IACA to Receive Funding Under the Siemens Integrity Initiative

The Siemens Integrity Initiative announced that it will support IACA activities with 4.98 million USD in the next four years. This is the largest donation made by the private sector so far to the organization’s anti-corruption education and research.

IACA’s proposal was selected among the first group of recipients under the Siemens Integrity Initiative’s second round of funding. It aims to support a long-term project on collective action, compliance and (private sector) anti-corruption, which will provide in-depth analyses in these fields and offer capacity-building programmes and technical assistance to promote fair market conditions. What is more, the project also allows for providing grants to individuals from Least Developed Countries and Emerging Markets to enable their participation in IACA’s trainings.

With total funding of more than 100 million USD, the Siemens Integrity Initiative constitutes one element of the July 2009 settlement between Siemens and the World Bank and the March 2013 settlement between Siemens and the European Investment Bank. Funding applications were received from more than 180 well-known non-profit organizations from about 60 countries.

Already in 2010, IACA was awarded 2 million USD by the Siemens Integrity Initiative to co-finance its Summer Academy and provide scholarships for participants from Least Developed Countries and Emerging Markets, over five years. More than 250 anti-corruption professionals from over 100 countries have benefitted from this important initiative.

We are grateful for this continuous support for empowering professionals.

IACA Holds Graduation Ceremony for MACS 2012-2014

"On a cold and frigid morning in Laxenburg in February 2013, a group of strangers were first introduced to each other, and set out together on the herculean task of studying this amorphous beast of corruption".

These were the words of Class Speaker Mr. Arjun Ahluwalia at the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) graduation ceremony, held at IACA yesterday, International Anti-Corruption Day.

“At many times through this journey, it was easy to become disheartened given the staggering scale of corruption worldwide  (…) However, between this diverse group of students, this driven administration of IACA and the passion of our stellar faculty (…) they continually reaffirmed my faith that our work is timely and necessary, and that each of us here is not alone. (…) IACA is a lightning rod for all those who make it a part of their life’s work to combat corruption.”

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The MACS was launched in December 2012 as the first post-graduate progamme on anti-corruption and compliance. An “in career" programme, it was designed against an interdisciplinary background of theoretical and practical approaches, drawing on the best of the public sector and the business world. The MACS ran over two years combining seven on-site modules and distance learning. Module VI (Enforcement) was delivered in cooperation with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy in Kuala Lumpur.

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Thirty-one students from 17 different countries were admitted, coming from national anti-corruption authorities, private businesses, academia, civil society, and international organizations. Last night, 22 of them walked across the stage to receive their Master’s degrees in Anti-Corruption Studies. Fédéric St-Martin from Canada was honoured for having produced the best thesis (Measuring the Effectiveness of Canadian Whistleblowing Law). The award for the most innovative thesis went to Amit Kumar from India (Impact Assessment of CBI Investigation in NRHM Scam in State of Uttar Pradesh, India: A case study of two districts).

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During his commencement address, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, the guest of honour and formerly the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, shared his personal experience of fighting corruption. He also stressed the importance of the alumni network and reminded graduates that although those fighting corruption are always running slower than those doing it, great progress is nevertheless being made. “Seeing you here today, the first graduates of the MACS, is proof of that”.

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In his laudatio, Mr. Martin Kreutner, the Dean of IACA, congratulated the 22 successful students and reminded them that the educated have to take over some additional responsibility for the public good, the polis and the res publica. “In the context of what was said on sustainable development, poverty eradication, social, economic, and political prosperity; in light of the notions of academic freedom, freedom of speech and free critical thinking, I take the liberty of inviting all of you, dear graduates, even urging you to join the forces of this notable and important cause”.

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Mr. Nikos Passas, Member of the Academic Consortium, Ms. Monika Stumpf-Hulsrøj, MACS Coordinator, and H.E. Mr. Muhyiedeen Touq, Chair of the Defence Committee, also addressed the remarkable group, saluting their achievements, and thanking them for the visions and pioneering spirit they have shared with IACA and the international anti-corruption family.

The ceremony and reception that followed were joined by family, friends, faculty and a wider network of distinguished guests.

Congratulations to the Graduating Class:

Mr. Ademola ADEBO   (Nigeria)
Mr. Arjun AHLUWALIA    (India)
Mr. Emmanuel AKOMAYE   (Nigeria)
Mr. Ivan ATUYAMBE   (Uganda)
Ms. Florica DRAGOMIR   (Romania)
Mr. Juliano FRANCO   (Portugal)
Ms. Mweemba HAANINGA   (Zambia)
Mr. D. Blamo KOFA    (Liberia)
Mr. Amit KUMAR   (India)
Mr. Gerhard LEVY   (Austria)
Mr. Robert LUGOLOBI   (Uganda) 
Mr. Thomas MITSCHA   (Austria)
Ms. Barbara NEIGER   (Austria)
Ms. Folake OLUOKUN   (Nigeria)
Mr. Khusraw PARWEZ   (Afghanistan)
Mr. Yalchin RAFIYEV   (Azerbaijan)
Ms. Karen SCHONFELDER   (Canada)
Mr. Nuru Addis SEDIK   (Ethiopia)
Mr. Kelvin SIWALE   (Zambia)
Mr. Frédéric ST-MARTIN   (Canada)
Ms. Carola WETT   (Austria)
Mr. Andreas WIESELTHALER   (Austria)

