Contact: unicorn@againstcorruption.org


UNITED AGAINST CORRUPTION

Contact: unicorn@againstcorruption.org

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UNICORN works with trade unions around the world to combat bribery and corruption

trade unions

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) organised an anti-corruption rally attended by an estimated 10,000 people, in response to revelations of corruption in the power sector.  

The Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) marked Labour Day by calling the government to fight grand corruption among its top officials.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for urgent progress in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

  campaigns


United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC): Join the Coalition of Civil Society Friends of UNCAC, a global Coalition committed to the implementation of UNCAC. Contact:

Gillian Dell: gdell@transparency.org;

Kirstine Drew: unicorn@againstcorruption.org

highlights

 

August 2010: On 10 August, a delegation from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) met with government officials in Mexico to discuss ITF concerns about human rights violations and health and safety in the country's offshore oil and gas sector. The visit followed an earlier ITF report, which reported that Mexico alongside Nigeria had the worst working conditions in the world due to corruption in the oil industry. 

 

February 2010: On the 12th February, lawyers acting on behalf of The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) wrote to the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to signal their intention to request a judicial review of its settlement with BAE. Earlier, on the 5th February,  the SFO and the US Department of Justice both announced settlements with BAE Systems plc, which had agreed to pay 300 million pounds in penalties. 

 

January 2010: In 2009, enforcement actions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the US reached an all time high and saw the use of new enforcement theories, which extended the liability of US-based executives for the actions of  foreign subsidiaries and led to charges being brought against the recipients of the bribes - foreign public officials.

 

December 2009: The OECD used the occasion of Anti-corruption Day, the 9th December, to launch a new global initiative to raise awareness of foreign bribery and to release its 2009 Anti-bribery Recommendation, which obliges parties to take further anti-bribery measures, including protection for whistleblowers.

 

November 2009: On the 9th November, the Conference of  the States Parties for the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) adopted a review mechanism, which fell far short of civil society demands, as well as the standards set by other review mechanisms.      

 

October 2009: On the 1st October, the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced that it intended to seek consent from the Attorney General to prosecute BAE Systems for overseas corruption offences. 

 

September 2009: G20 Leaders stated their commitment to the OECD Anti-bribery Convention and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), calling for "an effective, transparent, and inclusive" UNCAC review mechanism to be adopted in Doha, in November 2009. In the UK,  Mabey & Johnson was convicted for overseas corruption offences in Ghana and Jamaica in a landmark prosecution. 

 

July 2009: On the 2nd July, the World Bank announced that Siemens was required to pay $100 million to support the global fight against corruption, as part of its settlement with the World Bank Group following bribery by a Siemens' subsidiary in Russia.

 

June 2009: On the 20th June, the Guardian reported that Austria was likely to bring charges against Count Mensdorff-Pouilly for bribery in connection with arms contracts won by BAE Systems.  Earlier in June, the Swedish prosecutor closed a related investigation into bribery allegations surrounding the sale and lease of Swedish fighter jets abroad.

May 2009: On the 1st May, twenty-four CEOs submitted a letter to the UN Secretary-General calling for governments to establish a review mechanism at the next Conference of States Parties, in Doha in November 2009. On the 6th May, a French judge announced an 'unprecedented' investigation into three African Heads of State for money laundering and other alleged crimes relating to their wealth in France, following a complaint submitted by Transparency International France.

April 2009: On the 22nd April, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called on the Government to bring to justice those public officials involved in the Halliburton and Siemens' bribery scandals. Earlier in the month, Israel became a signatory to the OECD Anti-bribery Convention and South African prosecutors dropped corruption charges against Jacob Zuma.

 

March 2009: On the 25th March, the UK published its long-awaited Draft Bribery Bill. On the 19th March, newspapers reported that Shell was under investigation in the US for bribery related to the construction of liquified natural gas facilities in Bonny Island, Nigeria. 

 

February 2009: On the 11th February, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR)  pleaded guilty to bribery charges related to the construction of liquified natural gas facilities in Bonny Island, Nigeria. In its plea bargain KBR agreed to pay a criminal fine of $402 million.  

