against company directors.

The direct exchange of cash for favors from government officials in Japan is extremely rare.  However, the web of close relationships between Japanese companies, politicians, government organizations, and universities has been criticized for fostering an inwardly “cooperative”—or insular—business climate that is conducive to the awarding of contracts, positions, etc. within a tight circle of local players.  This phenomenon manifests itself most frequently and seriously in Japan through the rigging of bids on government public works projects.  However, instances of bid rigging appear to have decreased over the past decade.  Alleged bid rigging between construction companies was discovered on the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka maglev high-speed rail project in 2017, and the case is currently being prosecuted.

Japan’s Act on Elimination and Prevention of Involvement in Bid-Rigging authorizes the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) to demand that central and local government commissioning agencies take corrective measures to prevent continued complicity of officials in bid rigging activities and to report such measures to the JFTC.  The Act also contains provisions concerning disciplinary action against officials participating in bid rigging and compensation for overcharges when the officials caused damage to the government due to willful or grave negligence.  Nevertheless, questions remain as to whether the Act’s disciplinary provisions are strong enough to ensure officials involved in illegal bid rigging are held accountable.

Japan has ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which bans bribing foreign government officials.  However, there are continuing concerns over the effectiveness of Japan’s anti-bribery enforcement efforts, particularly the very small number of cases prosecuted by Japanese authorities compared to other OECD members.

For vetting potential local investment partners, companies may review credit reports on foreign companies which are available from many private-sector sources, including, in the United States, Dun & Bradstreet and Graydon International.  Additionally, a company may inquire about the International Company Profile (ICP), which is a background report on a specific foreign company that is prepared by commercial officers of the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo.

Resources to Report Corruption

Businesses or individuals may contact the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), with contact details at:  http://www.jftc.go.jp/en/about_jftc/contact_us.html .

Jordan

9. Corruption

Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2005 and has initiated several reforms in similar spirit over the last two decades; including a code of conduct for the public sector in 2006. Furthermore, the government drafted an action plan to address corruption with Jordan’s National Integrity System (NIS), developed in 2012.

Jordanian Anti-Corruption law defines corruption as any act that violates official duties, all acts related to favoritism and nepotism that could deprive others from their legitimate rights, economic crimes, and misuse of power. However, the use of family, business, and other personal connections to advance personal business interests is endemic and regarded by many Jordanians as part of the culture. In 2006, Parliament approved an Illicit Gains Law, which officially required public office holders and specified government officials to declare their assets. The 2018 amendments to the Illicit Gain Law expanded the employees subject to the financial disclosure requirement to include heads and members of ad hoc municipal councils, executive directors of municipalities and heads and members of governorate councils. The Law requires the prime minister, Cabinet members, and senior employees to provide financial disclosures for themselves, their spouses, and minor children.

In 2006, Parliament also enacted an Anti-Corruption Law that created the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations of corruption. In 2016, the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (“IACC”) came into force by Law No. 13/2016 (“IACC Law”). Two Authorities were merged into one, repealing the Bureau of Ombudsman Law No. 11 of 2008 and the Anti-Corruption Law No. 62/2006.

The IACC received 790 new investigation files on corruption in 2018, of which 173 cases were referred to the Public Prosecutor in the commission, 342 files were closed and archived because either corruption offenses were found and therefore no administrative action was required to correct / rectify the situation, and 275 files still are under investigation.

In 2018, the government issued the Code of Governance Practices of Policies and Legislative Instruments in Government Departments, to improve the predictability of legal and regulatory framework governing the business environment.

In July 2019, Parliament amended the IACC Law granting the IACC more authority to access asset disclosure filings. The amendment empowers the commission to request asset seizures, international travel bans, and suspension of officials under investigation for corruption. The amendment also increases the IACC’s administrative autonomy by enabling the commission to update its own regulations and protecting IACC board members and the chairperson from arbitrary dismissal.

The IACC opened 609 new investigations in 2019. The IACC referred 234 cases to the courts for prosecution, closed 316 for lack of evidence, and transferred three cases within the commission. Another 56 cases remained under investigation.

A new Audit Bureau Law was enacted in October 2018 to strengthen the Bureau performance, capacity and independence in line with INTOSAI standards.

Other related laws include the Penal/Criminal Code, Anti-Money Laundering Law, Right to Access Information Law, and the Economic Crimes Law.

Jordan is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

H.E. Mohannad Hijazi
Chairman
Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC)
P.O. Box 5000, Amman, 11953, Jordan
+962 6 550 3150

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Sawsan Gharaibeh
Director
+962 079 905 2555
swmkgf@gmail.com

And/ Or

Abeer Mdanat
Executive Director
Rasheed Coalition
P.O. Box 582662, Amman, 111585, Jordan
+962 5 585 2528
amdanat@rasheedti.org

Kazakhstan

9. Corruption

Kazakhstan’s rating in Transparency International’s (TI) 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index is 34/100, ranking Kazakhstan 113 out of 180 countries rated – a relatively weak score, but the best in Central Asia.  According to the report, corruption remains a serious challenge for Kazakhstan, amplified by the instability of the economy.  In its March 2019 report on the fourth round of monitoring under the Istanbul Action Plan, OECD stated a lack of progress on 9 of 29 recommendations, including: implementation of a holistic anti-corruption policy in the private sector, ensuring independence of the anti-corruption agency, detailed integrity rules for political officials, independence of the judiciary and judges, mandatory anti-corruption screening of all draft laws, bringing the Law on Access to Information in line with international standards, effective and dissuasive liability of legal entities for corruption crimes; and ensuring the effectiveness of investigative and prosecutorial practices to combat corruption crimes.

The 2015-2025 Anti-Corruption Strategy focuses on measures to prevent the conditions that foster corruption, rather than fighting the consequences of corruption.  The Criminal Code imposes tough criminal liability and punishment for corruption, eliminates suspension of sentences for corruption-related crimes, and introduces a lifetime ban on employment in the civil service with mandatory forfeiture of title, rank, grade and state awards.  The Law on Countering Corruption introduces broader definitions of corruption and risks, anticorruption monitoring and analysis, and stronger financial accountability measures.  The Law on Government Procurement prohibits companies, the managers of which are directly related to decision makers of contracting government agencies, from participation in tenders.  The Law on Countering Corruption states that private companies should undertake measures to prevent corruption, while business associations can develop codes of conduct for specific industries.

The Agency for Countering Corruption presents its report on countering corruption annually. Kazakhstan ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008.  It has been a participant of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network since 2004, the International Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies since 2009, and the International Counter-Corruption Council of CIS member-states since 2013.  Kazakhstan became a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in January 2020.  The government and local business entities are aware of the legal restrictions placed on business abroad, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.

Despite provisions in laws, however, corruption allegations are noted in nearly all sectors, including extractive industries, infrastructure projects, state procurements, and the banking sector.  The International Finance Corporation’s Enterprise Survey that gathers responses from thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises in each of more than 100 countries, finds that respondents indicate corruption as the most severe obstacle to doing business in Kazakhstan.  For more information, please see: http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/data/exploreeconomies/2013/kazakhstan#corruption 

Transparency International Kazakhstan conducted a survey in 2019 to assess the corruption perception of 1,824 representatives of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.  A total of 76.1 percent of respondents reported that they can develop their business without corruption.

The legal framework controlling corruption has been eased and loopholes exist.  In 2018 the president signed into law a set of criminal legislation amendments  mitigating punishment for acts of corruption by officials, including decriminalizing official inaction, hindrance to business activity, and falsification of documents; significantly reducing the amounts of fines for taking bribes; and reinstituting a statute of limitation for corruption crimes.  The largest loophole surrounds the first president and his family.  The Law on the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan—Leader of the Nation establishes blanket immunity for First President Nazarbayev and members of his family from arrest, detention, search or interrogation.  Journalists and advocates for fiscal transparency are reported to have faced frequent harassment, administrative pressure, and there are reports of disappearances and unaccounted deaths.

Resources to Report Corruption

Under the Law On Countering Corruption, all government, quasi-government entities, and officials are responsible for countering corruption.  Along with the Anti-Corruption Agency, prosecutors, national security agencies, police, tax inspectors, military police, and border guard service members are responsible for the detection, termination, disclosure, investigation, and prevention of corruption crimes, and for holding the perpetrators liable within their competence.

Transparency International maintains a national chapter in Kazakhstan.

Contact at the government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Alik Shpekbayev
Chairman
Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Countering Corruption
37 Seyfullin Street, Astana
+7 (7172) 909002
a.shpekbaev@kyzmet.gov.kz

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Olga Shiyan
Executive Director
Civic Foundation “Transparency Kazakhstan”
Office 308/2
89 Dosmuhamedov str,
Business Center Caspi
Almaty 050012
+7 (727) 292 0970; +7 771 589 4507
oshiyantikaz@gmail.com

Kenya

9. Corruption

Many businesses deem corruption to be pervasive and entrenched in Kenya. Transparency International’s (TI) 2019 Global Corruption Perception Index ranks Kenya 137 out of 198 countries, six places lower than in 2018 and Kenya’s score of 28 remains below the sub-Saharan Africa average of 32. Historical lack of political will, limited progress in prosecuting past corruption cases, and the slow pace of reform in key sectors were reasons cited for Kenya’s chronic low ranking. Corruption has been reported to be an impediment to FDI, with local media reporting allegations of high-level corruption related to health, energy, ICT, and infrastructure contracts. There are many reports that corruption often influences the outcomes of government tenders, and U.S. firms have had limited success bidding on public procurements. In 2018, President Kenyatta began a public campaign against corruption. The Anti-Corruption agencies mandated to fight corruption have been inconsistent in coordinating activities, especially in bringing cases against senior officials. However, there were cabinet level arrests in 2019 that signaled a commitment by the GOK to fight corruption. Despite these efforts, much still remains to be done in convicting high profile suspects.

In 2020, a high-level conviction was secured for a Member of Parliament setting a precedent for top officials’ convictions. Relevant legislation and regulations include the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (2003), the Public Officers Ethics Act (2003), the Code of Ethics Act for Public Servants (2004), the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (2010), the Leadership and Integrity Act (2012), and the Bribery Act (2016). The Access to Information Act (2016) also provides mechanisms through which private citizens can obtain information on government activities; implementation of this act is ongoing. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) monitors and enforces compliance with the above legislation.

The Leadership and Integrity Act (2012) requires public officers to register potential conflicts of interest with the relevant commissions. The law identifies interests that public officials must register, including directorships in public or private companies, remunerated employment, securities holdings, and contracts for supply of goods or services, among others. The law requires candidates seeking appointment to non-elective public offices to declare their wealth, political affiliations, and relationships with other senior public officers. This requirement is in addition to background screening on education, tax compliance, leadership, and integrity.

The law requires that all public officers declare their income, assets, and liabilities every two years. Public officers must also include the income, assets, and liabilities of their spouses and dependent children under the age of 18. Information contained in these declarations is not publicly available, and requests to obtain and publish this information must be approved by the relevant commission. Any person who publishes or makes public information contained in public officer declarations without permission may be subject to fine or imprisonment.

On August 31, 2016, the president signed into law the Access to Information Act (2016) although the government has not yet issued regulations required to fully operationalize the act. The law allows citizens to request government information and requires government entities and private entities doing business with the government proactively to disclose certain information, such as government contracts. The act also provides a mechanism to request a review of the government’s failure to disclose requested information, along with penalties for failures to disclose. The act exempts certain information from disclosure on grounds of national security.

The private sector-supported Bribery Act (2016) stiffened penalties for corruption in public tendering and requires private firms participating in such tenders to sign a code of ethics and develop measures to prevent bribery. Both the Bill of Rights of the 2010 Constitution and the Access to Information Act (2016) provide protections to NGOs, investigative journalism, and individuals involved in investigating corruption. The Witness Protection Act (2006) calls for the protection of witnesses in criminal cases and created an independent Witness Protection Agency. A draft Whistleblowers Protection Bill (2016) is currently stalled in Parliament.

Kenya is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and in 2016 published the results of a peer review process on UNCAC compliance: (https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/CountryVisitFinalReports/2015_09_28_Kenya_Final_Country_Report.pdf ). Kenya is also a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention and the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery, and a member of the Open Government Partnership. Kenya is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Kenya is also a signatory to the East African Community’s Protocol on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Rev. Eliud Wabukala (Ret.)
Chairperson and Commissioner
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission
P.O. Box 61130 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
Phones: +254 (0)20-271-7318, (0)20-310-722, (0)729-888-881/2/3
Report corruption online: https://eacc.go.ke/default/report-corruption/ 

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Sheila Masinde
Executive Director
Transparency International Kenya
Phone: +254 (0)722-296-589
Report corruption online: https://www.tikenya.org/ 

Kosovo

9. Corruption

Opinion polls attest to the public perception that corruption is widespread in public procurement and local and international businesses regularly cite corruption, especially in the form of political interference, as one of Kosovo’s largest obstacles to attracting investment.  Kosovo has enacted strong legislation to combat corruption, but the government has thus far been unsuccessful in efforts to investigate, prosecute, jail, and confiscate the assets of corrupt individuals.  The government has enacted other measures to address corruption, including a requirement to conduct all public procurement electronically and to publish the names of contract winners.  The government also recently dismissed the boards of several SOEs, citing mismanagement.

The Kurti government, which started its mandate in February 2020, but fell in March 2020 and as of May 2020 was in caretaker status, took a number of concrete steps to combat corruption and political interference, but given its short tenure was not able to institutionalize all of its measures and change the perception of political interference in public administration and the judicial system.  The Anti-Corruption Agency and the Office of Auditor General are the government agencies mandated to fight corruption.

The Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest and Discharge in Public Function as well as the Law on Declaration, Origin, and Control of Property of Public Officials are intended to combat nepotism.  They require senior public officials and their family members to disclose their property and its origins.  The Criminal Code also punishes bribery and corruption.

The Embassy is unaware of any government activity to encourage private companies to establish internal codes of conduct.  The embassy is also unaware of local industry or non-profit groups that offer services for vetting potential local investment partners.

In 2016, the Kosovo Assembly approved amendments to the Law on Anti-Money Laundering.  The EU-compliant law supported Kosovo’s membership in the Egmont Group, a network of 152 Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) where the members exchange expertise to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.  Money laundering is believed to be most common in the real estate, construction, and gambling sectors.  Kosovo’s FIU is an independent governmental agency that leads Kosovo’s efforts to investigate economic crimes.

U.S. companies operating in Kosovo must adhere to FCPA requirements.  Kosovo participated in 2013 as an observer member in the anti-corruption conference organized by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), and has attended several international conferences on anti-corruption with the support of the Council of Europe and UNDP.  Kosovo’s laws protect NGOs that investigate corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Shaip Havolli
Director, Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency
Nazim Gafurri Street, No. 31, Pristina, Kosovo
+381 38 518 980
Email: shaip.havolli@rks-gov.net

Hilmi Jashari
OMBUDSMAN
The Republic of Kosovo OMBUDSPERSON Institution
Str. “MIGJENI”, no. 21, Pristina, Kosovo
+383 (0) 38 223 782
Email: hilmi.Jashari@oik-rks.org

Ismet Kryeziu
Executive Director
Kosovo Democratic Institute
Bajram Kelmendi Street, n/45, Pristina, Kosovo
+381 38 248 038
Email: ikryeziu@kdi-kosova.org

Jeta Xharra
Executive Director
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo
Menza e studenteve, kati i pare, 10000 Prishtine, Kosovo
+ 381 38 22 44 98
Email: jeta@birn.eu.com

Kuwait

9. Corruption

Corruption is criminalized, and several investigations and trials involving current or former government officials accused of malfeasance are active.

Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Kuwait 85 out of 180 countries.  Within the GCC, Kuwait ranked behind UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, ahead of only Bahrain.  According to Transparency International, Kuwait’s numeric score of 40 (out of 100) indicated that the country has a serious corruption problem.

The often-lengthy procurement process in Kuwait occasionally results in accusations of attempted bribery or the offering of other inducements by bidders.  In 1996, the government passed Law No. 25, which required all companies securing contracts with the government valued at KD 100,000 (USD 330,000) or more to report all payments made to Kuwaiti agents or advisors while securing the contract.  The law similarly requires entities and individuals to report any payments they received as compensation for securing government contracts.

Kuwait signed the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003 and ratified it in 2007.  In 2016, the National Assembly passed legislation to establish the Anti-Corruption Authority, also known as Nazaha (integrity).  The legislation was passed to comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Nazaha has sent several cases to the Public Prosecution Office for failure to comply with financial disclosure requirements.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact information for the government agency responsible for combating corruption is as follows:

Mr. Abdulrahman Nimash Al-Nimash.
President
Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha)
Shamiya, Block 2, Opposite Wahran Park, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Tel:  +965 2464-0200/118
Email: contact@nazaha.gov.kw

Kyrgyz Republic

9. Corruption

Corruption remains a serious problem at all levels of Kyrgyz society and in all sectors of the economy. According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, the Kyrgyz Republic ranked 126 out of 176 countries rated, climbing from its position of 132 in 2016. Kyrgyz politicians and citizens alike are aware of the systemic corruption, but the problem has shown to be difficult to fight. Moreover, many in the Kyrgyz Republic view paying of bribes as the most efficient way to receive government assistance and many, albeit indirectly, gain benefits from corrupt practices.

The Kyrgyz Republic is a signatory of the UN Anticorruption Convention but is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. The anticorruption service within the State Committee on National Security has taken action against a limited number of ministers and parliamentarians. Over the past year, instances of corruption-related arrests against public figures from the political opposition have increased.

In 2019, President Jeenbekov announced urgent measures to clean up state bodies and purge unscrupulous state actors, but a string of corruption scandals has fueled public criticism of the government’s ineffectiveness to combat public corruption. All companies are recommended to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials, but such codes are unevenly applied and enforced. There are laws that criminalize giving and accepting of bribe, establish penalties ranging from a small administrative fine to a prison sentence, but the government’s active enforcement of these laws is uneven. In November 2019, Azattyk, the Kyrgyz affiliate of Radio Free Europe, together with the Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime (OCCRP) and the independent online outlet Kloop.kg, published a series of investigations that exposed mass corruption within the highest levels of the Kyrgyz State Customs Service that resulted in the laundering and smuggling or illicit transfer of USD 700 million dollars out of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Public procurement remains an area prone to corruption. In December 2019, the Kyrgyz courts convicted and sentenced former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov and former chairman of National Energy Holding Aybek Kaliyev to prison on corruption charges for their role in awarding the USD 386 million modernization project of the Bishkek Central Heating Plant to the Chinese company TBEA without implementing proper tender procedures. The corruption investigation opened in February 2018, after massive technical failures at the Bishkek Central Heating Plant left the capital without heating and water during a severe cold snap the previous month. With support from international donors, the Kyrgyz government has since prioritized advancements in e-governance, with the aim of increasing transparency in public procurement.

Corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business in the Kyrgyz Republic. It has had a corrosive impact on both market opportunities for U.S. companies and the broader business climate. It also deters international investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines rule of law. It is important for U.S. companies, regardless of their size, to assess the business climate in the relevant sector in which they will be operating or investing, and to have an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including bribery. U.S. individuals and firms operating or investing in foreign markets should take the time to become familiar with the relevant anticorruption laws of both the Kyrgyz Republic and the United States in order to properly comply with them, and where appropriate, they should seek the advice of legal counsel.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

The Kyrgyz Republic ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in September 2005. The Kyrgyz Republic is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Hotline of the Anti-corruption Service of the State Committee for National Security: Bishkek
Zhibek-Zholu Street
+996 (312) 660020
aks.gknb@gmail.com

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Mukanova N.A., General Secretary
Anticorruption Business Council of the Kyrgyz Republic
Ministry of Economy 114 Chui Avenue, Bishkek
+996 312 895 496
secretariat.adc@gmail.com
www.adc.kg

Laos

9. Corruption

Corruption is a serious problem in Laos that affects all levels of the economy.  The Lao government has developed several anti-corruption laws but enforcement remains weak.   Since assuming office in early 2016, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has put a renewed focus on government anti-corruption efforts, and Lao media and the National Assembly now regularly report on corruption challenge and the sacking of disciplining of corrupt officials.  In September 2009, Laos ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Domestic and international firms have repeatedly identified corruption as a problem in the business environment and a major detractor for international firms exploring investment or business activities in the local market.

The Lao State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA), an independent, ministry-level body, is charged with analyzing corruption at the national level and serves as a central office for gathering details and evidence of suspected corruption.  Additionally, each ministry and province contains an SIAA office independent from the organization in which it is housed.  These SIAA offices feed into the SIAA’s central system.

According to Lao law, both giving and accepting bribes are criminal acts punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.  Nonetheless, foreign businesses frequently cite corruption as an obstacle to operating in Laos.  Often characterized as a fee for urgent service, officials commonly accept bribes for the purpose of approving or expediting applications.  Laos is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

In 2014, an asset declaration regime entered into force for government officials, which required them to declare income, assets and debts for themselves and their family members; this was further strengthened in 2017 and 2018.  Officials are now required to file a declaration of any assets valued over USD 2,500, including land, structures, vehicles and equipment, as well as cash, gold, and financial instruments.  These declarations are reportedly held privately and securely by the government.  If a corruption complaint is made against an official, the SIAA can compare the sealed declaration with the official’s current wealth.  Whether this program has worked or is working remains unclear.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Mr. Viengkeo PhonAsa,
Director General
Anti-Corruption Department, State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority
Sivilay Village, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, 13th South Road
Tel: office:, 021 715032; Fax: 021 715006; cell: 020 2222 5432

Latvia

9. Corruption

Latvian law enforcement institutions, foreign business representatives, and non-governmental organizations have identified corruption and the perception of corruption as persistent problems in Latvia.  According to the 2019 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Latvia ranks 44th out of 180 countries (in order from the lowest perceived level of public sector corruption to the highest).

In an effort to strengthen its anti-corruption programs, the Latvian government has adopted several laws and regulations, including the Law on Money Laundering and the Law on Conflicts of Interest.  The Conflicts of Interest Law imposes restrictions and requirements on public officials and their relatives.  Several provisions of the law deal with the previously widespread practice of holding several positions simultaneously, often in both the public and private sector.  The law includes a comprehensive list of state and municipal jobs that cannot be combined with additional employment.  Moreover, the law expanded the scope of the term state official to include members of boards and councils of companies with state or municipal capital exceeding 50 percent.  Latvia became a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 2014.  In line with OECD recommendations the government is working to strengthen anti-corruption enforcement and improve the functioning of its independent agency, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (KNAB).

Under Latvian law, it is a crime to offer, accept, or facilitate a bribe.  Although the law stipulates heavy penalties for bribery, a limited number of government officials have been prosecuted and convicted of corruption to date.  The law also provides the possibility of withdrawing charges against a person giving a bribe in cases where the bribe has been extorted, or in cases where the person voluntarily reports these incidents and actively assists the investigation.  In addition, the Latvian government has adopted a whistleblower law that requires all government agencies and large companies to establish protocols to accept whistleblower complaints and protect whistleblowers from reprisals.

KNAB is the institution with primary responsibility for combating corruption and carrying out operational activities in response to suspected or alleged corruption.  The Prosecutor General’s Office also plays an important role in fighting corruption.

KNAB has also established a Public Consultative Council to help increase public participation in implementing its anti-corruption policies, increasing public awareness, and strengthening connections between the agency and the public.  More information is available here: https://www.knab.gov.lv/en/knab/consultative/public/ .

There is a perceived lack of fairness and transparency in the public procurement process in Latvia.  A number of companies, including foreign companies, have complained that bidding requirements are sometimes written with the assistance of potential contractors or couched in terms that exclude all but preferred contractors.

A Cabinet of Ministers regulation provides for public access to government information, and the government generally provided citizens such access.  There have been no reports the government has denied noncitizens or foreign media access to government information.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau
Citadeles iela 1, Riga, LV 1010, Latvia
+371 67356161
knab@knab.gov.lv

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Delna (Latvian affiliate of Transparency International)
Citadeles iela 8, Riga, LV-1010
+371 67285585
ti@delna.lv

Lebanon

9. Corruption

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI, including in government procurement, award of contracts, dispute resolution, customs, and taxation.  A key demand of the anti-government protest movement that led to resignation of the previous government in October 2019 was stricter anti-corruption measures.  Corruption is reportedly more pervasive in government contracts (primarily in procurement and public works), taxation, and real estate registration, than in private sector transactions.  Lebanese law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but they are not implemented effectively.  For instance, Lebanon does not effectively enforce the Illicit Wealth Law.  The Illicit Wealth Law applies to all state employees, government and senior officials, and municipality members and extends to family members.  The law does not extend to political parties.  The legislation has articles to counter conflict-of interest in awarding contracts and government procurement, but they are not enforced.  The Access to Information Law is not effectively implemented.

In April 2020, Parliament approved several laws seen as key to anti-corruption efforts:  an anti-corruption law targeting public sector employee and creating a National Committee to Combat Corruption, and a law to lift immunity of (low-level) public service employees.  Implementations of these laws will be critical to their success.  In May 2020, the government approved its National Anti-Corruption Strategy, while Parliament approved a law allowing the committee and Lebanon’s Financial Intelligence Unit to lift bank secrecy for top government officials.  It also approved a law changing appointments of top civil servants to a merit-based system, but implementation for all of these changes remains key to determining how they will combat entrenched corruption.

Lebanon ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in April 2009.  Lebanon is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

As for civil society, the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) is a key advocate for stronger anti-corruption enforcement.  The LTA also established the Lebanese Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (LALAC) to inform citizens of their rights and to encourage victims and witnesses to take action against cases of corruption.  LALAC operates a hotline for victims and witnesses to report cases of corruption and receive free legal advice and assistance with their case.  The program is currently funded by Transparency International (TI) and the German Foreign Office.  LTA also conducted several workshops targeting municipalities, public servants, investigative journalists, and civil society groups promoting access to information right in Lebanon.

Resources to Report Corruption

Lebanese Transparency Association
Sami El Solh Avenue, Kaloot Bldg, 9th Floor
Badaro, Beirut
P.O. Box 50-552, Lebanon
Tel/Fax: +961-1-388113/4/5
Cell: 70-035777
Email: info@transparency-lebanon.org

Liberia

9. Corruption

Liberia suffers from corruption in both the public and private sectors. Some officials engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Liberia has laws against economic sabotage, mismanagement of funds, bribery, and other corruption-related acts, including conflicts of interest. In 2019, Transparency International lowered Liberia’s rank from 120 to 137 out of 180 countries in its corruption perception index. See https://www.transparency.org/country/LBR  .

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission  (LACC) cannot directly prosecute corruption cases. It must first submit/refer cases to the Ministry of Justice  (MOJ) for prosecution. If the MOJ does not prosecute within 90 days, the LACC may then take those cases to court. The LACC continues to seek public support for the establishment of a specialized court to exclusively try corruption cases.

Foreign investors generally report that corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, contract and concession awards, customs and taxation systems, regulatory systems, performance requirements, and government payments systems.  Multinational firms often report paying fees not stipulated in investment agreements. No laws explicitly protect NGOs that investigate corruption.

Liberia is signatory to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on the Fight against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC), and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Baba Borkai, Chief Investigator
Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Monrovia, http://lacc.gov.lr/ 
bborkai@lacc.gov.lr

Toll free: (+231) 777-313131
Email: bborkai@lacc.gov.lr

Contact at a “watchdog” organization (local or nongovernmental organization operating in Liberia that monitors corruption):

Anderson Miamen, Executive Director
Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL)
Tel: (+231) 886-818855
Email: admiamen@gmail.com

Libya

9. Corruption

Foreign firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI; corruption is pervasive in virtually all sectors of the economy, especially in government procurement.   Officials frequently engage with impunity in corrupt practices such as graft, bribery, nepotism, money laundering, human smuggling, and other criminal activities.  Although Libyan law provides some criminal penalties for corruption by officials, the government does not enforce the law effectively.  Internal conflict and the weakness of public institutions further undermine enforcement.  No financial disclosure laws, regulations, or codes of conduct require income and asset disclosure by appointed or elected officials.

The Libyan Audit Bureau (AB), the highest financial regulatory authority in the country, has made minimal efforts to improve transparency.  The Audit Bureau has investigated mismanagement at the General Electricity Company of Libya that had lowered production and led to acute power cuts.  Other economic institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank  published some economic data during the year.

On 10 July 2018, GNA Prime Minister al-Sarraj requested international support to conduct an audit of the two branches of the Central Bank ,and this request was endorsed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 13 September 2018 (UNSC Resolution 2434).  The audit of the two CBL branches, if implemented by Libyan authorities, is a means to restore the integrity, transparency and confidence in the Libyan financial system and create the conditions for the long-awaited unification of Libyan financial institutions.  However, as of May 2020, the Audit Bureau has obstructed payment to the international auditing firm that won the bid to conduct the audit because the AB claims that Libyan law provides it sole authority for conducing financial audits of Libyan government institutions.

Libya has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.  It is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Libya has several anti-corruption agencies and bodies, including, most notably, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Attorney General, the Administrative Control Authority, the Accountancy Bureau and the Financial Information Unit.

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Akram Bannur
General Secretary
National Anti-Corruption Commission of Libya
+218 91 335 8583
Bannurakram@outlook.com

Contact at a “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption, such as Transparency International):

Ibrahim Ali
Chairman
Libyan Transparency International
+218916344442
info@transparency-libya.org

Lithuania

9. Corruption

A Eurobarometer survey on corruption conducted in 2017 showed that Lithuania lags behind other EU countries on scores concerning both perceptions and actual experience of corruption. Among the survey results: 93 percent of Lithuanian respondents said they think that corruption is widespread in Lithuania; 17 percent indicated that they were asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past 12 months; and 29 percent believe that the only way to succeed in business is to have political connections.

More than 50 governmental institutions regulate commerce in one way or another, creating opportunities for corrupt practices. Large foreign investors report few problems with corruption. On the contrary, most large investors report that high-level officials are often very helpful in solving problems fairly. In general, foreign investors say that corruption is not a significant obstacle to doing business in Lithuania and describe most of the bureaucrats they deal with in Lithuania as reasonable and fair. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) perceive themselves as more vulnerable to petty bureaucrats and commonly complain about extortion. SMEs often complain that excessive red tape virtually requires the payment of “grease money” to obtain permits promptly. Business owners maintain that some government officials, on the other hand, view SMEs as likely tax-cheats and smugglers, and treat the owners and managers accordingly.

Paying or accepting a bribe is a criminal act. Lithuania established in 1997 the Special Investigation Service (Specialiuju Tyrimu Tarnyba) specifically to fight public sector corruption. The agency investigates approximately 100 cases of alleged corruption every year, but has yet to bring charges against high-level officials for corrupt practices. Lithuania ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption in December 2006. Transparency International (TI) also has a national chapter in Lithuania. TI ranked Lithuania 35th out of 180 in its 2019 Perceptions of Corruption Index with a score of 60 out of 100 (TI considers countries with a score below 50 to have serious problems with corruption.). Medical personnel, local government officials, among others, were cited by TI as prone to corruption.

Lithuania ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2006 and acceded to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 2017.

Resources to Report Corruption

Special Investigation Service
Jakšto g. 6, 01105 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel: 370-5266333
Fax: 370-70663307
Email: pranesk@stt.lt

Transparency Internationa
Sergejus Muravjovas, Executive Director
Transparency International
Didžioji st. 5, LT–01128, Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel: 370 5 212 69 51
info@transparency.lt | skype: ti_lithuania

Luxembourg

9. Corruption

Regulations are enforced by the strong but flexible Financial Sector Surveillance Commission (CSSF, which is equivalent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI in Luxembourg.  There are no known areas or sectors where corruption is pervasive, whether in Government procurement, transfers, performance requirements, dispute settlement, regulatory system, or taxation.

Giving or accepting a bribe, including between a local company and a public official, is a criminal act subject to the penal code. Recently, a mayor was implicated in abusing his office for personal purposes.  Senior Government officials take anti-corruption efforts seriously.  International, regional, or local nongovernmental watchdog organizations do not operate in the country, given the low risk.

