Ninth Report To Congress Pursuant To The International Anticorruption And Good Governance Act (Public Law 106-309)
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
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. anticorruption efforts and key counterpart efforts, in priority countries. This report covers activities in 2014-2015.
I. U.S. INTERNATIONAL ANTICORRUPTION INITIATIVES
Work in 2014 laid the foundations for increased efforts and high-level political attention in 2015. Secretary Kerry gave significant prominence to anticorruption efforts in the State Department’s 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. To promote reform and implementation, the United States continues to fund bilateral and regional capacity building programs to strengthen law enforcement institutions, enhance civil society participation, and streamline bureaucratic systems. Policy initiatives complement capacity building programs to build political will, set standards, and enhance cooperation. Key emphases include:
The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC): The UNCAC, with 178 Parties by the end of 2015, has globalized the fight against corruption. Almost all Parties are in the process of completing a first round of peer reviews, which examined compliance with commitments on the criminalization of corruption and international cooperation, as defined by the Convention. The Conference of States Parties met in St. Petersburg in November 2015 and agreed to launch the second round of peer reviews in 2016.
Regional, Special Initiatives and High-Level Commitments: The United States co-chaired the G20 Anticorruption Working Group in 2015, shepherding important commitments on procurement transparency and open data, and launching the Denial of Entry Experts network. The United States continued to support the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery to coordinate cooperation in pursuit of stolen assets from the Middle East and North Africa stowed abroad; based on that model, the United States and United Kingdom co-organized the 2014 Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery. The United States remains a leader of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multi-stakeholder effort to enhance transparency, citizen engagement, and accountability, and of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which the United States itself has committed to implement.
Other U.S. Reports: The Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports contain additional anticorruption information that Department of State missions collect, including the work of host country partners. The Department’s Investment Climate Statements provide country-specific assessments on investment laws and practices, including corruption. Information about U.S. foreign assistance levels can be found at the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. Information about trade volume can be found in Department of Commerce reports.
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service join forces to include an anticorruption section in the Country Commercial Guides. Prepared by market experts located at U.S. embassies worldwide, it includes information for exporters on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other international anticorruption instruments and initiatives.
No Safe Haven: The authorities of Presidential Proclamation 7750 and Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2015 (Div. J, P.L. 113-235) serve as tools to deny entry into the United States of qualifying corrupt officials, bribe payers, and benefitting family members.
II. SELECT U.S. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS1
Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential elections saw historic turnout and marked the country’s first democratic transfer of power. To address the chronic problem of corruption, USAID invests in programs to promote accountability and transparent governance and to develop the capacity of government institutions to govern effectively. In 2015, it launched the $12.7 million Advancing Effective Reforms for Civic Accountability program to help government officials implement reforms to combat corruption and strengthen the ability of Afghan civil society organizations to perform watchdog functions. The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funded anti-corruption training for justice sector actors throughout Afghanistan; provided training and mentoring for anti-corruption units at the Ministry of Interior and Attorney General’s Office; supported a method to centralize and track legal cases, reducing opportunities for corruption; and created a citizen participation program fostering transparency within justice institutions.
Guatemala – The U.S. government has provided critical support, totaling $36 million since 2008, to the UN’s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) to help combat corruption by building the capacity of prosecutors, judges, and investigators working on high-profile, corruption-related cases. Working closely with the Guatemalan Office of the Attorney General, CICIG uncovered a scandal in 2015 that led to the resignation and arrest of then President Otto Perez Molina and his Vice President Roxana Baldetti on charges of bribery and fraud. Guatemala’s new democratically-elected President requested a CICIG extension through 2019, reaffirming his promise to institute a “zero tolerance for corruption” policy in his government. With U.S. government advisory support, training, and equipment, Guatemala created its own Internal Affairs Prosecutors Unit, vetted the Seized Assets Prosecutors Unit, replaced heads of underperforming offices, and provided resources to the Anti-Corruption Unit.
Haiti – USAID assistance built an integrated financial management system which bolstered control of revenues and expenditures, facilitated audits and increased revenue collection by as much as 400 percent in key municipalities. With assistance from INL, the Haitian National Police Office of the Inspector General vetted officer files, recommending dismissal of more than 740 personnel for infractions and the removal of “phantom” officers from the payroll. The U.S. government supplied technical assistance to the Supreme Judicial Council that vetted and certified 1,000 judges. Through an INL grant, the American Bar Association (ABA) bolstered the capacity of Haitian judges and prosecutors, resulting in the first successful prosecution of a corrupt public official in December 2015, the first case since Haiti passed its anti-corruption law in 2014.
Honduras – In 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce worked with the Honduran Ministry of Economy and international partners to sponsor regional government procurement workshops addressing transparency. USAID strengthened the Superior Accounts Tribunal and municipal auditors to carry out audits while addressing civil society-led initiatives to increase transparency and accountability in the use of public resources, resulting in a significant rise in the number of both internal audits and “social audits” over the last few years. INL support to the Public Ministry through embedded U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) legal advisors and INL police advisors has helped advance corruption and money laundering cases, which resulted in the convictions of high level Honduran government officials and millions of dollars of assets and seized. In 2015, the United States supported the Organization of American States (OAS) Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, which aims to combat corruption networks in Honduras.
