Newsletter December 2014
News December 2014
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Workshop for civil society on asset recovery in the MENA region (Geneva, Switzerland)
In November, ICAR and Transparency International, with the support from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs organised a workshop in Geneva for Civil Society Organisations (CSO) on the topic of asset recovery in the MENA region. Some 30 representatives from 13 CSOs from the MENA region and concerned financial centres attended the workshop to exchange experiences about current and potential roles of CSOs in efforts to recover and repatriate stolen public funds. Participants of the workshop also joined government delegations at the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery, held in parallel, in the context of a joint session to discuss proposals made by CSOs for enhanced collaboration with Governments in the area of asset recovery.
New partnerships in Romania to launch project on Mapping and Visualising Cross-Border Crime
ICAR is partnering with two non-for-profit organisations in Romania, the Journalism Development Network and the Rise Project, to launch the 3-year "Mapping and Visualizing Cross-Border Crime Project.” With funding support from the Swiss–Romanian Cooperation Programme, the objective is to enhance the investigative and research skills of journalists, civil society activists and law enforcement in Romania to detect and uncover local and cross-border illicit networks and to increase the exposure of organised crime structures as well as their modus of operandi. In the context of this project, ICAR will provide training in financial investigation and asset recovery, introduce ICAR’s IT tools supporting such investigative processes, including the Asset Recovery Intelligence System (ARIS), as well as produce a handbook for tracing illicit funds.
Training Workshop in Sicily on Mutual Legal Assistance and Misuse of Offshore Structures for MENA Region Countries
In November, ICAR and the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) jointly conducted a 5-day training workshop on mutual legal assistance (MLA) and misuse of offshore structures for countries of the MENA region. Held in Syracuse, Sicily, the workshop aimed to enhance capacity to formulate proper MLA requests to follow leads for information and obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions, and to unravel corporate and trust entities. It provided an important opportunity for regional networking in the interest of fighting transnational corruption and tracing stolen assets. The workshop furthermore incorporated presentations on offshore corporations, trusts, ease of incorporation, secrecy, layering of trust and shell companies, ability to identify beneficial ownership and offshore banking. The workshop brought together representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia, and included investigative judges, prosecutors, investigators and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) representatives.
Joint training seminar in Kenya on Recovering the Proceeds of Crime from Wildlife and Forest Offences and Money Laundering
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of South Africa (ARINSA), the Government of Kenya and ICAR conducted a joint Workshop for prosecutors, investigators and other relevant stakeholders on Recovering the Proceeds of Crime from Wildlife and Forest Offences and Money Laundering. Held in Naivasha, Kenya, in November, the workshop was designed to raise awareness of the importance of recovering the proceeds of crime and money laundering. Specifically it covered topics such as applying for search warrants to obtain financial documents; preparing production orders, restraining orders and requests for mutual legal assistance; drafting indictments in money laundering cases, as well as developing legal arguments for the preparation of criminal and civil forfeiture/confiscation orders and effecting their enforcement. The workshop was attended by some 40 participants from Kenya Government agencies.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Capacity building workshop for the Indonesian KPK on the Power and Influence tool
In December the Basel Institute conducted a 3-day training for staff at the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarata, facilitated by Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute. The training programme was developed to instruct participants on the application of the Power and Influence Analysis (PIA) (link to our website for corruption risk assessments.
Developed by the Basel Institute’s research team, the PIA is a research approach that is intended to provide information to identify and evaluate corruption risks taking into account the social, economic and political factors that permeate local context. The PIA is a flexible research tool that can be tailored to different sectors and contexts and has been developed to provide insights into the underlying causes for identified governance weaknesses. The PIA can thus also be applied as a tool for generating necessary information to develop evidence-based anti-corruption strategies.
Facilitation of training seminar in Cameroon on good governance in the extractive industries
In the context of a series of capacity building workshops by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to strengthen governance in Central Africa’s extractive sector, the Basel Institute contributed to a 4-day seminar on good governance in the extractive industries in the Central African Monetary Community (CEMAC), held in Douala, Cameroon, in December 2014. This workshop aimed to enhance the skills of public servants in the field of good governance and to raise awareness of corruption risks inherent to the sector. Some 40 high-ranking officials from concerned ministries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabron and the Republic of the Congo as well as members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Committee for the CEMAC area attended the workshop.
ANTICORRP country studies on Mexico and Tanzania submitted to European Commission
In the framework of the ANTICORRP research consortium, the Basel Institute, in collaboration with partners from four research institutions across Europe, finalized and submitted the first deliverable of the research work package 4 (WP4), The Ethnographic Study of Corruption, to the European Commission. The Commission has approved the study on “Comparative country reports on institutional performance - Countries: Bosnia, Kosovo, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey” which is now available on the ANTICORRP website. The Basel Institute contributed the studies on Mexico and Tanzania that seek to advance the understanding of the conditions under which anti-corruption social accountability initiatives can be effective in different social and cultural contexts.
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
The Basel Institute and ICCA conduct global offset study with IFBEC
The ICCA, has been commissioned by the International Forum on Business Ethical Conduct for the Aerospace and Defence Industry (IFBEC) to conduct a comprehensive study on global offset practices and potential related ethical challenges, in conjunction with a working group of offset experts and practitioners within IFBEC’s membership. Offsets refer to arrangements whereby government purchasers of aerospace and defence industry goods and services request a form of industrial compensation when purchasing from non-domestic sources. The project was announced on the occasion of IFBEC’s 5th Annual Conference, held on 6-7 November in Brussels, Belgium. The study will take part in the context of IFBEC set to join the B20 Collective Action Hub as a Sponsor and Member in 2015, further demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to ethical business practices in the aerospace and defence industry.
Russian Compliance Alliance becomes member of the B20 Collective Action Hub
The ICCA welcomes the Russian Compliance Alliance (RCA) as the first member of the B20 Collective Action Hub. The RCA seeks to create a private-sector certification process that defines ethics compliance standards for Russian supply chains of multinational companies operating in Russia. As a member of the Hub, the RCA will benefit from a dedicated webpage for the Initiative on the Hub website, serving as an area where the Initiative can showcase its latest activities and have access to peer learning opportunities with other member Initiatives and advice from ICCA staff about opportunities to further develop the RCA initiative. To learn more about Hub membership, which is open to all anti-corruption Collective Action initiatives, visit www.collective-action.com/membership/membership.
Share with us your knowledge about anti-corruption Collective Action!
The ICCA continues to seek information for its database about anti-corruption Collective Action in the private sector and would thus welcome any contributions from organisations and individuals involved in or knowledgeable about such initiatives and related information. Please submit here.