Tag Archive for Corruption

Special Inspector General Strategic Plan for Tracking Anti-Corruption Progress in Afghanistan

SIGAR-AntiCorruption

Reducing corruption and increasing accountability are important components of the U.S. reconstruction strategy in Afghanistan. Since 2002, the United States has appropriated over $96 billion for reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan and, as part of that assistance, has designated numerous programs or activities to directly or indirectly help strengthen the ability of Afghan government institutions to combat corruption. In 2010, in line with a commitment to provide more assistance directly to the Afghan government, the United States and other donors committed, in part, to providing technical assistance to develop the Afghan government’s capacity to reduce corruption. The ability of the Afghan government to deliver services to its citizens without the illicit diversion of resources is crucial to the country’s development and the government’s standing as a legitimate, sovereign authority. Further, as Afghanistan subsequently enters a transformation phase during which it will need to rely on progressively smaller amounts of funding from international donors, it must work to ensure that the revenue it generates is not susceptible to graft and corruption.

UNODC Bribery and Corruption in Afghanistan Report

The large-scale population survey on the extent of bribery and four sector-specific integrity surveys of public officials undertaken by UNODC and the Government of Afghanistan in 2011/2012 reveal that the delivery of public services remains severely affected by bribery in Afghanistan and that bribery has a major impact on the country’s economy. In 2012, half of Afghan citizens paid a bribe while requesting a public service and the total cost of bribes paid to public officials amounted to US$ 3.9 billion. This corresponds to an increase of 40 per cent in real terms between 2009 and 2012, while the ratio of bribery cost to GDP remained relatively constant (23 per cent in 2009; 20 per cent in 2012).

Afghanistan Independent Anti-Corruption Monitoring Report on the Kabul Bank Crisis

Kabul Bank’s controlling shareholders, key supervisors and managers led a sophisticated operation of fraudulent lending and embezzlement predominantly through a loan-book scheme. This resulted in Kabul Bank being deprived of approximately $935 million funded mostly from customer’s deposits. The loan-book scheme provided funds through proxy borrowers without repayment; fabricated company documents and financial statements; and used information technology systems that allowed Kabul Bank to maintain one set of financial records to satisfy regulators, and another to keep track of the real distribution of bank funds. Shareholders, related individuals and companies, and politically exposed people were the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement. Over 92 percent of Kabul Bank’s loan-book – or approximately $861 million – was for the benefit of 19 related parties (companies and individuals).

(U//FOUO) ISAF CJIATF-Shafafiyat Afghan Corruption Information Paper

The level of corruption across Afghanistan’s public and private sectors represents a threat to the success of ISAF’s mission and the viability of the Afghan state. Corruption undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of Afghanistan’s government, fuels discontent among the population, and generates active and passive support for the insurgency. Corruption and organized crime also serve as a barrier to Afghanistan’s economic growth by robbing the state of revenue and preventing the development of a strong licit economy, thus perpetuating Afghan dependence on international assistance. Corruption also threatens the process of security transition, as institutions weakened by criminality will be unable to accept the transfer of responsibility for security and governance.

Quebec Anti-Corruption Unit Report on Criminal Collusion in the Road Construction Industry

Le ministère des Transports du Québec signe de plus en plus de contrats puisque le volume de ses travaux est en pleine croissance. Sa planification quinquennale fait état de plus de 4 000 projets routiers qui en sont à différentes étapes de préparation. En moyenne, seulement pour les travaux de construction, plus de 700 nouveaux contrats sont octroyés annuellement’. Or dans ce contexte d’externalisation croissante des dépenses de l’État dans ce secteur d’activités, on craint que des entreprises concluent entre elles des ententes secrètes à leur bénéfice, mais qui sont préjudiciables au bien public. On parle ici de collusion entre quelques joueurs majeurs de l’industrie, ce qui permet une prise de contrôle occulte du processus d’attribution des contrats de sous-traitance, réservés alors à quelques initiés. Et si la collusion prend une telle importance dans le domaine particulier de la construction routière, c’est sans contredit en raison du caractère massif et continu des investissements qui y sont faits et qu’on nous annonce encore pour les années à venir.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Investigation of Puerto Rican Police Abuses

We recognize that PRPD faces significant challenges as Puerto Rico’s primary law enforcement agency. The unconstitutional acts that we have identified arise at a time of crisis in public safety. Contrary to national trends, violent crime increased overall in Puerto Rico by 17% from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, Puerto Rico saw the second highest number of murders in its history, a trend that is escalating in 2011. The clearance rate for murders remains below the national average. Some Puerto Rico officials maintain that drug trafficking and social deterioration are fueling the wave of violent crime. However, increasing crime cannot be used to justify continued civil rights violations or the failure to implement meaningful reforms. Constitutional policing and effective law enforcement are inextricably bound. Public safety depends on the trust and cooperation of the community, which in turn depends on constitutional police practices that respect civil rights. Our previous efforts in working with large police departments strongly suggest that by addressing the civil rights concerns we raise in this report, the Commonwealth will not only meet its constitutional duty, but also reduce crime, improve public safety, and increase community confidence.