 

January 2009: On the 26th January, WSJ, Halliburton agreed to pay a record fine of  $559 million to settle charges of bribery related to the construction of a gas plant in Bonny Island,  Nigeria. On the 8th January, the investigative journalist Lasanthe Wickrematunge was murdered in Sri Lanka. Mr Wickrematunge was the editor of The Sunday Leader, a critical newspaper which exposed corruption. Here are his final words

 

December 2008: On the 19th December, authorities in Bangladesh announced an  investigation into alleged bribery by Siemens Bangladesh, ABB set aside $850 million for bribery related fines and two former employees of Willbros International were charged in relation to alleged bribery in Nigeria and Ecuador. On the 12th December, Siemens agreed to pay record fines of $1.6 billion to settle charges of worldwide bribery. On the 9th December, International Anti-corruption Day, TI's 2008 survey of corporate bribery revealed companies from Brazil, China and India to be the most corrupt. On the 8th December, Corner House won the 2008 Human Rights Award for its work on the BAE bribery case. Earlier in the month, in Nigeria the Nigeria Labour Congress wrote a letter to the President, calling on the Government to protect Nuhu Ribadu, and in South Africa Nobel peace prize laureates, Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk, called for an inquiry into the South African Arms Deal.

November 2008: On the 22rd November, in Nigeria, Nuhu Ribadu, a former anti-corruption crusador, was physically removed from his graduation ceremony, marking the latest in a series of incidents of harassment. On the 20th November, the UK's Law Commission published recommendations on reforming bribery, proposing two new offences: bribery of a foreign public official; and for companies, negligently failing to prevent bribery by an employee or agent. On the 5th November, Siemens announced that it had set aside €1 billion to settle U.S. and German charges that it bribed officials to win contracts in at least a dozen countries.


October 2008
: On the 17th October, the OECD Working Group on Bribery published a highly critical report on the UK's implementation of the OECD Anti-bribery Convention. On the 13th October, the UN and INTERPOL announced the creation of the world's first anti-corruption training centre.

 

September 2008: At the High Level meeting on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra, Ghana, the Publish What You Fund initiative was launched, Transparency International called for urgent action on transparency, accountability and citizen participation and civil society set out its demands in its Better Aid statement.

 

August 2008: On 22nd August, the UK secured its first conviction for foreign bribery, when the Managing Director of a security company, The CBRN Team, admitted bribing Ugandan public officials. Earlier, in Japan, prosecutors arrested the former president of Pacific Consultants International (PCI) on suspicion of paying bribes in Vietnam for projects funded by Japanese Official Development Assistance. 

 

July 2008: In the UK, on the 30th July, the House of Lords overturned the judgment of the High Court that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted unlawfully when he terminated the SFO's investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in its arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Earlier, the G8 published its first report setting out the progress made by members in implementing their corruption commitments.

 

June 2008: Transparency International released its annual Progress Report on the OECD Anti-bribery Convention. The World Bank Institute published its latest Worldwide Governance Indicators, measuring six dimensions of governance for 212 countries. UNDP released its Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, which examined corruption from the perspective of development and democracy-consolidation in the region.  

 

May 2008: The Woolf Committee published its report on BAE Systems plc and ethical business conduct, which contained 23 "robust and challenging" recommendations. BAE had already committed itself to fully implementing all recommendations. 

 

April 2008: The Serious Fraud Office in the UK was given leave to appeal against a High Court judgment that it "acted unlawfully" when it halted the investigation into BAE Systems and the Al Yamamah arms deal.  Earlier, the OECD carried out an examination of the UK's implementation of the OECD Anti-bribery Convention.

 

March 2008: The UK Government published its Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill, containing proposals to increase the powers of the Attorney General to stop criminal investigations on 'national security' grounds. The Swiss Bank, Julius Baer, dropped its lawsuit against Wikileaks.

 

February 2008: Wikileaks, which publishes 'anonymous, untraceable and uncensorable' documents, was taken offline after a fire and a restraining order. The High Court (London) heard the Judicial Review brought by The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) contesting the legality of the decision to terminate the investigation into alleged bribery by BAE Systems. 

 

January 2008: The head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria, Nuhu Ribadu, agreed to stand down for a year, following pressure from the President to attend a training course.  Earlier, Human Rights Watch described efforts to remove Ribadu as a "thinly veiled attempt to gut the only law enforcement agency that has tried to hold prominent ruling party politicians to account for their many crimes".

 

December 2007: Siemens allegedly made improper payments to senior officials of the Association of Independent Employees, an employer-friendly competitor to the main trade union at the company IG Metall. Earlier in the month Nigeria debarred Siemens for corruption.

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