Luxembourg has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption effectively, and they are enforced impartially with no disproportionate attention to foreign investors or any other group.  The country ranks very favorably on the World Bank’s corruption index.

Luxembourg has made anti-money laundering and suppression of terrorism financing a priority, given its status as a leading world financial center.  The government has taken the lead in freezing bank accounts suspected of being connected to terrorist networks, and since 2004 extended the law against money-laundering and terrorist financing to additional professional groups (including auditors, accountants, attorneys, and notaries).

On February 14, 2018, a new law implementing a substantial part of the fourth anti-money laundering (AML) directive was published in the Official Journal of Luxembourg.    Local police, responsible for combating corruption, also work closely with neighboring countries’ law enforcement officials, as well as with Interpol and Europol.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Luxembourg signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention (signed December 2003 and ratified in November 2007).

Luxembourg is a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions

Resources to Report Corruption

The Contacts at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption are:

Director of Criminal and Judicial Affairs
Ministry of Justice
13 rue Erasme
L-1468 Luxembourg
Telephone: +352 247 84537
info@mj.etat.lu

Contact at “watchdog” organization

D. GOEDERT
Section Chief
Financial Sector Surveillance Commission (CSSF)
283, route d’Arlon L-1150 Luxembourg
+352 26 251 2217
EMAIL ADDRESS compta@cssf.lu / audit@cssf.lu

Macau

9. Corruption

Mainland China extended in February 2006 the United Nations Convention Against Corruption to Macau. Macau has laws to combat corruption by public officials and the private sector. Anti-corruption laws are applied in a non-discriminatory manner and effectively enforced. One provision stipulates that anyone who offers a bribe to foreign public officials (including officials from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) and officials of public international organizations in exchange for a trade deal could receive a jail term of up to three years or fines.

The CCAC is a member of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities and a member of the Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Asia and the Pacific. The CCAC’s guidelines on prevention and repression of corruption in the private sector and a booklet Corruption Prevention Tips for Private Companies provide rules of conduct that private companies must observe. In January 2019, the GOM completed a public consultation on public procurement in order to create a legal framework through which the GOM will seek to promote an efficient and transparent regime. The GOM expected that a draft bill will be ready in the second half of 2020.

Resources to Report Corruption

CHAN Tsz King, Commissioner
Commission Against Corruption
105, Avenida Xian Xing Hai, 17/F, Centro Golden Dragon, Macau
+853- 2832-6300
ccac@ccac.org.mo

Madagascar

9. Corruption

While giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act and is subject to trial by court, corruption is an ongoing issue at all levels in Madagascar.  No sector is immune, but it is most pervasive when dealing with the judiciary, police, tax, customs, land, and the mining industry.

Madagascar’s anti-corruption legislation, updated in 2016, mandated the establishment of the Independent Anticorruption Office (BIANCO) and the Committee for Safeguarding Integrity (CSI).  BIANCO enforces the anti-corruption law while CSI monitors the implementation of the national anticorruption strategy.  The anti-corruption courts (PAC) were established in 2018 to hear all corruption-related cases – including economic and financial crimes – after an investigation by BIANCO or the gendarmerie.  There are supposed to be PACs throughout the country, but the only one fully operational is in the capital.  Madagascar also has a Financial Intelligence Unit (SAMIFIN) to carry out research and financial analysis related to money laundering.  Transparency International Initiative Madagascar (TI-IM) has an office in the country working here since 2002.  TI-IM, BIANCO, SAMIFIN, Police and Gendarmerie collaborate closely to bring cases to the courts.

The Rajoelina administration has prioritized the fight against corruption and has begun to prosecute major corruption cases.  Between January and September 2019, 1,111 individuals were investigated, 421 arrested, and 78 were sent to prison for pre-trial detention.

During an investigation, bank accounts of family members (spouse, parents, children) can be investigated, but there is no provision or sanctions for family members of officials convicted of corruption.

There is no requirement for companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  Both the anti-corruption law and the penal code prohibit any individual/enterprise from giving money, presents, or other gifts to public officials to obtain advantages they are not entitled to.  The law also provides that any private enterprise that commits corrupt practices to obtain a permit, license or authorization is excluded from government procurement.  Furthermore, according to the law, any license, authorization, or permit issued illegally through corruption is void.

Both Article 31 of the 2016 anti-corruption law and Article 182 of the penal code require that any conflicts of interest concerning a public official should be declared to the supervising authority.  Failure to do so can lead to between six months to two years of imprisonment, a fine varying from Ar 1,000,000 to Ar 50,000,000 or both.  There is limited information on companies using internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.  However, some foreign companies have begun to orient their internal control, ethics, and compliance programs to prevent bribery, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S. firms from engaging in such behavior.

Madagascar ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, as well as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, in 2004.  Madagascar also joined the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol against corruption in 2007, but has not yet signed the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transaction.

NGOs and associations are involved in governance and anti-corruption projects.   The law does not have any explicit provisions protecting NGOs and associations.  A Transparency International Initiative report states that although many associations and NGOs exist on paper, their actions are limited in terms of impact, especially in terms of playing a watchdog or advocacy role concerning government institutions.  Environmental activists have been harassed and threatened by various means.  The government, however, does not target them directly.

In general, the private sector identifies corruption as an obstacle to investment.  The IMF country report on Madagascar published in 2017 indicates that corruption affects the business climate in Madagascar.  Forty percent of those surveyed expected to give gifts “to get things done,” or to get an operating license, or to secure a government contract.  Moreover, 30 percent of the surveyed firms expected to give gifts in meeting tax officials and were required to make an informal payment or experienced a bribe payment request.  Similarly, more than 75 percent of Malagasy stated that corruption had increased in Madagascar over the past year, according to the 2019 Afrobarometer Survey, with 44 percent of Malagasy believing that police and gendarmes are involved in corruption and 39 percent believing the same of judges and magistrates.  BIANCO fared better with respect to the public’s trust, with 87 percent believing it is somewhat or very probable that BIANCO would take action if they report an act of corruption.  Nevertheless, of these respondents, 70 percent believe that regular citizens are at risk of retaliation if they report this.  For exporters, many products require documentation linked to regulatory controls and this process can require a significant amount of time, costs, and possibly bribes.  Aside from the routine demands for a quid pro quo, close ties between business and political elites also present barriers to entry for newcomers to the field.

Resources to Report Corruption

Bureau Indépendant Anti-Corruption (BIANCO)

  • Laza Eric Donat ANDRIANIRINA
  • General Manager
  • Independent Bureau Anti-Corruption (BIANCO)
  • Villa “La Piscine”, Ambohibao, Antananarivo, Madagascar, PO Box 399
  • +261 20 22 489 79 / +261 20 22 489 93 / +261 33 02 002 99
  • DG@MOOV.MG; CONTACT@BIANCO-MG.MG; WWW.BIANCO-MG.ORG 

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL-INITIATIVE MADAGASCAR (TI-IM)

SEHATRA FANARAHA-MASO NY FIAINAM-PIRENENA (SEFAFI) – Observatory of public life

  • Mme Sahondra RABENARIVO
  • Chairperson
  • Sehatra Fanaraha-maso ny Fiainam-pirenena (SEFAFI)
  • Lot IIIM33K, Andrefan’Ambohijanahary, Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • +261 32 59 761 52
  • sefafi@gmail.com

AFROBAROMETER

Malawi

9. Corruption

Corruption is a significant concern in Malawi.  Giving or receiving a bribe — whether to or from a Malawian or foreign official — is a crime under Malawi’s penal code.  However, enforcement is insufficient, slow, and selective.  Public sector corruption, including bribery of public officials and conflicts of interest are a major challenge for firms operating in Malawi.  There are regular reports of government corruption at all levels of government. The law provides criminal penalties for conviction of corruption by officials, but implementation lags.

The Corrupt Practices Act established the independent Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) with a mandate to prevent corruption in Malawi.  The December 2018 Amendment to the Act now requires the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to advertise the position of ACB Director and convene a panel of seven drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society, and faith organizations that will forward a shortlist of two to three candidates to the President for selection.  The President appoints the ACB Deputy Director.  The Corrupt Practices Act widened the definition of corruption to include, among other things, offences for abuse of office and possession of unexplained wealth.  The Act provides for the investigation of cases not only for corruption but also for other offences uncovered during the course of investigating corruption.  The Act also provides protection for “whistleblowers.”  Malawi’s ACB cooperates with other anti-corruption bureaus in the region and beyond.  However, the ACB is consistently and significantly under-staffed and under-resourced.

The Public Officers (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests) Act of 2013 requires 48 categories of public officers – including all levels of officials from the president and members of parliament, down to specific categories of civil servants, including traffic police and immigration officers – to declare their assets and business interests.  The paper declarations are accessible to the public upon request.  The law does not extend to family members or to political parties. However, where evidence implicates family members or members of a political party in corruption, the Anticorruption Bureau has the power to build a case against the accomplices and bring them to court.  The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of 2016 requires all public officials to disclose any conflict of interest and not take part in any deliberation or decision-making process in relation to a given matter.  However, there is no clear definition of what constitutes conflict of interest and the law is not regularly enforced.

Companies are encouraged to participate in the fight against corruption.  The ACB encourages institutions to develop and implement Corruption Prevention Policies as a way of mainstreaming anti-corruption initiatives into their operations.  At times, the business sector joins forces to collectively engage in the fight against corruption, but no formal mechanism exists.  Internal controls by companies exist but have failed to produce evidence in any high-profile cases.

Malawi is party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which it ratified in December 2004 and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption which it ratified in November 2007.  According to Malawian law, citizens have a right to form NGOs focused on anti-corruption or good governance and these NGOs are free to accept funding from any domestic or foreign sources.  Malawi’s civil society plays an important and visible role in fighting corruption.  The media also plays a central role in investigating and uncovering many cases of corruption.  Although progress has been made in addressing the issue, corruption continues to be viewed as a major obstacle to doing business in Malawi.  Specific firms with U.S. affiliations have noted irregularities in tender processes and mining licensing but have nonetheless continued to pursue business opportunities in Malawi.

Resources to Report Corruption

Mr. Reyneck Matemba
Director General
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)
Mulanje House, P.O Box 2437, Lilongwe, Malawi
Tel: +(265) 1 772 107
E-mail: rmatemba@acbmw.com; reportcentre-ll@acbmw.org
Website: http://www.acbmw.com 

Mr. Jeff Kabondo
National Coordinator
National Integrity Platform
C/O African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC)
Bwanje Street, Area 47, Private Bag 382, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telephone: +(265) 1 775 787 / 691
Email: jeff@aiccafrica.org

Malaysia

9. Corruption

The Malaysian government established the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2008 and the Whistleblower Protection Act in 2010 and considers bribery a criminal act.  Malaysia’s anti-corruption law prohibits bribery of foreign public officials, permits the prosecution of Malaysians for offense committed overseas, prohibits bribes from being deducted from taxes, and provides for the seizure of property.

The MACC conducts investigations, but prosecutorial discretion remains with the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).  There is no systematic requirement for public officials to disclose their assets and the Whistleblower Protection Act does not provide protection for those who disclose allegations to the media.

The former Pakatan Harapan government prioritized anti-corruption efforts in its campaign manifesto.  After taking office in May 2018, it established Royal Commissions of Inquiry into alleged corruption at the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Council of Trust for the People (MARA), and the Hajj Pilgrims Fund (Tabung Haji), all government or government-linked agencies.  On May 21, 2018 the MACC established a 1MDB taskforce, including the police and central bank.  The government subsequently charged former Prime Minister Najib with 42 counts of money laundering, criminal breach of trust, and abuse of power for his alleged involvement in the 1MDB corruption scandal.  The current Prime Minister Muhyiddin has said to the media that his Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will continue to implement the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) put in place by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition government.  It remains to be seen how robustly this plan will be implemented.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Datuk Seri Azam Baki -Chief Commissioner
Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission
Block D6, Complex D, Pusat Pentadbiran
Kerajaan Persekutuan, Peti Surat 6000
62007 Putrajaya
+6-1800-88-6000
Email: info@sprm.gov.my

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Cynthia Gabriel, Director
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4)
C Four Consultancies Sdn Bhd
A-2-10, 8 Avenue
Jalan Sg Jernih 8/1, Seksyen 8, 46050 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Email: info@c4center.org

Maldives

9. Corruption

Maldives scored 130 out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception index in 2019 with a score of 29 out of 100, below regional competitors like Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan.  Corruption practices exist at all levels of society, threatening inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

The Solih administration has publicly pledged to tackle widespread corruption and judicial reform.  As part of President Solih’s first 100 business day agenda, he established a Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery to investigate corruption cases originating between February 2012 and November 2018.  As of June, the commission had not issued a report of its findings.  Additional measures towards increased transparency include requiring public financial disclosures for cabinet members, political appointees, and all members of parliament.

Maldives law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but enforcement is weak.  The law on prevention and punishment of corruption (2000) defines bribery and improper pecuniary advantage and prescribes punishments.  The law also outlines procedures for the confiscation of property and funds obtained through the included offenses.  Penalties range from six months to 10 years banishment, or jail terms.  According to non-governmental organizations, a narrow definition of corruption in the law, and the lack of a provision to investigate and prosecute illicit enrichment, limited the Anti-Corruption Commission’s work.

Maldives acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in March 2007, and under the 2008 Constitution, an independent Anti-Corruption Commission was established in December 2008.  The responsibilities of the Commission include inquiring into and investigating all allegations of corruption by government officials; recommending further inquiries and investigations by other investigatory bodies; and recommending prosecution of alleged offenses to the prosecutor general, where warranted.  The Commission does not have a mandate to investigate cases of corruption of government officials by the private sector.

The Maldives is a party to the UN Anticorruption Convention.  Maldives is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

A number of domestic human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases.  Government officials, however, were rarely cooperative and responsive to their views.  Upon assumption of office President Solih’s administration pledged to submit a new NGO bill that would increase protections for non-government organizations but has yet to do so as of June.

Resources to Report Corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission of the Maldives
Address: Huravee Building, Male, Maldives, 20114
Telephone: (800)3300007 (Toll free number), (960) 331 0451, (960) 331 7410 (General Inquiries)
Email: info@acc.gov.mv; complaints@acc.gov.mv

Ms. Asiath Rilweena
Executive Director
Transparency Maldives
Address: MF Building, 7th Floor, Chaandhanee Magu, Male’, Republic of Maldives
Telephone: +960 330 4017
Email: office@transparencymaldives.org

Mali

9. Corruption

Many companies claim that corruption is the greatest obstacle for foreign investment and economic development in Mali.  While corruption is a crime punishable under the penal code, bribery is frequently reported in many large contracts and investment projects.  Some investors report that government officials often solicit bribes in order to complete otherwise routine procedures.  The Government of Mali passed a law against illicit enrichment in 2014.  The law, however, does not force members of parliament or the executive to declare their assets.  The government has pledged to update the law.  In 2019, Transparency International’s global corruption ranking for Mali deteriorated to 130th of 180 ranked countries (from 120th of 180 in 2018).  Mali’s perceived public corruption score from Transparency International was 29 out of 100 in 2019 (with 0 being “highly corrupt” and 100 being “very clean”).  Relative to other developing countries, Mali was rated at the 67th percentile for control of corruption on the FY2020 MCC Scorecard (based on World Bank and Brookings Worldwide Governance Indicators reports).

Corruption is reportedly common in government procurement and dispute settlement.  The government has addressed this issue by requiring procurement contracts to be inspected by the Directorate General for Public Procurement, which determines whether the procedure meets fairness, price competitiveness, and quality standards.  However, there are allegations of significant political interference in procurement.  In addition, both foreign and domestic companies complain about harassment and requests for bribes from officials involved in tax collection.  Mali’s international donor community has been working with the government to reduce corruption.

Investors have found the judicial sector to be neither independent nor transparent.  Questionable judgments in commercial cases have occasionally been successfully overturned at the Supreme Court’s Court of Appeal.  However, there is a general perception among the populace that while prosecution of minor economic crimes is routine, official corruption, particularly at the higher levels, goes largely unpunished.

The President of Mali created the Office of the Auditor General (Bureau du Verificateur General or BVG) in 2004 as an independent agency tasked with auditing public spending.  Since its inception, the BVG has uncovered several significant cases of corruption, including in the customs directorate.  However, few findings of corruption have resulted in prosecutions.

Growing pressure from international donors for more transparency in public resource management led to changing the appointment process of the Directors of Finance and Equipment.  As a result, in March 2017, the Minister of Economy and Finances dismissed 15 Directors of Finance and Equipment.  Eighteen others were moved to other ministries.  The Government of Mali opened a new office in 2017, the Office to Combat Illicit Enrichment (Office central de Lutte contre l’Enrichissement illicite or OCLEI), to combat illicit enrichment by government officials.  The OCLEI has the authority to collect asset declarations from public servants, to conduct investigations of government officials suspected of corruption, and to refer cases for prosecution if sufficient evidence is gathered against the defendant.  However, the OCLEI’s operations were temporarily suspended following civil servants’ union protests against asset declaration requirements.  Negotiations between the unions, the Government of Mali, and donors eventually yielded a satisfactory solution that enabled the office to resume operations, and the office has begun registering asset declarations for certain categories of civil servants.  According to its 2017-2018 report, the OCLEI received asset declarations from approximately 1,000 civil servants (nearly 70 percent of all civil servants in Mali) over 2017-2018 and referred three suspected cases of corruption to the justice system.

Following a cabinet reshuffle in 2019, the newly appointed Minister of Justice took measures to address corruption by appointing a new prosecutor in the Economic and Financial Specialized Judicial Office of Bamako, a court in charge of prosecution of corruption.  Since these changes, many high-profile businesspeople and political leaders have been arrested due to corruption allegations.  Mali’s Auditor General also increased the pace of its reporting in 2019 and 2020, releasing 11 financial audits reports, four performance audits reports, four reports of conformity, and seven reports on the level of implementation of recommendations it made in previous audits reports.  The Auditor General refers cases of fraud or other unlawful practices to the Economic and Financial Specialized Judicial Office of Bamako.

Resources to Report Corruption

Mamoudou Kassogue
Head Prosecutor
Economic and Financial Specialized Judicial Office (Pole Economique et Financier de Bamako)
Tel. (+223) 20 29 71 34

Samba Alhamdou Baby
Chief Auditor
Office of the Auditor General (Bureau du Verificateur General)
Tel. (+223) 20 29 70 25

Mama Sininta
Chief Prosecutor
Accounts Chamber of the Supreme Court (Section des Comptes de la Cour Supreme)
Tel. (+223) 20 22 15 02

Konate Salimata Diakite
Comptroller
Comptroller of Public Services (Controleur General des Services Publics)
Tel. (+223) 20 22 58 15

Malta

9. Corruption

Maltese law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implements these laws effectively.  The Malta Police and the Permanent Commission against Corruption are responsible for combating official corruption.  Past news reports suggest a number of government corruption allegations; however, few have resulted in legal action or resignations.

Public sector corruption, including bribery of public officials, is not a significant challenge for U.S. firms operating in Malta.  The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) completed its fifth evaluation of Malta in the autumn of 2018 and its findings were published in September 2019.  Following the four previous rounds of evaluation and a follow-up compliance review, Malta introduced a number of legislative measures to combat corruption and is currently in the process of introducing further measures to improve its financial oversight.

Malta has taken significant steps over the years to combat corruption, including the establishment in 2002 of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) to support domestic and international law enforcement investigative efforts.  The Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations were transposed into Maltese law in July 2008, and conform to EU Directive 2005/60/EC (the Third Directive) and Directive 2006/70/EC.  Malta transposed the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in December 2017 and, in April 2018, announced its first national Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Funding of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Strategy.

The latest report by the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) calls on Maltese authorities to strengthen their practical application of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  MONEYVAL acknowledges that the authorities have demonstrated a broad understanding of the vulnerabilities within the system, but a number of important factors – notably predicate offences, financing of terrorism, legal persons and arrangements, and the development of new technologies and the use of cash – appear to be insufficiently analyzed or understood.

The report further notes that while Malta has a sound legal framework to fight the financing of terrorism, the report notes that few investigations have been conducted so far which have not resulted in any prosecutions or convictions.  While noting recent progress, the report concludes that the actions undertaken by the authorities are not fully in line with the country’s exposure to possible terrorism financing risks.  Based on the results of its evaluation, MONEYVAL decided to apply its enhanced follow-up procedure and invited Malta to report back in December 2020.

The latest MONEVAL report is available at https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2019-5-5th-round-mer-malta/16809737c0 

Local Laws:  U.S. firms should familiarize themselves with local anti-corruption laws, and, where appropriate, seek legal counsel.  While the U.S. Department of Commerce cannot provide legal advice on local laws, the Department’s Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) can provide assistance with navigating the host country’s legal system and obtaining a list of local legal counsel.

Assistance for U.S. Businesses:  The U.S. Department of Commerce offers several services to aid U.S. businesses seeking to address business-related corruption issues.  For example, the FCS can provide services that may assist U.S. companies in conducting due diligence as part of the company’s overarching compliance program when choosing business partners or agents overseas.  The FCS can be reached directly through its offices in major U.S. and foreign cities or through its website at www.trade.gov/cs .  The Departments of Commerce and State provide worldwide support for qualified U.S. companies bidding on foreign government contracts through the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center and Department of State’s Office of Commercial and Business Affairs.  Problems, including alleged corruption by foreign governments or competitors, encountered by U.S. companies in seeking such foreign business opportunities can be brought to the attention of appropriate U.S. government officials, including local embassy personnel and through the Department of Commerce Trade Compliance Center “Report a Trade Barrier” website at http://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/index.asp .

Guidance on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA):  The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) FCPA Opinion Procedure enables U.S. firms and individuals to request a statement of DOJ’s present enforcement intentions under the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA regarding any proposed business conduct.  The details of the opinion procedure are available on DOJ’s Fraud Section website:  http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa .  Although the Department of Commerce has no enforcement role with respect to the FCPA, it supplies general guidance to U.S. exporters who have questions about the FCPA and about international developments concerning the FCPA.  For further information, see the Office of the Chief Counsel for International Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce website at https://ogc.commerce.gov/collection/office-chief-counsel-international-commerce .

Additional Anti-Corruption Resources:

Useful resources for individuals and companies regarding combating corruption in global markets include the following:

  • Information about the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, including links to national implementing legislation, good practice guidance and country monitoring reports, is available at: http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/oecdantibriberyconvention.htm .
  • Transparency International (TI) publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. http://www.transparency.org/cpi2015 .
  • TI also publishes an annual Global Corruption Report that provides a systematic evaluation of the state of corruption around the world. It includes an in-depth analysis of a focal theme, a series of country reports that document major corruption related events and developments from all continents and an overview of the latest research findings on anti-corruption diagnostics and tools.  http://www.transparency.org/research/gcr/overview .
  • The World Bank Institute publishes Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI). These indicators assess six dimensions of governance in 212 countries, including Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption.  http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home .
  • The World Bank Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys are available at http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/ .
  • The World Economic Forum publishes the Global Enabling Trade Report, which presents the rankings of the Enabling Trade Index and includes an assessment of the transparency of border administration (focused on bribe payments and corruption) and a separate segment on corruption and the regulatory environment. The latest reports are available at: http://reports.weforum.org/global-enabling-trade-report-2016/ .
  • Additional country information related to corruption can be found in the U.S. State Department’s annual Human Rights Report available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/.
  • Global Integrity, a nonprofit organization, publishes its annual Global Integrity Report, which provides indicators for 92 countries with respect to governance and anti-corruption. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of national level anti-corruption systems.  https://www.globalintegrity.org/research/reports/ .

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Malta signed the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2005 and ratified it in 2008, but it has not signed the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Malta Police Commissioner
St. Calcedonius Square
Floriana FRN 1530
+356-2122 4001
cmru.police@gov.mt

Mr. Charles Deguara
Auditor General of National Audit Office
Notre Dame Ravelin
Floriana FRN 1600
+356-2205 5555
nao.malta@gov.mt

Contact at watchdog organization:

Permanent Commission Against Corruption
Chateau De La Ville
Archbishop Street
Valletta VLT 2000
+356-2567 4309
Pcac.mjcl@gov.mt

Marshall Islands

9. Corruption

There are credible allegations and periodic prosecutions for misuse of government funds and abuse of public office for private gain. Government procurement and transfers appear most vulnerable to corruption, and personal relationships sometimes play a role in government decisions. Government officials at all levels are permitted to invest in and own private businesses without regard for conflict-of-interest considerations. Foreign aid has been abused and past audits report a number of financial irregularities connected to donor-funded activities. Bribery is a second-degree felony, whether to a domestic or foreign official.  The Marshall Islands acceded to the UN Convention against Corruption in September 2011.

Domestic and international firms as well as NGOs have repeatedly identified corruption as a problem in the business environment and a major detractor for international firms exploring investment or business activities in the local market.

Resources to Report Corruption

Richard Hickson
Attorney General
RMI Attorney General Office
PO Box 890
Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 96960
RichardHicksonLawyer@gmail.com
Tel: +692 625 3244
Fax: +692 625 5218

No international, regional, or local watchdog organizations operate in the country.

Mauritania

9. Corruption

Since taking office in August 2019, President Ghazouani has made fighting corruption one of the cornerstones of his administration. In October 2019, the Court of Accounts published a ten-year audit report covering fiscal years 2007 through 2017. The report highlighted lack of transparency in government tenders, weakness in public finances management and provided credible recommendations.  Based on the audit report findings, a parliamentarian committee was set up to further investigate four major government infrastructure and fisheries projects that were awarded to Chinese companies.

Despite the ongoing push to fight corruption, however, wealthy business groups and government officials reportedly receive frequent favors from authorities, such as exemption from taxes, special grants of land, and favorable treatment during bidding on government projects.  Mauritanian and non-Mauritanian employees at every level and in every organization are believed to flout Mauritanian tax laws and filing requirements.  The only exceptions are civil servants, whose income taxes are automatically deducted from their pay.  Such widespread tax evasion and corruption has deprived the government of a significant source of revenue, weakening its capacity to provide necessary services.  In 2009, the government passed a law requiring all high-ranking government employees to publicly declare their assets, although this law is not enforced.

Corruption is an obstacle to foreign direct investment in Mauritania, but firms generally rate access to credit, an underdeveloped infrastructure, and a lack of skilled labor as even greater impediments.  Corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, bank loans, fishing license attribution, land distribution, access to port facilities and tax payments.  Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act punishable by two to 10 years imprisonment and fines up to USD 700, but there is little application of this law.  Firms commonly pay bribes to obtain telephone, electricity, and water connections, and construction permits more quickly.

There are several organizations that track corruption within Mauritania.  Transparency International has a representative who reports on local corruption policies and events.

In practice annual auditing of government, accounts are not enforced and therefore rarely conducted.  However, the government rectified previously misreported financial data in an effort to be more transparent, such as publishing quarterly financial statements on a government treasury website:  www.tresor.mr .

In April 2016, a new anti-corruption bill was introduced to address the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption and to provide protection to NGOs involved in investigating corruptions cases.  Corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, bank loans, fishing license attribution, land distribution, tax payments, and mining licenses.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Cour Des Comptes Mauritanie
Email ccomptes@cc.gov.mr
Telephone: +222 4525 34 04
Fax: +222 4525 49 64

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

“Publiez ce que vous payez” (Publish What You Pay)
Executive Office
+222 4525-0455
+222 4641-7702

Mauritius

9. Corruption

The prevalence of corruption in Mauritius is low by regional standards, but graft and nepotism nevertheless remain concerns and are increasingly a source of public frustration. Several high-profile cases involving corruption have reinforced the perception that corruption exists at the highest political levels, despite the fact that Mauritian law provides for criminal penalties for corruption by officials.  A former prime minister was arrested in 2015 on allegations of money laundering although courts have since dismissed all charges.  The state prosecutors appealed the last dismissal in late 2019 and the appeal is pending.  A minister in the previous government had to step down in 2016 on allegations of bribery.  In March 2017, allegations surfaced concerning possible political interference in the Financial Services Commission’s issuance of an investment banking license to an Angolann billionaire, who is being investigated for alleged corruption in Portugal.  In March 2018, the president of Mauritius resigned after press reported that she bought apparel, jewelry, and a laptop computer with a credit card provided by an NGO financed by the same Angolan businessman.

Investors should know that while the constitution and law require arrest warrants to be based on sufficient evidence and issued by a magistrate, police may detain an individual for up to 21 days under a “provisional charge” based on a reasonable suspicion, with the concurrence of a magistrate.  Two French businessmen claimed that in February 2015 authorities held them against their will.  A U.S. investor has been unable to leave Mauritius since February 1, 2020, without charges filed against him.

In 2002, the government adopted the Prevention of Corruption Act, which led to the establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).  ICAC has the power to investigate corruption and money laundering offenses and can also seize the proceeds of corruption and money laundering.  The Director of ICAC is nominated by the prime minister.  The Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Act of 2015 was announced as a measure to recover “unexplained wealth” and came into force in early 2016.  Critics of the act dislike its presumption of guilt, requiring the accused to demonstrate a lawful source of questionable assets, as well as the application of the law retroactively for seven years. The 2018 Declaration of Assets Act (DoA) entered into force in June 2019 and defines which public officials are required to declare assets and liabilities to the ICAC.  These public officials include members of the National Assembly, mayors, chairpersons and chief executive officers of state-owned enterprises and statutory bodies, among others.

Mauritius is the 52nd least-corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, up from 51st in 2018 and down from 54th in 2017.  However, Mauritius retained its first rank in overall governance in Africa for the 12th consecutive year, according to the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

Although Mauritius’ generally positive reputation for transparency and accountability has been hurt by some high-profile scandals.  U.S. investors, in conversations with embassy personnel, have not identified corruption as an obstacle to investment in the country.  They have, however, encountered attempts for bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption:

Navin Beekharry
Director-General
Independent Commission Against Corruption
Reduit Triangle, Moka, Mauritius
+230 402 6600
icacoffice@intnet.mu

Contact at watchdog organization:

Rajen Bablee
Director
Transparency Mauritius
4th Floor, Fon Sing Building, 12 Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis, Mauritius
+ 230 213 0796
transparency.mauritius@gmail.com

Micronesia

9. Corruption

The FSM has laws prohibiting corruption and there were penalties for corrupt acts.  The National Office of the Public Auditor, with support from the Department of Justice, was the entity most active in anti-corruption activities. A number of senior ex-FSM Government officials were convicted of corruption under the FSM Financial Management Act, usually involving procurement fraud. A FSM government transportation official pled guilty April 3, 2019 in U.S. District Court to conspiring to launder bribe money he accepted from a U.S. citizen president of a Honolulu Civil Engineering Company.  The official was FSM President Christian’s son-in-law who faced a maximum 20 year prison term at sentencing in July. Corruption was not a predicate offense under the money laundering statute. Bribery was punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten years in addition to disqualification from holding any government position. Yet, traditional custom permits a lawbreaker to ask and receive forgiveness by paying a fine to those victimized. Given that many FSM National, State, and Municipal Government officials also own businesses, there existed significant potential for conflicts of interest.

The degree to which government officials accepted direct bribes is unknown but believed to be commonplace, especially deriving from state actors.  Pohnpei State and Yap State were currently prosecuting corruption cases. The Yap State governor and lieutenant governor reported receiving cash envelopes in inauguration presents which they promptly handed to Yap State Acting Attorney General who conducted an investigation.  The FSM has not signed or ratified the UN Convention on Corruption, or the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

The FSM had no government agency specifically assigned with responsibility for combatting corruption.  State prosecutors were the usual avenue for prosecuting corruption, with a number of cases brought to trial in the last few years, especially in Pohnpei State.  The Public Auditor highlighted irregularities, but relies on government prosecutors for enforcement capability. The Department of Justice in prior years prosecuted cases, but activity in this area recently has been variable; Pohnpei State and Yap State have been more active.

Joses Gallen
Attorney General,
FSM Department of Justice
Palikir, Pohnpei
+691-320-2608
jrg.fsm@gmail.com

There are no non-governmental “watchdog” organizations in Micronesia that monitor corruption.

