We wish you a wonderful festive season and a very happy and exciting new year!
Another busy year is nearing its end and at the Basel Institute on Governance, we are excited to share information on some of our recent activities with you.
Workshop on the role of good governance and anti-corruption for senior Thai executives (9-11 September 2015 - Basel, Switzerland)
At the request of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) of Thailand, the Basel Institute hosted a three-day executive workshop on the role of good governance and anti-corruption in the context of national development. The workshop took place 9-11 September at the University of Basel and covered topics such as international trends and developments in anti-corruption, private sector corruption prevention and Collective Action, the role of good governance and anti-corruption for development, trends and developments in preventing money laundering in Switzerland, as well as anti-corruption law enforcement and the recovery of stolen assets. The audience included some 60 senior Thai professionals from various relevant public and private organisations, including amongst others the NACC itself, the Department of Public Works, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Bank for Agriculture, the Office of Constitutional Court, the Audit Office and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
The Basel Institutes regularly engages with the NACC to develop and implement joint activities intended to prevent and combat corruption as well as to promote anti-corruption research and training activities. An official Memorandum of Understanding establishing a strong partnership between the Basel Institute and the NACC of Thailand was signed back in 2011.
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Technical assistance to Uganda's Financial Intelligence Unit
AML/CFT experts of the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) are providing technical assistance and guidance to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) of the Republic of Uganda with a view to establishing and operationalising an effective financial intelligence unit. The assistance to the FIA is a key component of the five-year multi-component anti-corruption programme in Uganda in which the Basel Institute is involved in together with Adam Smith International (ASI), Integrity Action and other expert organisations. The "Strengthening Uganda's Anti-Corruption and Accountability Regime Anti-Corruption Chain" (in short SUGAR) programme commenced in May this year. Alongside the specific assistance provided to Uganda's FIA, the Basel Institute will focus on supporting the national anti-corruption chain more broadly with technical support and legal advice on matters relating to the investigation and prosecution of corruption and money laundering and the recovery of stolen assets.
Capacity-building workshop in financial investigations and asset recovery in Uzbekistan (21-25 September, Tashkent)
Based on a partnership agreement between ICAR, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan (PCUz) and the Swiss Cooperation Office under the Swiss Embassy in the country, ICAR experts delivered a training workshop on asset recovery and mutual legal assistance (MLA) in Tashkent. Part of PCUz's project entitled "Support to combating and preventing corruption in Uzbekistan", the workshop aimed at enhancing the capacity of Uzbekistan's anti-corruption stakeholders in analysing, investigating and prosecuting corruption and international money laundering cases. It emphasised the importance of asset recovery with a view to increasing the professionalism of the authorities in handling international requests for MLA. This would, in turn, enable them to co-operate effectively with foreign jurisdictions in fighting money laundering and repatriating stolen assets.
The four-day capacity-building workshop was attended by 25 participants, comprising prosecutors and investigators from the General Prosecutor’s Office, including the Uzbek Financial Intelligence Unit and International Co-operation Department, and from the Ministry of Interior, National Security Service and Customs Department.
Workshop on financial investigation at the International Criminal Court ICC (26-27 October 2015 - The Hague, The Netherlands)
On 26 and 27 October 2015, ICAR supported the International Criminal Court (ICC) in an interactive workshop on international cooperation and financial investigations, held at the seat of the Court in The Hague. The scenario-based workshop was supported by the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations and the European Commission and attended by experts from 13 countries and 6 international organisations. The aim of the workshop was to discuss operational measures and find solutions for cooperation challenges when working with the ICC to conduct financial investigations.
ICAR launches new interactive online Asset Recovery Forum
ICAR has launched a new online resource and information hub dedicated to the topic of asset recovery, the Asset Recovery Forum. This interactive information platform provides access to and allows the sharing of information on asset recovery-related issues. Key features of the hub include the possibility of taking free online training courses on financial investigation and related topics, writing blogs and sharing news. The Forum also features the Find a Practitioner tool, allowing registered members to look for practitioners with a particular thematic or geographic experience in asset recovery.
We invite all practitioners and other interested parties to visit the Forum, use its resources, register to participate in the Find a Practitioner network and engage in the active exchange of information and expertise in asset recovery.
The launch of the Forum was timed to coincided with the participation by the Basel Institute's management in the sixth session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in St. Petersburg (2-6 November 2015).
ICAR reviews its cooperation with Ukraine on asset recovery
In an endeavour to recover assets stolen by former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and his close allies, the Ukraine Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) is working closely with ICAR. On 12 November 2015, Basel Institute on Governance Managing Director Gretta Fenner met with Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in Kyiv to take stock of the cooperation between the two bodies and re-confirm their continued commitment to work jointly towards this common goal.
Mr Shokin and Ms Fenner agreed that further efforts have to go into ensuring that domestic investigations are joined up and coordinated in order to reduce delays. Nonetheless, and in spite of the recognised particular challenges of asset recovery in the Ukraine context, important advances were made recently, notably in relation to international cooperation.
You can read the full press release on the high-level meeting here.
