20 Years of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention - Nudging for Good
Last week saw the 20th birthday of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions. A blog written by Gemma Aiolfi, who personally followed the development of the OECD Convention together with our Chairman Prof Mark Pieth, discusses how the “nudge theory” of Richard Thaler, who also last week was awarded the 2017 Nobel prize for economics, played a big part in how the OECD Convention came to life and continues to be a major driver in international anti-corruption efforts. Read our blog…
Peter Eigen, Founder Transparency International; Mark Pieth, former President OECD Working Group on Bribery and President Basel Institute on Governance; Donald J. Johnston, former Secretary General OECD (Courtesy Donald J. Johnston)
We are currently hiring for three new positions at the Basel Institute:
New online tool to make asset recovery more efficient
The Guidelines for Efficient Asset Recovery and its accompanying step-by-step guide are now available at https://gudelines.assetrecovery.org. The launch of this online tool took place in the context of a side event at the 2017 Conference of States Parties to UNCAC in Vienna on 7 November 2017. It concludes a multi-year initiative led by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with support from the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) and the StAR Initiative. The Guidelines and the step-by-step guide were developed over a period of ours years through extensive consultation with practitioners from a wie range of jurisdictions in the context of the "Lausanne seminars" and b ring together lessons learned and useful tips and recommendations for newcomers as well as seasoned asset recovery practitioners to tackle practical hurdles that they may encounter in international asset recovery cases. Their active use is widely supported, including in the resolution on mutual legal assistance and asset recovery submitted by Nigeria on behalf of the African Group at this year's COSP, which "(...) encourages States Parties to make use of the non-binding Lausanne guidelines for the efficient recovery of assets and its supporting step-by-step guide, available online, when implementing the Convention's obligations on international cooperation for asset recovery." We encourage the Guideline's active use by practitioners, their wide dissemination and their use in training sessions, brainstorming workshops and other efforts to promote knowledge and practical expertise in asset recovery.
Train-the-trainer program in Romania draws to a close certifying six local trainers
Since the beginning of this year, the Basel Institute, through its International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), has been providing a series of activities, including specialised training in financial investigation, with a view to enhancing the investigation and asset recovery capacities of the Romanian law enforcement and judicial authorities mandated to investigate and prosecute corruption and related crimes and to recover stolen assets.
Participants in this program included experts from a range of relevant national organisations such as the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI), the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Directorate for Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism, the Romanian Police's Fraud Investigation Directorate and its Directorate of Combating Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering, and the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. The program was conducted in a series of five separate workshops throughout 2017 and included the development and delivery of a Train-the-Trainers (TTT) component for a number of specially selected participants of the workshops
During the 5th and final training workshop in October, the six selected trainers were able to deliver the entire training, including all lectures and the facilitation of the training's practical exercise, on their own, and as a result received certification as trainers in the ICAR methodology for financial investigation and asset recovery. The certified trainers will now be able to continue offering this training to their colleagues going forward.
The workshop also included a presentation by Mr Attila Biro, an investigative journalist on the RISE project with whom the Bael Institute is collaborating within the context of a three-year initiative on "Mapping and Visualising Cross-Border Crime” funded by the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme. His presentation covered the use of open source databases in financial investigations. It proved to be most thought-provoking and informative, and encouraged participants to make more use of such databases to gather information to direct their investigations and inform, for example, Mutual legal Assistance requests.
Final workshop of the Train-the-Trainer series in Romania, October 2017
Bhutan's Anti-Corruption Commission applauds inter-agency collaboration at it fourth ICAR training workshop
At the recent closure of ICAR's latest training workshop on financial investigation and asset recovery in Bhutan, the Honourable Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bhutan, Karma Damcho Nidup, emphasised the fact that corruption was not only the purview of the ACC: “It is our collective problem. We need to find collective solutions and we need to address it collectively.”
This training which included 34 participants from a total of 17 agencies and entities from Bhutan was conducted at an opportune time as it coincided with deliberations before the Bhutanese National Council on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Bill, 2017 (AML/CFT Bill). The ICAR experts used this opportunity to discuss the proposed provisions in the Bill, which aims to criminalise money laundering in line with international standards and provide wide-ranging freezing powers to the FIU. Bhutan ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2016, and its compliance with UNCAC is currently being reviewed. It sees the passing of a standalone law on AML/CFT as an important measure to further strengthen the country’s efforts to fight corruption and money laundering. One of the key objectives of this legislative process is also to address certain deficiencies of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2011, which for example prevents a prosecution for self-laundering in contravention of UNCAC.
The training was geared towards creating a greater understanding of corruption, money laundering, Mutual Legal Assistance, asset tracing and recovery, financial investigative techniques, financial and electronic evidence. It aimed at equipping participants to handle complex issues of financial investigation and asset recovery in their respective roles as investigators, prosecutors or adjudicators, and drew attention to the role played by other relevant stakeholders such as financial institutions and insurance companies.
As a result of the excellent co-operation between the ACC and Basel Institute over the years, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the two parties on 24 May 2017. The agreement, among others, includes the provision of professional training, i.e. seminars and conferences, and exchanging experiences to detect and prevent corrupt acts. This fourth workshop has come about in the spirit of this Agreement.
ICAR's fourth training workshop held in Bhutan, November 2017
Public Governance (Research) Division
New research findings published on the role of social norms in petty corruption in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda
The Public Governance Research team has successfully completed the research project "Corruption, Social Norms and Behaviours in East Africa" which has been a pioneering effort at identifying behavioural factors that impinge on attitudes towards corruption. The research involved a systematic literature review as well as field research activities in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and has produced evidence about the role played by social norms and collectively held beliefs in promoting the acceptability and prevalence of practices of petty corruption across the three countries. The project was funded by DFID's East Africa Research Fund and implemented in collaboration with the Protestant University of Rwanda, University of Dar es Salaam and Makerere University. This line of research has generated great interest among national stakeholders and the research team at the Public Governance Division is planning to launch new initiatives to develop and pilot behavioural anti-corruption interventions stemming from the research findings in 2018. The research findings have been synthesised in country reports, policy briefs and a comparative analysis, which have been published and are available to download from the Basel Institute website.