Moldova

9. Corruption

While Moldova has taken steps to adopt European and international standards to combat corruption and organized crime, corruption remains a major problem.

In 2012-13, the government enacted a series of anti-corruption amendments. This package included new legislation on “integrity testing” related to a disciplinary liability law for judges. It also extended confiscation and illicit enrichment statutes in the Moldovan Criminal Code as per the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The Constitutional Court subsequently restricted integrity testing (e.g., excluding random testing as “entrapment”), but enactment of these reforms substantially augmented Moldova’s corruption-fighting toolkit.

The National Anticorruption Center (NAC), created in 2012, focuses on investigating public corruption and bribery crimes, and is subordinated to the Parliament (the CCECC had been organized under the executive branch). Moldovan judges, who had previously enjoyed full immunity from corruption investigations, can now be prosecuted for crimes of corruption without prior permission from their self-governing body, although the Superior Council of Magistrates still must approve any search or arrest warrant against a judge.

The government has developed and enacted a series of laws designed to address legislative gaps such as the Law on Preventing and Combating Corruption, the Law on Conflict of Interests, and the Law on the Code of Conduct for Public Servants. The Criminal Code criminalizes two forms of public sector corruption: passive and active. These statutes apply only to corrupt acts and bribery committed by public officials. In 2016, Moldova continued the reform of the prosecution system through adoption of the Law on the Prosecution Service, and created two specialized prosecution agencies – the Anticorruption Prosecution Office (APO) and the Prosecution Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS). Beginning in 2015, specialized prosecution offices began to investigate and prosecute individuals allegedly involved in the “billion dollar” banking theft and a series of high-profile bribery, corruption, and tax evasion cases, though with only limited progress. These offices face multiple challenges, including lack of independent budgets, high workload, external interference, and serious questions about their independence, transparency and impartiality.

In 2018, APO and PCCOCS started recruitment for seconding investigators to their offices. According to the 2016 prosecution reform law, these investigators are responsible for supporting prosecutors to investigate complex corruption cases. However, even with a nearly-full complement of seconded investigators, APO still relies on NAC investigators to conduct many corruption-related investigations and prosecutions. Also in 2018, a new statutorily-created agency, the Criminal Assets Recovery Agency (CARA), began operating as a specialized unit within NAC. The selection and appointment of the agency’s leadership is coordinated through a competitive process by the NAC. The agency continues to grow and has demonstrated increased capacity to detect, track, seize and recover criminal proceeds throughout 2019.

In 2016, Parliament passed the Law on the National Integrity Authority (NIA) and the Law on Disclosure of Assets and Conflict of Interest by public officials. The NIA became operational in 2018. The director, deputy director, and all inspectors are hired in competitive processes, but the agency has not yet hired a full complement of inspectors. NIA continues to lack staff and sufficient resources to fulfill its mission. The issuance of “integrity certificates” to individuals with well-known ties to the billion dollar heist further degraded the organization’s reputation.

Moldova’s 2017-2020 National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy was drafted and passed following public consultations, and is structured along the “integrity pillars” concept that aims to strengthen the integrity climate among civil servants at all levels. It includes a role for civil society organizations (CSOs) through alternative monitoring reports and promoting integrity standards in the private sector. The strategy addresses the complexity of corruption by employing sector-based experts to evaluate specific integrity problems encountered by different vulnerable sectors of public administration. Moldova is expected to begin developing a new strategy during 2020, led by NAC and the Ministry of Justice.

Moldovan law requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit corruption and corrupt behavior. Moldova’s Criminal Code also includes articles addressing private sector corruption, combatting economic crime, criminal responsibility of public officials, active and passive corruption, and trading of influence. This largely aligns Moldovan statutory law with international anti-bribery standards by criminalizing the acts of promising, offering, or giving a bribe to a public official. Anti-corruption laws also extend culpability to family members. A new illicit enrichment law was added in 2013, but its potential as an effective anti-corruption tool is severely constricted by the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of a constitutional provision creating a presumption in the law that assets possessed by a person were lawfully acquired. In 2017, the Anticorruption Prosecution Office started the only illicit enrichment case initiated in Moldova to date, against a prominent chief judge involved in the construction of private apartments. The criminal case remains unresolved, as the judge has resigned from the judiciary.

The country has laws regulating conflicts of interest in awarding contracts and the government procurement process; however these laws are not assessed as widely or effectively enforced. In 2016, Parliament added two new statutes to the Criminal Code criminalizing the misuse of international assistance funds. These provisions provide a statutory basis for prosecutors to investigate and prosecute misuse of international donor assistance by Moldovan public officials in public acquisitions, technical assistance programs, and grants

Despite the established anti-corruption framework, the number of anti-corruption prosecutions has not met international expectations (given corruption perceptions), and enforcement of existing legislation is widely deemed insufficient. In 2019, Moldova ranked 120 out of 180 (falling from 117 the prior year) among countries evaluated in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

A Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) survey published in 2017 showed that 84 percent of Moldovans thought the government was doing badly in fighting corruption. Globally, Moldova is among the top countries where people perceive public authorities to be most corrupt; almost 70 percent say people working in public sector institutions (the President’s office, Parliament, central government, tax inspection, police, the judiciary and local government) are assessed by those polled as highly corrupt. Almost 50 percent of Moldovans say they had to pay bribes over the past 12 months when coming in contact with public authorities. The latest GCB survey concluded that Moldova needs genuine and urgent measures to address corruption. Negative ratings of official efforts to curb corruption suggest that more must be done to reduce public sector graft and clean up institutions to act in the public interest.

The Freedom House Moldova “Nations in Transit Report” 2018 concluded the government has focused more on improving the legal framework than on implementing it. The report found anti-corruption initiatives did not contribute to tackling endemic corruption or the de-politicization of public institutions and regulatory agencies. Public competitions have been mostly non-transparent and based on controversial regulations or political loyalty to, or membership in, the ruling political group, rather than on the basis of merit. The investigation into the “billion-dollar” banking sector theft has yielded few results. Official data reported that by the end of 2018, only USD 100 million has been recovered, mainly from taxes, credits, and the sale of assets belonging to the three banks liquidated following the theft. The stolen assets have not been recovered, there remains no assurance that significant remaining funds will be recovered.

Freedom House’s most recent report, Democracy in Retreat: Freedom in the World 2019, found Moldova continues to be only “partially free,” earning 58/100 points for political rights/civil liberties, 3 points less than the prior year. The decline was due largely to perceptions of ongoing corruption. According to the 2020 Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index, Moldova’s economic freedom score was 62.0, making its economy 87th, just ahead of Belarus (88) and behind Samoa (86). Its overall score increased by 2.9 points, with improvements in government integrity and government spending. Regionally, Moldova is ranked 40 of 45 countries in Europe, and its overall score is well below the regional average and approximately equal to the world average. In the rule of law area, Heritage indicated property rights are undermined by a weak and corrupt judiciary.

Opinion surveys conducted by reputable pollsters like the International Republican Institute (IRI) consistently show over 95 percent of Moldovans see corruption as a big problem for the country. Moldovans name the top corrupt institutions as: 1) Parliament; 2) public servants, including the police; 3) the judiciary; 4) top government officials; 5) political parties and their leaders.

In 2007, Moldova ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, subsequently adopting amendments to its domestic anti-corruption legislation. Moldova does not adhere to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery. However, Moldova is part of two regional anti-corruption initiatives: the Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative for South East Europe (SPAI), and the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) of the Council of Europe. Moldova cooperates closely with the OECD through SPAI and with GRECO, especially on country evaluations. In 1999, Moldova signed the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and Civil Law Convention on Corruption. Moldova ratified both conventions in 2003. In 2020, Moldova joined OECD’s Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan.

Resources to Report Corruption

Ruslan Flocea
Director
National Anti-Corruption Center
Bul. Stefan cel Mare si Sfant 168, Chisinau MD2004, Moldova
Tel. +373 22-257 257 (secretariat)/800-55555 (hotline)/22-257 333 (special line) secretariat@cna.md

Lilia Carasciuc
Executive Director
Transparency International Moldova
Strada 31August 1989 nr. 98, of.205, Chisinau MD2004, Moldova
Tel. +373-22 203-484(office)/800-10 000 (hotline)
office@transparency.md

Mongolia

9. Corruption

Corruption is widespread in Mongolia; as such, investors must be especially diligent in complying with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Although Mongolian law penalizes corrupt officials, the government does not always implement the law effectively or evenhandedly.  Private enterprises report instances where officials and political operatives demand bribes to transfer-use rights, settle disputes, clear customs, ease tax obligations, act on applications, obtain permits, and complete registrations.  NGOs and private businesses report judicial corruption is also present.  Factors contributing to corruption include conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, limited access to information, an underfunded civil-service system, low salaries, and limited government control of key institutions.

Mongolia does not require companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.  U.S. and other foreign businesses have reported that they accept the need for and have adopted internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.  (For Mongolia anti-corruption efforts:  https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/mongolia/.)

The Independent Agency Against Corruption (IAAC ) has primary responsibility for investigating corruption, assisted at times by the National Police Agency’s Organized Crime Division.

Mongolia has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention (UNAC ) but not the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Independent Agency Against Corruption (IAAC)
District 5, Seoul Street 41
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 14250
Telephone:  +976-70110251; 976-11-311919
Email:  contact@iaac.mn
Web:    http://www.iaac.mn/home?lang=en 

Transparency International Mongolia
Batbayar, Executive Director, Mongolia Chapter
Office 803, 8th floor, Dalai Tower, Unesco Street,
Sukhbaatar District – Khoroo 1, Ulaanbaatar 14230
Web:   https://www.transparency.org/country/MNG 

Montenegro

9. Corruption

Corruption and the perception of corruption are significant problems in Montenegro’s public and private sectors.  Corruption routinely places high on the list of citizen concerns in opinion polls, in addition to risks cited by foreign investors.  Montenegro placed 66th out of 180 countries in the Transparency International (TI) 2019 Corruption Perception Index list.

An improved legal framework to help combat corruption and organized crime has been in force since the adoption of the Law on Prevention of Corruption in 2014 and the Law on the Special State Prosecution in 2015.  At that time, the government took substantial steps to strengthen the Rule of Law, including the establishment of a special police unit focused on corruption and organized crime, the creation of an Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, the creation of a new independent Office of the Special State Prosecutor that handles major cases including organized crime and corruption, and the appointment of the Chief Special State Prosecutor.  In line with these laws, the Special Prosecution, the Special Police Team, the Agency for Prevention of Corruption became operational in 2015 and 2016.  In 2016, Montenegro’s Parliament adopted the Law on the Confiscation of Proceeds from Criminal Activities, which provides for expanded procedures for the freezing, seizure, and confiscation of illicit proceeds.  It also authorizes the creation of multi-disciplinary Financial Investigation Teams.

In February 2019, a multi-institutional Operational Team for fight against Commercial Crime was founded. A Head of Crime Police presides over the team, and it consists of representatives of police, Customs Authority, Tax Authority, and Administration for Inspection Affairs. A focus of the team’s work is on prevention, investigation and fight against misuse in commercial activity.  The Parliament also adopted the Law on the Center for Training of the Judiciary and State Prosecutor’s Office which created a new independent judicial training institute, with greatly expanded powers and autonomy.

The government encourages state institutions and the private sector to establish internal codes of conduct.  They are encouraged to have ethical codes, as well as obliged to have preventive integrity plans.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Montenegro is a signatory to the UN Anti-Corruption Convention. It also succeeded to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery, formally signed by the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro prior to Montenegro’s independence. To date, no foreign firms have lodged complaints against the government under any of these agreements. A number of U.S. firms have specifically noted corruption as an obstacle to direct investment in Montenegro, and corruption is seen as one of the typical hurdles to be overcome when doing business in the country. Corruption is most pervasive in Montenegro in the government procurement sector. The purchase and sale of government property takes place in a non-transparent environment with frequent allegations of bribery and cronyism.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Milivoje Katnic
Chief Special Prosecutor for Fighting Organized Crime, Corruption, War Crimes and Terrorism
Office of the Special State Prosecutor
Slobode 20, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
+382 20 230 624
vdtcg@tuzilastvo.me

Savo Milasinovic
Acting Director, Agency for the Prevention of Corruption
Kralja Nikole 27/V, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
+382 20 447 702
kabinet@antikorupcija.me

Morocco

9. Corruption

In the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index  published by Transparency International (TI), Morocco declined one point from the previous year (from 40 to 41) and moved down seven spots in the rankings (from 73rd to 80th out of 180 countries).  According to the State Department’s 2019 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, Moroccan law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the government generally did not implement the law effectively.  Officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.  There were reports of government corruption in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches during the year.

According to the Global Corruption Barometer Africa 2019 report published in July 2019, 53 percent of Moroccans surveyed think corruption increased in the previous 12 months, 31 percent of public services users paid a bribe in the previous 12 months, and 74 percent believe the government is doing a bad job in tackling corruption.

The 2011 constitution mandated the creation of a national anti-corruption entity.  Morocco formally adopted the National Authority for Probity, Prevention, and Fighting Corruption (INPLCC) through a law published in 2015.  The INPLCC did not come into operation until late 2018 when its board was appointed by King Mohammed VI, although a weaker predecessor organization continued in existence until that time.  The INPLCC is tasked with initiating, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of policies for the prevention and fight against corruption, as well as gathering and disseminating information on the issue. Additionally, Morocco’s anti-corruption efforts include enhancing the transparency of public tenders and implementation of a requirement that senior government officials submit financial disclosure statements at the start and end of their government service, although their family members are not required to make such disclosures. Few public officials submitted such disclosures, and there are no effective penalties for failing to comply. Morocco does not have conflict of interest legislation. In 2018, thanks to the passage of an Access to Information (AI) law, Morocco joined the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral effort to make governments more transparent.

Although the Moroccan government does not require that private companies establish internal codes of conduct, the Moroccan Institute of Directors (IMA) was established in June 2009 with the goal of bringing together individuals, companies, and institutions willing to promote corporate governance and conduct.  IMA published the four Moroccan Codes of Good Corporate Governance Practices.  Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.  Morocco signed the UN Convention against Corruption in 2007 and hosted the States Parties to the Convention’s Fourth Session in 2011.  However, Morocco does not provide any formal protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.  Although the U.S. Mission is not aware of cases involving corruption with regard to customs or taxation issues, American businesses report encountering unexpected delays and requests for documentation that is not required under the FTA or standardized shipping norms.

Resources to Report Corruption

Organization: National Authority for Probity, Prevention, and Fighting Corruption

Address: Avenue Annakhil, Immeuble High Tech, Hall B, 3eme etage, Hay Ryad-Rabat
Telephone number: +212-5 37 57 86 60
Email address: contact@icpc.ma
Fax: +2125 37 71 16 73

Organization: Transparency International National Chapter
Address: 24 Boulevard de Khouribga, Casablanca 20250
Email Address: transparency@menara.ma
Telephone number: +212-22-542 699
http://www.transparencymaroc.ma/index.php 

Mozambique

9. Corruption

Corruption is a major concern in Mozambique. Though Mozambique has made progress developing the legal framework to combat corruption, the policies and leadership necessary to ensure effective implementation have been insufficient. While the 2016 hidden debt scandal involving a cadre of former government officials is the most infamous example of government corruption, it is not the only case.

However, the government is taking concerted action to address the problem. In 2019, Mozambique made a string of arrests of 20 politically connected individuals related to the hidden debt case. The government also moved forward with cases against the former Minister of Transport and Communications Paulo Zucula, the former CEO of the national airlines (LAM – a parastatal), and Mateus Zimba, former director of Sasol. In 2019, the government in cooperation with the IMF also released a Diagnostic Report on Transparency, Governance and Corruption outlining 29 measures to fight corruption and improve transparency. The full report is available online at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2019/08/23/Republic-of-Mozambique-Diagnostic-Report-on-Transparency-Governance-and-Corruption-48613 .

Thanks in part to these efforts, Mozambique rose six places on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, and now ranks 146 out of 180 countries in 2019.

Mozambique’s civil society and journalists remain vocal on corruption-related issues. Action related to the hidden debt scandal is being led by a civil society umbrella organization known as the Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO, Forum de Monitoria de Orcamento) that brings together around 20 different organizations for collective action on transparency and corruption related issues. Another civil society organization, the Center for Public Integrity (CIP, Centro de Integridade Publica), also continues to publicly pressure the government to act against corrupt practices. CIP finds that many local businesses are closely linked to the government and have little incentive to promote transparency.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Ana Maria Gemo
Central Anti-Corruption Office (Gabinete Central de Combate a Corrupcao)
Avenida 10 de Novembro, 193
+258 82 3034576
gabinetecorrupção@yahoo.com.br

Contact at “watchdog” organization

Fatima Mimbire
Project Coordinator Extractive Industries
Center for Public Integrity (Centro de Integridade Publica)
Rua Fernão Melo e Castro, 124
+258 82 5293957
fatima.mimbire@cipmoz.org

Namibia

9. Corruption

The Anti-Corruption Act of 2003 created an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which began operations in 2006.  The ACC attempts to complement civil society’s anti-corruption programs and support existing institutions such as the Ombudsman’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General. Anti-corruption legislation is in place to combat public corruption.  In a nationwide survey commissioned by the ACC and released in 2016, corruption was listed at the third-most important development challenge facing Namibia (6 percent, after unemployment at 37 percent and poverty at 30 percent). 78 percent of survey respondents rated corruption as “very high” in Namibia. The highest result comes from those in rural areas.

In 2019, Namibia was embroiled in a fishing industry corruption scandal in which government ministers and business leaders were charged and imprisoned for allegedly co-opting the national fishing quota system for personal gain.  The scandal allegedly cost Namibia billions of U.S. dollars.  The accused are in prison awaiting trial.  The scandal has resulted in Namibia and its ACC taking a closer look at other industries susceptible to corruption.

Namibia has signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union’s African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.  Namibia has also signed the Southern African Development Community’s Protocol against Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Paulus Noa
Director
Namibia Anti Corruption Commission
Corner of Montblanc & Groot Tiras Street, Windhoek
+264-61-370-600
anticorruption@accnamibia.org

Nepal

9. Corruption

Corruption is rampant in Nepal. In the words of a World Bank official, corruption in Nepal is “endemic, institutionalized, and driven from the top.” Corruption takes many forms but is pervasive in the awarding of licenses, government procurement, and revenue management. The primary law used to combat corruption in Nepal is the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002. This law prohibits corruption, bribery, money laundering, abuse of office, and payments to facilitate services, both in the public and private sector. According to a report by GAN Integrity, a company that works with businesses to mitigate corporate risk, “implementation and enforcement [of the Prevention of Corruption Act] is inadequate, leaving the levels of corruption in the country unchallenged.” The report goes on to note that Nepal’s judicial system is “subject to pervasive corruption and executive influence,” that “corruption is rife among low-level [police] officers,” and that “Nepali tax officials are prone to corruption, and some seek positions in the sector specifically for personal enrichment.” The full report is available at: https://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/nepal .

The CIAA is Nepal’s constitutional body for corruption control.  The 2015 constitution empowers the CIAA to conduct “investigations of any abuse of authority committed through corruption by any person holding public office.” In practice, CIAA arrests and investigations tend to focus on lower level government bureaucrats. According to the 2019 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International (TI), Nepal ranked 113th among 180 countries, placing it in the range of “highly corrupt” countries.  In January 2018, local media reported that the CIAA is drafting a bill to replace the Prevention of Corruption Act, with the goal of making the new law compatible with the UN Convention against Corruption that Nepal signed in 2011. Nepal is not a member of the OEDC Anti-Bribery Convention.

While anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties, there are no laws or regulations that are specifically designed to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement. GoN officials are aware that there should be no conflict of interest when contracts are awarded, but how this is implemented is left to the discretion of the concerned government agency.

The Government of Nepal does not require companies to establish codes of conduct. Post is not aware of private companies that use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials, however, this does not mean that there are no companies that use such programs. American consulting firm Frost and Sullivan (www.frost.com ) maintains an office in Kathmandu and investigates local investment partners for a fee. NGOs involved in investigating corruption do not receive special protections.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:
Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority
CIAA Headquarter, P.O. Box No. 9996, Tangal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone:  +9771-4440151, 4429688, 4432708

International nongovernmental organization:
Mr. Bharat Bahadur Thapa
President, Transparency International Nepal
P.O. Box 11486, Chakhkhu Bakhkhu Marga, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu
+977 1 4475112, 4475262
Email: trans@tinepal.org

Local nongovernmental organization:
Prof. Dr. Srikrishna Shrestha
President, Pro Public
P.O. Box: 14307, Gautambuddha Marg, Annamnagar
Phone:  +977-01-4268681, 4265023; Fax: +977-01-4268022
Email:  mailto:propublic@wlink.com.np

Netherlands

9. Corruption

The Netherlands fully complies with international standards on combating corruption.  Transparency International ranked the Netherlands eighth in its 2019 Corruption Perception Index.

Anti-bribery legislation to implement the 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (ABC) entered into effect in 2001.  The anti-bribery law reconciles the language of the ABC with the EU Fraud Directive and the Council of Europe Convention on Fraud.  Under the law, it is a criminal offense if one obtains foreign contracts through corruption.

At the national level, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Ministry of Justice and Security have both taken steps to enhance regulations to combat bribery in the processes of public procurement and issuance of permits and subsidies.  Most companies have internal controls and/or codes of conduct that prohibit bribery.

Several agencies combat corruption.  The Dutch Whistleblowers Authority serves as a knowledge center, develops new instruments for tracking problems, and identifies trends on matters of integrity.  The Independent Commission for Integrity in Government is an appeals board for whistleblowers in government and law enforcement agencies.

The Netherlands signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention and is party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

The Government agency that aids and protects whistleblowers is the Dutch Whistleblowers Authority or “Huis for Klokkenluiders.”  The Whistleblowers Authority Act, which came into force in the Netherlands on July 1, 2016, underlies the establishment of the Whistleblowers Authority.  An English version of the Act can be found at https://www.huisvoorklokkenluiders.nl/Publicaties/publicaties/2016/07/01/dutch-whistleblowers-act.

Huis for Klokkenluiders
Maliebaan 72
3581 CV Utrecht
The Netherlands
Website: https://www.huisvoorklokkenluiders.nl/english 
Telephone:  +31 (0)88 – 133 1000
E-mail info@huisvoorklokkenluiders.nl

The Dutch office of Transparency International is located in Amsterdam:

Transparency International Nederland
Offices at KIT:  Royal Tropical Institute, room d-3
Mauritskade 64
1092 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Website: https://www.transparency.nl/ 
Telephone: +31 (0)6 81 08 36 27
E-mail:  communicatie@transparency.nl

New Zealand

9. Corruption

U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to investing in New Zealand.  New Zealand is renowned for its efforts to ensure a transparent, competitive, and corruption-free government procurement system.  Stiff penalties against bribery of government officials as well as those accepting bribes are strictly enforced.  The Ministry of Justice provides guidance on its website for businesses to create their own anti-corruption policies, particularly improving understanding of the New Zealand laws on facilitation payments.

New Zealand consistently achieves top ratings in Transparency International’s Perceptions of Corruption Perception Index.  In 2019 Transparency International ranked New Zealand 1st out of 183 countries and territories, scoring 87 out of 100.  An area of concern noted by Transparency International is New Zealand being one of several top-ranking countries that conduct “moderate and limited enforcement of foreign bribery.”

Transparency International NZ has had concerns with the historical inconsistency in the level of public accessibility and Parliamentary oversight and application of secondary legislation which is law made under powers delegated by Parliament to 150 government agencies, entities, and local government.  New Zealand hast 550 Acts, which delegate power to make secondary legislation.

In December 2019 the government introduced the Secondary Legislation Bill to improve and support the law relating to the making of secondary legislation by applying and adjusting the framework of access to, and Parliamentary oversight of, secondary legislation provided for in the Legislation Act 2019.  It is currently with at the select committee stage: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93428/secondary-legislation-bill

New Zealand joined the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in 2012, citing benefits for exporters, while noting that there would be little change for foreign companies bidding within New Zealand’s totally deregulated government procurement system.  New Zealand’s accession to the GPA, came into effect in August 2015. New Zealand supports multilateral efforts to increase transparency of government procurement regimes.  New Zealand also engages with Pacific island countries in capacity building projects to bolster transparency and anti-corruption efforts.

New Zealand has regulations to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts and government procurement.  As mentioned in the previous section, MBIE operates a transparent procurement process using the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) platform and their revised Procurement Rules which must be followed by New Zealand government departments, the Police, the Defense Force, and most Crown entities. All other New Zealand government agencies are encouraged to follow the Rules.

New Zealand has signed and ratified the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.  In 2003, New Zealand signed the UN Convention against Corruption and ratified it in 2015.

The legal framework for combating corruption in New Zealand consists of domestic and international legal and administrative methods.  Domestically, New Zealand’s criminal offences related to bribery are contained in the Crimes Act 1961 and the Secret Commissions Act 1910.  For the bribery offences under sections 99 to 106 of the Crimes Act, New Zealand authorities have jurisdiction where any act or omission takes place in New Zealand.  If the acts or omissions alleged relate to Person of Position and occur outside New Zealand, proceedings may be brought against them under the Crimes Act if they are a New Zealand citizen, ordinarily resident in New Zealand, have been found in New Zealand and not been extradited, or are a body corporate incorporated under the law of New Zealand. Penalties include imprisonment up to 14 years and foreign bribery offences can incur fines up to the greater of NZD 5 million (USD 3.3 million) or three times the value of the commercial gain obtained.

The New Zealand government has a strong code of conduct, the Standards of Integrity and Conduct, which applies to all State Services employees and is rigorously enforced.  The Independent Police Conduct Authority considers complaints against New Zealand Police and the Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner was established in August 2005 to deal with complaints about the conduct of judges.  New Zealand’s Office of the Controller and Auditor-General and the Office of the Ombudsman take an active role in uncovering and exposing corrupt practices. The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 was enacted to protect public and private sector employees who engage in “whistleblowing.”

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for drafting and administering the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation and regulations.  It also provides guidance online to companies and NGOs in how to combat corruption and bribery. The New Zealand Police Financial Intelligence Unit collates information required under AML/CFT legislation.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Act 2017 extends the 2009 Act to cover lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, and sports and racing betting. Businesses that deal in certain high-value goods, such as motor vehicles, jewelry and art, will also have obligations when they accept or make large cash transactions.

Businesses had two years to comply with the Act and compliance costs are estimated to be USD 554 million and USD 762 million over ten years.  The New Zealand Police Financial Intelligence Unit estimate that NZD 1.35 billion (USD 878 million) of domestic criminal proceeds is generated for laundering in New Zealand each year, driven in part by New Zealand’s reputation as a safe and non-corrupt country.  The Department of Internal Affairs is working on a solution for businesses that are facing difficulty meeting their AML/CFT obligations during COVID-19.

Following the “Panama Papers” incident in April 2016, an independent inquiry found New Zealand’s tax treatment of foreign trusts to be appropriate but recommended changes to the regime’s disclosure requirements, which were subsequently legislated to dispel concerns New Zealand was operating as a “tax haven.”  The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Act 2017 changed foreign trust registration and disclosure to deter offshore parties from misusing New Zealand foreign trusts, and to reaffirm New Zealand’s reputation as being free of corruption.

In July 2019, the government passed the Trusts Act and repealed the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964 to make trust law more accessible, clarify and simplify core trust principles and essential obligations for trustees.  It also aims to preserve the flexibility of the common law to allow trust law to continue to evolve through the courts.  It applies to all trusts including family trusts and those for corporate structures.  New Zealand has one of the highest per capita number of trusts in the world due to favorable tax treatment and the absence of estate duty, gift duty, stamp duty, or capital gains tax.  It is estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 trusts in New Zealand.

After a standard review of the 2017 general election and 2016 local body elections, the Justice Select Committee conducted an inquiry in 2019 of the issue of foreign interference through politicized social media campaigns and from foreign donations to political candidates standing in New Zealand elections.  New Zealand intelligence agencies acknowledged political donations as a legally sanctioned form of participation in New Zealand politics, but raised concerns when aspects of a donation is obscured or is channeled in a way that prevents scrutiny of the origin of the donation, when the goal is to covertly build and project influence.

In December 2019 the government passed the Electoral Amendment Act under urgency to ban donations from overseas persons to political parties and candidates over NZD 50 (USD 32.50) down from the previous NZD 1,500 (USD 975) maximum, to reduce the risk of foreign money influencing the election process.  It also introduces a requirement for party secretaries “to take all reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that a donation over NZD 50 is not from an overseas person.”

The Act requires party secretaries to reside in New Zealand, and extending the existing offense of promoting anonymous advertisements relating to an election “so that it applies to all advertising mediums, including online advertising, in order to deter misleading anonymous online advertisements.”

Resources to Report Corruption

The Serious Fraud Office and the New Zealand Police investigate bribery and corruption matters.  Agencies such as the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General and the Office of the Ombudsmen act as watchdogs for public sector corruption.  These agencies independently report on and investigate state sector activities.

Serious Fraud Office
P.O.  Box 7124 – Wellesley Street
Auckland, 1141
New Zealand
www.sfo.govt.nz

Transparency International New Zealand is the recognized New Zealand representative of Transparency International, the global civil society organization against corruption.

Transparency International New Zealand
P.O.  Box 5248 – Lambton Quay
Wellington, 6145
New Zealand
www.transparency.org.nz

Nicaragua

9. Corruption

Nicaragua has a well-developed legislative framework criminalizing acts of corruption, but the rampant corruption in Nicaragua begins at the top and pervades every element of government, including the national police, judiciary, customs authorities, and tax authorities.  There is no expectation that the framework be enforced other than token cases to pretend compliance.  A general state of permissiveness, lack of strong institutions, ineffective system of checks and balances, and the FSLN’s complete control of government institutions create conditions for corruption to thrive.  The judicial system remained particularly susceptible to bribes, manipulation, and political influence.  Companies reported that bribery of public officials, unlawful seizures, and arbitrary assessments by customs and tax authorities were common.

The government does not require private companies to establish internal controls.  However, Nicaraguan banks have robust compliance and monitoring programs that detect corruption and also attempt to pierce the façade of front men seeking to process transactions for OFAC-sanctioned and other actors.  Multiple government officials and government-controlled entities have been sanctioned for corruption.

Nicaragua ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2006 and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in 1999.  It is not party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Businesses reported that corruption is an obstacle to FDI, particularly in government procurement, licensing, and customs and taxation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Nicaragua’s supreme audit institution is the Contraloria General de la República de Nicaragua (CGR).  The CGR can be reached at +505 2265-2072 and more information is available at its website www.cgr.gob.ni .

Niger

9. Corruption

The constitution, adopted in 2010, contains provisions for greater transparency in government reporting of revenues from the extractive industries, as well as the declaration of personal assets by government officials, including the President  Since his re-election in February 2016, President Issoufou has made combatting corruption within the GON one of the stated focus points of his presidency.

The High Authority for the Fight against Corruption and Related Offenses (HALCIA) has the authority to investigate corruption charges within all government agencies.  HALCIA is limited by a lack of resources and a regulatory process that is still developing.  Despite the limitations, HALCIA was able to conduct a number of successful investigations during 2019.

Laws related to anti-corruption measures are in place and apply to government officials, their family members, and all political parties.  Legislation on Prevention and Repression of Corruption was passed into law in January 2018; a strategy for implementation was still pending at year’s end.

Niger has laws in place designed to counter conflict of interest in awarding contracts and/or government procurements. Bribery of public officials by private companies is officially illegal, but occurs regularly despite GON denunciations of such conduct.

Law number 2017-10 of March 31, 2017, prohibits bribery of public officials, international administrators, and foreign agents, bribes within the private sector, illicit enrichment and abuse of function by public authorities. The High Authority Against Corruption and Relating Crimes (HALCIA) is further tasked with working with private companies on internal anti-corruption efforts.

Bribery of public officials occurs on a regular basis. Though most companies officially discourage such behavior, internal controls are rare except among the largest (mostly foreign) enterprises.

