Media Release: Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017 shows Australia falls again in Corruption Perceptions Index scores

Australia, 22 February 2018 – The Corruption Perceptions Index released today by Transparency International shows that Australia has fallen again in the CPI score.

Despite attempts to combat corruption around the world, the majority of countries are moving too slowly in their efforts – including Australia, who has continued to slide.

While Australia’s ranking has not changed – 13th for three years running – and it may appear we are holding ground, our CPI score has notably decreased over the last six years.

In 2012, Australia scored 85 out of 100. Today, in the latest CPI, Australia has slipped 8 points, receiving a score of 77, and remains outside the top 10 countries. Australia scored 79 in 2016.

“This suggests a loss of trust in the Australian public sector and the perception, at best, that corruption has gotten worse, in only a few short years”, said Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International Australia.

The Index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business leaders, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is the cleanest, and 0 is the most corrupt.

In the 2017 CPI, several countries significantly improved their CPI score, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.

The CPI scores and ranks the perception of corruption on a number of corrupt behaviours in the public sector from bribery to the diversion of public funds. It also looks at the mechanisms available to prevent corruption, such as the government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms, access to information and the legal protection for whistleblowers, journalists and investigators.

“It’s hardly surprising Australia’s corruption perception score continues to fall, the integrity score card has taken a battering”, said Serena Lillywhite.

“The misuse of travel allowances; inadequate regulation of foreign political donations; conflicts of interest in planning approvals; revolving doors; a culture of mateship; and inappropriate industry-lobbying in large scale projects, such as mining, and the misuse of power by leading politicians – have no doubt had an impact”, she said.

Within the Asia Pacific region, where the regional average score is 44.39, New Zealand, scored 89, and now ranks number one in the world on the CPI. Close neighbours, Singapore, scored 84, with Indonesia scoring 37 and PNG scoring 29.

In comparison to Australia’s declining score, the UK, over the last six years, has improved its score from 74 to 82.

Most African countries scored well below 50. Australia is the largest miner on the continent, with 140 ASX companies alone operating in 34 countries across Africa.

“This should have alarm bells ringing for Australian miners, and underscores the importance of Transparency International Australia’s work to combat corruption in mining approvals”, said Lillywhite.

The 2017 CPI results indicate that more needs to be done to strengthen Australia’s national integrity system.

“Australia’s failure to improve its position on the CPI suggests a failure to address with sufficient urgency a range of serious public-sector issues. These include money-laundering, whistleblowing, political donations and the effectiveness of our integrity systems. The Government has simply not faced up to the need to have in place an independent anti-corruption agency at a national level”, said Anthony Whealy QC, Chair of Transparency International Australia.

Australia’s failure to advance up the rankings – and in fact its further decline in the scoring in the Corruption Perceptions Index highlights the need for urgent collective action. Corruption, or even the appearance of corruption, has no place in the Australian public sector.

END

Download the report.

Contact:

Alexia Skok, Communications and Advocacy Coordinator, alexia.skok@transparency.org.au

Serena Lillywhite, CEO, serenalillywhite@transparency.org.au, phone: 0403 436 896 (Melbourne)

About the Corruption Perceptions Index

Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International’s flagship publication, is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The CPI offers an annual snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries from all over the globe. For more information, visit the Transparency International website.

Note to Media: Transparency International Australia and Griffith University are conducting a National Integrity System Assessment to help identify integrity gaps and propose solutions. See the National Integrity Systems Assessment page.

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Media Release: A Federal Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission on the Horizon

30 January 2018

‘A Federal Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission on the Horizon’

Transparency International Australia welcomes the pledge today by the Hon Bill Shorten MP, that Labor will establish a federal anti-corruption body if it wins the next election.

Transparency International Australia, is part of a global coalition to fight corruption and promote transparency, integrity and accountability at all levels and across all sectors of society, including in government. This work has included years of campaigning to strengthen Australia’s integrity systems, and repeated calls, to all political parties, to establish a federal ant-corruption agency.

“With growing public distrust of government, and most Australians holding a view there is corruption in federal politics, a well-resourced independent National Integrity Commission to promote integrity and accountability, and to prevent, investigate and expose corruption, is a matter of urgency and has overwhelming public support”, said Transparency International Australia CEO, Serena Lillywhite.

