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Marshall Islands

9. Corruption

There are credible allegations and periodic prosecutions for misuse of government funds and abuse of public office for private gain.  Government procurement and transfers appear most vulnerable to corruption, and personal relationships sometimes play a role in government decisions.  Government officials at all levels are permitted to invest in and own private businesses without regard for conflict-of-interest considerations. Foreign aid has been abused and past audits report a number of financial irregularities connected to donor-funded activities.  Bribery of both domestic or foreign officials is a second-degree felony. The Marshall Islands acceded to the UN Convention against Corruption in September 2011. Although there are frequent credible allegations of public corruption in the RMI, few high-ranking government officials are ever charged, prosecuted, or sentenced.  Government officials caught up in corruption allegations are typically removed from one ministry and later put in a position of authority in a different ministry.

Domestic and international firms as well as NGOs have repeatedly identified corruption as a problem in the business environment and a major detractor for international firms exploring investment or business activities in the local market.

Resources to Report Corruption

Richard Hickson
Attorney General
RMI Attorney General Office
PO Box 890
Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 96960
Telephone: +692 625 3244
Fax: +692 625 5218
Email: Richard_Hickson@hotmail.com

No international, regional, or local watchdog organizations operate in the country.

Investment Climate Statements
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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future