The government/authority encourages or requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

The government does not provide any additional protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

The government/authority encourages or requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

Niger has joined several international and regional anti-corruption initiatives including the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in 2005, and the Protocol on Combating Corruption of the economic community of the states of West Africa (ECOWAS) in 2006. Niger is also member state of the GIABA, which is an institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) in West Africa.

As of April 2019, there are no U.S. firms invested in Niger, for reasons which include – but are not limited to – the perception of corruption. Cases of suspected corruption occasionally appear in media reports concerning GON procurement, the award of licenses and concessions and customs.

Resources to Report Corruption

Gousmane Abdourahamane
President
High Authority to Combat Corruption and Related Infractions (HALCIA)
BP 550 Niamey – Niger
(+227) 20 35 20 96
issoufbour@gmail.com

Wada Maman
President
Transparency International Niger (TI-N)
BP 10423, Niamey – Niger
(+227) 20 32 00 96 / 96 28 79 69
anlcti@yahoo.fr

Nigeria

9. Corruption

Foreign companies, whether incorporated in Nigeria or not, may bid on government projects and generally receive national treatment in government procurement, but may also be subject to a local content vehicle (e.g., partnership with a local partner firm or the inclusion of one in a consortium) or other prerequisites which are likely to vary from tender to tender.  Corruption and lack of transparency in tender processes has been a far greater concern to U.S. companies than discriminatory policies based on foreign status.  Government tenders are published in local newspapers, a “tenders” journal sold at local newspaper outlets, and occasionally in foreign journals and magazines.  The Nigerian government has made modest progress on its pledge to conduct open and competitive bidding processes for government procurement with the introduction of the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal in 2017 under the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The Public Procurement Law of 2007 established the Bureau of Public Procurement as the successor agency to the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit.  It acts as a clearinghouse for government contracts and procurement and monitors the implementation of projects to ensure compliance with contract terms and budgetary restrictions.  Procurements above 100 million naira (about USD 277,550) reportedly undergo full “due process,” but government agencies routinely flout public procurement requirements.  Some of the 36 states of the federation have also passed public procurement legislation.

The reforms have also improved transparency in procurement by the state-owned NNPC.  Although U.S. companies have won contracts in numerous sectors, difficulties in receiving payment are not uncommon and can deter firms from bidding.  Supplier or foreign government subsidized financing arrangements appear in some cases to be a crucial factor in the award of government procurements.  Nigeria is not a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.

In 2016, Nigeria announced its participation in the Open Government Partnership, a potentially significant step forward on public financial management and fiscal transparency.  The Ministry of Justice presented Nigeria’s National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership.  Implementation of its 14 commitments has made some progress, particularly on the issues such as tax transparency, ease of doing business, and asset recovery.  The National Action Plan, which ran through 2019, covered five major themes:  ensuring citizens’ participation in the budget cycle, implementing open contracting and adoption of open contracting data standards, increasing transparency in the extractive sectors, adopting common reporting standards like the Addis Tax initiative, and improving the ease of doing business.  Full implementation of the National Action Plan would be a significant step forward for Nigeria’s fiscal transparency, although Nigeria has not fully completed any commitment to date.

Businesses report that bribery of customs and port officials remains common and often necessary to avoid extended delays in the port clearance process, and that smuggled goods routinely enter Nigeria’s seaports and cross its land borders.

Domestic and foreign observers identify corruption as a serious obstacle to economic growth and poverty reduction.  Nigeria scored 26 out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, with an overall ranking of 146 out of the 180 countries, a two-point drop since 2018.  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act of 2004 established the EFCC to prosecute individuals involved in financial crimes and other acts of economic “sabotage.”  Traditionally, the EFCC has achieved the most success in prosecuting low-level Internet scam operators.  A relative few high-profile convictions have taken place, such as a former governor of Adamawa State, a former governor of Bayelsa State, a former Inspector General of Police, and a former Chair of the Board of the Nigerian Port Authority.  However, in the case of the convicted governor of Bayelsa State, the President of Nigeria pardoned him in 2013.  The case of the former governor of Adamawa, who was convicted in 2017, is under appeal, and he is currently free on bail.

Since taking office in 2015, President Buhari has focused on implementing a campaign pledge to address corruption, though his critics contend his anti-corruption efforts often target political rivals.  Since then, the EFCC arrested a former National Security Advisor (NSA), a former Minister of State for Finance, a former NSA Director of Finance and Administration, and others on charges related to diversion of funds intended for government arms procurement.

The Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2001 established an Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to prosecute individuals, government officials, and businesses for corruption.  The Corrupt Practices Act punishes over 19 offenses, including accepting or giving bribes, fraudulent acquisition of property, and concealment of fraud.  Nigerian law stipulates that giving and receiving bribes constitute criminal offences and, as such, are not tax deductible.  Since its inauguration, the ICPC has secured convictions in 71 cases (through 2015, latest data available) with nearly 300 cases still open and pending as of July 2018.  In 2014, a presidential committee set up to review Nigeria’s ministries, departments, and agencies recommended that the EFCC, the ICPC, and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) be merged into one organization.  The federal government, however, rejected this proposal to consolidate the work of these three anti-graft agencies.

Nigeria gained admittance into the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units in 2007.  In July 2017 the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria due to concerns about the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit’s operational autonomy and ability to protect classified information. It lifted the suspension in September 2018 due to the Nigerian government’s efforts to address the Egmont Group’s concerns, through the passage of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Act in July 2018.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removed Nigeria from its list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories in 2006.  In 2013, the FATF decided that Nigeria had substantially addressed the technical requirements of its FATF Action Plan and agreed to remove Nigeria from its monitoring process conducted by FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group.  Nigeria, as a member of the Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, is an associated member of FATF.

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act of 2007 provided for the establishment of the NEITI organization, charged with developing a framework for transparency and accountability in the reporting and disclosure by all extractive industry companies of revenue due to or paid to the Nigerian government.  NEITI serves as a member of the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which provides a global standard for revenue transparency for extractive industries like oil and gas and mining.  Nigeria is party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.  Nigeria is not a member of the OECD and not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Headquarters:  No. 5, Fomella Street, Off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria.
Branch offices in Ikoyi, Lagos State; Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Independence Layout, Enugu State; Kano, Kano State; Gombe, Gombe State.
Hotline: +234 9 9044752 or +234 9 9044753

Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission:
Abuja Office – Headquarters
Plot 802 Constitution Avenue, Central District, PMB 535, Garki Abuja
Phone/Fax: 234 9 523 8810   Email: info@icpc.gov.ng

North Macedonia

9. Corruption

North Macedonia has laws intended to counter bribery, abuse of official position, and conflicts-of-interest, and government officials and their close relatives are legally required to disclose their income and assets. However, enforcement of anti-corruption laws has at times been weak and selectively targeted government critics and low-level offenders. There have been credible allegations of corruption in law enforcement, the judiciary, and many other sectors. The State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) (https://www.dksk.mk/index.php?id=home ), established in 2002 to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest, did not function for a year between March 2018 and February 2019 due to the resignation of its members after media revealed excessive and fraudulent travel invoicing. Following the passage of new anticorruption legislation in January 2019 and the appointment of new commissioners in February 2019, the commission restarted its work. The appointment of the new SCPC commissioners was done in a more transparent manner than before, and in the past year the SCPC has been more proactive in fighting corruption. The Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) was established in 2015 to investigate cases linked to a wiretapping scandal that revealed extensive abuse of office by public officials, including alleged corruption in public tenders. After the Chief Special Prosecutor was indicted in a corruption scandal in November 2019, all cases were transferred to the Public Prosecution Office’s Organized Crime and Corruption Prosecution Office . Transparency International ranked North Macedonia 106th out of 180 countries on the 2019 Corruption Perception Index, a drop of 13 places, following the SPO corruption scandal.

To deter corruption, the government uses an automated electronic customs clearance process, which allows businesses to monitor the status of their applications. In order to raise transparency and accountability in public procurement, the Bureau for Public Procurement introduced an electronic system that allows publication of notices from domestic and international institutions, tender documentation previews without registration in the system, e-payments for system use, electronic archiving, and electronic complaint submission (https://www.e-nabavki.gov.mk/PublicAccess/Home.aspx#/home ).

The government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery of public officials. A number of domestic NGOs focus on anti-corruption, and transparency in public finance and tendering procedures. There are frequent reports of nepotism in public tenders. The government does not provide any special protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption. North Macedonia has ratified the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and has signed the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery.

Many businesses operating in North Macedonia, including some U.S. businesses, identified corruption as a problem in government tenders and in the judiciary. No local firms or non-profit groups provide vetting services of potential local investment partners. Foreign companies often hire local attorneys, who have knowledge of local industrial sectors and access to the Central Registry and business associations, and can provide financial and background information on local businesses and potential partners.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption
Ms. Biljana Ivanovska, President
Dame Gruev 1
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
+389 2 321 5377
dksk@dksk.org.mk

Organized Crime and Corruption Prosecution Office
Ms. Vilma Ruskovska, Chief
Boulevard Krste Misirkov BB, Sudska Palata
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
+389 2 321 9884
ruskovska@jorm.gov.mk

Ministry of Interior
Organized Crime and Corruption Department
Mr. Lazo Velkovski, Head of the Department
Dimce Mircev bb
1000 Skopje, Macedonia + 389 2 314 3150
+ 389 2 314 3150

Transparency International – Macedonia
Ms. Slagjana Taseva, President
Naum Naumovski Borce 58
P.O. Box 270
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
+389 2 321 7000
info@transparency.mk

Norway

9. Corruption

Business is generally conducted “above the table” in Norway, and Norway ranks 7 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corrupt activity by Norwegian or foreign officials is a criminal offense under Norway’s Penal Code. Norway’s anti-corruption laws cover illicit activities overseas, subjecting Norwegian nationals/companies who bribe officials in foreign countries to criminal penalties in Norwegian courts. In 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an anti-corruption initiative, focused on limiting corruption in international development efforts.

Norway is a member of the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption watchdog Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and ratified the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption in 2004, without any reservations.  Norway has ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention (2006) and is a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM)
Address: Postboks 8193 Dep, 0034 Oslo
Telephone: +47 23 29 10 00
Email: post.okokrim@politiet.no

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Guro Slettemark
Secretary General
Transparency International Norge
PB 582 Sentrum
0106 Oslo
slettemark@transparency.no
+47 90 87 46 26

Oman

9. Corruption 

U.S. businesses do not identify corruption as one of the top concerns of operating in Oman.

The Sultanate has the following legislation in place to address corruption in the public and private sectors:

1) The Law for the Protection of Public Funds and Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest (the “Anti-Corruption Law” promulgated by Royal Decree 112/2011).  The Law predominantly concerns employees working within the public sector.  It is also applicable to private sector companies if the government holds at least 40 percent shares in the company or in situations where the private sector company has punishable dealings with government bodies and officials.

2) The Omani Penal Code (promulgated by Royal Decree 7/2018).  In January 2018, the GoO issued a new penal code that completely replaced Oman’s 1974 penal code.  Minimum sentencing guidelines for public officials guilty of embezzlement increased from three months to three years.  The definition of “public officials” expanded to include officers of parastatal corporations in which the GoO has at least a 40 percent controlling interest.  The new penal code may make Oman seem more investment-friendly, by virtue of modern references to corporations as legal entities, as an example.  However, its language on money laundering is still ambiguous and descriptions of licit and illicit banking are unclear, potentially contributing to confusion about investment regulations.

A lack of domestic whistleblower protection legislation in Oman has resulted in the private sector taking the lead in enacting internal anti-bribery and whistleblowing programs.  Omani and international companies doing business in Oman that plan on implementing anti-corruption measures will likely find it difficult to do so without also putting in place an effective whistleblower protection program and a culture of zero tolerance.

Ministers are not allowed to hold offices in public shareholding companies or serve as the chairperson of a closely held company.  However, many influential figures in government maintain private business interests and some are also involved in public-private partnerships.  These activities either create or have the potential to create conflicts of interest.  In 2011, the Tender Law (Royal Decree No. 36/2008) was updated to preclude Tender Board officials from adjudicating projects involving interested relatives to “the second degree of kinship.”

It is not yet clear if Sultan Haitham will prioritize rooting out corruption. The late Sultan dismissed several ministers and senior government officials for corruption during his reign. In response to public protests in 2011, a royal decree expanded the powers of the State Financial and Administrative Audit Institution (SFAAI).

Oman has stiff laws, regulations, and enforcement against corruption, and authorities have pursued several high profile cases.  In March 2019, local press and social media focused intensely on an embezzlement scandal and the subsequent arrest of employees at the Ministry of Education. The Courts have signaled that corruption will not be tolerated.

In an extra attempt to prevent and eradicate corruption in the Sultanate of Oman, Oman joined the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (the “UNCAC”) in 2013.  Oman is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

State Audit Institution
http://www.sai.gov.om/en/Complain.aspx   
Phone number: +968 8000 0008

There are no “watchdog” organizations operating in Oman that monitor corruption.

Pakistan

9. Corruption

Pakistan ranked 120 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index.  The organization noted that corruption problems persist due to the lack of accountability and enforcement of penalties, followed by the lack of merit-based promotion, and relatively low salaries.

Bribes are criminal acts punishable by law but are widely perceived to exist at all levels of government.  Although high courts are widely viewed as more credible, lower courts are often considered corrupt, inefficient, and subject to pressure from prominent wealthy, religious, and political figures.  Political involvement in judicial appointments increases the government’s influence over the court system.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s anti-corruption organization, suffers from insufficient funding and staffing and is viewed by political opposition as a tool for score-settling by the government in power.  Like NAB, the CCP’s mandate also includes anti-corruption authorities, but its effectiveness is also hindered by resource constraints.

Resources to Report Corruption 

Justice (R) Javed Iqbal
Chairman
National Accountability Bureau
Ataturk Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad
+92-51-111-622-622
chairman@nab.gov.pk

Sohail Muzaffar
Chairman
Transparency International
5-C, 2nd Floor, Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Phase VII, D.H.A., Karachi
+92-21-35390408-9
ti.pakistan@gmail.com

Panama

9. Corruption

Corruption is Panama’s biggest challenge.  Panama ranked 101 out of 180 countries in the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.  U.S. investors allege corruption is rampant in the private sector and all levels of the Panamanian government; purchase managers and import/export businesses have been known to overbill or take percentages off purchase orders while judges, mayors, members of the National Assembly, and local representatives have reportedly accepted payments for facilitating land titling and court rulings.  The Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) precludes U.S. companies from engaging in bribery and other activities, and U.S. companies look carefully at levels of corruption before investing or bidding on government contracts.

The process to apply for permits and titles can be opaque, and civil servants have been known to ask for payments at each step of the approval process.  The land titling process has been very troublesome for multiple U.S. companies, which have waited in some cases decades for cases to be resolved.

Panama’s government lacks strong systemic checks and balances that would serve to incentivize accountability.  Under Panamanian law, only the National Assembly may initiate corruption investigations against Supreme Court judges, and only the Supreme Court may initiate investigations against members of the National Assembly, which in turn has led to charges of a de facto “non-aggression pact” between the branches.

In late 2016, Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht admitted to paying $59 million in bribes to win Panamanian contracts of at least $175 million between 2010 and 2014.  Odebrecht’s admission was confined to bribes paid during the previous administration.  The scandal’s reach has yet to be fully determined and Odebrecht’s activities including construction on the second metro line and the expansion of Tocumen airport have continued.

Anti-corruption mechanisms exist, such as whistleblower and witness protection and conflict-of-interest rules.  However, the general perception is that anti-corruption laws are weak, not applied rigorously, that government enforcement bodies and the courts are not effective in pursuing and prosecuting those accused of corruption, and the lack of a strong professionalized career civil service in Panama’s public sector has hindered systemic change.  The fight against corruption is also hampered by the government’s refusal to dismantle Panama’s dictatorship-era libel and contempt laws, which can be used to punish whistleblowers, while those accused of acts of corruption are seldom prosecuted and almost never jailed.

U.S. investors in Panama complain about a lack of transparency in government procurement.  The parameters of government tenders often change during the bidding process, creating confusion and the perception the government tailor-makes tenders for specific companies.  For example, the Panama NG Power project has been stalled due to legal challenges alleging the government created the terms of the tender specifically for the Chinese-led consortium.  Odebrecht, furthermore, is still doing business in Panama and actively applying for government projects

Under President Cortizo, Panama has taken some measures to improve the business climate and urge transparency.  These include a new public-private partnership (APP) law that covers construction, maintenance, and operations projects valued at more than $10 million. The law is designed to implement checks and balances and eliminate discretion in contracting, a positive step that will increase transparency and create a level playing field for investors. In addition, the public procurement law was reintroduced in the National Assembly for discussion to improve the bidding processes so that no tenders could be “made to order”. This law is currently under review in the National Assembly as of May 2020.

Panama ratified the UN’s Anti-Corruption Convention in 2005 and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in 1998.  However, there is a perception that Panama should more effectively implement the conventions.

Resources to Report Corruption

ELSA FERNÁNDEZ AGUILAR
Directora Nacional de Transparencia y Acceso a la Informacion (ANTAI)
Autoridad Nacional de Transparencia y Acceso a la Informacion
Ave. del Prado, Edificio 713, Balboa, Ancon, Panama, República de Panama
(507) 527-9270 / 71/72/73/74
www.antai.gob.pa 

Papua New Guinea

9. Corruption

Corruption is widespread in Papua New Guinea, particularly the misappropriation of public funds, “skimming” of inflated contracts, and nepotism.

Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act.  Penalties differ for Members of Parliament (MPs), public officials, and ordinary citizens.  For MPs the penalty is imprisonment for no more than seven years; for public officials the penalty is imprisonment for no more than seven years and a fine at the discretion of the court; for ordinary citizens the penalty is a fine not exceeding PGK 400 (USD 123) or imprisonment of no more than one year.  A bribe by a local company or individual to a foreign official is a criminal act.  A local company cannot deduct a bribe to a foreign official from taxes.

The government encourages companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.

However, overall enforcement of existing laws is insufficient.

Most of the larger domestic companies and international firms from Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand have effective internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery.  Many firms from elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia, particularly those in the resource extraction sectors, lack such programs.

Papua New Guinea has signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Papua New Guinea is not a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime or the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

No specific protections are provided to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.  PNG’s Ombudsman Commission and the Police Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate are generally the main avenues to report and seek protection to matters pertinent to investigating corruption.  The Ombudsman Commission is mandated to investigate and recommend to concerned authorities to take action while the Police Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate has the powers to prosecute.

U.S. firms routinely identify corruption as a challenge to foreign direct investment. Some critical areas in which corruption is pervasive include budget management, forestry, fisheries, and public procurement.  In addition, the findings from the recent business survey, “Results of the 2017 Survey of Businesses in Papua New Guinea,” highlighted that “corruption is becoming an increasing problem with most firms reporting that they make ‘irregular payments’ to government officials.”  A considerable number of those surveyed indicated that problems lay in either Lands or Customs/Finance/Tax institutions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Twain Pambuai
Director of Corporate Services
Ombudsman Commission
Tower Building
Douglas Street
+675 308 2618
Twain.pambuai@ombudsman.gov.pg

Arianne Kassman
Executive Director
Transparency International
P.O. Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD
+675 320 2188
exectipng@gmail.com

Lawrence Stephens
Chairman
Transparency International
P.O. Box 591, Port Moresby, NCD
+675 320 2188
taubadasaku@gmail.com

Paraguay

9. Corruption

Paraguayan law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, impunity impedes effective implementation. Historically, officials in all branches and at all levels of government have engaged in corrupt practices. Judicial insecurity and corruption mar Paraguay’s investment climate. Many investors find it difficult to enforce contracts and are frustrated by lengthy bureaucratic procedures, limited transparency and accountability, and impunity. A recent trend is for private companies to insist on arbitration for dispute resolution and bypass the judicial system completely.

The Paraguayan government has taken several steps in recent years to increase transparency and accountability, including the creation of an internet-based government procurement system, the disclosure of government payroll information, the appointment of nonpartisan officials to key posts, and increased civil society input and oversight. Notwithstanding, corruption and impunity continue to affect the investment climate.

The constitution requires all public employees, including elected officials and employees of independent government entities, to disclose their income and assets at least 15 days after taking office and again within 15 days after finishing their term or assignment, but at no point in between, which is problematic for congressional representatives that are re-elected numerous times. Public employees are required to include information on the assets and income of spouses and dependent children. Officials are not required to file periodically when changes occur in their holdings.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combating Bribery:

Paraguay signed and ratified the UN Anti-corruption Convention in 2005.

Resources to Report Corruption:

General Auditors Office
Bruselas 1880, Asuncion, Paraguay
+ 595 21 620 0260
atencion@contraloria.gov.py

Public Ministry
Nuestra Señora de la Asunción c/ Haedo, Asuncion, Paraguay
+ 595 21 454 611
http://www.ministeriopublico.gov.py/direccion-de-denuncias-penales 

Anti-Corruption Secretariat
El Paraguayo Independiente esquina Río Ypané, Asunción, Paraguay
+ 595 21 450-001/2
http://www.senac.gov.py/ 

Seeds for Democracy
Roma 1055 casi Colón, Asuncion, Paraguay
+ 595 21 420 323
semillas@semillas.org.py

Peru

9. Corruption

It is illegal in Peru for a public official or employee to accept any type of outside remuneration for the performance of his or her official duties. The law extends to family members of officials and to political parties. Regulations published in March 2017 aim to limit conflicts of interest. In 2019, Peru made the irregular financing of political campaigns a crime, carrying penalties up to eight years jail time.

Peru has ratified both the UN Convention against Corruption and the Organization of American States Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Peru has signed the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and has adopted OECD public sector integrity standards through the GOP’s National Integrity and Anticorruption Plan. The Public Auditor (Contraloria) is the responsible government agency for overseeing proper procedures in public administration. In January 2017, the GOP passed legislative decrees extending the scope of civil penalties for domestic acts of bribery, including by NGOs, corporate partners, board members, and parent companies if its subsidiaries acted under authorization.  Penalties include an indefinite exclusion from government contracting and substantially increased fines. The Public Auditor also began implementing audits of reconstruction projects that run in parallel to the project, rather than after project implementation, in an effort to improve transparency. It is also running parallel audits to the different government actions at all levels (central, regional, and local) to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

U.S. firms have reported problems resulting from corruption, usually in government procurement processes and in the judicial sector, with defense and police procurement generally considered among the most problematic in spite of the PTPA’s stipulations and Peru’s Government Procurement Law (Legislative Decree No. 1017, DL 1017, one of several laws passed with the specific intention to implement PTPA). Transparency International lowered Peru’s ranking to 101st out of 180 countries in its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index from 105th in 2018.

During the January 2020 congressional elections, 74 candidates had ongoing criminal proceedings for alleged corruption (Andina). Of the 25 regional governors elected in 2018 regional elections, at least five were under preliminary investigation or had been convicted of corruption-related charges. Eleven of the elected Congress representatives have completed sentences for various crimes and seven had judicial investigations pending for corruption-related crimes. A study published in August 2017 counted 395 investigations of corruption or trials against current or former governors, with 30 percent of the cases in the regions of Pasco, Tumbes, and Ucayali. It also identified 1,052 investigations of corruption or trials against 530 current or former mayors, with Lima leading the list with 109 cases (10.4 percent of the total). https://plataformaanticorrupcion.pe/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/INFORME-CORRUPCION-SOBRE-GOBERNADORES-Y-ALCALDES.pdf 

Corruption in Peru is widespread and systematic, affecting all levels of government and the whole of society, which, until recently, had developed a high tolerance to corruption. Cases of grand corruption have significantly increased in recent years, including embezzlement, collusion, bribery, extortion or fraud in the justice system, politics and public works, involving high level authorities or key public officers who abuse their public power for private gain. Corruption has become more rampant, malign and pervasive in public procurement, due to weak control and risk management systems, lack of ethical or integrity values in some public officials (and society), lack of transparency and accountability in procurement processes, social tolerance of corruption, with little or no enforcement. This has led to Peruvian participation in regional cases like Odebrecht, but also in public and private sector corruption related to conflict of interests, nepotism, abuse of discretion, favoritism, and illegal contributions, as well as illicit financing of political interests, candidates and processes. This embedded dynamic has eroded trust, credibility and integrity of public entities and engendered mistrust in the private sector. As a result, Peru has increasingly become home to criminal and transnational enterprises such as drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal logging and mining, and human trafficking, among others.

collusion, bribery, extortion or fraud in the justice system, politics and public works, involving high level authorities or key public officers who abuse their public power for private gain. Corruption has become more rampant, malign and pervasive in public procurement, due to weak control and risk management systems, lack of ethical or integrity values in some public officials (and society), lack of transparency and accountability in procurement processes, social tolerance of corruption, with little or no enforcement. This has led to Peruvian participation in regional cases like Odebrecht, but also in public and private sector corruption related to conflict of interests, nepotism, abuse of discretion, favoritism, and illegal contributions, as well as illicit financing of political interests, candidates and processes. This embedded dynamic has eroded trust, credibility and integrity of public entities and engendered mistrust in the private sector. As a result, Peru has increasingly become home to criminal and transnational enterprises such as drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal logging and mining, and human trafficking, among others.

In December 2016, Brazilian company Odebrecht admitted in a settlement with the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland that it had paid $29 million in bribes in Peru between 2004 and 2015. In 2017, the Peruvian Government issued an emergency decree restricting the sale of Odebrecht assets to ensure payment of corruption-related reparations. In May 2018, the Peruvian Government formally filed a request with the United States to extradite former President Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) who resides in the United States, for allegedly laundering over $20 million in Odebrecht bribes in exchange for facilitating Odebrecht’s winning bid to build the Inter-Oceanic Highway. High-ranking officials from the last four Peruvian administrations have also been investigated in connection with the Odebrecht scandal, including former presidents. Under Odebrecht-related investigations, local giant Credicorp also confessed irregularly financing the 2011 campaign of Keiko Fujimori, including through illicit cash above amounts allowed by law.

The future of President Vizcarra’s signature political and anti-corruption reform agenda, which was opposed by the last congress in 2019 leading to its dissolution and new legislative elections, looks uncertain. With limited support in congress, a growing economic crisis, and challenges to flattening the COVID-19 curve, and the distraction of upcoming general campaigns in April 2021, Vizcarra can expect a difficult road ahead to push forward his agenda. Though he remains popular, Vizcarra has reiterated he will not stand for reelection and the field potential presidential candidates is wide open. The handoff to a new administration remains on schedule for July 2021.

Resources to Report Corruption

Susana Silva Hasenbank
Secretary of Public Integrity of the Prime Minister Office and General Coordinator
High Commission to Fight Corruption (CAN)
Jr. Carabaya Cdra. 1 S/N – Lima,
(51) (1) 219-7000, ext. 7118
ssilva@pcm.gob.pe

General Comptroller’s Office

Jr. Camilo Carrillo 114, Jesus Maria, Lima
(51) (1) 330-3000
contraloria@contraloria.gob.pe

Contact at “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local, or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption, such as Transparency International):

Samuel Rotta
Executive Director
ProEtica, the Peruvian chapter of Transparency International
Calle Manco Capac 816, Miraflores, Lima
(51) (1) 446-8581, 446-8941, 446-8943
srotta@proetica.org.pe

Philippines

9. Corruption

Corruption is a pervasive and long-standing problem in both the public and private sectors. The country’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index declined to the 113th spot (out of 180), its worst score in over seven years. The Philippines was 99th in 2018, and the lack of progress in tackling public corruption resulted in a lower score for 2019. Various organizations, including the World Economic Forum, have cited corruption among the top problematic factors for doing business in the Philippines. The Bureau of Customs is still considered to be one of the most corrupt agencies in the country, having fired and replaced five customs commissioners over the past six years.

The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 outlines strategies to reduce corruption by streamlining government transactions, modernizing regulatory processes, and establishing mechanisms for citizens to report complaints. A front line desk in the Office of the President, the Presidential Complaint Center, or PCC (https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/), receives and acts on corruption complaints from the general public. The PCC can be reached through its complaint hotline, text services (SMS), and social media sites.

The Philippine Revised Penal Code, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and the Code of Ethical Conduct for Public Officials all aim to combat corruption and related anti-competitive business practices. The Office of the Ombudsman investigates and prosecutes cases of alleged graft and corruption involving public officials, with more information available on its website . Cases against high-ranking officials are brought before a special anti-corruption court, the Sandiganbayan, while cases against low-ranking officials are filed before regional trial courts.

The Office of the President can directly investigate and hear administrative cases involving presidential appointees in the executive branch and government-owned and controlled corporations. Soliciting, accepting, and/or offering/giving a bribe are criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment, a fine, and/or disqualification from public office or business dealings with the government. Government anti-corruption agencies routinely investigate public officials, but convictions by courts are limited, often appealed, and can be overturned. Recent positive steps include the creation of an investors’ desk at the Ombudsman’s Office, and corporate governance reforms of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Philippines ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2003. It is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Office of the Ombudsman
Ombudsman Building, Agham Road, North Triangle
Diliman, Quezon City
Hotline:  (+632) 8926.2662
Telephone:  (+632) 8479.7300
Email/Website: pab@ombudsman.gov.ph / http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph /

Presidential Complaint Center
Gama Bldg., Minerva St. corner Jose Laurel St.
San Miguel, Manila
Telephone: (+632) 8736.8645, 8736.8603, 8736.8606
Email: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph / https://op-proper.gov.ph/presidential-action-center/

Contact Center ng Bayan
Text:  (+63) 908 881.6565
Call:  1-6565
Email/Website: email@contactcenterngbayan.gov.ph / contactcenterngbayan.gov.ph 

Poland

9. Corruption

Poland has laws, regulations, and penalties aimed at combating corruption of public officials and counteracting conflicts of interest.  Anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and to members of political parties who are members of parliament.  There are also anti-corruption laws regulating the finances of political parties.  According to a local NGO, an increasing number of companies are implementing voluntary internal codes of ethics.  In 2019, the Transparency International (TI) index of perceived public corruption ranked Poland as the 41st (five places lower than in 2018 TI index) least corrupt among 180 countries/territories.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

The Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) and national police investigate public corruption.  The Justice Ministry and the police are responsible for enforcing Poland’s anti-corruption criminal laws.  The Finance Ministry administers tax collection and is responsible for denying the tax deductibility of bribes.  Reports of alleged corruption most frequently appear in connection with government contracting and the issuance of a regulation or permit that benefits a particular company.  Allegations of corruption by customs and border guard officials, tax authorities, and local government officials show a decreasing trend.  If such corruption is proven, it is usually punished.

Overall, U.S. firms have found that maintaining policies of full compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is effective in building a reputation for good corporate governance and that doing so is not an impediment to profitable operations in Poland.  Poland ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2006 and the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery in 2000.  Polish law classifies the payment of a bribe to a foreign official as a criminal offense, the same as if it were a bribe to a Polish official.

At its March 2018 meeting, the OECD Working Group on Bribery urged Poland to make progress on carrying out key recommendations that remain unimplemented more than four years after its Phase 3 evaluation in June 2013.

For more information on the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Poland, please visit:  http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/poland-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm 

Resources to Report Corruption

Centralne Biuro Antykorupcyjne (Central Anti-Corruption Bureau – CBA)
al. Ujazdowskie 9, 00-583 Warszawa
+48 800 808 808
kontakt@cba.gov.pl
www.cba.gov.pl ; link: Zglos Korupcje (report corruption)

The Public Integrity Program of the Batory Foundation, which served as a non-governmental watchdog organization, has been incorporated into a broader operational program (ForumIdei) run by the Foundation.  The Batory Foundation continues to monitor public corruption, carries out research into this area and publishes reports on various aspects of the government’s transparency.  Contact information for Batory Foundation is: batory@batory.org.pl; 22 536 02 20.