On-site dissemination workshops in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda share new research findings on how informal practices affect means of corruption
Since December 2017 the research team of the Basel Institute has launched a series of on-site workshops in East Africa with the aim to share its research findings emanating from its two-year research project "Informal Governance and Corruption: Transcending the Principal-Agent and Collective Action Paradigms." This research assignment, funded by the DFID/British Academy Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme, will be coming to an end in the early months of 2018.
Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, the project's Principal Investigator and Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute, traveled to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, where, together with her team of local researchers, she led three dissemination workshops with the aim to make the findings and policy implications of this study known. The research has shed light on those informal practices that enable networks of political and business elites to contest for and share power. Informal practices tend to be more binding than the legal framework when they are effective delivering political support and ensuring economic opportunities. Because informal practices involve a re-distribution of public resources they are closely linked to the prevalence of high levels of corruption. The findings of the research will be made public during 2018 in the form of an interactive training module developed in collaboration with Integrity Action. The project's outputs intend to raise awareness among practitioners about the relevance of understanding informal drivers of corruption when making programmatic decisions.
Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Public Governance Research presents study to DFID country office in Tanzania, December 2017
Corporate Governance / Compliance Division
Expert of the Basel Institute appointed new member of external advisory council to Peruvian engineering and construction company
In early October, Graña y Montero, a Lima based group of engineering and infrastructure service companies operating in five countries in Latin America, announced the formation of its new external advisory council in matters of corporate governance, ethics and compliance.
The company has appointed three outstanding professionals with expertise in legal strategy, business and international compliance to contribute to the Board's management on corporate governance and strategic business issues, and to support the tasks of the Risk and Compliance Committee. Ms Gemma Aiofli, Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action at the Basel Institute, alongside Dr Javier Tovar of Baker Mc Kenzie and Barbara Bruce, Country Manager of the oil and gas company, Geopark, have been appointed to join the Board as an external consultant body to advise on matters of corporate governance, ethics and compliance.
According to Augusto Baertl, Chairman of the Graña y Montero Group, the new external advisory council will play a key role in "providing an external and independent vision on issues related to Corporate Governance, Ethics and Compliance", thus consolidating a further step in the company's "Committed to the Future" program.
"As part of the strengthening process that the company is going through, we seek to advance towards international standards of the mentioned areas to become an international reference. Today we will move towards this objective hand ind hand with the contributions of the External Advisory Council," stated Baertl in an official announcement on the company's website.
Ms Gemma Aiofi, Head of Compliance at the Basel Institute, becomes a member of the newly created external advisory council to the Board of Graña y Montero
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Facilitator role for new Collective Action initiative in the banknote industry
The Basel Institute has recently been appointed to facilitate a new sector-specific Collective Action initiative for the banknote industry. Initial collaborative discussions on the process forward for this initiative has been on-going for a couple of months. These discussions have laid the necessary consultative foundations for the initiative to fully take off in 2018. The kick-off of this new initiative underscores the increasing acceptance of the relevance of a neutral facilitator role to be able to effectively support a group of like-minded companies within a particular industry sector in its efforts to tackle the group's common sector-specific corruption challenges. Building on its excellent track record as an effective facilitator of such undertakings, the Institute and its team of experts are looking forward to accompany the members of the Banknote Ethics Initiative in the months ahead.
Fourth company joins the Metal Technology Industry's Collective Action initiative facilitated by experts of the ICCA
Acting as a facilitator for the anti-corruption Collective Action initiative of the Metals Technology Industry, which was launched back in 2013, the Basel Institute has just recently witnessed the joining of a fourth member into its original group of concerned companies; the expansion underscores the relevance that the initiative has gained in its efforts to handle its own market-specific anti-corruption aspirations since its start in 2013, as well as the Basel Institute's ongoing efforts to promote the concept of Collective Action as an effective anti-corruption tool for the private sector.
Confronting Corruption - Past Concerns, Present Challenges and Future Strategies, by Fritz Heimann and Mark Pieth (President of the Basel Institute), 2017. Can be purchased online.
Social Norms, Mental Models and other Beahvioural Drivers of Petty Corruption - the Case of Uganda, by Cosimo Stahl and Claudia Baez Camargo, 2017
Social Norms, Mental Models and other Behavioural Drivers of Petty Corruption - the Case of Tanzania,by Cosimo Stahl and Claudia Baez Camargo, 2017
Social Norms, Mental Models and other Behavioural Drivers of Petty Corruption - the Case of Rwanda,by Cosimo Stahl and Claudia Baez Camargo, 2017
Behavioural influences on attitudes towards petty corruption. A Study of Social Norms, Automatic Thinking and Mental Models in Rwanda, by Claudia Baez Camargo, Tharcisse, Gatwa, Abel Dufikumutiza, Cosimo Stahl, Saba Kassa, 2017
Behavioural influences on attitudes towards petty corruption. A Study of Social Norms, Automatic Thinking and Mental Models in Uganda, by Claudia Baez Camargo, Tharcisse, Gatwa, Abel Dufikumutiza, Cosimo Stahl and Saba Kassa, 2017
Behavioural influences on attitudes towards petty corruption. A Study of Social Norms, Automatic Thinking and Mental Models in Rwanda,by Claudia Baez Camargo, Tharcisse, Gatwa, Abel Dufikumutiza, Cosimo Stahl and Saba Kassa, 2017