Iraq – When Da’esh began its summer attack in Anbar province in 2014, the collapse of the Iraqi Security Forces was blamed in part on corruption, due to military commanders’ practice of embezzling the salaries of non-existent “ghost soldiers” in their ranks. Corruption has emerged as a primary concern of Iraqi citizens, and INL-funded programs through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) seek to address this by assisting Iraq in implementing its anticorruption commitments under the UNCAC. Through June 2015, a USAID program called Tarabot (linkages) provided the Government of Iraq with broad support for strengthening public management and service delivery through improved management of human and fiscal resources. This program included civil service reform, national policy management, and administrative decentralization among a wide range of government agencies across 15 provinces, excluding the Kurdish Regional Government.
Jamaica – U.S. assistance in Jamaica seeks to promote greater transparency and good governance. In 2015, Jamaica achieved two key legislative goals: passage of legislation to implement a Single Anti-Corruption Agency with prosecutorial powers and campaign finance reform legislation. USAID provided anticorruption training to justice sector actors and supported public awareness through the National Integrity Action (NIA). In 2015, NIA’s first documentary on corruption won the Audience Award at the 1st Annual Caribe Film Fest in Miami. Training sponsored by NIA included a series for journalists, investigators, and prosecutors on investigating and prosecuting financial crime taught by an assistant U.S. attorney. The above efforts contributed to Jamaica’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index improving 16 places in 2015 from 85 to 69 of 168 countries ranked. In 2015, the INL-supported Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, created in 2014, filed corruption-related charges in 48 cases of public sector and police corruption.
Morocco – Morocco’s recent decentralization initiatives have set the stage for greater citizen participation in local governance and confirmed the right to consultation on government initiatives and access to public information. The State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) funds an ABA project to create opportunities for citizens to play an active role in local governments and for communities to better respond to citizen demands. INL also funded an ABA project to increase citizen access to justice and reduce corruption, which provided information on the criminal justice system to more than 140,000 citizens and an estimated five million individuals through national and regional radio shows.
Mozambique – As part of a wider package of assistance, INL funded a DOJ legal advisor, who worked with the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office to combat corruption by developing the capacity of its financial management, procurement, planning and human resources departments. The legal advisor provided critical training for magistrates and justice officials at the national and provincial levels, which improved service delivery to victims and witnesses and bolstered justice sector actors’ effectiveness in prosecuting criminal cases.
Nigeria – U.S. assistance to Nigerian election authorities helped lead to more transparent, credible election processes, culminating in the relatively violence-free 2015 national elections, which brought about the first peaceful democratic transition of power from one political party to another in Nigerian history. INL worked with the Ministry of Justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to strengthen Nigeria’s anticorruption and financial crimes framework to track, investigate, and prosecute money laundering cases and seize assets, and to develop internal affairs, polygraph, and anti-terrorism financing units. President Buhari has elevated the anti-corruption fight, along with stolen asset recovery, to the top of his administration’s agenda.
Tunisia – While Tunisia has made great strides since its 2011 revolution, the public perceives corruption as a growing problem directly linking government weakness and security problems. U.S. programs under MEPI seek to combat corruption through government-to-citizen engagement. With U.S. support, the OECD promotes governance reforms to implement Tunisia’s OGP transparency and accountability commitments while the Financial Service Volunteer Corps implemented a training program for civil society and government officials on public finance and transparent budgeting. INL assistance, through the United Nations Development Program, is helping the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Agency build its capacity to deter, detect, and punish acts of corruption.
Ukraine – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program helped Ukraine improve transparency in trade and facilitated its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement. In 2015, with INL funding, DOJ legal advisors provided input into a comprehensive anti-corruption legislative package which established a National Anti-Corruption Bureau charged with investigating high level corruption, created a national agency to prevent corruption, and created a specialized anti-corruption unit within the Prosecutor General’s Office. An INL-funded DOJ law enforcement advisor introduced ethical standards and internal investigation units within law enforcement. Through 2015, the INL-funded National Police Recruitment Center vetted, tested, and interviewed 12,600 police officers in Kyiv, which led to the firing of 70 percent of management officers, and 15 percent of line officers. INL also developed anticorruption curriculum for the reformed Ukrainian Patrol Police, which is now the most trusted criminal justice institution in Ukraine. A Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL)-funded program helped establish an online, searchable database of public officials’ income and asset declarations, allowing journalists to examine and fact-check the declarations for accuracy in order to unearth any fraudulent claims.
1The United States fights corruption through programs implemented by a number of agencies and other partners that strengthen public institutions, including ministries, judiciaries, parliaments, and local governments, as well as civil society organizations. Global anticorruption programs of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) supported training for more than 2,300 government and law enforcement officials in 2015, with many additional INL activities at the bilateral level. USAID implemented good governance programs in 57 countries between 2014 and 2015. All countries below are UNCAC States Parties and meet the general criteria of receiving significant assistance or of being countries in which the United States has significant economic interests and which have issues related to good governance and corruption. The list is intended to represent a diverse indicative selection of countries and programs.