Portugal

9. Corruption

U.S. firms do not identify corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment. Portugal has made legislative strides toward further criminalizing corruption.  The government’s Council for the Prevention of Corruption, formed in 2008, is an independent administrative body that works closely with the Court of Auditors to prevent corruption in public and private organizations that use public funds.  Transparencia e Integridade Associacao Civica, the local affiliate of Transparency International, also actively publishes reports on corruption and supports would-be whistleblowers in Portugal.

In 2010, the country adopted a law criminalizing violation of urban planning rules and increasing transparency in political party funding. In 2015, Parliament unanimously approved a revision to existing anti-corruption laws that extended the statute of limitations for the crime of trading in influence to 15 years and criminalized embezzlement by employees of state-owned enterprises with a prison term of up to eight years. The laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties.

Still, according to a 2018 report by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), Portugal should improve efforts to reform its legal framework to prevent corruption from MPs, judges, and prosecutors. The report concluded that Portugal has only satisfactorily implemented one of fifteen previous recommendations. Three have been partly implemented, and eleven have not yet been implemented. The situation is qualified by GRECO as “globally unsatisfactory.” GRECO, however welcomed  a reform to bolster integrity, enhance accountability and increase transparency of a wide range of public office holders, including MPs.

Portugal has laws and regulations to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

The Portuguese government encourages (and in some cases requires) private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.  Most private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. As described above, the Competition Authority operates a leniency program for companies that self-identify infringements of competition rules, including ethical lapses.

Portugal has ratified and complies with both the UN Convention against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Council for the Prevention of Corruption
Avenida da Republica, 65
1050-189, Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21 794 5138
Email: cp-corrupcao@tcontas.pt

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Transparency International – Transparencia e Integridade Associacao Civica
Rua dos Fanqueiros, 65-3º A
1100-226, Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21 8873412
Email: secretariado@transparencia.pt

Qatar

9. Corruption

Corruption in Qatar does not generally affect business although the power of personal connections plays a major role in business culture.  Qatar is one of the least corrupt countries in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, and ranked 30 out of 180 nations globally with a score of 62 out of 100, with 100 indicating full transparency.

Qatari law imposes criminal penalties to combat corruption by public officials and the government practices these laws.  In recent years, corruption and misuse of public money has been a focus of the executive office.  Decree 6/2015 restructured the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, granting it juridical responsibility, its own budget, and direct affiliation with the Amir’s office.  The objectives of the authority are to prevent corruption and ensure that ministries and public employees operate with transparency.  It is also responsible for investigating alleged crimes against public property or finances perpetrated by public officials.  Law 22/2015 imposes hefty penalties for corrupt officials and Law 11/2016 grants the State Audit Bureau more financial authority and independence, allowing it to publish parts of its findings (provided that confidential information is removed),which it was not previously empowered to do.

In 2007, Qatar ratified the UN Convention for Combating Corruption (through Amiri Decree 17/2007) and established a National Committee for Integrity and Transparency, (through Amiri Decree 84/2007).  The permanent committee is headed by the Chairman of the State Audit Bureau.  Qatar also opened the Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law Center in 2013 in Doha in partnership with the United Nations.  The purpose of the center is to support, promote, and disseminate legal principles to fight against corruption.

Those convicted of embezzlement and damage to the public treasury are subject to terms of imprisonment of no less than five and up to ten years.  The penalty is extended to a minimum term of seven and a maximum term of fifteen years if the perpetrator is a public official in charge of collecting taxes or exercising fiduciary responsibilities over public funds.  Investigations into allegations of corruption are handled by the Qatar State Security Bureau and Public Prosecution.  Final judgments are made by the Criminal Court.

Bribery is also a crime in Qatar and the law imposes penalties on public officials convicted of taking action in return for monetary or personal gain, or for other parties who take actions to influence or attempt to influence a public official through monetary or other means.  The current Penal Code (Law 11/2004) governs corruption law and stipulates that individuals convicted of bribery may be sentenced up to ten years imprisonment and a fine equal to the amount of the bribe but no less than USD 1,374.

The Procurement Law 24/2015 is designed to promote a fair, transparent, simple, and expeditious tendering process.  It abolishes the Central Tendering Committee and establishes a Procurement Department within the Ministry of Finance that has oversight over the majority of government tenders.  The new department has an online portal that consolidates all government tenders and provides relevant information to interested bidders, facilitating the process for foreign investors (https://monaqasat.mof.gov.qa ).

Despite these efforts, some American businesses continue to cite lack of transparency in government procurement and customs as recurring issues encountered in the Qatari market.  U.S. investors and Qatari nationals who happen to be agents of U.S. firms are subject to the provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Qatar is not a party to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.

Resources to Report Corruption

In 2015, the Public Prosecution’s Anti-Corruption Office launched a campaign encouraging the public to report corruption and bribery cases, establishing hotlines and a tip reporting inbox and vowing to protect the confidentiality of submitted information:

Public Prosecution
Anti-Corruption Office
Hotlines:  +974-3353-1999 and +974-3343-1999
aco@pp.gov.qa

Republic of the Congo

9. Corruption

ROC adopted a law against corruption by public officials, “Code de Transparence dans les Finances Publiques,” on March 9, 2017. The ROC government inconsistently enforces the law.

The corruption law applies to elected and appointed officials. It does not extend to family members of officials or to political parties.

No specific laws or regulations address conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

ROC does not encourage or require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.

Some private companies, multinationals in particular, use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

ROC serves as a party to the UN Anticorruption Convention.

ROC does not provide protection to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to include NGOs investigating corruption.

U.S. companies routinely cite corruption as an impediment to investment, particularly in the petroleum sector, where corruption practices remain prolific.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Emmanuel Ollita Ondongo
Président
Observatoire Anti-Corruption
Centre Ville, Brazzaville, République du Congo
+242 06 944 6165 or +242 05 551 2229
emmallita2007@yahoo.fr

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Christian Mounzeo
President
Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (RPDH, the local chapter of “Publish What You Pay” – Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez)
B.P. 939 Pointe-Noire, République du Congo
+242 05 595 52 46
http://www.rpdh-cg.org/

Romania

9. Corruption

Romania’s fight against high- and medium-level corruption, a model in Southeastern Europe over the past decade suffered significant setbacks between 2016 and late 2019 due to a concerted campaign under the previous government to weaken anti-corruption efforts, the criminal and judicial legislative framework, and judicial independence.  Judicial institutions, NGOs, the EU, and NATO allied governments have all raised concerns about legislative initiatives that furthered this trend in that time period.  In Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, Romania’s score fell from 47 in 2018 to 44 out of 100.  This is among the lowest ranking of EU member states, tying with Hungary and ranking one position above Bulgaria.  The current government has begun rolling back the negative actions of the prior government, but this effort will take some time to have full effect.

Domestic and internal rule-of-law observers and law enforcement criticized the wide range of amendments that the former government introduced to the criminal and criminal procedure codes as weakening the investigative toolkits, including in fighting corruption between 2016 and 2019.  In July 2019, the Constitutional Court found these changes unconstitutional, and the current government plans to revise these codes.

The European Commission (EC) under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), and the Council of Europe’s (COE) Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) prepared 2019 reports prior to the current National Liberal Party (PNL) government taking power in November 2019.  The October 2019 report, which covered actions taken through June 2019, confirmed the backtracking from the progress made in previous years and set out in the November 2018 report.  The report also emphasized that “The key institutions of Romania need to collectively demonstrate a strong commitment to judicial independence and the fight against corruption as indispensable cornerstones, and to ensure the capacity of national safeguards and checks and balances to act.”  GRECO’s July 2019 Interim Compliance Report warned that statutes enacted through emergency ordinances, or with insufficient transparency and public consultation, will weaken judicial independence.  A June 2019 Venice Commission report was also highly critical of the use of Emergency Ordinances.  The Constitutional Court found most of those changes unconstitutional.  A May 2019 non-binding referendum bans the use of Emergency Ordinances for issues related to the justice sector.

After a political and media campaign against the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) resulted in the dismissal of the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA in 2018, the position remained vacant until a new government took power in November 2019.  The government filled the position in March 2020.  Meanwhile the prosecutor’s office set up by the previous government to investigate and prosecute judges and prosecutors, which appeared to only be undertaking politically motivated cases, continues to operate.  The current government’s efforts to disband or reform it stalled during the COVID-19 crisis.  Successful court challenges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice’s procedures triggered the review of numerous high-level corruption cases.  Both the national cabinet and Parliament adopted codes of conduct, yet their overly general provisions have so far rendered them inconsequential.  Conflicts of interest, respect for standards of ethical conduct, and integrity in public office in general remained a concern for all three branches of government.  Individual executive agencies enforced sanctions slowly, and agencies’ own inspection bodies were generally inactive.

In June 2019, the previous government adopted a sizable Administrative Code by emergency ordinance.  The Code weakened the authority of the National Civil Service Agency to oversee civil service by merit-based selection, lowered the voting requirements for transferring management of properties by local councils, and limited local elected officials’ legal liability for official acts by shifting it to civil servants.  Implementation of the 2016-2020 national anticorruption strategy, which the previous government adopted in 2016, has been slow, especially with regard to prevention efforts.  The strategy focused on strengthening administrative review and transparency within public agencies, prevention of corruption, increased and improved financial disclosure, conflict of interest oversight, more aggressive investigation of money laundering, and passage of legislation to allow for more effective asset recovery.  The strategy includes education in civics and ethics for civil servants, a requirement for peer reviews of state institutions, stepped-up measures to strengthen integrity in the business environment, a significant decrease in public procurement fraud, and an increased role for ethics advisors and whistle-blowers.  There has been little action in these areas, especially on the prevention component.  Absent political support from the top, the new National Agency for Managing Seized Assets (ANABI) has only made limited progress.

Romania implemented the revised Public Procurement Directives with the passage in 2016 of new laws to improve and make public procurement more transparent.  The National Agency for Public Procurement has general oversight over procurements and can draft legislation, but procurement decisions remain with the procuring entities.  State entities, as well as public and private beneficiaries of EU funds, are required by law to follow public procurement legislation and use the e-procurement system.  Sectoral procurements, including private companies in energy and transportation, also have to follow the public procurement laws and tender via the e-procurement website.  The February 2020 EU Country Report for Romania points out that public-procurement remains inefficient.

In October 2016, the “Prevent” IT system, an initiative sponsored by the National Integrity Agency for ex-ante check of conflicts of interests in public procurement, was signed into law.  The mechanism aims to avoid conflicts of interest by automatically detecting conflict of interests in public procurement before the selection and contract award procedure.

The laws extend to politically exposed persons yet at the same time, politicians frequently criticize magistrates in the media and judicial decisions are often treated with a lack of respect.  Laws prohibit bribery, both domestically and for Romanian companies doing business abroad.  The judiciary remains paper-based and inefficient, and Romania loses a number of cases each year in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) due to excessive trial length.  Asset forfeiture laws exist, but a functioning regime remains under development.  Fully 80 percent of cases in the court system are property related.

While private joint stock companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery, since 2017 the government has rolled back corporate governance rules for state-owned enterprises and has repeatedly resorted to profit and reserves distribution in dividends to bolster the budget.  U.S. investors have complained of both government and business corruption in Romania, with the customs service, municipal officials, and local financial authorities most frequently named.  According to the EC’s 2020 European Semester Country Report for Romania, since 2013, the share of companies that perceive corruption as a problem increased in Romania by 23 percentage points, the largest increase in the EU.  This result stands in stark contrast with the EU average, which continued to decrease (now at 37%).  Overall, 97% of businesses think that corruption is widespread in Romania, and 87% say it is widespread in public procurement managed by national authorities.  On a more positive note, 50% of respondents think that those engaged in corruption would be caught by police, and 43% think that those caught for bribing a senior official receive appropriate sanctions.  These results are both higher than the EU average.

Romania is a member of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC).  NGOs enjoy the same legal protections as any other organization, but NGOs involved in investigating corruption receive no additional protections.  Recent regulations have increased costs and administrative burdens for NGOs and reduced the pool of potential donors.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Romania is member of the UN Anticorruption Convention and the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).  Romania is not a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Romania expressed interest to join the new anti-corruption working group of the Open Government Partnership initiative.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

ORGANIZATION: National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA)
ADDRESS: Str. Stirbei Voda nr. 79-81, Bucuresti
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +40 21 312 73 99
EMAIL ADDRESS: anticoruptie@pna.ro
WEBSITE: http://www.pna.ro/sesizare.xhtml?jftfdi=&jffi=sesizare 

Contact at “watchdog” organizations:

ORGANIZATION: Expert Forum
ADDRESS:Strada Semilunei, apt 1, Sector 2, Bucuresti,
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +40 21 211 7400
EMAIL ADDRESS: office@expertforum.ro

ORGANIZATION: Freedom House Romania
ADDRESS: Bd. Ferdinand 125, Bucuresti
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +4021 253 28 38
EMAIL ADDRESS: guseth@freedomhouse.ro

ORGANIZATION: Funky Citizens
ADDRESS: Colivia, Pache Protopopescu 9
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +40 0723 627 448
EMAIL ADDRESS: elena@funkycitizens.org

Russia

9. Corruption

Despite some government efforts to combat it, the level of corruption in Russia remains high. Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranked Russia 137 out of 180, which was one notch below its 2018 rank.

Roughly 24 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed by the Russian Chamber of Commerce in October and November 2019 said they constantly faced corruption.  Businesses mainly experienced corruption during applications for permits (35.3 percent), during inspections (22.1 percent), and in the procurement processes (38.7 percent).  The areas of government spending that ranked highest in corruption were public procurement, media, national defense, and public utilities.

In March 2020, Russia’s new Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov reported RUB 21 billion ($281 million) were recovered in the course of anticorruption investigations in 2019.  In December 2019, Procurator General’s Office Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko reported approximately over 7,000 corruption convictions in 2019, including of 752 law enforcement officers, 181 Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS) officers, 81 federal bailiffs, and 476 municipal officials.

Until recently, one of the peculiarities of Russian enforcement practice was that companies were prosecuted almost exclusively for small and mid-scale bribery.  Several 2019 cases indicate that Russian enforcement actions, finally, may extend to more severe offenses as well.  To date, ten convictions of companies for large- or extra large-scale bribery with penalty payments of RUB 20 million ($268,000) or more have been disclosed in 2019 – compared to only four cases in the whole of 2018.  In July 2019, Russian Standard Bank, which is among Russia’s 200 largest companies according to Forbes Russia, had to pay a penalty of RUB 26.5 million ($355,000) for bribing bailiffs in Crimea in order to speed up enforcement proceedings against defaulted debtors.

Still, there is no efficient protection for whistleblowers in Russia.  In June 2019, the legislative initiative aimed at the protection of whistleblowers in corruption cases ultimately failed.  The draft law, which had been adopted at the first reading in December 2017, provided for comprehensive rights of whistleblowers and responsibilities of employers and law enforcement authorities.  Since August 2018, Russian authorities have been authorized to pay whistleblowers rewards which may exceed RUB 3 million ($40,000).  However, rewards alone will hardly suffice to incentivize whistleblowing.

Russia adopted a law in 2012 requiring individuals holding public office, state officials, municipal officials, and employees of state organizations to submit information on the funds spent by them and members of their families (spouses and underage children) to acquire certain types of property, including real estate, securities, stock, and vehicles.  The law also required public servants to disclose the source of the funds for these purchases and to confirm the legality of the acquisitions.

In July 2018, President Putin signed a two-year plan to combat corruption.  The plan required public consultation for federal procurement projects worth more than RUB 50 million ($670,000) and municipal procurement projects worth more than RUB 5 million ($67,000).  The government also expanded the list of property that can be confiscated if the owners fail to prove it was acquired using lawful income.  The government maintains an online registry of officials charged with corruption-related offences, with individuals being listed for a period of five years.

The Constitutional Court has given clear guidance to law enforcement on asset confiscation due to the illicit enrichment of officials.  Russia has ratified the UN Convention against Corruption, but its ratification did not include article 20, which deals with illicit enrichment.  The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) reported in 2019 that Russia had implemented only 10 out of 22 recommendations: eight concern members of the parliament, nine concern judges, and five concern prosecutors , according to a draft report by the office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation that was submitted to the State Duma.

U.S. companies, regardless of size, are encouraged to assess the business climate in the relevant market in which they will be operating or investing and to have effective compliance programs or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery.  U.S. individuals and firms operating or investing in Russia should take time to become familiar with the relevant anticorruption laws of both Russia and the United States in order to comply fully with them.  They should also seek the advice of legal counsel when appropriate.

Resources to Report Corruption

Andrey Avetisyan Ambassador at Large for International Anti-Corruption Cooperation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, Moscow, Russia
+7 499 244-16-06

Anton Pominov
Director General
Transparency International – Russia
Rozhdestvenskiy Bulvar, 10, Moscow
Email: Info@transparency.org.ru

Individuals and companies that wish to report instances of bribery or corruption that affect their operations and request the assistance of the United States government with respect to issues relating to corruption may call the Department of Commerce’s Russia Corruption Reporting hotline at (202) 482-7945, or submit the form provided at http://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/reportatradebarrier_russia.asp .

Rwanda

9. Corruption

Rwanda is ranked among the least corrupt countries in Africa, with Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index putting the country among Africa’s four least corrupt nations and 51st in the world.  The government maintains a high-profile anti-corruption effort, and senior leaders articulate a consistent message emphasizing that combating corruption is a key national goal.  The government investigates corruption allegations and generally punishes those found guilty.  High-ranking officials accused of corruption often resign during the investigation period, and many have been prosecuted.  Rwanda has ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.  It is a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.  It is also a signatory to the African Union Anticorruption Convention.  U.S. firms have identified the perceived lack of government corruption in Rwanda as a key incentive for investing in the country.  There are no local industry or non-profit groups offering services for vetting potential local investment partners, but the Ministry of Justice keeps judgments online, making it a source of information on companies and individuals in Rwanda at www.judiciary.gov.rw/home/ .  The Rwanda National Public Prosecution Authority issues criminal records on demand to applicants at www.nppa.gov.rw .

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Mr. Anastase Murekezi, Chief Ombudsman , Ombudsman (Umuvunyi)
P.O Box 6269, Kigali, Rwanda
Telephone: +250 252587308
omb1@ombudsman.gov.rw / sec.permanent@ombudsman.gov.rw

Mr. Felicien Mwumvaneza, Commissioner for Quality Assurance Department (Anti-Corruption Unit) Rwanda Revenue Authority
Avenue du Lac Muhazi, P.O. Box 3987, Kigali, Rwanda
Telephone: +250 252595504 or +250 788309563
felicien.mwumvaneza@rra.gov.rw / commissioner.quality@rra.gov.rw

Mr. Obadiah Biraro, Auditor General, Office of the Auditor General
Avenue du Lac Muhazi, P.O. Box 1020, Kigali, Rwanda
Telephone: +250 78818980 , oag@oag.gov.rw

Contact at “watchdog” organization

Mr. Apollinaire Mupiganyi , Executive Director , Transparency International Rwanda
P.O: Box 6252 Kigali, Rwanda
Telephone: +250 788309563,
amupiganyi@transparencyrwanda.org / mupiganyi@yahoo.fr

Saint Kitts and Nevis

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implements these laws effectively. Media and private citizens reported government corruption was a problem. One media report accused a Dubai-based agent administering the CBI program of fraud by conspiring with a local developer to embezzle funds from CBI applicants. The government dismissed the allegations as unfounded and politically motivated. The government did not publicize the number of passports issued through CBI or the nationalities of the passport holders.

Public officials are not subject to financial disclosure laws. The Financial Intelligence Unit and the police white-collar crime unit investigate reports on suspicious financial transactions, but these reports were not available to the public.

Government agencies involved in enforcement of anti-corruption laws include the Royal St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Financial Intelligence Unit.  The Financial Intelligence Unit investigates financial crimes, but no independent body has been established to handle allegations of government corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Simone Bullen-Thompson
Solicitor-General
Legal Department
Church Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis
Tel: 869-465-2170
Email: simone_bullen@hotmail.com

Saint Lucia

9. Corruption

Most locals and foreigners do not view corruption related to foreign business and investment as a major problem in St. Lucia.  However, there are isolated reports of allegations of official corruption, particularly among customs officials.  Local laws provide for access to information.  The law also requires government officials to present their financial assets annually to the Integrity Commission.  While authorities do not make public the disclosure reports filed by individuals, the commission submits a report to parliament each year.  The commission lacked the ability to compel compliance with the law, and as a result, compliance was low.

The Parliamentary Commissioner, Auditor General, and Public Services Commission are responsible for combating corruption.  Parliament can also appoint a special committee to investigate specific allegations of corruption.  The country is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2011.  St. Lucia ranked 55 out of 180 countries in the 2018 and 2019 Transparency International Corruption Index.

St. Lucia has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption, notably the Integrity in Public Life Act of 2004.  However, while the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, enforcement is not always effective.  Government agencies involved in enforcement of anti-corruption laws include the Royal St. Lucia Police Force, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Integrity Commission, and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

In June 2015, twelve Commonwealth Caribbean countries including St. Lucia established a regional body to enhance transparency and to help fight corruption.  The Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies in the Commonwealth Caribbean supports regional efforts to promote integrity and address corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Pastor Sherwin Griffith
Chairman
Integrity Commission
2nd Floor, Graham Louisy Administrative Building,
Waterfront Castries, Saint Lucia
(758) 468-2187
sg8449@hotmail.com

Paul Thompson
Director
Financial Intelligence Authority
Gablewoods North P.O.
Castries LC02 501, Saint Lucia
(758) 451-7126
slufia@candw.lc

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implements these laws.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a signatory to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, but not to the UN Anti-Corruption Convention.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has the authority to prosecute a number of corruption-related offenses.  Corruption allegations are investigated by the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.  There is generally no statutory standard obligation for public officers to disclose financial information to a specific authority.  However, if there are confiscation proceedings initiated or contemplated against a corrupt official, pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act, No. 38 of 2013, the courts can order disclosure of financial information.  The Financial Intelligence Unit has the authority to conduct financial investigations with a court order.

The law also provides for public access to information.  Human rights organizations assisted individuals in obtaining information but considered the mechanism for gaining access deficient.  Only a narrow list of exceptions outlining the grounds for nondisclosure exists, yet there is no specific timeline for the relevant authority to make the requested response or disclosure.  There are no criminal or administrative sanctions for not providing a response and there is no appeal mechanism for review of a disclosure denial.  Public outreach activities via radio call-in shows encouraged citizens to access public information.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Sejilla McDowall
Director of the Public Prosecutions
Office of Public Prosecutions
Frenches Gate, Kingstown
Telephone Number: 784-457-1344
Email Address: dppsvg@vincysurf.com

Colin John
Commissioner of Police
Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force
Kingstown
Telephone Number: 784-457-1211
Email Address: svgpolice@gmail.com

Samoa

9. Corruption

Samoa ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2018. It is not signatory to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery. Corruption has not been specifically identified as an obstacle to foreign investment. Both corruption and bribery are criminalized and prosecuted, and the laws appear to be impartially applied.

The Office of the Ombudsman is charged with investigating official corruption. There are no international, non-governmental “watchdog” organizations represented locally, and the country was ranked 50 out of 175 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2014.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Maiava Iulai Toma
Ombudsman
Samoa Office of the Ombudsman
Central Bank Building, Level 5,  P. O. BOX 303 Apia, Samoa
(685) 25394
info@ombudsman.gov.ws

Contact at “watchdog” organization

UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC)
Bangkok, Thailand
+66 2 288 2100
fo.thailand@unodc.org

São Tomé and Príncipe

9. Corruption

STP has an overall positive trajectory in combatting corruption due to reforms the government has undertaken in recent years; ranking 64 out 180 countries and territories on the 2019 Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, keeping same position as a previous year.  The government approved a new anti-corruption law in 2012.  To reduce corruption by civil servants and to track the flow of money, authorities put in place a new requirement that all payments to government entities over $5 be made directly at the Central Bank and all salary payments to civil servants be paid directly to the employees’ accounts at the commercial banks.  A 2004 oil revenue management law received recognition for responsible management of future oil revenues. The government has also taken steps to review and update existing contracts with some foreign companies to support liberalization and free market competition.  The government has denounced corruption and pledged to take necessary steps to prevent and combat it.

Although corruption in customs was historically an issue for foreign investors, the MCC Threshold Program resulted in a modern customs code and related decrees.  The MCC program introduced modern customs tracking software and eliminated manual procedures, removing the link between the customs officials and cash payments.  Customs agents now handle payments on behalf of the importer.  As a result, customs revenues have increased significantly while incidents of corruption have reportedly declined.  This modernization effort represents a fundamental legislative change from colonial-era customs laws and processes to internationally recognized and transparent best practices and principles.

In 2013, the parliament adopted a fully amended and restated anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) law which complies with international standards.  Of note, the law includes a clear description of the crimes involving money laundering and terrorism financing activities, specifies the persons and entities that authorities can hold criminally responsible, describes the sanctions that authorities can impose and the assets they can confiscate in connection with the criminal activities, and sets forth STP’s regulatory structure.  The law designates the Financial Information Unit (Unidade de Informaçao Financeira) as the central agency in STP with responsibility for investigating suspect transactions.  After appearing on previous versions, STP was removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) October 18, 2013 list of countries that have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT standards and that have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies.  STP is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a FATF-style regional body.

According to the 2016 Investment Code, all investment proposals must be submitted to the APCI, which is responsible to carry out all legal inter-institutional coordination with different sectors involved in the analysis and approval of the investment project under the Investment Code. The new law limits contacts between investment proponents and officials involved in the investment approval process. On the other hand, the new law defines precise time for each investment approval procedure; therefore, it is a positive instrument in fighting corruption and briberies.

STP signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention; however, it is not party to the Economic Co-operation and Development Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

STP does not have a designated agency responsible for combatting corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

“Watchdog” organization:

Deodato Capela
President
Centro de Integridade Pública de São Tomé e Principe (STP Public Integrity Center) – Anticorruption, Transparency and Integrity -NGO
P.C: 330, Almeirim-São Tomé; São Tomé e Principe
+ 239 991 1116
cipstp.org@gmail.com
http://cipstp.st/ 

Saudi Arabia

9. Corruption 

Foreign firms have identified corruption as a barrier to investment in Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia has a relatively comprehensive legal framework that addresses corruption, but many firms perceive enforcement as selective.  The Combating Bribery Law and the Civil Service Law, the two primary Saudi laws that address corruption, provide for criminal penalties in cases of official corruption.  Government employees who are found guilty of accepting bribes face 10 years in prison or fines of up to one million riyals (USD 267,000).  Ministers and other senior government officials appointed by royal decree are forbidden from engaging in business activities with their ministry or organization.  Saudi corruption laws cover most methods of bribery and abuse of authority for personal interest, but not bribery between private parties.  Only senior Control and Anti-Corruption Commission (“Nazaha”) officials are subject to financial disclosure laws.  The government is considering disclosure regulations for other officials, but has yet to finalize them.  Some officials have engaged in corrupt practices with impunity, and perceptions of corruption persist in some sectors.

Nazaha, established in 2011, is responsible for promoting transparency and combating all forms of financial and administrative corruption.  Nazaha’s ministerial-level director reports directly to the King.  In December 2019, King Salman issued three royal decrees consolidating the Control and Investigation Board and the Mabahith’s Administrative Investigations Directorate under the National Anti-Corruption Commission, and renaming the new entity as the Control and Anti-Corruption Commission (“Nazaha”). The decrees consolidated investigations under the new Commission and mandated that the Public Prosecutor’s Office transition its on-going investigations to the new consolidated commission. The Control and Anti-Corruption Commission report directly to King Salman. The Commission recommends anti-corruption reforms, administers and audits anti-corruption databases and program, and investigates and prosecutes alleged corruption.  Furthermore, the Commission has the power to dismiss a government employee even if they are not found guilty by the specialized anti-corruption court.

Some evidence suggests Nazaha has not shied away from prosecuting influential players whose indiscretions may previously have been ignored.  In 2016, for example, it referred the Minister of Civil Service for investigation over allegations of abuse of power and nepotism.  On March 15, Nazaha announced it would charge 298 Saudi and foreign individuals with a range of corruption charges, including a major general and at least two judges.  In April, Nazaha indicted eight individuals, including two individuals from Riyadh’s regional health directorate, on corruption charges related to contracts for quarantine accommodations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Commission regularly publishes news of its investigations on its website (http://www.nazaha.gov.sa/en/Pages/Default.aspx).

SAMA, the central bank, oversees a strict regime to combat money laundering.  Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Money Laundering Law provides for sentences up to 10 years in prison and fines up to USD1.3 million.  The Basic Law of Governance contains provisions on proper management of state assets and authorizes audits and investigation of administrative and financial malfeasance.

The Government Tenders and Procurement Law regulates public procurements, which are often a source of corruption.  The law provides for public announcement of tenders and guidelines for the award of public contracts.  Saudi Arabia is an observer of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)

Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in April 2013 and signed the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan in November 2010.

Globally, Saudi Arabia ranks 51st out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2019.

Resources to Report Corruption

The National Anti-Corruption Commission’s address is:

National Anti-Corruption Commission
P.O. Box (Wasl) 7667, AlOlaya – Ghadir District
Riyadh 2525-13311
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: 0112645555
E-mail: info@nazaha.gov.sa

Nazaha accepts complaints about corruption through its website www.nazaha.gov.sa  or mobile application.

Senegal

9. Corruption

Senegalese law provides criminal penalties for corruption. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (OFNAC) has a mandate to enforce anti-corruption laws. In January 2020, OFNAC released long overdue reports on its activities for 2017 and 2018 and swore in six new executive-level officials, bringing its managing board to a full complement for the first time in several years. A 2014 law requires the president, cabinet ministers, speaker and chief financial officer of the National Assembly, and managers of public funds in excess of one billion CFA francs (approximately $1.8 million) to disclose their assets to OFNAC.

The government has made some limited progress in improving its anti-corruption efforts. The current administration has mounted corruption investigations against several public officials (primarily the president’s political rivals) and has secured several convictions. In July 2020, President Sall launched an initiative to enforce a requirement that cabinet members and other high-level officials disclose their assets, and issued a report disclosing his own personal assets. The government of Senegal has also taken steps to increase budget transparency in line with regional standards. Senegal ranked 66 out of 180 countries, in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), representing a substantial improvement over Senegal’s ranking of 94 in 2012.

Notwithstanding Senegal’s positive reputation for corruption relative to regional peers, the government often did not enforce the law effectively, and officials continued to engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Reports of corruption ranged from rent-seeking by bureaucrats involved in public approvals, to opaque public procurement, to corruption in the police and judiciary. Some high-level officials in President Sall’s administration are rumored to be involved in corrupt dealings.

Senegal’s financial intelligence unit, Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF) is responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing. CENTIF has broad authority to investigate suspicious financial transactions, including those of government officials. In February 2019, the regional FATF body, GIABA, issued a Mutual Evaluation Report of Senegal’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing (AML/CTF) performance, measured by FATF standards. Although GIABA found the GOS’s understanding of AML/CTF standards and risks adequate, it gave Senegal non-compliant or partially compliant ratings on 26 of FATF’s 40 recommendations concerning the AML/CTF legal framework (“technical compliance”). Senegal also received ten low ratings and one moderate rating on the FATF’s 11 indicators measuring Senegal’s practical efforts to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and weapons of mass destruction proliferation financing. Key weaknesses included: failure to domesticate relevant BCEAO AML/CTF directives; inadequate monitoring of nonprofits and non-bank professions, such as lawyers and accountants, who engage in financial transactions; inadequate inspections and sanctions of financial institutions; weak interagency cooperation; and low levels of AML/CTF capacity among judicial and customs authorities.

It is important for U.S. companies to assess corruption risks and develop an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery. U.S. firms operating in Senegal can underscore to interlocutors in Senegal that they are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the U.S. and may consider seeking legal counsel to ensure compliance with anti-corruption laws in the U.S. and Senegal. The U.S. Government seeks to level the global playing field for U.S. businesses by encouraging other countries to take steps to criminalize all acts of corruption, including bribery of foreign public officials, and requiring them to uphold their obligations under relevant international conventions. A U.S. firm that believes a competitor is seeking to use bribery of a foreign public official to secure a contract may bring this to the attention of appropriate U.S. agencies.