“Australia needs a well-designed, broad-based federal anti-corruption agency, as part of an enhanced multi-agency strategy, to ensure a comprehensive approach to corruption risks beyond the criminal investigation system, and to support stronger parliamentary integrity”, she said.

“Effective institutions to prevent, detect, expose and remedy official corruption are vital at all levels of government.  The absence of an overarching agency of this type at a federal level is a stark deficiency in the eyes of the community”, said Lillywhite.

Transparency International Australia has made clear its view that a federal anti-corruption agency needs to possess the wide range of coercive and investigative powers commonly found in state agencies, including public hearings in proper situations to assist inquiry effectiveness and public interest, essential to the effective operation of an anti-corruption agency.

“Anti-corruption agencies must have the power to make such public findings and recommendations, to ensure that Governments act to remedy corruption, in circumstances where powerful interests may have previously prevented this from occurring, or the Government itself is implicated”, said Anthony Whealy, QC, Chair of Transparency International Australia.

“Mechanisms and resources need to be in place to ensure that when corruption problems are identified, appropriate sanctions or remedies are actually implemented, and in a timely and visible way. For criminal matters, the Commission should be empowered to make findings of fact, and to be referred to a well-resourced and specialized unit within the DPP, for consideration for prosecution”, he said.

The issue of ‘revolving doors’ and ‘conflict of interest’ can no longer be ignored in Australia.

In 2017, Transparency International Australia undertook research into the mining approvals process in Australia. The report, Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia has identified a high potential for industry influence and state and policy capture in the awarding of mining approvals and related infrastructure projects.

“Greater regulation of political donations, lobbyists and the movement of staff between government and industry, would help reduce risks that can enable corruption to occur. ‘Revolving doors’ and a ‘culture of mateship’ are undermining our national integrity systems and could be tackled by a federal integrity and anti-corruption agency”, said Lillywhite.

A commitment to establish a such an agency is welcome, but as always, the devil is in the detail.

Transparency International Australia and Griffith University’s National Integrity Systems Assessment, will provide the rigorous evidence base to illuminate a detailed design for a federal integrity and anti-corruption agency. At the end of the day, the independence, resources, and investigative powers of such an agency, will be its make or break.

For further information please contact:

Serena Lillywhite, CEO, Transparency International Australia

0403 436 896

serenalillywhite@transparency.org.au

See Transparency International Australia’s work with Griffith University on the National Integrity Systems Assessment

End.

 

Media Release: Corruption risks and ways to combat them in the mining approval process assessed in 18 countries

FR ES

5 December – Transparency International is launching a new report based on research in 18 resource-rich countries from Australia to Zimbabwe that identifies systemic corruption risks in mining licencing and permitting processes and highlights what can be done to help prevent corruption infiltrating licencing processes.

Combatting corruption in mining approvals: assessing the risks in 18 resource-rich countries, is the first in depth study to look at the very start of the mining process, when decisions are made about whether, where, and under what circumstances mining is permitted. It is based on research carried out by Transparency International in a diverse range of countries involving stakeholders from civil society, multilateral organisations, the mining industry and governments.

The results show that corruption risks exist in mining approvals regimes of countries across the globe, irrespective of the country’s stage of economic development, political context, geographic region, or the size and maturity of their mining sectors.

“Natural resources are too often vulnerable to corruption. We see this across the world as citizens are denied the wealth that is part of their natural heritage. We want all parties – citizens, governments and mining companies – to be able to undertake sustainable development that benefits everyone. The goal of this work is to lead to a greater understanding of corruption risks in the mining approvals process so that corruption can be countered at the very start of the process,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair, Transparency International.

The report is published by Transparency International’s Mining for Sustainable Development Programme (M4SD) led by Transparency International Australia. It is based on research carried out by Transparency International national chapters in Armenia, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mongolia, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“By understanding the corruption risks faced in diverse jurisdictions, we are in a better position than ever to work towards ensuring mining contributes to sustainable development.Transparency International Australia will continue to lead this initiative, engaging with our extensive network of stakeholders to drive the change that is so very needed,” said Serena Lillywhite, Chief Executive Officer, Transparency International Australia.

The report is based around a series of questions that help identify where and how an approvals regime is vulnerable to corruption. The answers to these questions target the underlying causes of corruption and inform key players on how to take effective preventative action before corruption occurs.