Address of Mr. Martin Kreutner

Address of Arjun Ahluwalia, MACS Class Speaker

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Memorandum of Understanding Signed with the Bulgarian NIJ

IACA and the Bulgarian National Institute of Justice (NIJ) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening cooperation in preventing and combating corruption.

The memorandum, which was signed by IACA’s Dean Martin Kreutner and NIJ Director Dragomir Yordanov on 9 December, calls for mutual support in the areas of technical assistance, training and education, and sets out the scope of implementation.

Founded in 2004, the NIJ is a public institution that aims to improve the efficiency of jurisdiction in Bulgaria through quality professional training.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2014

On 9 December, IACA will join the annual commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day in honouring of the first graduates of its Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS).

Launched two years ago, the programme represents the first in-career, post-graduate study of corruption and compliance. It was developed against an interdisciplinary background of theoretical and practical approaches, drawing on the best of different sectors. Thirty-one students from 17 counties participated in the first cycle, MACS 2012 - 2014.

The graduation ceremony at IACA’s Palais Wittgenstein on International Anti-Corruption Day will celebrate their achievements in front of family, friends, and a wider network of distinguished guests. For members of the MACS academic community, it is a time to rejoice the efforts of the students they have supported during their two-year journey.

The graduates will be given a rousing send-off as they prepare to build on or launch their careers as anti-corruption fighters. Luis Moreno Ocampo, first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, will join the ceremony as a keynote speaker.

International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed since 2004. In October 2013, the date was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness on corruption in honour of the passage of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

“Break the corruption chain” was chosen as this year’s theme by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the guardian of the UNCAC.

EPAC Celebrates 10 Years

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC); the largest independent network of anti-corruption authorities and police oversight bodies on the European continent.

What had started out as an Austrian-Belgian vision in 2001 turned into a reality in 2004. With the support of the EU’s AGIS framework programme to help practitioners and law enforcement officials from EU Member States and candidate countries set up networks to exchange information and best practices, EPAC was formally inaugurated.

Over the years, the network grew to include authorities from new EU Member States, candidate countries, Norway, and the Republic of Moldova. In addition, to formalize cooperation between authorities mandated with the prevention of and fight against corruption in the EU, the European Council established the European contact-point network against corruption (EACN) in 2008, based on EPAC’s structures.

EPAC and EACN mostly work together as one. They bring together more than 80 police monitoring and inspection bodies and anti-corruption agencies with a wider remit from 34 states. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is also a member of both.

EPAC/EACN’s efforts in promoting effective cooperation among operational entities, safeguarding the independence of national authorities, and developing common standards have received recognition from the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, as well as the wider international community.

The networks are currently presided over by Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of OLAF, and have been receiving secretarial support from IACA since 2011 on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding.

For more information, visit www.epac-eacn.org.

CEI and IACA Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding

IACA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central European Initiative (CEI) Executive Secretariat to strengthen mutual support in the prevention of and fight against corruption. Founded in 1989, the CEI is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration through cooperation among its Member States.

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The Initiative brings together 18 countries, 14 of which are also Parties to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization.

The signing ceremony took place in Vienna yesterday on the occasion of the CEI Summit, celebrating its 25 years of existence and providing a glimpse into the vision of the future. The event witnessed the participation of Prime Ministers from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Slovenia, and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, alongside a number of state dignitaries and representatives of international and regional organizations.

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The Memorandum of Understanding between the CEI Executive Secretariat and IACA calls for joint activities in the areas of technical assistance, education, as well as institution and capacity building. It was signed by Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri, Secretary General of CEI, and Martin Kreutner, Dean of IACA.

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Dispatch from Baku – Assembly of Parties

The third session of IACA’s Assembly of Parties, hosted by Azerbaijan, came to a fruitful close today with the unanimous adoption of four resolutions and the Baku Declaration.

The annual forum brought together 130 delegates from 43 countries, including Deputy Heads of State and Ministers, as well as the European Union and Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption.

The plenary on Wednesday opened with a letter from H.E. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, delivered by H.E. Fuad Aleskerov, Chief of the Law Enforcement Department of the Presidential Administration. The welcome addresses of Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, Zakir Garalov, Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Panthep Klanarongran, President of the Bureau of the second session of the Assembly, followed suit.

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The Chairperson of the Board of Governors, H.E. Margarita Popova, extended her warm welcome as well and presented the Board’s report on the progress of IACA’s activities over the past year.