Follow-up training workshop on Mutual Legal Assistance and Offshore Structures in Kuwait (29 November - 3 December 2015)
In the course of 2015 (May and December respectively), experts from ICAR conducted three training workshops in Kuwait City, as part of a one-year multi-component capacity-building programme for the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (KANCOR). Subjects covered in the three workshops included: "Financial investigations and Asset Recovery", “Corruption in Infrastructure Projects and Procurement”, and “Offshore Structures and Mutual Legal Assistance”.
The third workshop on Offshore structures and MLA was attended by 25 participants, comprising prosecutors, KANCOR legal professionals, investigators, auditors and engineers, and representatives of the Financial Intelligence Unit and Central Bank of Kuwait. The ICAR team was joined by experts from the United Kingdom in the delivery of the presentations.
New partnerships with India, Paraguay and Peru for training in financial investigation and asset recovery
During 2016, ICAR will be providing capacity-building workshops on financial investigation and asset recovery in India, Paraguay and Peru.
In India, ICAR will assist the country’s anti-money laundering investigating and prosecuting agency, the Ministry of Finance Enforcement Directorate (ED), to increase its capability to investigate financial crime with international links. In partnership with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, ICAR is planning a financial investigation training for 50 ED investigators over a two-week period.
In Paraguay, ICAR will conduct a workshop on investigating and prosecuting complex (including international) corruption and money laundering cases. The training, which is funded with ICAR core funding, is implemented in partnership with Paraguay's Ministry of the Attorney General and will involve participants from a multitude of other relevant national stakeholders.
In Peru – where the Basel Institute recently established its first country office – ICAR’s training team will be involved in strengthening the capacity of the Public Prosecutor to prevent and investigate acts of corruption in public finance at subnational level and recover misappropriated public assets. This training is part of a four-year program, funded by SECO and implemented by the Basel Institute, in support of strengthening public financial management and anti-corruption capacities.
In order to design and tailor the training programmes to the specific needs of the respective agencies, ICAR’s training team has conducted scoping missions to the three countries in November 2015.
Basel Institute and Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate to recover stolen assets
On Friday 4 December 2015, the Basel Institute and the Government of Sri Lanka signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration in the fight against corruption and the recovery of stolen assets. Since the change in government in Sri Lanka in early 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka has engaged in wide-ranging reforms of its anti-corruption law enforcement system, creating new specialised units to investigate financial crimes and strengthening existing specialised agencies. With this newly signed agreement, the Basel Institute, through its International Centre for Asset Recovery, has committed to supporting these efforts. In particular, the two parties will work together to advance efforts by Sri Lanka to repatriate funds that were illicitly obtained through corruption or other forms of abuse of power, and to facilitate the design and implementation of strategies and plans to obtain evidence from other jurisdictions in support of domestic prosecutions or confiscation investigations.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Global research project on corruption in the judiciary
The Basel Institute is partnering with the International Bar Association (IBA) on a project titled "Judicial Integrity Initiative" - which involves a global survey on corruption in the judiciary, in-depth country consultations and interviews. The Initiative, whose overall goal is to improve the level of integrity in the judiciary, was launched in January 2015. The Basel Institute is leading the development and conduct of the different research activities in close collaboration with the IBA. In this context, the Basel Institute, and IBA have also facilitated high-level consultations in Mexico and the Philippines. Governance experts of the Basel Institute are currently in the process of analysing the gathered data and are preparing a report on identified typologies of corruption that occur between lawyers, judges and other judicial system officials. Initial findings will be presented at IBA led events on 9 December, the international anti-corruption day.
Collaboration with the Office of the Ombudsman in Rwanda
The core mission of the Office of the Ombudsman in Rwanda is the prevention of / fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance. The Basel Institute is collaborating with the Office of the Ombudsman with a view to strengthening its capacity in relation to its preventive and enforcement functions. As part of this collaboration, governance experts from the Basel Institute conducted a five-day workshop on quantitative and qualitative research methods on corruption and corruption risk assessment techniques in July 2015. They further supported the staff of the Ombudsman Office in applying one of the specific research methodologies discussed at the workshop - the Power and Influence Analysis (PIA) - focusing on Rwanda's procurement sector. Work on strengthening the Ombudsman's investigative functions with a view to recovering stolen assets will commence in early 2016.
The Basel Institute's Public Governance Division has also recently conducted such power and influence assessments of the anti-corruption systems in Uganda (in support of the SUGAR project, see above) and in Tanzania.
Health For All Programme (HAP) Albania
An expert from the Basel Institute's Public Governance Division has provided technical support to the "Health For All Programme (HAP) Albania", led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The aim of the programme is to assist Albania with the development of an anti-corruption strategy in association with their efforts at strengthening primary health care in the country.
University of Basel Sociology Seminar: teaching course on Contradictions and Sustainability of Governance
The Basel Institute's Head of Governance Research, Dr Claudia Baez-Camargo, has been able to pass on some of her governance expertise to students of the University of Basel. In the autumn semester 2015, she co-lectured a weekly course on "Contradictions and Sustainability of Governance" at the Sociology Seminar, building on a case-based, practice-oriented approach.