The report serves as a useful guide to lawmakers and regulators, companies and civil society organisations – regardless of their location – to assess and enhance the transparency, accountability and integrity of the mining approvals regime in their own countries. It can be used as a foundation for these different groups to identify priority areas of work at national and jurisdictional level, and take action to prevent corruption from occurring.

The research identified 140 distinct types of corruption risks and more than 750 stakeholders from a range of sectors were involved. A further 250 individuals participated in validation and review of the risk assessments.

This multi-country study used the Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) Tool, specially developed for Transparency International. With a list of common corruption risks, this tool shows users how to identify and assess the underlying causes of corruption that need to be addressed to safeguard the lawful, compliant and ethical awarding of mining sector licences, permits and contracts. Following extensive user testing, Transparency International is releasing an updated version of the MACRA Tool alongside the report.

Note to editors

M4SD is a global thematic network initiative, implemented by Transparency International Australia and supported by the Transparency International Secretariat. The programme is funded in Phase I by the BHP Billiton Foundation and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).The next phase of M4SD will see national chapters develop and implement action plans to prevent the corruption risks identified in this research.

Contacts:
Julius Hinks (Berlin)
E: press@transparency.org
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666

Alexia Skok (Melbourne)
E: mining@transparency.org
T: +61 422 433 162

Unearthing corruption risks in mining approvals

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From resource-rich West Africans nations, to the mining giants of the Pacific and North America, every time a government signs a deal to allow mining of its natural resources there are corruption risks – no matter where that country is.

These risks in mining approvals processes – decisions about when, where and under what circumstances mining can occur – can result in environmentally unsound and socially destructive mining projects being approved. They can lead to politicians or government officials taking advantage of their position to profit from their interests in the sector and local communities being excluded from decision-making processes that could cause them to lose their homes.

In 2016, for example, a grand jury in Liberia indicted top government officials on charges of bribery for conspiring to amend key laws to enable a London-listed company, Sable Mining SBLM.L, to get rights to one of the world’s richest iron ore deposits – the Wologozi Mountain Range.[1]

Leaked documents alleged that over US$950,000 was used to pay off top government officials and their relatives.[2]

On the other side of the world in the coal-rich Australian state of New South Wales, a former Mining Minister and a current government minister were charged with corruption in a 2015 case involving mining licences that involved complex and opaque company structures set up during the mining approvals process.[3]

Transparency International’s new Mining for Sustainable Development Programme (M4SD) report, Combatting corruption in mining approvals: assessing the risks in 18 resource-rich countries examines what makes mining approvals vulnerable to corruption and what roles governments, the mining industry, and communities can play in preventing corruption from occurring.

“Natural resources are too often vulnerable to corruption. We see this across the world as citizens are denied the wealth that is part of their natural heritage. We want all parties – citizens, governments and mining companies – to be able to undertake sustainable development that benefits everyone. The goal of this work is to lead to a greater understanding of corruption risks in the mining approvals process so that corruption can be countered at the very start of the process,” – Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair, Transparency International

Based on research carried out in 18 countries and drawing insight from more than 750 stakeholders from a range of sectors – plus a further 250 individuals who participated in validation and review of the risk assessments – the new report is the first of its kind to drill so deeply into mining approvals across such a broad range of countries.

Presenting a truly global picture of risks in mining approvals processes, the examples in the report are drawn from a broad range of contexts: major mining economies such as Australia, Canada and South Africa; emerging mining economies such as Cambodia and Kenya; and 11 members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

These are a few examples of where and why corruption can occur:

Political and administrative

  • There is poor transparency around political donations and lobbying by industry
  • Controls on revolving doors between industry and government are weak

Land allocation

  • The process and criteria for opening land to mining is not clear or transparent
  • Land rights are poorly protected and not properly registered

Mining licence applications and approvals

  • Due diligence on licence applicants is inadequate
  • Decision-making criteria are unclear or decisions are vulnerable to ministerial interference

Environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs)

  • Verification of impact assessments is inadequate
  • Criteria for environmental approval decisions are not clear or transparent

Community consultation

  • Information about the project or its potential impacts is not accessible to community members
  • Consultation only occurs with local elites

What needs to be done to combat corruption

Transparency International has framed six questions to help identify where and how an approvals regime is vulnerable to corruption. The answers to these questions can help target the underlying causes of corruption, informing key players on how to take effective preventative action before corruption occurs.

