August 2005 (#69)

In this update:

  • TI Australia AGM 3 November 2005 at 5pm
  • New TI Fiji Website
  • Petroleum Fund Law passed by the East Timorese Parliament
  • Tragic Death of the Acting Chairperson of TI Uganda
  • Government attack threatens Slovenian anti-corruption commission
  • International Press Institute Report on Journalists’ Deaths
  • Group of Eight meeting
  • South Africa’s political will to fight corruption
  • Coming Events

TI Australia AGM 3 November 2005 at 5pm

5.30pm: refreshments
6.00pm: Justice Jerrold Cripps, Commissioner of ICAC, New Developments and Issues for ICAC
Venue: PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Sydney

New TI Fiji Website

The TI Fiji Website is now online, serving as a forum to find and exchange information on the fight against corruption, bribery, extortion etc. in Fiji, regionally and internationally.

Petroleum Fund Law passed by the East Timorese Parliament

Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH), a local anti-corruption organisation with whom Transparency International has had some contact, has welcomed the unanimous approval of the Petroleum Fund by the national Parliament. The statement released by LABEH said, �Now nothing would be more important to the future of our people than the proper management of the petroleum fund. Fund assets should be prudently managed and invested. The rules and operations of the fund should be transparent with stringent mechanisms to ensure accountability and prevent misuse.�

Tragic Death of the Acting Chairperson of TI Uganda

Mrs Robinah Kiyingi, Acting Chairperson of the TI Uganda was assaulted and killed by unidentified assailants on Monday 11 July 2005 in front of her home. Robinah Kiyingi joined TI Uganda in 1996, shortly after the chapter�s foundation. She was elected Vice-Chairperson in February 2005 and, pending the appointment of a Chairperson, she has been Acting Chairperson of the organisation since then. On behalf of the worldwide movement of Transparency International, deepest sympathies have been conveyed to Mrs Kiyingi�s husband and children, to all of her family and friends, and to the Board, members and staff of TI Uganda. Robinah will be remembered as a person of the highest integrity, and a dedicated champion of the cause of fighting corruption.

Government attack threatens Slovenian anti-corruption commission

Transparency International, in a 12 July 2005 press release, has commented that plans by the Government of Slovenia to cut funding for the country�s independent anti-corruption agency have raised fears that the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) will be incapacitated. �The Government of Slovenia must allow the CPC to operate according to its mandate,� said Miklos Marschall, TI�s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. �The citizens of Slovenia and the international organisations operating in the country must raise their voices in support of the CPC.� As the first country in South East Europe to join the European Union, Slovenia has been a model for the rest of the region. �All governments in South East Europe closely follow developments in Slovenia,� said Professor Vladimir Goati, Chair of Transparency Serbia. �Abolition of the CPC could set a negative example, one that could influence other governments facing justifiable demands for accountability from independent bodies.�

International Press Institute Report on Journalists� Deaths

Forty journalists have been killed world-wide in the first six months of 2005, one-quarter of them in Iraq, according to a new report by the International Press Institute (IPI). The IPI Death Watch reveals that the death toll in 2005 could equal or surpass last year’s total of 78 murders, which was the highest since 1999. The common thread running through the deaths is the impunity surrounding attacks on journalists. Most of the journalists killed were targeted for investigating corruption, drug trafficking and other illegal activities. All too often, there is little or no evidence to suggest that the authorities are taking decisive action to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the crimes, says IPI. At least 11 journalists and media personnel have died in Iraq alone, proving again that it remains the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. Six journalists were killed in the Philippines, and two each in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Pakistan and Somalia. Regionally, Asia is leading the world in the number of journalists killed this year, with 14. In the Philippines, impunity is rife: 62 journalists have been killed because of their work since democracy was restored in 1986, according to IPI. Almost none of the killers have been brought to justice.

Group of Eight meeting

Good governance, adherence to the rule of law and democracy – these are the three criteria world leaders attending the Group of Eight meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, said African countries would have to fulfill to qualify for their share of a $50bn aid package�.Fighting corruption featured strongly on the agenda at the summit. But while Africa itself has come under fire for corruption, the world’s wealthiest nations have also not escaped criticism. Transparency International (TI) has urged the G8 club of rich nations to do more to stop corruption in the developing world, including examining their own role in graft. (Transparency International) said that foreign companies were often the source of ‘big-ticket bribe money’ in developing countries and that wealthy countries must publicise and enforce existing laws to put a stop to the practice. TI said a bolder fight against corruption could have a powerful impact on poverty by freeing up billions in aid money now lost to kickbacks and bribes�.Increasingly, aid is becoming dependent on proof that its recipients are controlling corruption and governing wisely.
Statement taken from the International Bar Association publication, �Legal Brief Africa�, Issue #138

South Africa’s political will to fight corruption

President Thabo Mbeki�s decision to sack South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma in June, after he was implicated in the corruption trial of Durban businessman Schabir Shaik, is a signal of South Africa�s maturing democracy, said Transparency International (TI). �This is a watershed moment for South Africa. President Mbeki has sent a strong signal that he is committed to rooting out corruption,� said Cobus de Swardt, global programs director of Transparency International. �This decisive action sets an important precedent for the advancement of good governance for governments the world over.�

Coming Events

14-17 August 2005: International Conference on Engaging Communities: to be held in Brisbane, this conference is a joint promotion of the UN Dept of Economic and Social Affairs and the Queensland Government.
18 August 2005: Melbourne Directors’ Duties and Corporate Social Responsibility – The New Environment, 5.30 – 7.15pm, Freehills, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne. Co-hosted by the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation (University of Melbourne) and the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee
31 August – 2 September 2005: Future Proof: the role of compliance and ethics in promoting organisational sustainability, Australian Compliance Institute Conference, Grand Hyatt Melbourne.
3 November: TIA AGM Sydney: 5pm – AGM, 5.30pm – refreshments, 6.00pm – distinguished guest speaker Justice Jerrold Cripps, the recently appointed Commissioner of ICAC. His topic will be New Developments and Issues for ICAC. Venue: PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Sydney.
11-14 November: TI Annual Members� Meeting, Berlin.