Senegal is a signatory of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption but it is not a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Mrs. Seynabou Ndiaye Diakhaté, President
Office National de Lutte Contre La Fraude et la Corruption (OFNAC)
Lot 72-73, Cité Keur Gorgui à Mermoz-Pyrotechnie
Telephone: 800 000 900 / +221 33 889 98 38
www.ofnac.sn

Birahim Seck
President
Forum Civil
40 Avenue Malick Sy (1er étage) – B.P. 28 554 – Dakar
Telephone: +221 33 842 40 44
forumcivil@orange.sn / http://www.forumcivil.sn/ 

Serbia

9. Corruption

Surveys show that corruption is believed to be prevalent in many areas and remains an issue of concern. Serbia was ranked 91st in Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, down from 87th in 2018. However, its score – 39 out of 100 possible points – remained unchanged.

Serbia is a signatory to the Council of Europe’s Civil Law Convention on Corruption and has ratified the Council’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the UN Convention against Corruption. Serbia also is a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), a peer-monitoring organization that provides peer-based assessments of members’ anti-corruption efforts on a continuing basis.

The Serbian government has worked to bring its legal framework for preventing and combating corruption more in line with EU norms, and a dedicated state body—the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) —oversees efforts in this area. The Criminal Code specifies a large number of potential offenses that can be used to prosecute corruption and economic offenses, including but not limited to giving or accepting a bribe, abuse of office, abuse of a monopoly, misfeasance in public procurement, abuse of economic authority, fraud in service, and embezzlement.

As of 2018, Serbia’s National Assembly strengthened anti-corruption laws through three pieces of legislation. The Law on Organization and Competence of State Organs in Suppressing Corruption, Organized Crime for the first time established specialized anti-corruption prosecution units and judicial departments, mandated the use of task forces, and introduced liaison officers and financial forensic experts. The Law on Asset Forfeiture was amended to expand coverage to new criminal offences, and amendments to the Criminal Code made corruption offenses easier to prosecute. Following these legal changes, specialized anti-corruption departments started operations in March 2018 in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kraljevo, and Niš to prosecute offenders who have committed crimes of corruption valued at less than RSD 200 million (USD 2.1 million). Cases valued above this level are handled by the Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office.

Serbian law also requires income and asset disclosure by appointed or elected officials, and regulates conflict of interest for all public officials. The disclosures cover assets of the officials, spouses, and dependent children. Declarations are publicly available on the ACA website, and failures to file or to fully disclose income and assets are subject to administrative and/or criminal sanctions. Significant changes to assets or income must be reported annually, upon departure from office, and for a period of two years after separation.

Serbian authorities do not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct related to corruption or other matters, but some professional associations – e.g., for attorneys, engineers and doctors – enforce codes of conduct for their members. Private companies often have internal controls, ethics, or compliance programs designed to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. Large companies often have elaborate internal programs, especially in industries such as tobacco, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and industries regularly involved in public procurement.

Serbian law does not provide protection for non-governmental organizations involved in investigating corruption. However, the criminal procedure code provides witness protection measures, and Serbia enacted a Whistleblower Protection Law in June 2015, under which individuals can report corruption in companies and government agencies and receive court protection from retaliation by their employers. In September 2019, whistleblower Aleksandar Obradovic, an IT expert at the state-owned Krusik munitions plant, was arrested and charged with revealing trade secrets after he leaked documents showing dubious deals between Krusik and private companies, including a deal with the GIM Company in which a cabinet minister’s father was involved. A judge lifted Obradovic’s house arrest and ban on internet use in December 2019. However, prosecutors continue to pursue his case, arguing that Obradovic is not covered by the Whistleblower Protection Law.

U.S. firms interested in doing business or investing in Serbia are advised to perform due diligence before concluding business deals. Legal audits generally are consistent with international standards, using information gathered from public books, the register of fixed assets, the court register, the statistical register, as well as from the firm itself, chambers, and other sources. The U.S. Commercial Service in Belgrade can provide U.S. companies with background information on companies and individuals via the International Company Profile (ICP) service. An ICP provides information about a local company or entity, its financial standing, and reputation in the business community, and includes a site visit to the local company and a confidential interview with the company management. For more information, contact the local office at belgrade@trade.gov and visit www.export.gov/serbia . The U.S. Commercial Service also maintains lists of international consulting firms in Belgrade, local consulting firms, experienced professionals, and corporate/commercial law offices, in addition to its export promotion and advocacy services for U.S. business.

Some U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment in Serbia. Corruption appears most pervasive in cases involving public procurement, natural resource extraction, government-owned property, and political influence/pressure on the judiciary and prosecutors.

The Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative maintains a website with updates about anti-corruption efforts in Serbia and the region: http://rai-see.org/ .

Resources to Report Corruption

Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency
Carice Milice 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
+381 (0) 11 4149 100
office@acas.rs

Transparency International Serbia
Transparentnost Serbia
Palmoticeva 27, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
+381 (0) 11 303 38 27
ts@transparentnost.org.rs

Seychelles

9. Corruption

Ruling with transparency and accountability are stated priorities of the current government. In 2016, the government established the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS) under the Anti-Corruption Act, which gives it authority to investigate, detect, and prevent corrupt practices. The ACCS is now functional and, though small, has carried out a number of investigations. A local chapter of Transparency International, Seychelles Transparency Initiative (TI), was set up in 2017. TI’s focus is currently on increasing transparency in tourism, fisheries, finance and construction.

In his March 2018 State of the Nation address, the President stated that the government will review anti-corruption laws and provide more resources to the ACCS so it can fulfill its mandate. The Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill  (https://seylii.org/sc/legislation/bill/2020/4 ) was voted in by the National Assembly in 2019 giving the ACCS investigative and arresting powers similar to that of the police.

Seychelles signed the UN Convention against Corruption in February 2004 and ratified it in March 2006. Seychelles is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

In 2003, the GOS published the Public Service Code of Ethics and Conduct, the stated purpose of which is to provide guidance to public sector employees on the standards of behavior required of them. The Public Officer’s Ethics Act of 2008 prohibits personal enrichment through public office, defines and outlaws bribery, provides guidelines for avoiding conflict of interest, and mandates declaration of financial assets for public officials including members of the National Assembly. The government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct.

Resources to Report Corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission
May De Silva
Chief Executive Officer
Victoria House,
State House Avenue
Victoria, Mahe

Nicole Tirant-Gherardi
Ombudsperson
Office of the Ombudsperson
Room 306, Aarti Chambers, Mont Fleuri, Mahe
+248 225147
ombuds@seychelles.net

Sierra Leone

9. Corruption

Corruption poses a major challenge in Sierra Leone. The country ranked 119 out of 198 countries with a score of 33/100 on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption is endemic in government procurement, the award of licenses and concessions, regulatory enforcement, customs clearance, and dispute resolution. Sierra Leone signed the UN Convention against Corruption in 2003 and ratified it in 2004. The country is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), established in 2000, has the authority to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption by individuals and companies. The Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 makes it criminal to offer, solicit, or receive a bribe, and this law applies to all appointed and elected officials, close family members, and all companies whether foreign or domestic. The Commission launched a “Pay No Bribe” campaign in 2016, which encouraged citizens to report corruption in the public sector.

President Bio established a 12-member Governance Transition Team (GTT) to conduct an immediate stocktaking of government MDAs in April 2018. The report documented a high level of fiscal indiscipline and alleged extensive corruption by the former government of President Ernest Koroma. The report recommended a commission of inquiry of all MDAs to establish how the former government utilized public assets and funds, and for the supreme audit authority to carry out forensic audits of specific sectors. These sectors included agencies relating to energy, telecommunications, the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), and roads.

The Anti-Corruption Amendment Act of 2019 increased the powers of the ACC in the fight against graft, increased penalties for offences under the Act and strengthened the witness protection regime. Since then the ACC has steadily pursued arrests, repayments, and convictions in both the private and public sectors. As of April 2020, the ACC had recovered millions of dollars in misappropriated funds, and prosecuted corruption cases leading to convictions of present and former public officials and private citizens. The Chief Justice established a Special Court to adjudicate corruption cases while the ACC has signed several information sharing agreements with key government institutions, including the Audit Service Sierra Leone and the FIU.

MCC approved a USD 44 million four-year threshold program for Sierra Leone signed in November 2015. The country passed the “Control of Corruption” indicator on MCC’s annual scorecards in 2019 and 2018, after failing in 2017.

Resources to Report Corruption:

Francis Ben Kelfala, Commissioner
Anti-Corruption Commission
Cathedral House
3 Gloucester Street, Freetown
+232 76 394 111, +232 77 985 985
report@anticorruption.gov.sl
http://anticorruption.gov.sl/report_corruption.php 

Lavina Banduah
Executive Director
Transparency International Sierra Leone
20 Dundas Street, Freetown
+232 79 060 985, +232 76 618 348
lbanduah@tisierraleone.org & tisl@tisierraleone.org
http://www.tisierraleone.org/ 

Singapore

9. Corruption

Singapore actively enforces its strong anti-corruption laws, and corruption is not cited as a concern for foreign investors. Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index ranks Singapore 4th 4th of 180175 countries globally, the highest ranking Asian country. The Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), and the Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act provide the legal basis for government action by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), which is the only agency authorized under the PCA to investigate corruption offences and other related offences. These laws cover acts of corruption within Singapore as well as those committed by Singaporeans abroad. When cases of corruption are uncovered, whether in the public or private sector, the government deals with them firmly, swiftly, and publicly. The anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials, and to political parties. The CPIB is effective and non-discriminatory. Singapore is generally perceived to be one of the least corrupt countries in Asia and the world, and corruption is not identified as an obstacle to FDI in Singapore. In its 2018 annual review of corruption, Asia, Political, and Economic Risk Consultancy rated Singapore the least corrupt country in the Asian-Pacific Region and praised Singapore authority’s response to a high-level corruption case involving Keppel Offshore & Marine, in which GLC Temasek Holdings holds a 20 percent stake. Singapore is a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention, but not the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
2 Lengkok Bahru, Singapore 159047
+65 6270 0141
 info@cpib.gov.sg

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Transparency International
Alt-Moabit 96
10559 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 3438 200

Slovakia

9. Corruption

Slovakia is a party to international treaties on corruption.  Among them are the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, the UN Anti-Organized Crime Convention, the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, and the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and Civil Law Convention on Corruption.  Slovakia is a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).

The giving or accepting of a bribe constitutes a criminal act according to Slovak law.  Slovak criminal law incorporates criminal liability for legal persons, including corporations. Nevertheless, corruption continues to be among the most serious issues for the business community.  According to the Special Eurobarometer survey of October 2017, 81 percent of respondents believed that corruption is part of Slovakia’s business culture.  In 2019 Transparency International’s global corruption perception ranking showed that Slovakia dropped from 57th place in 2018 to 59th place.  There is no data available on whether U.S. firms identify corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment.  In a March 2018 survey by five foreign chambers of commerce (Slovak-German Chamber of Commerce, Slovak-Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Swedish Chamber of Commerce, and Advantage Austria), respondents highlighted the fight against criminality and corruption as the worst among evaluated investment criteria.  The investors further noted that concerns about corruption and rule of law could potentially damage the image of Slovakia and raise questions about future stability.

NGO analysts and GRECO point out that conflicts of interest and asset declaration regulations lack the necessary level of detail to be implemented and enforced in practice.  There is a high threshold for reporting gifts accepted by judges and prosecutors.  Government authorities do not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that would prohibit bribery of public officials, although some companies have adopted such measures voluntarily.  While law enforcement has effectively investigated some cases of petty bribes and mid-level corruption, anti-corruption non-governmental organizations assess that high-level corruption is rarely investigated or prosecuted effectively; only two ministerial-level officials have been convicted of corruption-related crimes since Slovak independence in 1993.  According to survey published by the Transparency International Slovakia between October 2016 and 2019 only 10 percent of corruption cases decided by the Specialized Criminal Court exceeded the amount of EUR 5,000.

Following the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova in February 2018 and the resulting changes in the government and police leadership, one individual involved in high-level tax fraud was convicted and a number of judges were charged with corruption, interference in the independence of courts and obstruction of justice.  In March 2020 Pavol Rusko, a former director of TV Markiza, and Marian Kočner, accused of plotting the murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancé, and were sentenced to 19 years in jail for obstruction of justice and promissory notes fraud.  Based on the promissory notes, Kočner claimed €69 million from TV Markiza.  The appeal proceedings are pending.  TV Markiza is part of NASDAQ-traded Central European Media Enterprise (CME), and was majority owned by AT&T.  CME was sold to Czech firm PPF in 2019, pending approval from relevant EU and national regulatory authorities.

The previous government in power from 2016-2020 approved a National Anti-corruption Plan in September 2019.  NGOs investigating corruption do not enjoy any special protection.  In 2019 the Parliament adopted the law on whistleblower protection including a new office assigned to enhance whistleblower protection.  The Head of the Office has not yet been selected.   In June 2019 Parliament streamlined application of the anti-shell company law that provides for increased transparency in governmental contracting by requiring private companies reveal their ownership structure before entering into business contracts with state entities.

Some members of civil society and many politicians claim political influence over the police and prosecution services have impeded corruption investigations, allowing individuals with strong political connections to avoid prosecution for corrupt practices.  Several police investigators have publicly claimed, and other investigators told journalists in private, that the police corps’ politically nominated leadership discouraged investigation of politically sensitive cases, manipulated police statistics on criminality, and forced honest police officers to leave the force.  Following February 2020 parliamentary elections, a new government took over with a political program heavily focused on strengthening anti-corruption measures.

In January 2020, a conflict of interest in civil service regulation was launched by Cabinet decree, introducing a Code of Conduct for Civil Servants (400/2019 Coll.).

Disclosure of contracts in the Central Registry of Contracts by public administrators and state-owned enterprises is compulsory.  However, there continues to be frequent media reports alleging corruption in public tenders and EU subsidy programs.

Private businesses, especially those with foreign ownership, often have internal codes of ethics, in many cases also extending to contractors.

Resources to Report Corruption 

Contact details of government agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Dusan Kovacik
Head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office
Office of the Special Prosecution under the General Prosecutor’s Office
Sturova 2
812 85  Bratislava
Telephone: +421 33 690 3171
Dusan.Kovacik@genpro.gov.sk

Branislav Zurian
Director of the National Criminal Agency
Ministry of Interior, National Police Headquarters
Račianska 45
812 72 Bratislava
Telephone: +421 964052102
Branislav.Zurian@minv.sk

Contact details of “watchdog” organizations:

Gabriel Sipos
Executive Director
Transparency International Slovakia
Bajkalska 25
82718 Bratislava
Telephone: +421 2 5341 7207
sipos@transparency.sk

Zuzana Petkova
Executive Director
Stop Corruption Foundation
Stare Grunty 18
841 04 Bratislava
petkova@zastavmekorupciu.sk

Peter Kunder
Executive Director
Fair Play Alliance
Smrecianska 21
811 05 Bratislava
Telephone: +421 2 207 39 919
kunder@fair-play.sk

Slovenia

9. Corruption

Slovenia has no bribery statute comparable to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. However, Chapter 24 of the Slovenian Criminal Code (SCC) provides statutory provisions for criminal offenses in the economic sector. Corruption in the economy may take many forms, including collusion among private firms or public officials using influence to appoint patrons to the boards of SOEs.

The SCC calls for criminal sanctions against officials of private firms for forgery or destruction of business documents, unauthorized use or disclosure of business secrets, insider trading, embezzlement, acceptance of gifts under certain circumstances, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Articles 241 and 242 of the SCC make it illegal for a person performing a commercial activity to demand or accept undue rewards, gifts, or other material benefits that will ultimately result in harm or neglect to a business organization.

Under Article 261 of the SCC, public officials cannot request or accept a gift to perform or omit an official act within the scope of their official duties. The acceptance of a bribe by a public official may result in a fine or imprisonment of no less than one year, with a maximum sentence of five years. The law also stipulates the seizure of the accepted gift or bribe.

Article 262 holds the gift’s donor accountable, making it illegal for natural persons or legal entities to bribe public officials with gifts. Violation of this article carries a sentence of up to three years. In cases in which the gift giver discloses the attempted bribery before it is detected or discovered, punishment may be reduced.

The State Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of anti-bribery laws. The number of cases of actual bribery is small and generally limited to instances involving inspection and tax collection. The Prosecutor’s Office has reported that obtaining evidence is difficult in bribery cases, making it equally difficult to prosecute. In 2010, the government established the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC), an independent state body with a broad mandate to investigate corruption, prevent breaches of ethics, and ensure the integrity of public officials. The CPC is not part of Slovenia’s law enforcement or prosecution system, and its employees do not have traditional police powers. However, the CPC has broad legal powers to access and subpoena financial and other documents, question public servants and officials, conduct administrative investigations, and direct law enforcement bodies to gather additional information and evidence within the limits of their authority. The CPC may also issue fines for violations.

In 2011, to combat Slovenia’s ongoing problems with corruption and non-transparent procedures in public procurement, authorities established a new government-wide Public Procurement Agency under the Ministry of Justice to carry out all public procurements over established EU thresholds, including goods and services above EUR 40,000 (USD 43,350) and projects above EUR 80,000 (USD 86,710). In June 2012, the Ministry of Finance took over the agency’s duties and employees. In 2016, the Directorate for Public Procurement was established under the Ministry of Public Administration to oversee public procurements. By law, the National Review Commission provides non-judicial review of all public procurements.

Corruption remains an ongoing problem, although its prevalence is relatively limited and there is no evidence that corruption has been an obstacle to FDI. The small size of Slovenia’s political and economic elite contributes to a lack of transparency in government procurement and widespread cronyism in the business sector. Several prominent national and local political figures have been charged or tried for corruption in public procurements. Slovenia convicted its first senior public official for accepting a bribe in 2001 and its first member of parliament in 2010. In 2008, investigators accused several public officials, including the prime minister, of accepting bribes from the Finnish defense contractor Patria related to an armored personnel carrier procurement. Although three defendants, including the current prime minister, were convicted in 2013, the convictions were annulled on appeal.

The CPC has instituted a new system for tracking corruption in public procurement at the municipal level and has uncovered numerous violations since implementation. The CPC also operates with a broad mandate to prevent and investigate breaches of ethics and integrity involving holders of public office. The president of Slovenia appoints the leadership of CPC, which reports to the National Assembly.

Slovenia ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2008.

Slovenia is a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Robert Šumi
President
Commission for the Prevention of Corruption
56 Dunajska cesta
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
Tel: +386 1 400 5710
Fax: +386 1 400 8472
E-mail: anti.korupcija@kpk-rs.si
Web: www.kpk-rs.si/en 

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Alma Sedlar, Ph.D.
Acting President
Transparency International Slovenia
Vožarski pot 12, 1000 Ljubljana
Tel +386 1 3207325
info@transparency.si

Assistance for U.S. Businesses: The U.S. Department of Commerce offers several services to U.S. businesses seeking to address business-related corruption issues. For example, it may assist U.S. companies in conducting due diligence as part of the company’s overarching compliance program when choosing business partners or agents overseas. The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service may be reached through its offices in major U.S. and foreign cities, or through its website at http://www.trade.gov/cs .

The Departments of Commerce and State provide worldwide support for qualified U.S. companies bidding on foreign government contracts through the Commerce Department’s Advocacy Center and State’s Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. U.S. companies may report problems encountered in seeking such foreign business opportunities, including alleged corruption by foreign governments or competitors, to appropriate U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy and the Department of Commerce Trade Compliance Center’s “Report a Trade Barrier” website at http://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/index.asp .

Guidance on the U.S. FCPA: The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) FCPA Opinion Procedure enables U.S. firms and individuals to request a statement on the Justice Department’s present enforcement intentions under the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions regarding any proposed business conduct. The details of the opinion procedure are available on DOJ’s Fraud Section Website at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa . Although the Department of Commerce has no enforcement role with respect to the FCPA, it supplies general guidance to U.S. exporters who have questions about the FCPA and international developments concerning the FCPA. For further information, see the website of the Office of the Chief Counsel for International Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce, at https://ogc.commerce.gov/. 

Exporters and investors should be aware that virtually all countries prohibit the bribery of public officials and prohibit officials from soliciting bribes under domestic laws. As party to various international conventions, most countries are required to criminalize such bribery and other acts of corruption.

Somalia

9. Corruption

The provisional constitution criminalizes several forms of corruption that include abuse of office, embezzlement of funds, and bribery. The president signed the anti-corruption bill into law in September 2019. The new law will pave the way for the formation of an independent anti-corruption commission on both federal and regional levels. Somalia’s procurement legislation has provisions to address potential conflicts of interest in awarding government contracts, but enforcement is lax. Corruption is rampant in all sectors of government, particularly government procurement. Transparency International ranked Somalia 180 out 180 in its 2019 perceptions of corruption index.

Somalia’s current government has waged a campaign against public corruption and graft, resulting in high profile dismissals and arrests over the past three years. However, without a robust asset declaration mechanism, an updated penal code, and a functioning criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial services, very few penalties exist for corrupt activities. Legislation on government procurement was passed in 2015 and officially all government contracts must go through an open tender process unless they meet specified conditions for limited competition. However, in practice this has been slow to be implemented and lucrative contracts are still awarded based on close relationships and favors. Moreover, the FGS has not yet established a Procurement and Concessions Board as required in the Procurement Act, which makes it difficult to ensure transparency and accountability in government procurement activities. An interim Procurement Board is in place but meets irregularly. https://mof.gov.so/public-procurement 

Resources to Report Corruption

Currently there is no central agency or office where whistleblowers can report corruption. There is no legal framework to protect whistleblowers. The FGS has not established an Office of the Ombudsman, as provided for in the provisional constitution. In December 2018, the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary Affairs signed a Project Initiation Plan (PIP) with UNDP to help the government strengthen its institutions to fight corruption and promote accountability.

South Africa

9. Corruption

South Africa has a robust anti-corruption framework, but laws are inadequately enforced and accountability in public sectors tends to be low. The law provides for criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, and the government continued efforts to curb corruption, but officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

High-level political interference has undermined the ability of the country’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – constitutionally responsible for all prosecutions – to pursue criminal proceedings and enforce accountability. After an unprecedented consultative process, President Ramaphosa appointed Shamila Batohi as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in December 2018, and he created an Investigative Directorate within her office in March 2019 to focus on the significant number of cases emanating from ongoing corruption investigations. The Constitutional Court ruled in August 2018 that Zuma’s appointment of Shaun Abrahams as the former NDPP was invalid and ordered President Ramaphosa to replace Abrahams within 90 days. Widely praised by civil society, the court also ordered former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana to repay a “golden handshake” (an illegal departure bonus) of 10.2 million rand (USD 788,000) he received when Zuma replaced him with Abrahams in 2015.

The Department of Public Service and Administration formally coordinates government initiatives against corruption, and the “Hawks” – South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations – focuses on organized crime, economic crimes, and corruption. In 2018, the Office of the Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated body designed to investigate government abuse and mismanagement, investigated thousands of cases, some of which involved high-level officials. The public and NGOs considered the Office of the Public Protector independent and effective, despite limited funding. According to the NPA’s 2017-2018 Annual Report, it recovered 410,000 rand (USD 31,700) from government officials involved in corruption, a 92-percent decrease from the previous year. Courts convicted 213 government officials of corruption.

The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PCCA) officially criminalizes corruption in public and private sectors and codifies specific offenses (such as extortion and money laundering), making it easier for courts to enforce the legislation. Applying to both domestic and foreign organizations doing business in the country, the PCCA covers receiving or offering bribes, influencing witnesses and tampering with evidence in ongoing investigations, obstruction of justice, contracts, procuring and withdrawal of tenders, and conflict of interests, among other areas.  Inconsistently implemented, the PCCA does not include any protectionary measures for whistleblowers. Complementary acts – such as the Promotion of Access to Information Act and the Public Finance Management Act – calls for increased access to public information and review of government expenditures. “State capture” – the popular term used to describe systemic corruption of the state’s decision-making processes by private interests – has become synonymous with the administration of former president Jacob Zuma. In response to widespread calls for accountability, President Cyril Ramaphosa has denounced corruption since assuming office in February 2018. He has vowed to tackle the scourge at all levels of government, including through proposed lifestyle audits of officials to expose bribery, corruption, and public tender irregularities. He has also launched four separate judicial commissions of inquiry to investigate corruption, fraud, and maladministration, including in the Public Investment Corporation, South African Revenue Service, National Prosecuting Authority, and writ large across the government. These commissions have revealed pervasive networks of criminality across all levels of the municipal, provincial, and national government. Numerous former senior officials had already testified before the commission; a number of them directly implicated former president Jacob Zuma in corruption cases.

“State capture” – the popular term used to describe systemic corruption of the state’s decision-making processes by private interests – has become synonymous with the administration of former president Jacob Zuma. In response to widespread calls for accountability, President Cyril Ramaphosa has denounced corruption since assuming office in February 2018. He has vowed to tackle the scourge at all levels of government, including through proposed lifestyle audits of officials to expose bribery, corruption, and public tender irregularities. He has also launched four separate judicial commissions of inquiry to investigate corruption, fraud, and maladministration, including in the Public Investment Corporation, South African Revenue Service, National Prosecuting Authority, and writ large across the government. These commissions have revealed pervasive networks of criminality across all levels of the municipal, provincial, and national government. Numerous former senior officials had already testified before the commission; a number of them directly implicated former president Jacob Zuma in corruption cases.

Corruption charges were reinstated against Zuma in 2018 related to a USD 2.5-billion arms deal in the late 1990s. The Zuma-linked Gupta family, which owns interests in multiple industries from computer services to mining, has also been placed under investigation and its assets frozen while the state investigates allegations of state capture, bribery, and the siphoning off of public funds meant for small-holder farmers. These and other ongoing efforts are meant to rebuild the public’s trust in government and to foment transparency and predictability in the business environment in order to woo investors.

South Africa signed the Anticorruption Convention on 9 Dec 2003 and ratified it on 22 Nov 2004.  South Africa also signed the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery in 2007, with implementing legislation dating from 2004.

South Africa is also a party to the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, which promotes the development of mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the public and private sector. The protocol also seeks to facilitate and regulate cooperation in matters of corruption amongst Member States and foster development and harmonization of policies and domestic legislation related to corruption. The Protocol defines ‘acts of corruption,’ preventative measures, jurisdiction of Member States, as well as extradition. http://www.sadc.int/files/7913/5292/8361/Protocol_Against_Corruption2001.pdf 

Resources to Report Corruption

To report corruption to the government:

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector
Office of the Public Protector, South Africa
175 Lunnon Street, Hillcrest Office Park, Pretoria 0083
Anti-Corruption Hotline: +27 80 011 2040 or +27 12 366 7000
http://www.pprotect.org  or customerservice@pprotect.org

Or for a non-government agency:

David Lewis
Executive Director
Corruption Watch
87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein/Johannesburg 2001
+27 80 002 3456 or +27 11 242 3900 http://www.corruptionwatch.org.za/content/make-your-complaint 
info@corruptionwatch.org.za

South Korea

9. Corruption

In an effort to combat corruption, the ROK has introduced systematic measures to prevent the illegal accumulation of wealth by civil servants.  The 1983 Public Service Ethics Act requires high-ranking officials to disclose personal assets, financial transactions, and gifts received during their term of office.  The Act on Anti-Corruption and the Establishment and Operation of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (previously called the Anti-Corruption Act) concerns reporting of corruption allegations, protection of whistleblowers, institutional improvement, and training and public awareness to prevent corruption, as well as establishing national anti-corruption initiatives through the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC).  Implementation is behind schedule, according to Transparency International, which ranked the ROK 37 out of 180 countries and territories in its 2019 Corruption Perception Index with a score of 59 out of 100 (with 100 being the best score).  The Department of State’s 2019 ROK Human Rights Report highlighted allegations of corruption levied against former Minister of Justice Cho Kuk in October 2019.  He resigned 35 days after his appointment amid allegations that he and his family used his previous positions unfairly and, in some cases, fraudulently to gain academic benefits for his daughter and inappropriate returns on financial investments.  Public concern about government corruption reached an apex between 2016 and 2017, when local press began exposing the link between then-President Park Geun-hye and her friend and adviser Choi Soon-sil.  Choi was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in jail on charges of fraud, coercion, and abuse of power and President Park was impeached by a 234-56 vote in the National Assembly in December 2016.  Following her removal from office, a presidential by-election was held on May 9, 2017, bringing President Moon Jae-in into office.  Former President Park was found guilty of multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery, and coercion and sentenced to 24 years in prison on April 6, 2018.  Separately, on October 5, 2018, Park’s predecessor, former President Lee Myung-bak was sentenced to 11 months’ imprisonment for graft, embezzlement, and abuse of power, including accepting bribes from a major consumer electronics conglomerate in return for a presidential pardon for its chairman.  Political corruption at the highest levels of elected office have occurred despite efforts by the ROK legislature to pass and enact anti-corruption laws such as the Act on Prohibition of Illegal Requests and Bribes, also known as the Kim Young-ran Act, in March 2015.  The anti-corruption law came into effect on September 28, 2016, and institutes strict limits on the value of gifts that can be given to public officials, lawmakers, reporters, and private school teachers.  It also extends to the spouses of officials.  The Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers is designed to protect whistleblowers in the private sector and equally extends to reports on foreign bribery, with a reporting center operated by the ACRC.

In 2014, the Sewol ferry disaster that resulted in the deaths of 304 passengers, most of them school children on a field trip, brought to public attention collusion between government regulators and regulated industries.  Investigators determined that companies associated with the vessel had used insider knowledge and government contacts to skirt legal requirements by hiring recently retired government officials.  In response, the ROK government tightened regulations around hiring of former government officials.  This reform expanded the sectors restricted from employing former government officials, extended the employment ban from two to three years, and increased scrutiny of retired officials employed in fields associated with their former duties.  The Public Service Ethics Commission, between May 2017 and February 2019, approved approximately 85 percent, or 1,335, of the requests made by former political appointees and former government officials to accept government-affiliated or private sector positions, according to local press.  Most companies maintain an internal audit function to prevent and detect corruption.  Government agencies responsible for combating government corruption include the Board of Audit and Inspection, which monitors government expenditures, and the Public Service Ethics Committee, which monitors civil servants’ financial disclosures and their financial activities.  The ACRC focuses on preventing corruption by assessing the transparency of public institutions, protecting and rewarding whistleblowers, training public officials, raising public awareness, and improving policies and systems.  In reporting cases of corruption to government authorities, nongovernment organizations and civil society groups are protected by the Act on the Prevention of Corruption and the Establishment and Management of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, as well as the Protection of Public Interest Reporters Act.  Individuals reporting cases of corruption to the ACRC must provide their full name and other personally identifiable information (PII) to make the submission.  However, in April 2018, the law was updated to allow would-be filers to report cases through one’s attorney without disclosing PII to the courts.  Violations of these legal protections can result in fines or prison sentences.  U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI.  The ROK ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008.  It is also a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group.  The Financial Intelligence Unit has cooperated fully with U.S. and UN efforts to shut down sources of terrorist financing.  Transparency International has maintained a national chapter in the ROK since 1999.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission
Government Complex-Sejong, 20, Doum 5-ro
Sejong-si, 339-012
Tel: +82-44-200-7151
Fax: +82-44-200-7916
Email: acrc@korea.kr
http://www.acrc.go.kr/en/index.do 

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Corruption Network in Korea (aka Transparency International Korea)
#1006 Pierson Building, 42, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-761
Tel: +82-2-717-6211
Fax: +82-2-717-6210
Email: ti@ti.or.kr
http://www.transparency-korea.org/ 

South Sudan

9. Corruption

South Sudan has laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption, but there is a near total lack of enforcement and considerable gaps exist in legislation. As a result, corruption is pervasive.

Companies are reportedly asked to pay extralegal taxes and fees. Security officials have been reported to impose business conditions including payment of fees, salaries, and logistical support to their operations. In practice, politically connected people are immune to prosecution. There are no laws that prevent conflict of interest in government procurement.