Change starts by answering these questions:

  1. Who benefits from mining approval decisions?
  2. How ethical and fair is the process for opening land to mining?
  3. How fair and transparent is the licencing process?
  4. Who gets the right to mine?
  5. How accountable are companies for their environmental and social impacts?
  6. How meaningful is community consultation?

Government, industry and civil society in any country can use these questions – and real country examples highlighted in the report – as a starting point for understanding corruption risks in their own context and to guide them in building corruption-free mining approvals regimes.

The assessing of these corruption risks is only the beginning, real change will come with the addressing of these corruption risks.

Access the full report, Combatting corruption in mining approvals: Assessing the risks in 18 resource-rich countries.

Countries involved in the research: Armenia, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mongolia, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This work has been funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

[1] J. Harding Giahyue, “Liberia grand jury indicts Sable Mining, officials for bribery”, Reuters (web), 26 May 2016.
[2] Global Witness, “The Deceivers” (web). Available at: www.globalwitness.org/thedeceivers. Accessed 14 August 2017.
[3] U. Malone, “Eddie Obeid, Moses Obeid and Ian MacDonald committed to stand trial on conspiracy charges,” ABC News (web), 30 May 2017.

Évaluation des risques de corruption et des moyens de les combattre dans le processus d’octroi de concessions minières dans 18 pays

Transparency International lance un nouveau rapport reposant sur des recherches menées dans 18 pays riches en ressources minières, allant de l’Australie au Zimbabwe. Ce rapport identifie les risques de corruption systémique associés aux processus d’octroi de licences et de permis miniers et souligne ce qui peut être fait pour prévenir les pratiques corrompues tout au long de ce processus.

Combattre la corruption dans l’octroi des titres miniers : une évaluation des risques dans 18 pays riches en ressources est la première étude approfondie à s’intéresser au tout début du processus d’octroi de titres miniers. C’est-à-dire le moment ou les décisions au sujet d’une potentielle autorisation d’exploitation, de son emplacement et de ses conditions sont prises. Cette étude s’appuie sur des recherches menées par Transparency International dans 18 pays, avec la participation de la société civile, d’organisations multilatérales, de l’industrie minière et de gouvernements.

Les résultats révèlent qu’il y a des risques de corruption dans les processus d’octroi de titres miniers du monde entier, et ce, quelque soit le développement économique du pays, son contexte politique, sa région géographique et la taille et maturité de son secteur minier.

« Les ressources naturelles sont trop souvent vulnérables à la corruption. Nous constatons cela à travers le monde, tandis que les citoyens se voient refuser la richesse qui fait partie de leur patrimoine naturel. Nous voulons que toutes les parties – les citoyens, les gouvernements et les entreprises minières – puissent entreprendre un développement durable profitant à tous. L’objectif de ce travail est d ‘aboutir à une meilleure compréhension des risques de corruption dans le processus d’octroi de titres miniers, afin qu’elle puisse être combattue dès le début du processus », a déclaré Delia Ferreira Rubio, Présidente de Transparency International.

Le rapport est publié par le Programme d’Exploitation Minière pour le Développement Durable (M4SD) de Transparency International, dirigé par Transparency International Australie. Il s’appuie sur les recherches menées par les sections nationales de Transparency International des pays suivants : Arménie, Australie, Cambodge, Canada, Chili, Colombie, République démocratique du Congo, Guatemala, Indonésie, Kenya, Liberia, Mongolie, Pérou, Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, Sierra Leone, Afrique du Sud, Zambie et Zimbabwe.

« En comprenant les risques de corruption présents dans diverses juridictions, nous sommes mieux placés que jamais pour veiller à ce que l’exploitation minière contribue au développement durable. Transparency International Australie continuera à diriger cette initiative, en sollicitant le soutien de notre vaste réseau afin de provoquer un changement qui est plus que nécessaire », a déclaré Serena Lillywhite, Directrice Générale de Transparency International Australie.

Le rapport s’articule autour d’une série de questions qui aident à identifier et comment un régime d’octroi de titres miniers est vulnérable à la corruption. Les réponses à ces questions ciblent les causes sous-jacentes de la corruption et informent les acteurs clés sur des mesures préventives efficaces avant que ne s’installent des pratiques corrompues.

