Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Little or no corruption law enforcement

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New Zealand is among 21 of 37 countries across the developed world which have "little or no enforcement" of anti-corruption laws, reads a new report.

The report comes from Transparency International, the world's leading anti-corruption organisation.

Unlike similar reports of a global nature, the TI report last year named names, but could not do the same this year:
"One case and one investigation were initiated in 2010 but no details are available. In the 2010 report two investigations were reported. The first was an investigation of SP Trading Limited. This case involved a New Zealand shell company allegedly implicated in the sale of 35 tonnes of North Korean explosives and anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The police and the Serious Fraud Office undertook an investigation, which has been completed without any resulting prosecution. The second investigation concerned possible involvement of a New Zealand company in connection with allegations that Hewlett Packard had paid bribes to secure a contract in Russia. According to the TI expert, government officials have indicated that New Zealand’s involvement in that investigation has ended."
As well as a lack of enforcement, TI said that experts had again "found significant inadequacies in the legal framework for prohibiting foreign bribery."

Problems highlighted in the report involving New Zealand include:
Inadequate resources.
Decentralised or uncoordinated enforcement.
Inadequate complaints system and/or whistle-blower protection.
Lack of awareness-raising.
Lack of access to information about the number of foreign bribery cases.
Information on status of cases and other details is not systematically accessible.
The report appears to show that New Zealanders object to allegations of corruption - including the TI "expert" who is said to have stated that "criticism is not warranted" when it comes to New Zealand bribery overseas.

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