THE INTERNATIONAL ANTICORRUPTION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE ACT
The International Anticorruption and Good Governance Act of 2000 (IAGGA), requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to submit a report to Congress regarding U.S. diplomatic and programmatic anticorruption efforts, as well as host government efforts, in priority countries. This report covers activities in 2008-2009.
I. USG INTERNATIONAL ANTICORRUPTION INITIATIVES
The United States works with foreign partners to adopt shared commitments against corruption. The U.S. funds capacity building and legal reform programs, and supports regional initiatives designed to promote peer dialogue and sharing of good practices. Diplomatic efforts also seek high-level attention and promote political will for advancing the anticorruption agenda. Key developments include:
The U.N. Convention against Corruption (UNCAC): The UNCAC came into effect in 2005 and has globalized the fight against corruption. In 2009 the Parties agreed to a mechanism for review of implementation (beginning in 2010) through expert peer reviews, set out a framework for action on asset recovery, and established a working group to promote adoption of preventive measures.
OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (ABC): The 38 Parties commit to passing and enforcing laws to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials, establishing the liability of legal persons for such bribery, and providing prompt and effective mutual legal assistance for investigations and proceedings within the scope of the Convention. The 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) implements the U.S. commitments and the U.S. has the largest number of enforcement actions. The U.S. was a key proponent of the 2009 Revised Recommendation, which strengthens and clarifies existing obligations, provides for increased accountability, and contains provisions to enhance international coordination as well as sharing best practices, such as meetings of prosecutors and other law enforcement officials.
Regional, Special Initiatives and High-Level Commitments: The U.S. supports regional efforts in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA), Asia-Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, and the Americas. In MENA, a U.S.-supported initiative launched the first regional anticorruption network. The U.S. supports and participates in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption’s third phase of review and in the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption monitoring mechanism (GRECO), also in its third round. The U.S. raises corruption in the Group of Eight (G-8) and the Group of 20 (G-20), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Summit of the Americas. The 2009 G-20 Leaders’ Statement in Pittsburgh gave new prominence to anticorruption. The U.S. participated in the 2008 International Anti-Corruption Conference and Attorney General Holder led the U.S. mission to the 2009 Global Forum on Fighting Corruption. The U.S. supports and participates in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Reform and Capacity Building: Globally, the U.S. provided more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2009 towards anticorruption and other good governance assistance.
No Safe Haven: The U.S. uses the authority under Presidential Proclamation 7750 to deny the entry to the U.S. of corrupt officials and bribe payers, including those involved in corruption related to the extraction of natural resources.
II. SELECT U.S. GOVERNMENT ANTICORRUPTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
AFGHANISTAN -- Afghanistan is a party to the UNCAC. Despite the progress made on anticorruption laws, the Afghan Government has taken little action against corrupt high level officials. The U.S. supported the Ministry of Interior’s Major Crimes Task Force, established an Anticorruption Unit in the Attorney General’s Office, and created an Anti-Corruption Tribunal. USAID’s Parliamentary Assistance Project supports reporting on debates and legislative actions and the Media Development and Empowerment Project provides funding for media to become more independent of government and political party sponsors.
BANGLADESH -- Bangladesh is a party to the UNCAC. Bangladesh has made some progress, but the government has steadily weakened the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). In 2009, the government passed the Right to Information Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. DOJ cooperated on kleptocracy investigations, and State funded a pilot program to place a DOJ advisor to work specifically on capacity for asset recovery cooperation. USAID funded the Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity program and provides technical support to strengthen local civil society organizations.
GUATEMALA -- Guatemala is a party to the UNCAC. In 2008, the National Civil Police issued ethical regulations. The Anticorruption Prosecutors Unit (APU) obtained 13 corruption convictions in 2008 and 24 in 2009. In 2008, a Vice Ministry of Finance was created to oversee public spending. The Access to Information Law took effect in April 2009. In 2009, the country joined the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative and implemented changes to increase use of an electronic procurement system. The U.S. sponsored national seminars on ethics, provided programming for the APU, the Public Ministry, and the National Civil Police, and a resident advisor fostered transparency in the budget process. USAID supported studies on corruption and provided an NGO grant to monitor the election of magistrates to the courts and selection of the Attorney General.
INDONESIA -- Indonesia is a party to the UNCAC. In 2009, the government established the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) prosecuted 1,348 corruption cases in 2008, 1,292 cases in 2009, and recovered $450 million in corrupt proceeds in 2009. U.S. programs assisted the AGO’s Anticorruption Task Force which prosecuted over 50 officials and helped develop local prosecutor units. Separately, the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) prosecuted 37 new cases in 2008 and 32 new cases in 2009. The U.S. assisted the Supreme Court with internal integrity and reforms and the Financial Intelligence Unit to increase suspicious transaction reporting by non-bank financial institutions. The U.S. supported an electronic procurement system for the Office of Government Procurement Policy. The U.S. supported NGOs to conduct corruption surveys, develop monitoring tools, and investigate electoral financing.