Corporate Governance / Compliance Division
Basel Institute / GCSP international course on Leadership in Anti-Corruption (21-23 March 2016 - Geneva, Switzerland)
The Basel Institute on Governance is partnering with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) to offer courses on corruption prevention, compliance and related security concerns. The first joint course on "Leadership in Anti-Corruption" will take place on 21-23 March 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland, and is led by Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Corporate Governance and Compliance, and Gretta Fenner, Managing Director. The course is destined to leaders and senior managers from the public and private sectors from around the world, and aims to equip participants with an understanding of the particular requirements for leadership when it comes to the effective implementation of anti-corruption policies and reforms.
For more information, visit the course description on the GCSP website.
Data Privacy and Whistleblowing
Over the last few years the Compliance team at the Basel Institute have been tasked by several international companies that have launched internal whistleblowing and advice systems to identify issues related to data privacy and storing of information from their overseas operations when operating a system that centralizes reports and information in Switzerland. We have now added another 33 countries to this list, taking the total to around 60 jurisdictions. The issue of data privacy is increasingly important to multi-national companies in light of the recent changes to safe harbour protections following EU rulings.
Interview with Klaus Moosmayer, Siemens
On the occasion of the Compliance & Ethics International Conference, which took place 17-19 November 2015 in London, the Basel Institute's Head of Compliance and Corporate Governance/Collective Action, Gemma Aiolfi, interviewed Siemens Chief Compliance Officer Mr Klaus Moosmayer. Mr Moosmayer spoke about the need to foster a strong 'speak-up' culture within a company when developing a dynamic anti-corruption programme, and the importance of reviewing and refreshing the approaches to training and engagement of employees in improving the programme. Mr Moosmayer also mentioned that anti-corruption Collective Action can be particularly helpful in relation to procurement projects.
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Basel Institute conducts study on Integrity Pacts
The Basel Institute on Governance and Blomeyer & Sanz have been commissioned by Transparency International (TI) to conduct a Learning Review of Integrity Pacts (IP), a tool used in many countries for preventing corruption in public contracting. The Learning Review builds upon the findings of an earlier study conducted by Blomeyer & Sanz in Spring 2015 on IP experiences in Europe. It aims to provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the IP approach, lessons learned from experience thus far, the IP in comparison to other forms of procurement integrity measures, and how the IP can be best carried out going forward. The Learning Review report will be published in late 2015 or early 2016.
ICCA presents at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Malaysia
The ICCA was represented in panel discussions during two Game Changer sessions at the September 2015 edition of the International Anti- Corruption Conference (IACC) in Malaysia. The first session addressed efforts from the private sector to promote transparency and integrity, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. The High Level Reporting Mechanism experiences in Colombia were highlighted in this regard. The second session, entitled “Collective action: mission impossible or a way to a better future?”, aimed to understand the success factors in anti-corruption Collective Action, to shed light on the challenges relating to inclusiveness, sustainability and the monitoring of results from Collective Action initiatives.
Basel Institute promotes the High Level Reporting Mechanism through research and advisory work
The Basel Institute continues to promote the High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) through research and advisory work. A working paper on the HLRM was published in August 2015, identifying challenges and success factors through in-depth analysis of cases in Ukraine and Colombia.
Also in August, the Basel Institute traveled to Peru where over a three-day period, interviews and meetings were held with numerous stakeholders including individuals from industry associations, government ministries and NGOs to explore the creation of an HLRM in the country. The HLRM is a process that seeks to provide practical solutions to support companies that are faced with explicit or implicit demands for bribes when dealing with public administrations, for example in the context of public contracts, business licensing or tax audits.
Join the anti-corruption conversation on the International Centre for Collective Action Blog
The ICCA Blog included interviews in July and September 2015 of practitioners of Collective Action initiatives, including one with Cecilia Müller Torbrand of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, winner of the second annual TRACE Innovation in Anti-Bribery Compliance Award (IACA). The ICCA encourages you to register on the B20 Collective Action Hub: Join the conversation!
Similarly, if you would like to provide a guest blog post, please feel free to contact Mr William Nero, Programme Officer/ICCA, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practitioner's handbook: Tracing Illegal Assets - A Practitioner's Guide. International Centre for Asset Recovery. 2015. Available on our website.
Working Paper No 18: Communities against corruption: assessment framework and methodological toolkit. Dr Claudia Baez Camargo. January 2015. Available on our website.
Working Paper No 19: High Level Reporting Mechanisms in Colombia and Ukraine. Frédéric Wehrle. August 2015. Available on our website.
Working Paper No 20: Corruption and Human Rights. Prof. Dr. Anne Peters. September 2015. Available on our website.
Basel Institute / GCSP international course on Leadership in Anti-Corruption, 21-23 March 2016, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.
See above and on GCSP website for more information.
Workshop on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods on Corruption and their Application, April/May 2016 (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Dates to be announced in January/February 2016 on the Basel Institute's website.