Le rapport sert de guide aux législateurs et aux régulateurs, aux entreprises et aux organisations de la société civile – indépendamment de leur emplacement – pour évaluer et améliorer la transparence, la redevabilité et l’intégrité du régime d’octroi de droits miniers dans leurs pays respectifs. Il peut servir de référence à ces différents groupes afin d’identifier les domaines de travail prioritaires au niveau national et juridictionnel, et afin de prendre des mesures visant à prévenir tout phénomène de corruption.

Les recherches ont identifié 140 types distincts de risques de corruption. Plus de 750 parties prenantes, issues de divers secteurs, y ont pris part. Par ailleurs, 250 autres personnes ont participé à la validation et à l’examen des évaluations des risques.

Cette étude multi-pays a utilisé l’Outil d’Evaluation des Risques de Corruption associés aux Octrois dans le Secteur Minier (MACRA), spécialement élaboré pour Transparency International. Comportant une liste de risques communs de corruption, cet outil montre aux utilisateurs comment identifier et évaluer les causes sous-jacentes de la corruption auxquelles il faut remédier pour garantir l’octroi légal, conforme et éthique des licences, permis et contrats dans le secteur minier. Suite à des tests approfondis réalisés auprès d’utilisateurs, Transparency International publie une version mise à jour de l’outil MACRA en parallèle de ce rapport.

Note aux éditeurs

M4SD est une initiative thématique mondiale (Global Thematic Network Initiative), mise en œuvre par Transparency International Australie et appuyée par le Secrétariat de Transparency International. La phase I du programme a été financée par la Fondation BHP Billiton et le gouvernement australien par l’intermédiaire du ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce. La prochaine phase du programme M4SD verra les sections nationales élaborer et mettre en œuvre des plans d’action visant à prévenir les risques de corruption identifiés au cours de cette étude.

Pour télécharger le rapport complet, un aperçu de la situation dans le monde et six études de cas, ainsi que la version mise à jour de l’Outil d’Evaluation des Risques de Corruption associés aux Octrois dans le Secteur Minier (MACRA), veuillez cliquer ici.

 

Contacts:

Julius Hinks (Berlin)

E : press@transparency.org

T : +49 30 34 38 20 666

Alexia Skok (Melbourne)

E : mining@transparency.org

T : +61 422 433 162

 

Evaluación en 18 países de los riesgos de corrupción y formas para combatirlos en el proceso de otorgamiento de concesiones mineras

Transparency International presenta un nuevo informe basado en la investigación realizada en 18 países ricos en recursos, desde Australia hasta Zimbabue, que identifica riesgos de corrupción sistémicos en los procesos de otorgamiento de licencias y permisos para la explotación minera y destaca las medidas que se pueden adoptar para contribuir a prevenir que la corrupción se infiltre en los procesos de otorgamiento de concenciones.

Lucha contra la corrupción en el otorgamiento de concesiones mineras: evaluación de riesgos en 18 países ricos en recursos constituye el primer estudio en profundidad que se centra en el inicio del ciclo minero, cuando se toman decisiones sobre si se debe permitir la explotación minera, y, en caso afirmativo, dónde y bajo qué circunstancias. Este estudio se basa en investigaciones realizadas por Transparency International en una amplia variedad de países y en las que han participado actores de la sociedad civil, organizaciones multilaterales, la industria minera y gobiernos.

Los resultados revelan que existen riesgos de corrupción en los regímenes de otorgamiento de concesiones mineras en países de todo el mundo, independientemente de su nivel de desarrollo económico, el contexto político, la región geográfica o el tamaño y la madurez de su sector miner.

“Con demasiada frecuencia, los recursos naturales son vulnerables a la corrupción. Ejemplos de esto se pueden ver en todo el mundo cuando se niega a los ciudadanos la riqueza que es parte de su legado natural. Queremos que todos los interesados –la ciudadanía, los gobiernos y las empresas del sector minero– defiendan el desarrollo sostenible en beneficio de todos. El propósito de este trabajo es aumentar el conocimiento de los riesgos de corrupción en el proceso de otorgamiento de licencias mineras para que la corrupción se pueda bloquear nada más iniciarse el proceso”, afirmó Delia Ferreira Rubio, presidenta, Transparency International.

