June 2011 (#133)

In this update:

  • Military Codes of Conduct – Norway and Australia lead by example
  • The UK Bribery Act and Australia
  • First Significant Action Under Canada’s Foreign Corruption Law
  • Tackling Corruption in Greece
  • A New Framework for Sustainable Hydropower
  • Keeping Citizens Safe

Military Codes of Conduct – Norway and Australia lead by example

Defence establishments in most countries give very little guidance to their senior officers and officials, as a new study by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programs on Codes of Conduct in Defence Ministries and Armed Forces shows. There seems to be little or no guidance on corruption risks and insufficient training in most countries covered by the study. Good practice examples like Norway and Australia are the exceptions.

The UK Bribery Act and Australia

An article in the New Lawyer June 2011, written by Middletons Special Counsel, Christopher Keane, states: ‘Australia’s anti-foreign bribery legislation and specifically the facilitation payment defence need to be reconsidered in light of the UK Bribery Act’. Click on the link below to read the full article.

First Significant Action Under Canada’s Foreign Corruption Law

In June 2011, Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd was fined approximately $9.5 million and placed on three years’ probation after pleading guilty to a charge of bribing a foreign public official. This signals a new era of enforcement of foreign anti-bribery rules in Canada, which implemented its Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) in 1999. Currently the RCMP is investigating over 20 Canadian companies who have allegedly engaged in the corruption of officials overseas.

Tackling Corruption in Greece

The TI website notes: ‘The black economy is estimated to be as much as a third of Greece’s gross national product with tax evasion costing upwards of US$20 billion a year. This limits Greece’s ability to fund the public sector adequately. In March, Transparency International – Greece (TI-Greece) published its 2010 Annual Survey on Corruption in Greece covering the period between July and December. It estimated that bribery cost Greece 632 million in 2010 (US$837 million).’

A New Framework for Sustainable Hydropower

The TI website notes: ‘Hydropower accounts for approximately 16 per cent of the world’s supply of electricity and is one of the key renewable technologies to address the growing challenges of global warming. However, building hydroelectric plants has frequently disrupted of the lives of affected populations: people lose their homes and their livelihoods deteriorate significantly…For more than two years, key players in the hydropower sector have worked together with civil society to develop a framework for assessing the impact of hydro electric plants. This tool is called the Hydro Sustainability Assessment Protocol and it was launched on June 16.’

Keeping Citizens Safe

‘When people live in fear of violent crime and in states where organised crime has co-opted the institutions that are supposed to protect them, they are denied their basic human rights’, notes the TI website. ‘These include the right to liberty, security of person, equal protection before the law, and freedom of peaceful assembly. According to the Pan American Health Organization, crime rates have doubled in the past 25 years in Latin America.’