The government does not encourage or require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. There is no indication that private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

The South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC) was established in accordance with the 2005 Constitution and the 2009 SSACC Act. The five commission members and chairperson are appointed by the President with approval by a simple majority in the parliament. The commission is tasked with protecting public property, investigating corruption, and submitting evidence to the Ministry of Justice for necessary action. In addition, the commission is tasked with combatting administrative malpractice in public institutions, such as nepotism, favoritism, tribalism, sectionalism, gender discrimination, bribery, embezzlement, and sexual harassment.

In reality, the SSACC lacks the resources or political support to investigate corruption. It has no capacity to address state corruption as it can only relay its findings to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution. There were no significant anti-corruption cases investigated or prosecuted in 2019.

South Sudan acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption on January 23, 2015 but has not yet ratified it. The country is not a party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and is not reported to be a participant in regional anti-corruption initiatives.

The country provides no protection to NGOs or journalists involved in investigating corruption. NGOs and journalists of all types are routinely subject to government harassment.

All major sectors including the extractive sector, hotels, airlines, banking, and security sectors are subject to interference from the security sector including recruitment and demand for payments of fees and salaries.

Corruption appears to be pervasive at all levels of government and society. The regulatory system is poor or non-existent, and dispute settlement is weak and subject to influence.

Resources to Report Corruption

National Audit Chamber
P.O. Box 210
Juba, South Sudan
Tel: +211(0)955481021
info@auditchamber-ss.org

Honorable Ngor Kulong Ngor
Chairperson
South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission
P.O Box 312
Juba, South Sudan
anticorruptioncommission@yahoo.co.uk; sssaccchair@gmail.com
+211(0) 927117414; +211(0)0929201028

Akuei Deng
Executive Secretary
South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission
P.O Box 312
Juba, South Sudan
anticorruptioncommission@yahoo.co.uk
+211912979575

Contact at “watchdog” organizations:

UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan
Mr. David Biggs (Senior Committee Secretary)
Tel: +1(212)9635598
sc-2206-committee@un.org

Transparency International
Alt-Moabit 96
10559 Berlin
Germany
Telephone: +49 30 3438 200
Fax: +49 30 3470 3912
ti@transparency.org

The Sentry c/o The Enough Project
c/o The Enough Project
1420 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
info@thesentry.org

Spain

9. Corruption

Spain has a wide variety of laws, regulations, and penalties to address corruption. The legal regime has both civil and criminal sanctions for corruption, bribery, financial malfeasance, etc. Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act. Under Section 1255 of the Spanish civil code, corporations and individuals are prohibited from deducting bribes from domestic tax computations. There are laws against tax evasion and regulations for banks and financial institutions to fight money laundering terrorist financing. In addition, the Spanish Criminal Code provides for jail sentences and hefty fines for corporations’ (legal persons) administrators who receive illegal financing.

The Spanish government continues to build on its already strong measures to combat money laundering. After the European Commission threatened to sanction Spain for failing to bring its anti-money laundering regulations in full accordance with the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, in 2018, Spain approved measures to modify its money laundering legislation to comply with the EU Directive. These measures establish new obligations for companies to license or register service providers, including identifying ultimate beneficial owners; institute harsher penalties for money laundering offenses; and create public and private whistleblower channels for alleged offenses.

The General State Prosecutor is authorized to investigate and prosecute corruption cases involving funds in excess of roughly USD 500,000. The Office of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, a subordinate unit of the General State Prosecutor, investigates and prosecutes domestic and international bribery allegations. The Audiencia Nacional, a corps of magistrates has broad discretion to investigate and prosecute alleged instances of Spanish businesspeople bribing foreign officials.

Spain enforces anti-corruption laws on a generally uniform basis. Public officials are subjected to more scrutiny than private individuals, but several wealthy and well-connected business executives have been successfully prosecuted for corruption. In 2019, Spanish courts conducted 42 corruption cases involving 170 defendants. The courts issued 102 sentences, with 39 including a full or partial guilty verdict.

There is no obvious bias for or against foreign investors. U.S. firms have rarely identified corruption as an obstacle to investment in Spain, although entrenched incumbents have frequently attempted and at times succeeded in blocking the growth of U.S. franchises and technology platforms in both Madrid and Barcelona. As a result, Spain is among the least welcoming countries in Europe for some of the U.S.’s leading technology companies. Although no formal corruption complaints have been lodged, U.S. companies have indicated that they have been disqualified at times from public tenders based on reasons that these companies’ legal counsels did not consider justifiable.

Spain’s rank in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index improved slightly in 2019, with the country climbing to position 30 (from 41 in 2018); however, its overall score (62) is one of the lowest among Western European countries.

Spain is a signatory of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery and the UN Convention Against Corruption. It has also been a member of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) since 1999. The OECD has noted concerns about the low level of foreign bribery enforcement in Spain and the lack of implementation of the enforcement-related recommendations. In a 2019 report, GRECO highlighted that of the group’s 11 recommendations to combat corruption from 2013, only two had been fully implemented, eight had been partly implemented, and one had not been implemented.

Resources to Report Corruption

Ministry of Finance
Alcala, 9
28071 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: +34 91 595 8000
Email: informacion.administrativa@minhap.es
Website: https://ssweb.seap.minhap.es/ayuda/consulta/PTransparencia 

Transparency International
National Chapter – Spain
Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset
Calle Fortuny, 53
28010 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: +34 91 700 4105
Email: transparency.spain@transparencia.org.es
Website: http://www.transparencia.org.es/ 

Sri Lanka

9. Corruption

While Sri Lanka has adequate laws and regulations to combat corruption, enforcement is reportedly often weak and inconsistent.  U.S. firms identify corruption as a major constraint on foreign investment, but generally not a major threat to operating in Sri Lanka once contracts have been established.  The business community claims that corruption has the greatest effect on investors in large projects and on those pursuing government procurement contracts.  Projects geared toward exports face fewer problems.  A Right to Information Act came into effect in February of 2017 which increased government transparency.

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC or Bribery Commission) is the main body responsible for investigating bribery allegations, but it is widely considered ineffective and has reportedly made little progress pursuing cases of national significance.  The law states that a public official’s offer or acceptance of a bribe constitutes a criminal offense and carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and fine.  Bribery laws extend to family members of public officials, but political parties are not covered.  A bribe by a local company to a foreign official is also not covered by the Bribery Act and the government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  Thus far, the Bribery Commission has focused on minor cases such as bribes taken by traffic police, wildlife officers, and school principals.  These cases reportedly follow a pattern of targeting low-level offenses with prosecutions years after the offense followed by the imposition of sentences disproportionate to the conduct (i.e. overly strict or overly lenient).

Government procurement regulations contain provisions on conflicts-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.  While financial crime investigators have developed a number of cases involving the misappropriation of government funds, these cases have often not moved forward due to lack of political will, political interference, and lack of investigative capacity.

Sri Lanka signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in March of 2004.  Sri Lanka signed and ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2006.  Sri Lanka is a signatory to the OECD-ADB Anti-Corruption Regional Plan but has not joined the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Resources to Report Corruption 

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption
No 36, Malalasekara Mawatha, Colombo 7
T+94 112 596360 / 2595039
M+94 767011954
Email: ciaboc@eureka.lk or dgbribery@gmail.com

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Transparency International, Sri Lanka
5/1 Elibank Road Colombo 5
Phone: 94-11- 4369783
Email: tisl@tisrilanka.org

Sudan

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials; nevertheless, government corruption at all levels was widespread.  The Bashir regime made a few efforts to enforce legislation aimed at preventing and prosecuting corruption.  According to the World Bank’s most recent Worldwide Governance Indicators, corruption was a severe problem.  The law provides the legislative framework for addressing official corruption, but implementation under the Bashir regime was weak, and many punishments were lenient.  Officials found guilty of corrupt acts could often avoid jail time if they returned ill-gotten funds.  Under the Bashir regime, journalists who reported on government corruption were sometimes intimidated, detained, and interrogated by security services.

A special anticorruption attorney investigated and prosecuted corruption cases involving officials, their spouses, and their children.  Punishments for embezzlement include imprisonment or execution for public service workers, although these were almost never carried out.  All bank employees were considered public-service workers.  Under the Bashir regime, media reporting on corruption was considered a “red line” set by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and a topic that authorities, for the most part, prohibited newspapers from covering (see section 2.a. of link below).  While reporting on corruption was no longer a red line under the CLTG, media continued to practice self-censorship on issues related to corruption.  In August 2019, Omar Bashir was formally indicted on charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency.  Bashir’s trial began in August 2019; in December 2019, he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on these charges.  Other more serious charges are pending.

Financial Disclosure: Under the Bashir regime, the law required high-ranking officials to publicly disclose income and assets.  There were no clear sanctions for noncompliance, although the former Anti-Corruption Commission possessed discretionary powers to punish violators.  The Financial Disclosure and Inspection Committee and the Unlawful and Suspicious Enrichment Administration at the Ministry of Justice both monitored compliance.  Despite three different bodies ostensibly charged with monitoring financial disclosure regulations, there was no effective enforcement or prosecution of offenders.

The 2019 constitutional declaration includes financial disclosure and prohibition of commercial activity provisions for members of the Sovereign Council and Council of Ministers, state and regional governors, and members of the Transitional Legislative Council.  It also mandates an Anti-Corruption and Restoration of Stolen Wealth Commission.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/sudan/

Resources to Report Corruption

Wajdi Salih
Spokesperson
High Anti-Corruption and Regime Dismantling Committee
+249 (0)91-235-2485

Shaza Elmahdi
Consultant on Sudan
Center for International Private Enterprise
1211 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036
+1 202-721-9200
selmahdi@cipe.org

Suriname

9. Corruption

Suriname’s legal code penalizes corruption, but there is virtually no enforcement. Government officials are occasionally removed from assignments, but convictions are rare. On September 1, 2017, parliament passed anti-corruption legislation, nearly 15 years after the initial draft bill was introduced to the National Assembly. As of May 2020, the President had not yet signed the measured into law, and the anti-corruption commission has not yet been installed. Suriname ranks on 70 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Index of Transparency International.

Existing laws that deal with corruption do not extend to family members of officials, or to political parties.

There are no laws or regulations to counter conflicts of interest in awarding contracts or government procurement. The government does not encourage or require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery of public officials.

The government does not encourage or require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery of public officials.

Local private companies do not use internal control, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. Suriname has signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Suriname has not yet signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Suriname is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Suriname has signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Suriname has not yet signed and ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Suriname is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

There are no NGOs that focus exclusively on investigating corruption. U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI. Corruption is believed to be most pervasive in government procurement, the awarding of licenses and concessions, customs, and taxation.

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI. Corruption is believed to be most pervasive in government procurement, the awarding of licenses and concessions, customs, and taxation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Fraud Department
Suriname Police Force
( Korps Politie Suriname)
Havenlaan, Paramaribo, Suriname
(597) 404-943

Sweden

9. Corruption

Investors have an extremely low likelihood of encountering corruption in Sweden. While there have been cases of domestic corruption at the municipal level, most companies have high anti-corruption standards and an investor would not typically be put in the position of having to pay a bribe to conduct business.

There are cases of Swedish companies operating overseas that have been charged with bribing foreign officials; however, these cases are relatively rare. Although Sweden has comprehensive laws against corruption, and ratified the 1997 OECD Anti-bribery Convention, in June of 2012, the OECD Anti-Bribery Working Group has given an unfavorable review of Swedish compliance to the dictates of that Convention. The group faulted Sweden for not having a single conviction of a Swedish company for bribery in the last eight years, for having unreasonably low fines, and for not re-framing their legal system so that a corporation could be charged with a crime. Swedish officials object to the review, claiming that lack of convictions is not proof of prosecutorial indifference, but rather indicative of high standards of ethics in Swedish companies. Over the last four years, two high-profile cases have involved Swedish companies. Telia Company’s operations in Uzbekistan received considerable public attention and cost the CEO and other senior officials their jobs. Telia Company was in the process of divesting its operations in Uzbekistan following a probe by the U.S. Department of Justice pertaining to illegal payments. In September 2017, Telia Company reached an agreement to pay $965.8 million to settle U.S. and European criminal and civil charges that the company had paid bribes to win business in Uzbekistan. In December 2019, Ericsson reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $1 billion to resolve a foreign corrupt practices case which involved bribing government officials, falsifying books and records, and failing to implement reasonable internal accounting controls.  The resolutions covered criminal conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Kuwait.

Sweden does not have a specific agency devoted exclusively to anti-corruption, but a number of agencies cooperate together. A list of Sweden’s Public and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives can be found at http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/europe-central-asia/sweden/initiatives.aspx .

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Sweden has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention (see list of signatories at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html ).

Sweden is party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (see list of signatories and their implementation reports at http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/countryreportsontheimplementationoftheoecdanti-briberyconvention.htm ).

Resources to Report Corruption

The National Anti-Corruption Group at the Swedish Police, Nationella anti-korruptionsgruppen, handles the investigation of corruption offences and is engaged in preventive efforts. Corruption claims can be reported to the Group by calling +46 114 14.

Watchdog organization:

Transparency International Sweden
Telephone: + 46 (0)72 74 45 558
E-mail address: info@transparency.sewww.transparency.se 

Switzerland and Liechtenstein

9. Corruption

Swiss law provides for criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, for official corruption, and the government generally implements these laws effectively.  Switzerland is ranked 4th of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, reflecting low perceptions of corruption in society.  Under Swiss law, officials are not to accept anything that would “challenge their independence and capacity to act.”  The bribery of public officials is governed by the Swiss Criminal Code (Art. 322), while the bribery of private individuals is governed by the Federal Law Against Unfair Competition.  The law defines as granting an “undue advantage” either in exchange for a specific act, or in some cases for future behavior not related to a specific act.  Some officials may receive small gifts valued at no more than CHF 200 or CHF 300 for an entire year, which are not seen as “undue.” However, officials in some fields, such as financial regulators, may receive no advantages at all.  Transparency International has recommended that at the federal level a maximum sum should be set.

Investigating and prosecuting government corruption is a federal responsibility.  A majority of cantons requires members of cantonal parliaments to disclose their interests.  A joint working group comprising representatives of various federal government agencies works under the leadership of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to combat corruption.  Some multinational companies have set up internal hotlines to enable staff to report problems anonymously.

In 2009, Switzerland ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption.  The Swiss government experts believe this ratification did not result in significant domestic changes, since passive and active corruption of public servants was already considered a crime under the Swiss Criminal Code.

A review by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in 2017 recommended the adoption of a code of ethics/conduct, together with awareness-raising measures, for members of the federal parliament, judges, and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to avoid conflict of interests.  These measures needed to be accompanied by a reinforced monitoring of members of parliament’s compliance with their obligations.  In March 2018, the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions recommended that Switzerland adopt an appropriate legal framework to protect private sector whistleblowers from discrimination and disciplinary action, to ensure that sanctions imposed for foreign bribery against natural and legal persons are effective, proportionate, and dissuasive, and to ensure broader and more systematic publication of concluded foreign bribery cases.  The OECD Working Group positively highlighted Switzerland’s proactive policy on seizure and confiscation, its active involvement in mutual legal assistance, and its role as a promoter of cooperation in field of foreign bribery.  Regarding detection, the OECD Working Group commended the key role played by the Swiss Financial Intelligence Unit (MROS) in detecting foreign bribery.

A number of Swiss federal administrative authorities are involved in combating bribery.  The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) deals with issues relating to the OECD Convention.  The Federal Office of Justice deals with those relating to the Council of Europe Convention, while the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (MFA) deals with the UN Convention.  The power to prosecute and judge corruption offenses is shared between the relevant Swiss canton and the Swiss federal government.  For the federal government, the competent authorities are the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Criminal Court, and the Federal Police.  In the cantons, the relevant actors are the cantonal judicial authorities and the cantonal police forces.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

In 2001, Switzerland signed the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.  In 1997, Switzerland signed the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which entered into force in 2000.  Switzerland signed the UN Convention against Corruption in 2003.  Switzerland ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2009.

In order to implement the Council of Europe convention, the Swiss parliament amended the Penal Code to make bribery of foreign public officials a federal offense (Title Nineteen “Bribery”); these amendments entered into force in 2000.  In accordance with the revised 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the Swiss parliament amended legislation on direct taxes of the Confederation, cantons, and townships to prohibit the tax deductibility of bribes; these amendments became effective on in 2001.

Switzerland maintains an effective legal and policy framework to combat domestic corruption.  U.S. firms investing in Switzerland have not raised with the Embassy any corruption concerns in recent years.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government Agency Contact:

Michel Huissoud
Director
Swiss Federal Audit Office
Monbijoustrasse 45
3003 Bern / Switzerland
Ph. +41 58 463 10 35
Messages can be submitted via https://www.bkms-system.ch/bkwebanon/report/clientInfo?cin=5efk11 

“Watchdog” Organization Contact:

Martin Hilti
Executive Director
Transparency International Switzerland
Schanzeneckstrasse 25
P.O. Box 8509
3001 Bern / Switzerland
Ph. +41 31 382 3550
E-Mail: info@transparency.ch

Taiwan

9. Corruption

Taiwan has implemented laws, regulations, and penalties to combat corruption, including in public procurement. The Act on Property-Declaration by Public Servants mandates annual properties declaration for senior public services officials and their immediate family members.    In 2019, there were 59 violations found by the Control Yuan and a total of USD 480 thousand of fines were imposed.   The Corruption Punishment Statute and Criminal Code contain specific penalties for corrupt activities, including maximum jail sentences of life in prison and a maximum fine of up to NTD 100 million (USD 3.3 million).  Laws provide for increased penalties for public officials who fail to explain the origins of suspicious assets or property.  The Government Procurement Act and the Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflict of Interest both forbid an incumbent and former procurement personnel and their relatives from engaging in related procurement activities.  Although not a UN member, Taiwan voluntarily adheres to the UN Convention against Corruption and published its first country report in March 2018.

Guidance titled Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles for all publicly listed companies was revised in November 2014.  It asks publicly listed companies to establish an internal code of conduct and corruption-prevention measures for activities undertaken with government employees, politicians, and other private sector stakeholders.  The Ministry of Justice is drafting a Whistle Blowers Protection Act aiming to effectively combat illegal behaviors in both government agencies and the private sector.  The Anti-money Laundering Act implemented June 2017 requires the mandatory reporting of financial transactions by individuals listed in the Standards for Determining the Scope of Politically Exposed Persons Entrusted with Prominent Public Function, Their Family Members and Close Associates, and by the first-degree lineal relatives by blood or by marriage; siblings, spouse and his/her siblings, and the domestic partner equivalent to spouse of these politically exposed individuals.  The U.S. government is not aware of cases where bribes have been solicited for foreign investment approval.

Resources to Report Corruption

Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice
Overall Planning Division
No. 318, 2nd floor, Song-jiang Road, Taipei
aac2043@mail.moj.gov.tw
https://www.aac.moj.gov.tw/7170/278724/BossmailUsual 

Transparency International Taiwan
https://www.transparency.org/country/TWN 
http://www.tict.org.tw/ 
Dr. YEH, I Jan
Executive Director
TI Chinese Taipei
5F, No.111 Mu-Cha Road, Section 1
Taipei, Taiwan 11645
Tel: +886-2-2236-2204
Email: tict@tict.org.tw

Tajikistan

9. Corruption

Tajikistan has enacted anti-corruption legislation, but enforcement is politically-motivated, and generally ineffective in combating corruption of public officials.  Tajikistan’s parliament approved new amendments to the criminal code in February 2016.  Now, individuals convicted of crimes related to bribery may be released in return for payment of fines (roughly USD 25 for each day they would have served in prison had they been convicted under the previous criminal code).

Tajikistan’s anti-corruption laws officially extend to family members of officials and political parties.  Tajikistan’s laws provide conditions to counter conflict of interest in awarding contracts.

The Tajik government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  Private companies do not use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

Tajikistan became a signatory to the UN’s Anticorruption Convention in 2006.  Tajikistan is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Tajik authorities do not provide protection to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to investment and have reported instances of corruption in government procurement, award of licenses and concessions, dispute settlements, regulations, customs, and taxation.

Resources to Report Corruption

Sulaimon Sultonzoda Said, Head
The Agency for State Financial Control and Fight with Corruption
78 Rudaki Avenue, Dushanbe
992 37 221-48-10; 992 27 234-3052
info@anticorruption.tj; agenti@anticorruption.tj

(The agency requests that contact be made via a form on their website – www.anticorruption.tj)

Contact at a “watchdog” organization (international, regional, local or nongovernmental organization operating in the country/economy that monitors corruption, such as Transparency International):

United Nations Development Program
39 Aini Street, Dushanbe
+992 44 600-56-00
registry.tj@undp.org

Tanzania

9. Corruption

Tanzania has laws and institutions designed to combat corruption and illicit practices. It is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, but it is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. Although corruption is still viewed as a major problem, President Magufuli’s focus on anti-corruption has translated into an increased judiciary budget, new corruption cases, and a decline in perceived corruption, especially low-level corruption. This improvement is partly attributed to instituting electronic services which reduce the opportunity for corruption through human interactions at agencies such as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA), and the Port Authority.

Tanzania has three institutions specifically focused on anti-corruption. The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) prevents corruption, educates the public, and enforces the law against corruption. The Ethics Secretariat and its associated Ethics Tribunal under the President’s office enforces compliance with ethical standards defined in the Public Leadership Codes of Ethics Act 1995.

Companies and individuals seeking government tenders are required to submit a written commitment to uphold anti-bribery policies and abide by a compliance program. These steps are designed to ensure that company management complies with anti-bribery polices.

The GoT is currently implementing its National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan Phase III (2017-2022) (NACSAP III) which is a decentralized approach focused on broad government participation. NACSAP III has been prepared to involve a broader domain of key stakeholders including GoT local officials, development partners, civil society organization (CSOs), and the private sector. The strategy puts more emphasis on areas that historically have been more prone to corruption in Tanzania such as oil, gas, and other natural resources. Despite the outlined role of the GoT, CSOs, NGOs and media find it increasingly difficult to investigate corruption in the current political environment.

President Magufuli’s current anti-corruption campaign has affected public discourse about the prevailing climate of impunity, and some officials are reluctant to engage openly in corruption. Transparency International (TI), which ranks perception of corruption in public sector, gave Tanzania a score of 37 points out of 100 for 2019 and 36 points for 2018. The Afrobarometer report estimates that between 2016 and 2018 the corruption increase in the previous 12 months was only 10% in Tanzania, the lowest in Africa. While for the same period, 23% of the respondents voted that Tanzania is doing a bad job of fighting corruption, again the lowest in Africa.

Some critics, however, question how effective the initiative will be in tackling deeper structural issues that have allowed corruption to thrive. Despite President Magufuli’s focus on anti-corruption, there has been little effort to institutionalize what often appear to be ad hoc measures, a lack of corruption convictions, and persistent underfunding of the country’s main anti-corruption bodies.

Resources to Report Corruption

The Director General
Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau
P.O.  Box 4865, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2150043   Email: dgeneral@pccb.go.tz

Executive Director
Legal and Human Rights Centre
P.O.  Box 75254, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2773038/48   Email: lhrc@humanrights.or.tz

Thailand

9. Corruption

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Thailand 101st out of 180 countries with a score of 36 out of 100 in 2019. According to some studies, a cultural propensity to forgive bribes as a normal part of doing business and to equate cash payments with finders’ fees or consultants’ charges, coupled with the relatively low salaries of civil servants, encourages officials to accept gifts and illegal inducements. U.S. executives with experience in Thailand often advise new-to-market companies that it is far easier to avoid corrupt transactions from the beginning than to stop such practices once a company has been identified as willing to operate in this fashion. American firms that comply with the strict guidelines of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) are able to compete successfully in Thailand. U.S. businessmen say that publicly affirming the need to comply with the FCPA helps to shield their companies from pressure to pay bribes.

Thailand has a legal framework and a range of institutions to counter corruption. The Organic Law to Counter Corruption criminalizes corrupt practices of public officials and corporations, including active and passive bribery of public officials. The anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties.

Thai procurement regulations prohibit collusion amongst bidders. If an examination confirms allegations or suspicions of collusion among bidders, the names of those applicants must be removed from the list of competitors.

Thailand adopted its first national government procurement law in December 2016. Based on UNCITRAL model laws and the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, the law applies to all government agencies, local authorities, and state-owned enterprises, and aims to improve transparency. Officials who violate the law are subject to 1-10 years imprisonment and/or a fine from Thai baht 20,000 (approximately USD 615) to Thai baht 200,000 (approximately USD 6,150).

Since 2010, the Thai Institute of Directors has built an anti-corruption coalition of Thailand’s largest businesses. Coalition members sign a Collective Action Against Corruption Declaration and pledge to take tangible, measurable steps to reduce corruption-related risks identified by third party certification. The Center for International Private Enterprise equipped the Thai Institute of Directors and its coalition partners with an array of tools for training and collective action.

Established in 2011, the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) aims to encourage the government to create laws to combat corruption. ACT has 54 member organizations drawn from the private, public, and academic sectors. Their signature program is the “integrity pact.” Drafted by ACT and the Finance Ministry and based on a tool promoted by Transparency International, the pact forbids bribes from signatory members in bidding for government contacts. Member agencies and companies must adhere to strict transparency rules by disclosing and making easily available to the public all relevant bidding information, such as the terms of reference and the cost of the project.

Thailand is a party to the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, but not the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Thailand’s Witness Protection Act offers protection (to include police protection) to witnesses, including NGO employees, who are eligible for special protection measures in anti-corruption cases.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

International Affairs Strategy Specialist
Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission
361 Nonthaburi Road, Thasaai District, Amphur Muang Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: +662-528-4800
Email: TACC@nacc.go.th

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Dr. Mana Nimitmongkol
Secretary General
Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT)
44 Srijulsup Tower, 16th floor, Phatumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +662-613-8863
Email: mana2020@yahoo.com

Timor-Leste

9. Corruption

Transparency International ranks Timor-Leste at 93 out of 180 countries on its Corruption Perceptions Index in 2019, and the Government of Timor-Leste is continuing to take steps to combat corruption.  In 2010, the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC), an independent agency, opened its doors, with support from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation.  That same year, the Office of the Prosecutor General also forwarded its first high-profile corruption case to the courts.  Since then, the CAC has referred several cases to the Office of the Prosecutor General, which have resulted in several ongoing investigations.  In 2016, former Minister of Finance Emilia Pires and former Vice-Minister of Health Madalena Hanjam, were convicted of participating in improper procurement of hospital beds.  Both received prison sentences, which were suspended during the appeals process, although Pires was out of the country at the time and has not yet returned.  Entrepreneurs operating in-country report concerns about operational difficulties ascribed to lower-level corrupt bureaucratic processing in areas such as licensing, importation, and taxation.

The government is working to establish internal discipline and performance standards.  In October 2017, the government established a new customs authority and adopted the revised Arusha Declaration towards integrity in customs.  The customs authority is also in the process of implementing the Automatic System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a UN-development customs management software, to streamline customs processing and reduce corruption under a USAID-sponsored Customs Reform project.

Under Timorese law, bribery is a crime punishable with up to four years of imprisonment.  It is illegal to bribe a foreign official, although Timorese law would not apply to an attempted bribery of a foreign official overseas.  Bribes cannot be deducted from taxes.

Timor-Leste has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention; however, it is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

In March 2019, the National Parliament approved a new anti-corruption bill in generality with new identified offenses, including in the private sector, which included penalties for construction fraud and a failure to declare assets or unjustified wealth; however, the details have not been approved, and the law has not been promulgated.

Resources to Report Corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission of Timor-Leste
Rua Sergio Vieira de Mello
Farol
Dili, Timor-Leste
Phone: +670 77305564; +670 77326597; or +670 77326599
Email: keixa@cac.tl

Contact at watchdog organizations:

La’o Hamutuk – Walk Together
PO Box 340, Bebora, Dili Timor-Leste
Phone: +670 3321040
Mobile: +670 77234330
Email: info@laohamutuk.org

Lalenok ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) – The Mirror for the People
Avenida Presidente Nicolao Lobato-Comoro-(in front of SDN.07-Malinamuc)
Comoro
Dili, Timor-Leste
Phone: +670 3331068
Email: gil.silva@labeh.org , info@labeh.org

Togo

9. Corruption

The Togolese government has established several important institutions designed in part to reduce corruption by eliminating opportunities for bribery and fraud: the Togolese Revenue Authority, the One-Stop Shop to create new businesses, and the Single Window for import/export formalities.

In 2015, the Togolese government created the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Related Offenses (HAPLUCIA), which the government designed to be an independent institution dedicated to fighting corruption.  The government appointed members in 2017.  HAPLUCIA encourages private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.  HAPLUCIA presented on February 7, 2019 its strategic plan for the period 2019-2023; it set up a toll-free number, the “8277” to receive complaints and denunciations.

Anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials, and to political parties and the government does not interfere in the work of anti-corruption NGOs.

In 2011, the government effectively implemented procurement reforms to increase transparency and reduce corruption.  The government announces procurements weekly in a government publication.  Once contracts are awarded, all bids and the winner are published in the weekly government procurement publication.  Other measurable steps toward controlling corruption include joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and establishing public finance control structures and a National Financial Information Processing Unit.

Togo signed the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2003 and ratified it on July 6, 2005.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Essohana Wiyao
President of HAPLUCIA, the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Related Offenses
Tel. +228 90 21 28 46 / 90 25 77 40
Email: essohanawiyao@yahoo.fr
Lomé, Togo

Directeur, Anti-Corruption
Office Togolais des Recettes (OTR)
41 Rue des Impôts
02 BP 20823
Lomé, Togo
+228 – 22 53 14 00
otr@otr.tg

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:

Samuel Kaninda
Regional Coordinator, West Africa
Transparency International
Alt-Moabit 96
10559 Berlin
Germany
+49 30 3438 20 773
skaninda@transparency.org

Trinidad and Tobago

9. Corruption

Various pieces of legislation address corruption of public officials:

  • The Integrity in Public Life Act requires public officials to disclose assets upon taking office and at the end of tenure.
  • The Freedom of Information Act gives members of the public a general right (with specified exceptions) of access to official documents of public authorities. The intention of the act was to address the public’s concerns of corruption and to promote a system of open and good governance.  In compliance with the act, designated officers in each ministry and statutory authority process applications for information.
  • The Police Complaints Authority Act establishes a mechanism for complaints against police officers in relation to, among other things, police misconduct and police corruption.
  • The Prevention of Corruption Act provides for certain offences and punishment of corruption in public office.

The laws are non-discriminatory in their infrequent application.  Effectiveness of these measures has been limited by a lack of thorough enforcement.

The laws do not extend to family members of officials or to political parties.

TT does not have laws or regulations to counter conflicts of interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

The government has been a party to the development of corporate governance standards (non-binding) to encourage private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.

Some private companies, particularly the larger ones, use internal controls and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials, though this is not a government requirement.

Trinidad and Tobago adheres to the UN Anticorruption Convention.

There are no protections for NGOs involved in investigating corruption, but investigations are not feared since corrupt actors are rarely punished.

U.S. firms often say corruption is an obstacle to FDI, particularly in government procurement, since TT’s procurement processes are not transparent.

Resources to Report Corruption

Name: Mr. Justice Melville Baird
Title: Chairman
Organization: The Integrity Commission
Address: P.O. Box 1253, Port of Spain
The Integrity Commission of Trinidad and Tobago Level 14,
Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, 1A Wrightson Road, Port of Spain
Telephone number: 868-623-8305
Email address: registrar@integritycommission.org.tt

Name: Mr. Dion Abdool
Title: Chairman
Organization: Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (local chapter of Transparency International)
Address: Unit 4-12, Building 7, Fernandes Industrial Centre, Laventille
Telephone number: 868-626-5756
Email address: admin@transparency.org.tt

Tunisia

9. Corruption

Most U.S. firms involved in the Tunisian market do not identify corruption as a primary obstacle to foreign direct investment.  However, some have reported that routine procedures for doing business (customs, transportation, and some bureaucratic paperwork) are sometimes tainted by corrupt practices.  Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 gave Tunisia a score of 43 out of 100 and a rank of 74 among 180 countries which was the same as in 2018.  Regionally, Tunisia is ranked 7 for transparency among MENA countries and first in North Africa, ahead of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Libya.  Transparency International expressed concern that Tunisia’s score has not improved in recent years despite advances in anti-corruption legislation, including laws to protect whistleblowers, improve access to information, and encourage asset declarations by public officials or individuals with public trust roles.