El estudio ha sido publicado por el programa de Minería para el Desarrollo Sostenible (M4SD) de Transparency International dirigido por Transparency International Australia. Se basa en las investigaciones llevadas a cabo por los capítulos nacionales de Transparency International en Armenia, Australia, Camboya, Canadá, Chile, Colombia, República Democrática del Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenia, Liberia, Mongolia, Perú, Papúa Nueva Guinea, Sierra Leona, Sudáfrica, Zambia y Zimbabue.

“Al comprender los riesgos de corrupción a los que se enfrentan diversas jurisdicciones, estamos mejor posicionados que nunca para continuar trabajando para que la minería contribuya al desarrollo sostenible. Transparency International Australia seguirá liderando esta iniciativa, involucrando en ella a nuestra extensa red de actores para impulsar este cambio tan necesario”, afirmó Serena Lillywhite, directora ejecutiva, Transparency International Australia.

El estudio gira en torno a una serie de preguntas que contribuyen a identificar dónde y cómo un régimen de otorgamiento es vulnerable a la corrupción. Las respuestas a estas preguntas detectan las causas subyacentes de la corrupción e informan a actores clave sobre cómo tomar medidas preventivas eficaces antes de que esta se produzca.

El estudio sirve de guía útil para legisladores y reguladores, empresas y organizaciones de la sociedad civil –independientemente de su ubicación– con el fin de evaluar y mejorar la transparencia, la rendición de cuentas y la integridad del régimen de otorgamiento de concesiones mineras en sus propios países. Estos grupos lo pueden usar como referencia para identificar áreas prioritarias de trabajo a nivel nacional y de jurisdicción, y tomar medidas para evitar que ocurran casos de corrupción.

La investigación identificó 140 tipos distintos de riesgos de corrupción y en ella participaron más de 750 actores procedentes de diversos sectores. Además, 250 personas participaron en la validación y la revisión de las evaluaciones de riesgo.

Este estudio multipaís utilizó la Herramienta para la Evaluación de Riesgos de Corrupción en los Otorgamientos del Sector Minero (MACRA), diseñada especialmente para Transparency International. Esta herramienta incluye una lista de riesgos comunes de corrupción y guía a los usuarios a identificar y evaluar las causas subyacentes de corrupción que se deben abordar para salvaguardar el otorgamiento lícito, ético y conforme a los reglamentos de licencias, permisos y contratos en el sector minero. Tras ser probada exhaustivamente por usuarios, Transparency International ha presentado una versión actualizada de la herramienta MACRA junto con este informe.

Nota para los editores

El programa M4SD es una Iniciativa Global de Redes Temáticas implementada por Transparency International Australia con el apoyo de la Secretaría de Transparency International. El programa está financiado en su fase I por la BHP Billiton Foundation y el Gobierno de Australia a través del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Comercio. En la próxima fase del programa los capítulos nacionales elaborarán e implementarán planes de acción para prevenir los riesgos de corrupción identificados en esta investigación.

Para descargar el estudio completo, una panorámica global y seis estudios de caso, así como la versión actualizada de la Herramienta para la Evaluación de Riesgos de Corrupción en los Otorgamientos del Sector Minero (MACRA), haga clic aquí.

Contactos:

Julius Hinks (Berlín)

E: press@transparency.org

T: +49 30 34 38 20 666

Alexia Skok (Melbourne)

E: mining@transparency.org

4 October 2017: Unearthing Corruption Risks in Mining Approvals in Australia

Australia is a mining giant of a nation, with governance systems in place that many countries across Africa and the Asia Pacific seek to copy.

Transparency International Australia (TIA) is leading a global program (Mining for Sustainable Development – M4SD) across 20 countries, including Australia, to identify and assess corruption vulnerabilities in the mining approval process.

Today TIA releases its report: Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia.  The report identifies vulnerabilities in both the Western Australia and Queensland approvals process that could enable corruption to occur.

“Understanding corruption risks in the mining approvals process is vital to ensuring mining contributes to sustainable development, and shared benefits”, said Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International Australia.

“If corruption risks are identified, and acted upon, before mining activities get underway, better outcomes for impacted communities, the natural environment and all citizens, could be achieved”, said Lillywhite.

Elements of transparency and accountability in the approvals regime for exploration licenses, and mining leases, do exist in WA and QLD, but there are weaknesses in the system that could enable corruption to occur.

