NEWS

This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.

Singapore Fights Image as Tax Haven

Australian billionaires buying exclusive condominiums. Germans moving money from Swiss accounts. Secretive banking laws. The premier Asian wealth management center. Low tax rates.  As Singapore revels in its reputation as an open economy with one of the world’s highest concentrations of millionaires, the tiny city-state of 5.3 million people is also facing accusations in the German media and from lobby groups of being a magnet for tax evaders — an image it is vehemently seeking to change. Amid German concerns that its wealthy citizens are moving funds from Switzerland before a new German-Swiss tax treaty takes effect next year, Singapore and Germany said Sunday they had agreed to bolster their double-taxation agreement with internationally agreed standards on information sharing. [field_txt_news_link]

US Agency Sees End to Grants to PH

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US agency that ties grants to good governance, says it might stop giving money to the Philippines by 2016. The reason: the Philippines has shown progress in eradicating public corruption, paving the way for its transition to a middle-income country.  “If you look in terms of what’s been accomplished in this country, if it continues to grow at the current rate, there may not be a need for a second compact,” said Daniel Yohannes, CEO of MCC. “Corruption exists. It exists here and it exists in rich countries. The key thing we have to look for is the trend. I talked to more people in my short visit here. I think people are at a point where they now more comfortable about the administration’s commitment to eradicate corruption,” said Yohannes. [field_txt_news_link]

24 hours, Geeks Galore and a Common Cause of Tackling Corruption: HAC 2012

A hackathon is an event where thematic experts work side-by-side with software developers for 24 hours to come up with solutions to a diverse array of problems that have been identified. HAC 2012 (Hacks against Corruption) was held the first weekend of October 2012. Organised by Transparency International (TI) chapters in Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, Lithuania, Morocco and Russia in partnership with Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) and dozens of other organisations and corporations, this global hackathon was a milestone. In the weeks leading up to HAC 2012, TI received 36 challenging problem statements from 21 different chapters around the world. They ranged from using ICT in election monitoring to engaging youth in anti-corruption activities or tracking money used to thwart the impacts of climate change. More than 200 programmers and developers went without sleep that weekend to come up with tangible and sustainable solutions to the submitted problems. [field_txt_news_link]

Indian Minister Denies Looting a Problem in Food Program

India’s system of distributing food to the poor isn’t corrupt, according to Food Minister K.V. Thomas, who rejected findings by the World Bank, Supreme Court, and news investigations that rampant theft is depriving as many as 160 million families of nourishment. Thomas said about 5% to 10% of the food meant for the poor is lost, and that is due to mismanagement. This is a sharp contrast to a 2011 World Bank report that said the figure was 58%, based on government data. The Bank report blamed the loss on graft and wastage. Last year, a Supreme Court fact-finding commission declared that the distribution system in major states had failed in its mission. Thomas dismissed the World Bank findings. He said there is “some kind of mismanagement there, I do agree with that, but not to the extent of an alarming stage. I don’t agree with the word corruption.” [field_txt_news_link]

Liberia’s President Suspends Son in Anti-Corruption Push

Liberia’s president has cracked down on her country’s widespread corruption by suspending her own son from his government job. Charles Sirleaf, a Central Bank deputy governor, is among 46 government officials suspended by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for not disclosing their assets to an anti-corruption commission .  He is one of three of Johnson-Sirleaf’s sons appointed to government posts. [field_txt_news_link]

Anti-corruption squad raids Montreal-area construction firms

A week after it raided the home and offices of the mayor of Laval, Quebec's anti-corruption unit has descended on the city a second time, hitting at least six construction companies with search warrants. About 70 officers with the Unité Permanente Anticorruption, or UPAC, began their latest raids before 7 a.m. in the suburban municipality just north of Montreal. [field_txt_news_link]

IACA - International Anti-Corruption Academy

IACA Newsletter 4, 2012 [field_txt_news_link]

India PM Singh pledge Over Corruption

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has said his government will strengthen the country's anti-corruption laws. He said the government was also considering laws to protect honest government workers and making corporate failure to prevent bribery an offence.  [field_txt_news_link]

Free of Charge Anti-Corruption eLearning Course for Businesses

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Global Advice Network have developed a free of charge anti-corruption eLearning course. This interactive course aims to strengthen companies’ awareness about the risks of corruption and ways to mitigate these risks. [field_txt_news_link]

MoU to Fight Border Graft

Malaysia and Thailand took another step forward in tackling cross-border crime, especially the human trafficking scourge, when both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combat corruption. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and National Anti-Corruption of Thailand (NACC) entered into a partnership focusing on the exchange of expertise on detecting corruption. "Both parties agree that human trafficking remains an area of mutual concern as we share a border where these activities occur," said MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed. NACC commissioner Pakdee Pothisiri said the MoU formalised what had already been years of informal bilateral cooperation. [field_txt_news_link]

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