Zakir Garalov, Azerbaijan (EEG) was elected for the Presidency of this session, H.E. Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, Malaysia (Asia-Pacific Group) and H.E. Veysi Kaynak, Turkey (WEOG) for the Vice Presidencies, and H.E. Armin Ernesto Andereya Latorre, Chile (GRULAC) and Olusola Akinrinade, Nigeria (African Group) for the Rapporteurs.

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Budgetary issues were a key element of deliberations and the call for financial ownership was echoed by the Executive Secretary, Chairperson of the Board of Governors, and a number of state officials.

Member States reaffirmed their commitment to IACA’s mandate, commended its achievements, and pledged to facilitate the implementation of the Work Programme 2014 – 2016, unanimously adopted in Bangkok last year. The budget for 2015 also found the consensus of the room.

During the high-level segment, the delegates of Azerbaijan and Nigeria announced contributions to IACA’s general budget in the amount of 150,000 EUR and 150,000 USD, respectively. Romania and the Russian Federation vowed to continue providing annual contributions to the general budget, while other States Parties offered support in the delivery of Master programme modules and tailor-made trainings.

The session was complemented by Azerbaijan’s traditional hospitality as well as side events at the country’s ASAN Service and the Anti-Corruption Directorate.

The next session of the Assembly of Parties is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015.

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The IACA Agreement Reaches 60 Parties

Membership in IACA rose to 60 Parties yesterday with the ratification of Greece of the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization.

The Hellenic Republic is the 57th state to join IACA, in addition to the three international organizations already members, just ahead of the third session of its Assembly of Parties in Baku, Azerbaijan next week. By virtue of Article XVIII, the Agreement will enter into force for Greece on 11 January 2015 – 60 days after the deposit of its instrument of ratification.

IACA has enjoyed fruitful cooperation with the country since its establishment and also received support through the secondment of a staff member.

On Best Practices with the Kazakh Academy of Public Administration

IACA received the Rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan yesterday, on 11 November.

Rector Bolatbek Abdarassilov disclosed that a number of important economic and legislative reforms in the fight against corruption are being introduced in Kazakhstan. As such, the training of government employees on good practices and policies in anti-corruption will be a crucial component of reform.

The delegation was interested to learn about IACA’s approach to the development of capacity building programmes, its existing standardized and tailor-made trainings, as well as the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies.

Apart from offering training opportunities for Kazakh officials, the Rector cited that the Academy’s best practices will also serve as a great source of knowledge for the Academy of Public Administration in building on its own.

Kazakhstan joined IACA as a State Party in December 2013.

Ambassador of Nicaragua Visits IACA

On 11 November, Martin Kreutner, Dean of IACA met with H.E. Hernán Estrada Roman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the International Organizations in Vienna.

The meeting took place at IACA’s campus in Laxenburg. The dual nature of IACA as an international organization and post-secondary educational institution, its role in the anti-corruption arena, and the array of services it offers were presented. The Dean also introduced its institutional mechanisms, governance organs, and the benefits associated with membership.

The two sides discussed prospects for cooperation, also in the context of the wider GRULAC region, and Nicaragua’s potential accession to the IACA Agreement.

Workshop for Members of Parliament

On 8 and 9 November, the Austrian government will host a workshop for members of parliament at the Academy on strengthening transparency, accountability, and integrity in the defence and security sector.

The event is organized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in consultation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC). Around 70 participants are expected.

The workshop aims to raise awareness on corruption, highlight existing cooperation among international organizations, asses and identify lessons and best practices from successful collaboration, and explore areas where practical cooperation could be taken forward to support nations’ efforts to prevent corruption in the defence and security sector.

The Inauguration of MACS 2014 – 2016

On Monday, 3 November the IACA campus is bustling again, as the Academy prepares to welcome the second intake of the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies programme.

 The inauguration marks the beginning of the affiliation of these students with IACA and the unique anti-corruption network established by the Academy. As tradition has it, participation in the programme is diverse, built on a blend of professional and cultural backgrounds. Thirty-two working professionals from 22 countries and five continents are taking part this time around. The student body includes investigators, public relations officers, auditors, humanitarian workers, diplomats, executives, compliance managers, police superintendents, etc.

After a series of introductory and team-building sessions on the first day students will plunge into the first core course with Professor Michael Johnston – Corruption Definitions and Conceptual Questions. During the second in-class week , Professor Nikos Passas will familiarize the students with issues, themes, and trends in corruption, while Professor Sandra Corlett’s course on research methods and academic writing provides the starting point for the academic final product, the Master Thesis.

In the course of the two year programme IACA will guide the students to pursue their academic objectives and to take full advantage of their time with IACA, both inside and outside the class room.IACA is sure that the MACS students will develop their potential to the fullest and serve the Anti-Corruption community well upon their graduation.

We extend our warmest welcome to the class 2014 – 2016!

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