The TIA research has identified the following corruption risks in WA and QLD:

  • Inadequate due diligence into the character and integrity of applicants for approvals, including investigation into who the real and beneficial owner of the company is
  • No requirement to declare the company’s track record and compliance with laws outside of Australia
  • Discretionary powers for some senior government officials
  • Industry / external influence and the associated risks of state and policy capture
  • Inadequate regulation of donations and lobbyists and ‘movement of staff’ between government and industry
  • Limited transparency of the content of State Agreements until enacted, and between Native Title parties and mining companies
  • Inadequate independent verification of Environmental Impact scientific modelling

Inadequate due diligence investigation into the character and integrity of an applicant company and its principals was assessed as a high corruption risk for mining leases in Western Australia and Queensland.

“Without adequate due diligence – even basic research into the track record of mining applicants -there is a high risk that permits will be awarded to companies with a history of non-compliance or corruption, including in their operations in other countries.”

The TIA research identified a high potential for industry influence and state and policy capture in the awarding of mining approvals. “Greater regulation of political donations, lobbyists and the movement of staff between government and industry, would help reduce risks that could enable corruption to occur. The ‘revolving doors’ and ‘culture of mateship’ could enable inappropriate influence to occur in the approval of State Agreements in Western Australia, and Coordinated Projects in Queensland”, said Lillywhite.

The mining industry has disclosed donations of $16.6 million to major political parties over the last ten years (2006-07 to 2015-16). As of September 2016, of 538 lobbyists registered by the Depart­ment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 191 are former government representa­tives. Industry associations are not required to register as lobbyists.

Large infrastructure projects, such as the Adani Carmichael mine, were assessed as having a high number of aggregated and compounded risks, which heightens the likelihood for corruption to occur – and Australia’s reputation as a mature mining jurisdiction to be eroded.

 

For further information please contact:

Serena Lillywhite, CEO, TIA

0403 436 896

serenalillywhite@transparency.org.au

4 August 2017: TI Australia comments on CBA case

Transparency International Australia (TIA) commends AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence agency, for investigating and pursuing all cases of alleged breaches of money laundering and counter-terrorism-financing laws.

This is the first time AUSTRAC has stepped up and tried to sanction one of Australia’s banks, and only the second time AUSTRAC has pursued a major corporation in Australia – TABCORP, being the first.

‘We may well be at a tipping point in AUSTRAC’s capacity to combat money laundering and the proceeds of crime to finance terrorism in Australia’, said Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International Australia.

The reporting of suspicious transactions by financial institutions is fundamental to ensuring the risk of money laundering is mitigated and managed. However, the CBA case, if proven, indicates it is no longer appropriate for banks just to report, but to act, including by closing accounts.

‘Money laundering and counter-terrorism financing systems and controls within banks, need to be more tightly regulated and enforced, and extended to non-financial entities, including real estate agents, lawyers, and accountants’, said Lillywhite.

The CBA case, if proven, highlights the risk of illicit financial transactions, often the proceeds of crime, being laundered through Australia and other major financial markets. It also highlights the speed, and apparent ease, with which suspicious transactions and the transfer of funds can occur with anonymity. The CBA case will be investigated as a civil rather than criminal case, with the potential for hefty fines, rather than possible criminal charges.

‘Money laundering appears far too easy in Australia’, said Lillywhite. ‘More needs to be done to understand who is making the transactions, where funds have come from, and who will benefit from the transactions. The principle of “know your customer” seems obvious, and reporting of suspicious transactions is required by law, but closing accounts may be the necessary next step’.

The reported scale ($77m worth of suspicious transactions), the systemic nature (53,700 reported transactions), and ease of the alleged CBA money laundering transactions, support TIA’s call for strengthened anti-money laundering laws, the establishment of a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership, and the need for a national anti-corruption agency.

Note: CBA is a member of TIA. TIA will engage directly with the bank, to encourage the strengthening of their internal systems and controls, and compliance with AML laws and the criminal code.

 

For further information please contact:

Serena Lillywhite, CEO, TIA

0403 436 896

serenalillywhite@transparency.org.au

TI Australia welcomes ALP’s Proposed Fairer Tax System Reform

Transparency International Australia (TIA) welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) commitment to national tax system reform and strengthened integrity framework. In a recent media release from MP Andrew Leigh, A Fairer Tax System for Millions, Not Millionaires, the ALP pledges to “restore integrity to the Australian tax system and increase enforcement and civil society oversight” via a proposed nine-point Fairer Tax System plan.

Read TI Australia’s media release.