Corruption

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Anti-corruption activist shot dead in Iraq’s Basra

A prominent activist has been killed in Iraq‘s southern Basra province amid protests against poor public utilities and corruption, according to a local police officer. BAGHDAD – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Sheikh Wisam Ghazrawi outside his home in central Basra late Nov. 17, killing him on the spot, the officer said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media. Iraqi authorities have launched an investigation into the killing, for which no group has yet claimed responsibility. Ghazrawi, 30, was ... Read More »

Australia becoming more corrupt, warns former judge

Australia is becoming more corrupt because successive federal governments have failed to create an effective national anti-corruption body similar to the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption, a… Nick O’Malley The Sydney Morning Herald Writing in support of a national anti-corruption body, David Harper, a former Court of Appeals justice at the Supreme Court of Victoria, noted that in 2012 Australia ranked seventh in… “The lack of a federal anti-corruption agency remains a reason why we have never come close to ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Building Peace in Mexico: Dilemmas Facing the López Obrador Government

With hopes for change sky-high, Mexico’s president-elect confronts endemic violent crime and state corruption. ICG To make good on his campaign promises, his team should pursue justice in killings by state personnel, reform the civilian police and give robust mandates to truth commissions with victim participation. What’s new?  Mexico’s left-leaning president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will take office on 1 December after a landslide win. He promises to fight graft and reverse the militarisation of public security. But he inherits ... Read More »

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

While we digest the royal commission’s evidence of shocking misconduct by the banks and insurance companies, there’s another unpalatable truth to swallow: they have no monopoly on bad behaviour. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times It seems almost everywhere you look you see examples of companies behaving badly. In a major speech he gave a few months ago, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, offered a remarkable list of business household names the commission was taking proceedings ... Read More »

Equality: our secret weapon to fight corruption

“We look after our mates,” Australia’s new prime minister, Scott Morrison, has declared. He’s said it on several occasions, in fact. So it must be a value he thinks important. Meanwhile the man he defeated for the top job, Peter Dutton, has been embroiled in controversy over allegedly using his… Tony Ward The Conversation Where do we draw the line between looking after a mate and being corrupt? The line, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. ... Read More »

‘This smells’: Ethics expert slams SEQ council deal as key details removed from website

Moreton Bay Regional Council has removed from its website all information about its controversial outsourcing deal with a financial backer of its mayor and other councillors – its biggest single procurement – but… Mark Solomons Brisbane Times It comes as a national expert on public sector ethics and governance raised serious questions about the deal, some aspects of which are the subject of an investigation by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission, saying the… Queensland local government regulations require councils ... Read More »

The United Nations has entered its darkest hour

If the United Nations were a stock or an index fund, you might want to short it. Founded in 1945 to “maintain international peace and security,” the UN in recent years has been powerless to stop slaughter in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. James Gibney Brisbane Times Bloomberg Civil conflicts are nearing post-Cold War highs. The number of displaced people has hit a new record. After decades of improvement, more of the… The gap between what the UN seeks and receives ... Read More »

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. Authors: The Conversation But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should. Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on ... Read More »

A federal Icac won’t safeguard democracy unless it includes gifts and lobbying

Australian politicians now seem to broadly accept the need for anti-corruption action, but it must close loopholes George Rennie The Guardian Having long resisted, federal politicians now appear to broadly accept what Australian citizens have been screaming at them: that there is profound concern about the potential for bad lobbying to corrupt our democracy, and great desire for its proper policing. As a result, a plurality of the political parties appear willing to do what states and other countries did ... Read More »

Chevron wins Ecuador rainforest ‘oil dumping’ case

An international tribunal in The Hague has ruled in favour of the US oil company, Chevron, in an environmental dispute with the government of Ecuador. BBC Chevron had been ordered to pay $9.5bn (£7.4bn) compensation to thousands of residents in Ecuador’s Amazon region. They accused the company of dumping toxic waste in local lakes and rivers of the Lago Agrio region for decades. The court said that the 2011 Ecuador Supreme Court ruling had been obtained through fraud, bribery and ... Read More »

Lawyers perceived as only slightly more ethical than bankers

Even in the wake of the banking royal commission, Australians perceive lawyers to be almost as unethical as bankers, insurers and financial services professionals, according to new research. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly The Governance Institute Australian Ethics Index 2018 found that while the banking, financial services and insurance sectors have a net ethical score of -15, with only 30 per cent of respondents thinking tha… All sectors implicated in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial ... Read More »

Corruption watchdog has no way of measuring its productivity: audit

The agency responsible for investigating corruption in Australian law enforcement bodies has been told it has no way of knowing how efficiently it investigates corrupt conduct, and to pick up its act, in a… Sally Whyte The Canberra Times In the first audit of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity by the Australian National Audit Office, the watchdog was told it needed to improve how it manages cases, and how it… The auditor general couldn’t say whether the commission was ... Read More »

A Preview of Donald Trump’s Next Speech on Erdogan’s Turkey

Reflections on how to Make Turkey Great Again. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, and held him as a hostage, Donald Trump tried to get the fellow released. Ira Straus the Globalist This effort failing, he chose to respond with sanctions. Erdogan struck back with demagogic speeches about this being an attack on Turkey. The man in the Oval Office is unlikely to back down. He is not one to let go if someone locks horns ... Read More »