The Basel Institute establishes its first country office in Peru
The Basel Institute is in the process of establishing its very first country office in Peru. Having been engaged in Peru for a number of years on a series of anti-corruption projects , and in particular in relation to the recovery of stolen assets, the Basel Institute is now expanding its programme of work in the country to more comprehensively support Peru in its efforts to devise and implement effective public governance measures for countering and preventing corruption. Funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), this expanded programme of work in Peru will, amongst other, provide technical support to local authorities in public finance management and budget transparency, accountability, strengthening Peru's judicial system and procedures, and working with local civil society and the private sector to enhance public accountability and address industry- and country-specific bribery risks and related challenges.
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Pilot training in Romania for civil society and law enforcement
In the context of the recently launched "Mapping and Visualising Cross-Border Crime” project of the Basel Institute and two Romanian non-for-profit organisations, the Journalism Development Network (JDN) and the Rise Project, ICAR experts conducted a pilot training on financial investigation and asset recovery in Bucharest from 21-23 April 2015.
This three-year initiative funded by the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme aims 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; the ultimate aim of this work is to enable them to expose organised crime structures and their modus operandi.
The pilot workshop in April, a first in a series of joint activities, sought to introduce fundamental concepts on asset recovery, in particular in relation to financial investigative and tracing techniques, as well as to shed light on some key contemporary challenges in asset recovery and related cross-border crimes posed by new payment methods like Bitcoin. Thirty-two participants from civil society institutions and various relevant national public authorities attended the workshop. This diverse audience provided for a unique local networking experience as well as for an interesting and varied exchange of opinions and perspectives.
Workshop in Peru on "Seeking Effective Legal Mechanisms against Corruption and other Financial Crimes"
ICAR joined the Peruvian General Attorney Office and the Swiss Embassy in Peru for a workshop on "Seeking Effective Legal Mechanisms against Corruption and other Financial Crimes" held in Lima on 23-24 March. The workshop facilitated the sharing of experience and practice on the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption, international cooperation and the recovery of illegally obtained assets. It was attended by local and international senior prosecution and investigation experts, representatives from concerned government agencies and central authorities as well as the private sector.
Amongst a series of relevant topics, on both prevention and detection related issues, the workshop, amongst other, dedicated a full session to analyzing the role of financial institutions and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in relation to anti-money laundering and anti-corruption, and pointed to both the increasingly rigorous international standards in this regard as well as the challenges posed by the growing sophistication of financial crime. Beyond building knowledge in specific operational areas, the workshop helped establish networks and personal contacts to facilitate future collaboration between concerned agencies both domestically and internationally.
Two-fold training programme for Kuwait in asset recovery and investigating corruption in infrastructure projects and procurement
At the request of the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (KANCOR), ICAR conducted two 5-day training workshops in Kuwait City in mid-May. During the first workshop ICAR delivered its basic training curriculum entitled “Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery” tailored to the local context and legal specificities of Kuwait with the aim to enhance local capacity for investigating and prosecuting complex (including international) corruption and money laundering cases and recovering stolen assets.
The second workshop represented a specialised training module on investigations into corruption in infrastructure projects and procurement. This workshop specifically examined procurement crimes in infrastructure construction projects, which represent a primary source of corruption income. The interactive curriculum covered the types of corruption and fraud schemes common in contracting and procurement such as bribery, collusion, bid rigging, kickbacks and undisclosed financial interests involved in contract award.
Attended by 25 participants, comprising prosecutors, KANCOR legal professionals, investigators, auditors and engineers, and representatives of the State Audit Board and Central Bank of Kuwait, the workshops' mix in audience was critical in emphasizing the importance of inter-agency networking in the interest of an integrated approach to fighting corruption and money laundering. As a senior KANCOR official stated: "This is the best training I have ever received. The difference lies in the fact that I was required to do the work myself. I will forget lectures, but I will not forget what I have learnt through the immediate use of the theory in the practical exercise."
New ICAR - OSCE collaboration in Uzbekistan
ICAR, the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan (PCUz) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) local office in Uzbekistan have entered into a partnership to support PCUz's "Support to combating and preventing corruption in Uzbekistan" project. The aim of this project is to assist Uzbekistan in implementing its international commitments in regard to combating corruption which includes, amongst other, the implementation of the UNCAC. The project aims to achieve this by, inter alia, building the capacity of government institutions to implement provisions of the UNCAC through a tailored (to Uzbekistan's context) training course with particular focus on criminal asset recovery and mutual legal assistance (MLA). This new programme of work for ICAR will be implemented during the second half of 2015.
Pilot e-learning course on Strategical Analysis introduced at Egmont's 23rd Plenary Meeting
In a joint effort with the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), ICAR has developed a new e-learning course for FIUs on analysing suspicious transaction reports (STRs). The course covers all stages from risk assessment of STRs, through planning and collection of information, to analysis and dissemination of intelligence to law enforcement agencies. In a four-hour workshop session during the Egmont Group's 23rd Plenary Meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, in mid-June, some twenty participants had the opportunity to test the pilot version of this new “Strategical Analysis” e-learning course. The course will be made available on the Asset Recovery CAMPUS free of charge at the end of 2015, and can be used virtually or with the on-site assistance of an ICAR trainer.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Workshop on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods on Corruption at the University of Basel
On 20-22 April 2015, a workshop on "Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods on Corruption" conducted by the Basel Institute's Public Governance team brought together a group of 12 academics and practitioners from around the world, including Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Nigeria, Romania, Switzerland and the United States.
