Marshall Islands

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and although the government generally implemented the law effectively, officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Freedom House reported that corruption was a chronic problem, particularly in foreign aid allocation, government procurement, and transfers, and that high-ranking public officials were rarely prosecuted for corruption.

Corruption: The Attorney General’s Office issued three indictments of public officials for corruption and dismissed the chief of immigration who was under investigation. Credible evidence suggested problems with government officials colluding in goods being smuggled into the country.

Financial Disclosure: Public officials are required to report any gifts in excess of $100; there are no other financial disclosure requirements.

Micronesia

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government generally implemented the law effectively, but some officials reportedly engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. There were numerous anecdotal reports of corruption.

Corruption: The Attorney General’s Office within the Department of Justice has primary responsibility for combating government corruption, including investigation and prosecution of individual cases. It operated somewhat independently. The office had sufficient resources, but observers said it allowed the Transnational Crime Unit (which investigates corruption) to deteriorate. The public auditor referred some corruption cases to the Department of Justice during the year.

Financial Disclosure: No laws, regulations, or codes of conduct require income and asset disclosure by public officials.

Palau

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

Government corruption was a problem, and the government took some steps to address it. The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials. The Office of the Special Prosecutor, an independent entity, is authorized to prosecute any corruption in the government.

Corruption: The Office of the Special Prosecutor continued to receive reports of corruption and mismanagement of public funds.

On July 27, the government charged Leon Gulibert, president of the Angaur State legislature, with nine felonies and 15 misdemeanors for misconduct in office, ethics violations, assault, sexual harassment, terrorist threats, nonpayment of wages, tax violations, and filing false and fraudulent tax returns. The case has yet to go to trial.

The case of the former governor of Ngiwal State, Ellender Ngirameketii (son-in-law of former president Thomas Remengesau Sr.), who was arrested in July 2019 and charged with misconduct in office, falsifying financial disclosure statements, and understating payments for security services provided by his company to the government, continued. The trial was delayed because of travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Disclosure: The government requires elected and some appointed public officials to file annual financial disclosure statements; candidates for office must file a similar statement including precampaign statements with the Ethics Commission. These statements are available for public inspection. There are administrative and criminal sanctions for noncompliance.

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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future