IRAQ – Iraq is a party to the UNCAC. Iraq’s principal anticorruption institutions, the Commission of Integrity (COI), Board of Supreme Audit (BSA), and Corps of Inspectors General (IG), received U.S. assistance. In 2009, Iraq, a major oil producer, applied for participation in the EITI and the StAR Initiative. State/INL-funded DOJ trainers provided assistance to COI, improving COI’s ability to conduct successful sting operations. IG personnel benefit from USAID-sponsored training. All senior government officials are now required to submit annual financial disclosure statements. The U.S. sponsored two influential conferences on the role of NGOs and investigative journalism in reducing corruption. Iraq’s new anticorruption strategy included NGOs participation.
KENYA -- Kenya is a party to the UNCAC. The Kenyan Anti-corruption Commission (KACC) investigated corruption allegations, but cases stalled with the Attorney General’s office. No senior public or private officials were held accountable for violations. Parliament passed bills to combat counterfeiting and money laundering. The FBI sponsored a senior KACC forensic investigator to attend a three-month program and trained 30 investigators on terrorist financing and money laundering. DOJ trained prosecutors and judges on improving the quality of criminal practice, including the prosecution of corruption and organized crime cases. The MCC’s Threshold Program funded a two-year program to address public procurement in the healthcare sector. USAID funded a multiyear project to strengthen parliamentary committees focused on investigations and accounts. The U.S. funded a civil society strengthening grant program. The U.S. also funded the 2009 Kenyan Bribery Index and National Integrity Survey.
NIGERIA -- Nigeria is a party to the UNCAC. In 2009, Nigeria convicted eight acting officials for acts of corruption. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has performed below expectations by targeting rivals of those in power. The country enacted legislation on fiscal responsibility, public procurement, and the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative. In 2008, the U.S. trained anticorruption investigators on internal policing and intelligence source development. The U.S. assisted the National Assembly on improving legal frameworks, and on training officials on budget oversight, expenditure tracking and revenue transparency, which enabled the House of Representatives Public Procurement Committee to develop a database to track and scrutinize procurement. The USG also trained journalists and activists on government accountability.
PAKISTAN -- Pakistan is a party to the UNCAC. In mid-2009, the Supreme Court required the establishment of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The U.S. has supported the IMF Standards and Codes for Fiscal Transparency program, provided technical assistance and training, and supported re-drafting and passage of the new anti-money laundering law that adheres to Financial Action Task Force recommendations. USAID’s Anticorruption Program in Pakistan supported systemic reforms at the federal, provincial and local levels.
PHILIPPINES -- The Philippines is a party to the UNCAC. The government’s Ombudsman has developed a National Anti-Corruption Program of Action to bring all anticorruption efforts under a Multi-Sectoral Anticorruption Council. The U.S. supported judicial reform activities, including a rigorous analysis of existing laws on bank secrecy, asset forfeiture, and investigators’ police powers. The U.S. also supported integrity development reviews, and anticorruption measures in the Supreme Court, trial courts, and select local government offices. The MCC Threshold program included anticorruption components. Support for the Anti-Graft Court and other agencies resulted in the adoption of new and improved systems for declaring assets, liabilities, and net worth for all government officials. The U.S. supported training for investigative journalists and a civil society-led court watch program.
RUSSIA --Russia is a party to the UNCAC. The Duma passed legislation requiring financial disclosure by officials, expanding public access to court documents, and restricting so-called “regulatory inspections” of small and medium sized businesses. Extortion by officials remains a significant problem. The U.S., though DOJ, trained prosecutors on corruption cases and conducted programs with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service on combating criminal cartels. USAID funded training for members of regional judicial ethics enforcement bodies and advised those rewriting the Code of Judicial Ethics. In 2009, USAID funded monitors of public resources in electoral campaigns, including an electronic resource center, and a vigorous media campaign on anticorruption measures. USAID also helped associations conduct anticorruption advocacy campaigns.
UKRAINE -- Ukraine is a party to the UNCAC. In 2009, Parliament enacted, with U.S. assistance, three anticorruption laws, but delayed the implementation until 2011. DOJ assisted seven ministries and agencies to create internal investigative units, and draft financial disclosure and conflicts legislation to comply with its international obligations. A three-year, MCC Threshold Program on corruption concluded in 2009. The U.S. supported the justice system, including developing judicial ethics standards, piloting complaint mechanisms for public input, and posting judicial enforcement decisions publicly. The U.S. supported parliamentary hearings on anticorruption issues, corporate governance, and procurement legislation. The U.S. supported new electronic disclosure systems in the financial sector, anticorruption and advocacy campaigns, training in investigative journalism, and journalists’ legal assistance. U.S.-supported public opinion polling has reached about 10 percent of Ukrainians in the past two years.
VIETNAM -- Vietnam is a party to the UNCAC. In July 2009, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering found Vietnam’s AML regime overwhelmingly non-compliant with FATF AML standards. However, the Prime Minister established a steering committee to develop an AML strategy. The U.S. Embassy Good Governance Working Group meets regularly to strategize on anticorruption and good governance initiatives. USAID assisted the Government Inspectorate Training Institute and Project 30, which streamlined hundreds of administrative procedures that create obstacles to business operation and service delivery. The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service hosted an International Trade Administration Anticorruption in Trade (ACT) Program preliminary assessment for a potential ACT program for Vietnam, focusing on procurement and the FCPA.