U.S. House of Representatives Report: Warlords Provide Security for U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan

Security for the U.S. Supply Chain Is Principally Provided by Warlords. The principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority. Providing “protection” services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government.

Indian Karnataka Lokayukta (People’s Commissioner) Report on Mining Industry Corruption

A 466-page summary of a more than 25,000-page report compiled by the Indian government’s Karnataka Lokayukta or People’s Commissioner who investigated years of illegal activities in the Indian mining sector, including widespread corruption, bribery and the exportation of illicit iron ore worth more than $3 billion. The report has met with widespread controversy due to its singling out of a number of prominent billionaires in the Indian mining industry.

USAID Kabul Bank Fraud Report Classified/Unclassified Version Comparison

In May 2011, the USAID Office of the Inspector General published a report on the agency’s supervision and oversight of assistance activities in Afghanistan and the Kabul Bank crisis. This report was quickly withdrawn and the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood quoted a USAID official as saying that “At the time our report was issued, it was written utilizing information from non-classified sources. After our report had been issued, USAID subsequently classified two documents that were cited in our report. This action resulted in the report becoming classified and we removed it from the web site.” Now that an “Unclassified” version of the report has been released, a comparison of the two versions reveals the “classified” portions of the report that were concealed by USAID. These sections of the report indicate that a material loss review was commissioned by USAID/Afghanistan and completed in May 2010 indicating that $850 million, or 94 percent of the value of the bank’s outstanding loans, had been fraudulently diverted to “insiders” connected with the bank. The concealed sections also indicate that Deloitte and Da Afghanistan Bank failed to provide this report to USAID for nearly six months.

World Bank Fraud, Corruption, and Collusion in the Roads Sector Report

Because an extensive, well maintained network of roads is essential for economic development, road construction and maintenance projects have been a mainstay of the World Bank’s lending portfolio since its founding. This long experience in the roads sector is reflected in favorable project evaluations. The Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group reports that roads and other transport projects consistently score higher on measures of outcomes, institutional development, and sustainability than non-transport projects and the Bank’s Quality Assurance Group has found that roads projects are well-supervised. At the same time, roads projects around the globe remain plagued by fraud, corruption, and collusion. A Transparency International poll ranked construction as the industry most prone to corruption and a survey of international firms revealed that companies in the construction industry were more likely than firms in any other sector to have lost a contract because of bribery. World Bank-financed projects are not immune. Roughly one-fourth of the 500 plus projects with a Bank-funded roads component approved over the past decade drew one or more allegations of fraud, corruption, or collusion; to date, the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) has confirmed allegations in 25 projects resulting in 29 cases of misconduct under Bank rules.

UNODC Corruption in Afghanistan Report

Stability in Afghanistan – where it exists – is terribly fragile. Security is a daily concern for Afghan people, and even those living in more secure areas of the country face a fluid and volatile security situation that sees rapid changes, often for the worse. Central government control is tenuous, especially in rural areas and parts of the country that are the scene of conflict with insurgents. Access to even the most basic of government services – health, education, electricity – is tenuous at best and often unavailable. Complicating matter exponentially is the extreme poverty of Afghanistan – a country struggling with some of the most daunting statistics in the world for literacy, maternal mortality, food security, and life expectancy. In this context, simply to survive from one day to the next is a terrible challenge for many people.

Washington Post Censors Article About Half of Karzai’s Palace Being On CIA Payroll

The Washington Post has changed significant portions of an article published earlier today regarding the CIA’s payment of large numbers of people within Hamid Karzai’s administration in Afghanistan. These changes occur mostly in the beginning of the article and substantially manipulate its content. Most notable among the changes is the complete elimination of a quote describing how “half of Karzai’s palace” is on the CIA payroll. This quote, from an anonymous U.S. government official, was replaced with a paraphrased statement that “a significant number” of officials in Karzai’s administration are paid by the CIA. This alteration is followed by a quote from a CIA spokesman, which does not appear in the original article, who says that the “anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both.” Another significant quote from this anonymous source, detailing how Kazai is “blind to about 80 percent of what’s going on below him”, was also completely eliminated from the article. There are also a number of smaller changes all of which are designed to eliminate the perception of ignorance, malfeasance, and public perception that the Afghan government is almost wholly owned by the CIA.