Recent government efforts to combat corruption include:  the seizure and privatization of assets belonging to Ben Ali’s family members; assurances that price controls on food products, and gasoline are respected; enhancement of commercial competition in the domestic market; establishment of a Minister in Charge of Public Service, Good Governance, Anti-corruption; arrests of corrupt businessmen and officials; and harmonization of Tunisian corruption laws with those of the European Union.

The constitution requires those holding high government offices to declare assets “as provided by law.”  In 2018 parliament adopted the Assets Declaration Law, identifying 35 categories of public officials required to declare their assets upon being elected or appointed and upon leaving office.  By law the National Authority for the Combat Against Corruption (INLUCC) is then responsible for publishing the lists of assets of these individuals on its website.  In addition the law requires other individuals in specified professions that have a public role to declare their assets to INLUCC, although this information would not be made public.  This provision applies to journalists, media figures, civil society leaders, political party leaders, and union officials.  The law also enumerates a “gift” policy, defines measures to avoid conflicts of interest, and stipulates the sanctions that apply in cases of illicit enrichment.  In 2019, Tunisia’s newly elected government officials declared their assets, including the 217 Members of Parliament.

In February 2017, Parliament passed law no. 2017-10 on corruption reporting and whistleblower protection.  The legislation was a significant step in the fight against corruption, as it establishes the mechanisms, conditions, and procedures for denouncing corruption.  Article 17 of the law provides protection for whistleblowers, and any act of reprisal against them is considered a punishable crime.  For public servants, the law also guarantees the protection of whistleblowers against possible retaliation from their superiors.  In September 2017, the GOT established the Independent Access to Information Commission.  This authority was prescribed in the 2016 Access to Information Law to proactively encourage government agencies to comply with the new law and to adjudicate complaints against the government for failing to comply with the law.  Following the passage of the access to information and whistleblower protection laws, the government initiated an anti-corruption campaign led by then prime minister Youssef Chahed.  A series of arrests and investigations targeted well-known businesspersons, politicians, journalists, police officers, and customs officials.  Preliminary charges included embezzlement, fraud, and taking bribes.

Tunisia’s penal code devotes 11 articles to defining and classifying corruption and assigns corresponding penalties (including fines and imprisonment).  Several other regulations also address broader concepts of corruption.  Detailed information on the application of these laws and their effectiveness in combating corruption is not publicly available, and there are no GOT statistics specific to corruption. The Independent Commission to Investigate Corruption, created in 2011, handled corruption complaints from 1987 to 2011.  The commission referred 5 percent of cases to the Ministry of Justice.  In 2012, the commission was replaced by the National Authority to Combat Corruption (INLUCC), which has the authority to forward corruption cases to the Ministry of Justice, give opinions on legislative and regulatory anti-corruption efforts, propose policies and collect data on corruption, and facilitate contact between anti-corruption efforts in the government and civil society.

During a March 16, 2019 press conference, INLUCC president Chawki Tabib said that it takes seven to 10 years on average for corruption cases to be processed in the judicial system.  In 2018 the Tunisian Financial Analysis Committee, which operates under the auspices of the Central Bank as a financial intelligence unit, announced that it froze approximately 200 million dinars ($70 million) linked to suspected money-laundering transactions.  The committee received approximately 600 reports of suspicious transactions related to corruption and illicit financial flows during the year.

Since 1989, a comprehensive law designed to regulate each phase of public procurement has governed the public sector.  The GOT also established the Higher Commission on Public Procurement (HAICOP) to supervise the tender and award process for major government contracts.  The government publicly supports a policy of transparency.  Public tenders require bidders to provide a sworn statement that they have not and will not, either by themselves or through a third party, make any promises or give gifts with a view to influencing the outcome of the tender and realization of the project.  Starting September 2018, the government imposed by decree that all public procurement operations be conducted electronically via a bidding platform called Tunisia Online E-Procurement System (TUNEPS).  Despite the law, competition on government tenders appears susceptible to corrupt behavior.  Pursuant to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.S. Government requires that American companies requesting U.S. Government advocacy certify that they do not participate in corrupt practices.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at agencies responsible for combating corruption:

Chawki Tabib
President
The National Anti-Corruption Authority (Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Corruption – INLUCC)
http://www.inlucc.tn 
71 Avenue Taieb Mhiri, 1002 Tunis Belvédère – Tunisia
+216 71 840 401 / Toll Free: 80 10 22 22
contact@inlucc.tn

“Watchdog” organization

Achraf Aouadi
President
I WATCH Tunisia
14 Rue d’Irak 1002 Lafayette, Tunisia
+ 216 71 844 226
contact@iwatch.tn

Turkey

9. Corruption

Corruption remains a concern, a reality reflected in Turkey’s sliding score in recent years in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index, where it ranked 91 of 180 countries and territories around the world in 2019.  Government mechanisms to investigate and punish alleged abuse and corruption by state officials remained inadequate, and impunity remained a problem.  Though independent in principle, the judiciary remained subject to government, and particularly executive branch, interference, including with respect to the investigation and prosecution of major corruption cases.  In some cases, the COVID-19 state of emergency has amplified pre-existing concerns about judicial independence.  (See the Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for more details: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper).   Turkey is a participant in regional anti-corruption initiatives, specifically co-heading the G20 Anti-Corruption working group with the United States.   Under the new presidential system, the Presidential State Supervisory Council is responsible for combating corruption.

Public procurement reforms were designed in Turkey to make procurement more transparent and less susceptible to political interference, including through the establishment of an independent public procurement board with the power to void contracts.  Critics claim, however, that government officials have continued to award large contracts to firms friendly with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), especially for large public construction projects.

Turkish legislation outlaws bribery, but enforcement is uneven.  Turkey’s Criminal Code makes it unlawful to promise or to give any advantage to foreign government officials in exchange for their assistance in providing improper advantage in the conduct of international business.

The provisions of the Criminal Law regarding bribing of foreign government officials are consistent with the provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 of the United States (FCPA).  There are, however, a number of differences between Turkish law and the FCPA.  For example, there is no exception under Turkish law for payments to facilitate or expedite performance of a “routine governmental action” in terms of the FCPA.  Another difference is that the FCPA does not provide for punishment by imprisonment, while Turkish law provides for punishment by imprisonment from 4 to 12 years.  The Presidential State Supervisory Council, which advises the Corruption Investigations Committee, is responsible for investigating major corruption cases brought to its attention by the Committee.  Nearly every state agency has its own inspector corps responsible for investigating internal corruption.  The Parliament can establish investigative commissions to examine corruption allegations concerning cabinet ministers; a majority vote is needed to send these cases to the Supreme Court for further action.

Turkey ratified the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Public Officials and passed implementing legislation in 2003 to provide that bribes of foreign, as well as domestic, officials are illegal.  In 2006, Turkey’s Parliament ratified the UN Convention against Corruption.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

ORGANIZATION: Presidential State Supervisory Council
ADDRESS: Beştepe Mahallesi, Alparslan Türkeş Caddesi, Devlet Denetleme Kurulu, Yenimahalle
TELEPHONE NUMBER: Phone: +90 312 470 25 00  Fax : +90 312 470 13 03
NAME: Seref Malkoc
TITLE: Chief Ombudsman

ORGANIZATION: The Ombudsman Institution
ADDRESS: Kavaklidere Mah. Zeytin Dali Caddesi No:4 Cankaya ANKARA
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +90 312 465 22 00
EMAIL ADDRESS: iletisim@ombudsman.gov.tr

Turkmenistan

9. Corruption

There is no single specifically designated government agency responsible for combating corruption.  In June 2017, Turkmenistan set up the State Service for Combating Economic Crimes (SSCEC) to investigate officials and state-owned enterprises on corruption charges.  The SSCEC, which reports to the Minister of Internal Affairs, does not appear to be an independent and objective investigative body.  There is no independent corruption watchdog organization.

Anti-corruption laws are not generally enforced, and rampant corruption remains a problem.  Formally, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (including the police), the Ministry of National Security, and the General Prosecutor’s Office are responsible for combating corruption.  President Berdimuhamedov has publicly stated that corruption will not be tolerated.  In 2020, Transparency International ranked Turkmenistan 165 among 180 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index.  Foreign firms have identified widespread government corruption, including in the form of bribe seeking, as an obstacle to investment and business development throughout all economic sectors and regions.  It is most pervasive in the areas of government procurement, the awarding of licenses, and customs.  In March 2014, the parliament adopted a law on Combating Corruption to help identify and prosecute cases of corruption.  The law prohibits government officials from accepting gifts (in person or through an intermediary) from foreign states, international organizations, and political parties.  It also severely limits the ability of government officials to travel on business at the expense of foreign entities.  Notwithstanding the 2014 law, corruption remains rampant.  There are no NGOs involved in monitoring or investigating corruption.  Certain government officials including traffic police are known to ask for bribes.

Uganda

9. Corruption

Uganda has generally adequate laws to combat corruption, and an interlocking web of anti-corruption institutions. The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority Act’s Code of Ethical Standards (Code) requires bidders and contractors to disclose any possible conflict of interest when applying for government contracts. However, endemic corruption remains a serious problem and a major obstacle to investment. Transparency International ranked Uganda 137 out of 180 countries in its 2019 Corruption Perception Index. While anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and political parties, in practice many well-connected individuals enjoy de facto impunity for corrupt acts and are rarely prosecuted in court.

The government does not require companies to adopt specific internal procedures to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. Larger private companies implement internal control policies; however, with 80 percent of the workforce in the informal sector, much of the private sector operates without such systems. While Uganda has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention, it is not yet party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and does not protect non–governmental organizations investigating corruption. Some corruption watchdog organizations allege government harassment.

U.S. firms consistently identify corruption as a major hurdle to business and investment. Corruption in government procurement processes remains particularly problematic for foreign companies seeking to bid on GOU contracts.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contacts at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:
Justice Irene Mulyagonja
Inspector General of Government
Inspectorate of Government
Jubilee Insurance Centre, Plot 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala
Telephone: +256-414-344-219
Website: www.igg.go.ug 

Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA)
UEDCL Towers Plot 39 Nakasero Road
P.O. Box 3925, Kampala Uganda
Telephone: +256-414-311100.
Email: info@ppda.go.ug
Website: https://www.ppda.go.ug/ 

Contact at “watchdog” organization:
Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda
Cissy Kagaba
Telephone: +256-414-535-659
Email: kagabac@accu.or.ug
Website: http://accu.or.ug 

Ukraine

9. Corruption

Ukraine has numerous laws to combat corruption by public officials, and following the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 the government launched new anti-corruption institutions, including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) to investigate corruption by public officials, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), and the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC).  In addition, legislation was adopted that mandated that public officials declare their assets on a publicly viewable online system.  These new institutions, however, have had an uneven track record.  After the successful 2016 launch of the asset declaration system for public officials, the NAPC failed to fulfill its mandate to verify officials’ declarations and to fairly manage political party finance reporting until being rebooted following the election of President Zelenskyy in April 2019.  NABU and SAPO have taken 245 corruption cases to court since 2015, including indictments of high-level officials, but had failed to obtain a single conviction as cases became mired in court proceedings until the launch of the High Anti-Corruption Court in September 2019.

Foreign businesses, including U.S. companies, continue to identify corruption in many sectors as a significant obstacle to FDI.  Reform of public procurement has been a success story, with the introduction of the online ProZorro system providing transparency for most procurement, except in the defense sector, which remains non-transparent and allegedly a continuing source of corruption.  The Ukrainian parliament is currently reviewing draft legislation to reform the defense procurement process and likely will adopt the bill in the coming months.   However, declassification of the process will be largely contingent on amendments made to the Law on State Secrets.  The energy sector has seen some improvements, including reforms at the large oil and gas SOE Naftogaz, but participants in the sector continue to complain of significant and sometimes insurmountable corruption.  Government interference in the corporate governance of Naftogaz is a persistent concern and has now spread to Ukrenergo, Energoatom, and Ukrhydroenergo, among others.  There are allegations of corruption at specific SOEs in a variety of sectors, as well as allegations that external corrupt forces interfere regularly in SOE operations.

There are a number of NGOs actively involved in investigating corruption and advocating for anti-corruption measures.  In 2017, the Parliament passed a law with broad requirements for non-governmental individuals engaged in anti-corruption activities to file public asset declarations.

Resources to Report Corruption

NABU, established in October 2014, is the appropriate resource for the reporting of high-level corruption.

Government of Ukraine contact for combating corruption:
National Anti-Corruption Bureau
3, Vasyl Surikov St, Kyiv, Ukraine 03035
Hot-line:  0-800-503-200
info@nabu.gov.ua
Corruption Reporting eForm: http://nabu.gov.ua/povidomlennya-pro-kryminalne-pravoporushennya 

Contact at Transparency International:
Mr. Andriy Borovyk
Executive Director|
Transparency International Ukraine
2A provulok Kostia Hordiienka, 1st floor, Kyiv, Ukraine 01024
+38(044) 360-52-42
office@ti-ukraine.org

United Arab Emirates

9. Corruption

The UAE has stiff laws, regulations, and enforcement against corruption and has pursued several high-profile cases.  For example, the UAE federal penal code and the federal human resources law criminalize embezzlement and the acceptance of bribes by public and private sector workers.  The Dubai financial fraud law criminalizes receipt of illicit monies or public funds.  There is no evidence that corruption of public officials is a systemic problem.  The State Audit Institution and the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority investigate corruption in the government.  The Companies Law requires board directors to avoid conflicts of interest.  In practice, however, given the multiple roles occupied by relatively few senior Emirati government and business officials, myriad conflicts of interest exist.  Business success in the UAE also still depends much on personal relationships.

The monitoring organizations GAN Integrity and Transparency International describe the corruption environment in the UAE as low-risk, and rate the UAE highly with regard to anti-corruption efforts both regionally and globally.  Some third-party organizations note, however, that the involvement of members of the ruling families and prominent merchant families in certain businesses can create economic disparities in the playing field, and most foreign companies outside the UAE’s free zones must rely on an Emirati national partner, often with strong connections, who retains majority ownership.  The UAE has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption.  There are no civil society organizations or NGOs investigating corruption within the UAE.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Dr. Harib Al Amimi
President
State Audit Institution
20th Floor, Tower C2, Aseel Building, Bainuna (34th) Street, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, UAE
+971 2 635 9999
info@saiuae.gov.ae

United Kingdom

9. Corruption

Although isolated instances of bribery and corruption have occurred in the UK, U.S. investors have not identified corruption of public officials as a factor in doing business in the UK.

The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on July 1, 2011.  It amends and reforms the UK criminal law and provides a modern legal framework to combat bribery in the UK and internationally.  The scope of the law is extra-territorial.  Under the Bribery Act, a relevant person or company can be prosecuted for bribery if the crime is committed abroad.  The Act applies to UK citizens, residents and companies established under UK law.  In addition, non-UK companies can be held liable for a failure to prevent bribery if they do business in the UK.

Section 9 of the Act requires the UK Government to publish guidance on procedures that commercial organizations can put in place to prevent bribery on their behalf.  It creates the following offenses: active bribery, described as promising or giving a financial or other advantage, passive bribery, described as agreeing to receive or accepting a financial or other advantage; bribery of foreign public officials; and the failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery by an associated person (corporate offense).  This corporate criminal offense places a burden of proof on companies to show they have adequate procedures  in place to prevent bribery (http://www.transparency.org.uk/our-work/business-integrity/bribery-act/adequate-procedures-guidance/ ).  To avoid corporate liability for bribery, companies must make sure that they have strong, up-to-date and effective anti-bribery policies and systems.  The Bribery Act creates a corporate criminal offense making illegal the failure to prevent bribery by an associated person.  The briber must be “associated” with the commercial organization, a term which will apply to, amongst others, the organization’s agents, employees, and subsidiaries.  A foreign corporation which “carries on a business, or part of a business” in the UK may therefore be guilty of the UK offense even if, for example, the relevant acts were performed by the corporation’s agent outside the UK.  The Act does not extend to political parties and it is unclear whether it extends to family members of public officials.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery 

The UK formally ratified the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery in December 1998.  The UK also signed the UN Convention Against Corruption in December 2003 and ratified it in 2006.  The UK has launched a number of initiatives to reduce corruption overseas.  The OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB) criticized the UK’s implementation of the Anti-Bribery convention.  The OECD and other international organizations promoting global anti-corruption initiatives pressured the UK to update its anti-bribery legislation which was last amended in 1916.  In 2007, the UK Law Commission began a consultation process to draft a Bribery Bill that met OECD standards.  A report was published in October 2008 and consultations with experts from the OECD were held in early 2009.  The new Bill was published in draft in March 2009 and adopted by Parliament with cross-party support as the 2010 Bribery Act in April 2010.

Resources to Report Corruption 

UK law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government routinely implements these laws effectively.  The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is an independent government department, operating under the superintendence of the Attorney General with jurisdiction in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  It investigates and prosecutes those who commit serious or complex fraud, bribery, and corruption, and pursues them and others for the proceeds of their crime.

All allegations of bribery of foreign public officials by British nationals or companies incorporated in the United Kingdom—even in relation to conduct that occurred overseas—should be reported to the SFO for possible investigation.  When the SFO receives a report of possible corruption, its intelligence team makes an assessment and decides if the matter is best dealt with by the SFO itself or passed to a law enforcement partner organization, such as the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit of the City of London Police (OACU) or the International Corruption Unit of the National Crime Agency.  Allegations can be reported in confidence using the SFO’s secure online reporting form: https://www.sfo.gov.uk/contact-us/reporting-serious-fraud-bribery-corruption/ 

Details can also be sent to the SFO in writing:

SFO Confidential
Serious Fraud Office
2-4 Cockspur Street
London, SW1Y 5BS
United Kingdom

Uruguay

9. Corruption

Transparency International’s 2019 edition of the Corruption Perception Index ranked Uruguay as having the lowest levels of perceived corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean in its 2019 edition of the Corruption Perception Index. Overall, U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to investment.

Uruguay has laws to prevent bribery and other corrupt practices. It approved a law against corruption in the public sector in 1998 (No. 17,060), and the acceptance of a bribe is a felony under Uruguay’s penal code. The government prosecuted some high-level Uruguayan officials from the executive, parliamentary, and judiciary branches for corruption in recent years. The government neither encourages nor discourages private companies to establish internal codes of conduct.

The Transparency and Public Ethics Board (JUTEP by its Spanish acronym, http://www.jutep.gub.uy/ ) is the government office responsible for dealing with public sector corruption. Traditionally a low-profile office and still with a limited scope, it gained relevance in face of a case that ended in the resignation of Uruguay´s Vice-President in 2017. Since then, JUTEP has played a role in denouncing alleged nepotism in the public sector. There are no major NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

A 2017 law (No. 19,574) sets an integral framework against money laundering and terrorism finance, brings Uruguay into compliance with OECD and UN norms, and includes corruption as a predicate crime. Uruguay signed and ratified the UN’s Anticorruption Convention. It is not a member of the OECD and therefore is not party to the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Junta de Transparencia y Ética Publica
As of May 2020 the presidency is vacant
Address: Rincon 528, 8th floor, ZC 11000
Tel: (598) 2917 0407
E-mail: secretaria@jutep.gub.uy

Local branch of Transparency International: http://www.uruguaytransparente.uy 

Uzbekistan

9. Corruption

Uzbekistan’s legislation and Criminal Code both prohibit corruption.  President Mirziyoyev has declared combatting widespread corruption one of his top priorities.  On January 3, 2017, he approved the law “On Combating Corruption.” The law is intended to raise the efficiency of anti-corruption measures through the consolidation of efforts of government bodies and civil society in preventing and combating cases of corruption, attempted corruption, and conflict of interest, ensuring punishment for such crimes.  On May 27, 2019, Presidential Decree UP-5729 launched the State Anti-Corruption Program for 2019-2021 and created the Interagency Commission for Combating Corruption.  The program is focused on strengthening the independence of the judiciary system, developing a fair and transparent public service system requiring civil servants to declare their incomes and establishing mechanisms to prevent conflicts of interest, facilitating civil society and media participation in combating corruption, and other measures.

Formally, the anti-corruption legislation extends to all government officials, their family members, and members of all political parties of the country.  However, Uzbekistan has not yet introduced asset declaration requirements for government officials or their family members, although legislation with such a requirement was drafted in October 2019 and is expected to be enforced from January 2020 onwards.  Currently, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan (PGO) is the main government arm tasked with fighting corruption.  Since Mirziyoyev took office in September 2016, the government has prosecuted a number of officials under anti-corruption laws, and punishment has varied from a fine to imprisonment with confiscation of property.  According to official statistics, 1,200 corruption-related crimes were registered in 2018 and 1,071 in 2019.

The process of awarding GOU contracts continues to lack transparency.  According to a presidential decree issued on January 10, 2019, all government procurements must now go through a clearance process within the Ministry of Economy.  Procurement contracts involving public funds or performed by state enterprises with values of over $100,000 need additional clearances from other relevant government agencies.

The law “On Combating Corruption” prescribes a range of measures for preventing corruption, including through raising public awareness and introduction of transparent rules for public-private interactions.  The law, however, does not specifically encourage companies to establish relevant internal codes of conduct.

Currently only a few local companies created by or with foreign investors have effective internal ethics programs.

Uzbekistan is a member of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  One of the latest OECD reports on anti-corruption reforms in Uzbekistan (March 21, 2019) says that, although Uzbekistan has already undertaken a number of key anti-corruption reforms, the GOU now needs to systematize its anti-corruption policy by making it strategic in nature.  Uzbekistan is ranked 153 out of 180 rated countries in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index.

There are very few officially registered local NGOs available to investigate corruption cases and Embassy Tashkent is not aware of any genuine NGOs that are presently involved in investigating corruption.  The law “On Combating Corruption” encourages more active involvement of NGOs and civil society in investigation and prevention of crimes related with corruption.

U.S. businesses have cited corruption and lack of transparency in bureaucratic processes, including public procurements and licensing, as among the main obstacles to foreign direct investment in Uzbekistan.

Resources to Report Corruption

The government agencies that are responsible for combating corruption are the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice.  Currently, no international or local nongovernmental watchdog organizations have permission to monitor corruption in Uzbekistan.

Contact information for the office of Uzbekistan’s Prosecutor General:

Address: 66, Akademik Gulyamov St., 100047, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Website: www.prokuratura.uz
Hotline telephone numbers: +998(71) 1007, 232-4391, 232-4550,

Contact information for the office of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Justice:

Address: 5, Sayilgoh Street, 100047, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Website: http://www.minjust.uz/en/, http://www.minjust.uz/ru/anticorruption/feedback/
Hotline telephone numbers: +998(71) 1008, 233-2610, 233-1305, 236-0509
E-mail: info@minjust.gov.uz

Vietnam

9. Corruption

Vietnam has laws to combat corruption by public officials, and they extend to all citizens. Corruption is due, in large part, to low levels of transparency, accountability, and media freedom, as well as poor remuneration for government officials and inadequate systems for holding officials accountable. Competition among agencies for control over businesses and investments has created overlapping jurisdictions and bureaucratic procedures that, in turn, create opportunities for corruption.

The government has tasked various agencies to deal with corruption, including the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption (chaired by the Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen), the Government Inspectorate, and line ministries and agencies. Formed in 2007, the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption has been under the purview of the CPV Central Commission of Internal Affairs since February 2013. The National Assembly provides oversight on the operations of government ministries. Civil society organizations have encouraged the government to establish a single independent agency with oversight and enforcement authority to ensure enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

Resource to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:

Mr. Phan Dinh Trac
Chairman, Communist Party Central Committee Internal Affairs
4 Nguyen Canh Chan; +84 0804-3557
Contact at NGO:
Ms. Nguyen Thi Kieu Vien
Executive Director, Towards Transparency
Transparency International National Contact in Vietnam
Floor 4, No 37 Lane 35, Cat Linh street, Dong Da, Hanoi, Vietnam; +84-24-37153532
Fax: +84-24-37153443;
kieuvien@towardstransparency.vn

West Bank and Gaza

9. Corruption

According to the World Bank 2014 Investment Climate Assessment report, Palestinian firms do not consider corruption to be one of the most serious problems they face.  Seven percent of the firms surveyed reported having experienced a request from a government official for a bribe. According to USAID’s West Bank and Gaza Inclusive Growth Diagnostic Study conducted in 2017, only 11 percent of the Palestinian firms surveyed reported ever being asked to pay a bribe, compared to 48 percent in Egypt.  Private sector businesses assert that the PA has been successful in reducing institutional corruption and local perceptions of line ministries and PA agencies are generally favorable.

The Anti-Graft Law (AGL) of 2005 criminalizes corruption, and the State Audit and Administrative Control Law and the Civil Service Law both aim to prevent favoritism, conflict of interest, or exploitation of position for personal gain.  The AGL was amended in 2010 to establish a specialized anti-graft court and the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission, which was tasked with collecting, investigating, and prosecuting allegations of public corruption.  The Anti-Corruption Commission, first appointed in 2010, has indicted several high-profile PA officials.  Palestinian civil society and media are active advocates of anti-corruption measures and there are international and Palestinian non-governmental organizations that work to raise public awareness and promote anti-corruption initiatives.  The most active of these is the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability (AMAN), which is the Palestinian chapter of Transparency International (http://www.aman-palestine.org/eng/index.htm ).

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

In April 2014, the PA acceded to the UN Anticorruption Convention.  The PA is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption:

Contact at U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem:
Palestinian Affairs Unit
Economic Section
+972 2 622 6952
JerusalemECON@State.Gov

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:
The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN
+972-2-298-9506
info@aman-palestine.org
http://www.aman-palestine.org 

Zambia

9. Corruption

Zambia’s anti-corruption activities are governed by the Anti-Corruption Act of 2010 and the National Anti-Corruption Policy of 2009, which stipulate penalties for different offenses. While legislation and stated policies on anti-corruption are adequate, implementation sometimes falls short. The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act of 2010 provides for the disclosure of conduct adverse to the public interest in the public and private sectors; however, like with other laws and policies, enforcement is weak. Zambia lacks adequate laws on asset disclosure, evidence, and freedom of information. In March 2019, Cabinet approved the Access to Information Bill (ATI); the draft bill had not been made public or presented to Parliament as of March 2019. The bill aims to ensure the government is proactive and organized in disseminating information to the public. Versions of the ATI Bill have been pending since 2002.

Zambia had made some progress in the fight against corruption in the last decade, as reflected by improvements recorded in several governance indicators. However, recent years have seen the persistent perception that corruption has increased, and it remains a primary impediment to governance and development programs. In the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report, Zambia ranked 105 out of 180 countries, which is a drop from 96 in the 2017 report. The legal and institutional frameworks against corruption have been strengthened, and efforts have been made to reduce red tape and streamline bureaucratic procedures, as well as to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, including those involving high-ranking officials. Most of these cases, however, remain on the shelves waiting to be tried while officials remain free, sometimes still occupying the positions through which the alleged corruption took place. In March 2018, Parliament passed the Public Finance Management Bill that will allow the government to prosecute public officials for misappropriating funds, something previous legislation lacked. The government has not yet established implementing regulations. In spite of progress made, corruption remains a serious issue in Zambia, affecting the lives of ordinary citizens and their access to public services. Corruption in the police service emerges as an area of particular concern (with frequency of bribery well above that found in any other sector), followed by corruption in the education and health services. The government has cited corruption in public procurements and contracting procedures as major areas of concern.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is the agency mandated to spearhead the fight against corruption in Zambia. The Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) also assists with investigation of allegations of misconduct. An independent Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) was established in 2010, but does not have the authority to prosecute financial crimes. In November 2012, the FIC Board of Directors was appointed and sworn in with a challenge to implement its mandate. Zambia’s anti-corruption agencies generally do not discriminate between local and foreign investors. Transparency International has an active Zambian chapter.

The government encourages private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials. Most large private companies have internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery. The Integrity Committees (ICs) Initiative is one of the strategies of the National Anti-Corruption Policy (NACP), which is aimed at institutionalizing the prevention of corruption. The NACP received Cabinet’s approval in March 2009 and the Anti-Corruption Commission spearheads its implementation. The NACP targets eight institutions, including the Zambia Revenue Authority, Immigration Department, and Ministry of Lands. The government has taken measures to enhance protection of whistleblowers and witnesses with the enactment of the Public Disclosure Act as well as to strengthen protection of citizens against false reports, in line with Article 32 of the UN Convention.

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment. Corruption is most pervasive in government procurement and dispute settlement. Giving or accepting a bribe by a private, public, or foreign official is a criminal act, and a person convicted of doing so is liable to a fine or a prison term not exceeding five years. A bribe by a local company or individual to a foreign official is a criminal act and punishable under the laws of Zambia. A local company cannot deduct a bribe to a foreign official from taxes. Many businesses have complained that bribery and kickbacks, however, remain rampant and difficult to police, as some companies have noted government officials’ complicity in and/or benefitting from corrupt deals.

Zambia signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in December 2007. Other regional anti-corruption initiatives are the SADC Protocol against Corruption, ratified July 8, 2003, and the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, ratified March 30, 2007. Zambia is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, but is a party to the Anticorruption Convention. Currently, there are no local industries or non-profit groups that offer services for vetting potential local investment partners. Normally, the U.S. Embassy provides limited vetting of potential local investment partners for U.S. businesses, when contracted as a commercial service.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Mr. Kapetwa Phiri
Director General, Anti-Corruption Commission
Kulima House, Cha Cha Cha Road, P.O. Box 50486, Lusaka
+260 211 237914
e-mail: kphiri@acc.gov.zm

Contact at “watchdog” organization:

Mr. Maurice Nyambe
Executive Director, Transparency International Zambia
3880 Kwacha Road, Olympia Park, P.O. Box 37475, Lusaka
+260 211 290080
e-mail: MNyambe@tizambia.org.zm

Zimbabwe

9. Corruption

Endemic corruption presents a serious challenge to businesses operating in Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe’s scores on governance, transparency and corruption perception indices are well below the regional average.  U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI, with many corruption allegations stemming from opaque procurement processes.

While anti-corruption laws exist, enforcement is weak as law enforcement agencies lack political will and resources.  As a result, Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe 158 out of 180 countries and territories surveyed in 2019 in regards to perceptions of corruption.  In 2005, the government enacted an Anti-Corruption Act that established a government-appointed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the structure of which has evolved over time.  Following the end of Robert Mugabe’s rule in November 2017, the government pledged to address governance and corruption challenges by appointing a new ZACC chaired by a former High Court Judge and granting it new powers.  President Mnangagwa also established a special unit within his office to deal with corruption cases.  Despite these developments, the government has a track record of prosecuting individuals selectively, focusing on those who have fallen out of favor with the ruling party and ignoring transgressions by members of the favored elite.  Accusations of corruption seldom result in formal charges and convictions.  Zimbabwe does not provide any special protections to NGOs investigating corruption in the public sector.

While Zimbabwe does not have laws that guard against conflict of interest with respect to the conduct of private companies, existing rules on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange compel listed companies to disclose, through annual reports, minimum disclosure requirements.  Regarding SOEs, the government has specified laws that require managers and directors to declare their financial interests.  In 2016, the World Bank report on the extent of conflict of interest regulation index (0-10), put Zimbabwe at 5.

While Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2004  and ratified the treaty in 2007, it is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Resources to Report Corruption

Transparency International Zimbabwe
96 Central Avenue,
P O Box CY 434, Causeway
Harare
+263 4 793 246/7
tiz@tizim.org; info@tizim.org