The workshop programme involved structured lectures on research design and methodologies to address the challenges involved in researching corruption as well as interactive group work through which participants applied and discussed the concepts learned. The diversity of the group contributed to vivid exchanges of ideas and views, making it a rich experience for all participants, including for representatives of the Basel Institute.
Training for CSOs in Armenia on the Basel Institute's Social Accountability and Power & Influence Analysis tools
Within the context of the “Engaged Citizenry for Responsible Governance” projec, funded by USAID, experts from the Basel Institute’s Public Governance team conducted two back-to-back training workshops for representatives of civil society organizations (CSO) in Yerevan, Armenia, from 4 – 8 May 2015. The aim of the project, implemented by a TI Anticorruption Centre Ameria led consortium, is to increase civic engagement in and oversight of reforms aimed at improving transparency and accountability of government actions and policies in Armenia. The project is organized within the framework of USAID’s “Promoting Transparency and Accountability through Advanced Civil Society Participation” programme.
As part of its contribution to the project and building on its research expertise, the Basel Institute delivered a three-day training on “Social Accountability and Participatory Monitoring” as well as a two-day training on “Power and Influence Analysis” (PIA).
The aim of the social accountability methodology developed by the Basel Institute’s research team is to uncover the essential elements that are needed to enable citizen participation to translate into positive incentives for service providers.
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 the local context. It 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 may thus also be applied as a tool for generating relevant information to develop evidence-based anti-corruption strategies.
The trainings brought together some 30 representatives of Armenian CSOs, active in the field of anti-corruption, human rights and the media.
As a follow-up to the training, the Basel Institute will issue two practitioner handbooks on social accountability and on participatory monitoring. These can be made available upon request.
Corporate Governance / Compliance Division
Participation at the 5th International Ethics Summit in Istanbul
The Basel Institute supported the 5th International Ethics Summit ‘Understanding Today, Inspiring Tomorrow’, hosted by the Turkish organization TEID in Istanbul on 17 June. The conference was dedicated to discussing how concepts such as responsible citizenship, sustainable production, innovation, ethics and reputation can be integrated into a successful company alongside making profits for shareholders. Some 250 interested participants from the private and public sectors joined this discussion led by leading Turkish and international officials and business leaders. Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Corporate Governance, Compliance & Collective Action at the Basel Institute, spoke at the conference on creating positive incentives for companies to implement comprehensive anti-corruption risk prevention programmes, and about Collective Action as an innovative tool to implement ethical business conduct in exposed sectors. Visit the TEID website for more information about the programme
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Siemens to fund the Basel Institute to scale up anti-corruption Collective Action
The Basel Institute on Governance – together with its partners from the Foundation for the Global Compact (FGC) / UN Global Compact and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – has been awarded a three-year funding of nearly US$4 million under the second funding round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative. The funding will support the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) and its mandate to develop and maintain – in collaboration with the UN Global Compact – the B20 Collective Action Hub in a project entitled “Scaling up anti-corruption Collective Action: B20 Hub on Anti-Corruption Collective Action." Read the press release for more information.
Fostering co-operation in corruption prevention between government and private sector at OSCE Seminar in Moldova
The ICCA was invited to take part in an OSCE seminar on "fostering co-operation in corruption prevention between government and the private sector" in Chisinau, Moldova from 28-30 April. The event brought together over 50 senior and mid-level anti-corruption professionals from Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus, experts from international organizations, Europe and the United States, to address co-operation in corruption prevention between government and the private sector. During this 3-day seminar, the ICCA expert participated in two panel discussions providing insight into private sector tools and methodologies to combat corruption, as well as Collective Action approaches and their applicability against corruption in the region.
Integrity Pacts for safeguarding EU funds
The ICCA took part in a conference organised by Transparency International cooperation with the European Commission on 5 May in Brussels which promoted Integrity Pacts for several EU co-funded projects by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund. The conference brought together over 100 representatives from civil society, EU funds managing authorities in Member States and EU institutions, and speakers from EU institutions, TI chapters across Europe, and other European civil society organisations. The ICCA was invited to provide examples of alternative forms of civil society monitoring mechanisms in public procurement projects and to highlight their benefits. In this context, the ICCA presented the High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM), which offers a prevention-oriented approach to address demand-side issues of corruption.
ICCA hosts third session of the Africa Roundtable
In mid June the ICCA of the Basel Institute hosted the third session of the Africa Roundtable. Companies from a variety of industries discussed the options that Bilateral Investment Treaties present for the private sector and the pros and cons of using arbitration to address the unfair treatment of business in certain countries. The next meeting will be scheduled in the third quarter of 2015. If you are interested in joining this Roundtable for its next meeting, please contact email@example.com.
Strengthening Health System Accountability: a WHO European Region Multi-Country Study. Commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and co-edited by Juan Trello from WHO and Dr Claudia Baez Camargo from the Basel Institute on Governance. May 2015 - Available on our website.
Register and enter a blog on the ICCA hub!
The ICCA Blog has featured a number of topics this spring, from corruption perceptions among the Turkish business community, to anti-bribery compliance in Singapore, to challenges and potential ways forward for companies seeking to engage in sectoral anti-corruption agreements. The ICCA encourages you to register on the B20 Collective Action Hub and join the conversation. Similarly, if you would like to provide a guest blog post, please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mr William Nero, Programme Officer/ICCA).
4ème journée internationale de l'ILCE: L'effectivité de la lutte contre les avoirs illicites de potentats en Suisse, 9-10 September 2015 (Partner event)