August 2007 (#78)


In this update:

  • TI Australia August 2007 Newsletter
  • The International Trade Integrity Bill 2007
  • Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption (APSAC) Conference – 23-26 Oct 2007
  • ATO Guidance on Foreign Bribery Risks
  • Australian Integrity Commissioner Appointed
  • 2007 TI Progress Report on OECD Convention Enforcement
  • Latest News from the Transparency International Newsroom
  • Membership?
  • COMING EVENTS

TI Australia August 2007 Newsletter

The August 2007 edition of the TI Australia Newsletter has been released. The leading article by TI Australia Chairman, Frank Costigan, focuses on the Commonwealth Integrity Commission, discussing inadequacies in its resources and jurisdiction. Other key articles:

  •  Progress Report on Enforcement of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials
  •  Integrity Co-Ordinating Group � WA
  •  Corruption Amongst the Judiciary
  •  New Lobbyists Code

07 August Newsletter

The International Trade Integrity Bill 2007

On 9 August 2007 the Australian Senate will debate this Bill, which is a response to the report of the AWB inquiry. The Bill also serves to strengthen the anti-foreign bribery provisions of the Criminal Code and those provisions which deny deductions in the Income Tax Assessment Act as recommended in the OECD Phase 2 report of January 2006. TIA has made submissions to the Senate Committee to the effect that monetary penalties should be increased and whistleblower protection strengthened.

Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption (APSAC) Conference – 23-26 Oct 2007

Australia�s leading anti-corruption agencies the Independent Commission Against Corruption (NSW), the Crime and Misconduct Commission (QLD) and the Corruption and Crime Commission (WA) have developed a conference program that will be delivered by leading senior practitioners, social commentators and academics to both inform and challenge delegates.
The APSAC Conference 2007 will enhance the knowledge and understanding of corruption risks by public officials and other external stakeholders. Delegates will be provided with relevant and up-to-date information to improve their capacity to respond effectively to these threats.
The four-day event (a two-day conference and two days of workshops) at the Hilton Sydney will also give participants the opportunity to network with an anticipated 600 delegates who work across a variety of institutions, including government agencies, local authorities, law enforcement agencies and universities.

ATO Guidance on Foreign Bribery Risks

An important new guide, Bribes and Facilitation Payments: a guide to managing your tax obligations, has been issued by the Australian Tax Office, warning that close attention will be paid to suspicious payments made by Australian companies doing business in high-risk countries.

Australian Integrity Commissioner Appointed

The federal Attorney-General has appointed an Integrity Commissioner, Philip Moss, whose task will be to monitor and, if necessary, investigate corruption in federal law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission. His term of five years began on 23 July. The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), established at the end of 2006 will provide support to the Integrity Commissioner. An independent body, ACLEI has been given Royal Commission and telecommunications interception powers. By regulation the ambit of ACLEI coverage could be extended to other agencies such as Customs and the ATO.

2007 TI Progress Report on OECD Convention Enforcement

The 2007 TI Progress Report on OECD Convention Enforcement shows that more than half of 34 parties to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials are not enforcing the Convention or keeping their commitments. Signatory countries account for about two-thirds of world exports of goods and services. At the same time, there is now significant enforcement in 14 countries compared with 12 in 2006 and 8 in 2005.

Latest News from the Transparency International Newsroom

Recently released articles include:

  • Southeast Asia Regional Meeting of TI Chapters � Meeting Declaration
  • Major exporters continue bribing abroad
  • Transparency International welcomes Garda investigation into suspected deals with Saddam

Membership?

If you or your organisation are not already a member of TI Australia we would appreciate your interest in becoming one. TI Australia�s Directors work on a pro bono basis, but we need funding to cover our expenses.

COMING EVENTS

  •  13 September 2007: Corruption Prevention Network Conference in Sydney titled Corruption Disasters: Retrospect & Recovery. Includes input on Arthur Andersen�s swift fall from grace, Leichhardt Council�s �Rats in the Ranks� and The Bad Guys are Winning? � how some are fighting back.
  • 2 October 2007: UK Anti-Corruption Forum is holding a Conference in London titled �Preventing Corruption in Infrastructure�. The Conference will examine what is being done to prevent corruption in the UK and international infrastructure sector, whether these measures are fair and effective, and what more should be done.
  • 7-13 October 2007: the University of Passau, Germany, offers its annual program �The Economics of Corruption – A University Training on Good Governance and Reform�. This international event continues to be offered on a pro bono basis. It joins the world of research with the world of practice, attracting graduate and post-graduate students in the social sciences and anti-corruption policymakers and practitioners. The program consists of training modules, lectures, workshop sessions, case studies, and poster and keynote presentations. For applications and the full program click here.
  • 23-26 October 2007: inaugural Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption (APSAC) Conference to be held in Sydney (conference days are 24-25 October). The APSAC Conference is being held by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and the Western Australia Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC). TI Australia is a conference sponsor.