Heads of anti-corruption agencies from the Asia-Pacific region have gathered in Seoul for a two-day gathering to discuss policy cooperation and exchanges in order to fight against corruption.
Nine government organizations from eight countries will share information and experiences and discuss cooperation and exchanges on corruption prevention and anti-corruption policies at the 7th Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Forum which will be held on September 2 and 3.
Representatives of seven ACA member countries -- Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Australia, Malaysia -- and Vietnam as an observer country participated in the ACA heads’ meeting led by Korea’s Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) Chairperson Lee Sungbo on September 2.
The attendees of the ministerial-level meeting included Ombudsman of the Philippines Conchita Carpio-Morales, Australia’s Integrity Commissioner Philip Moss, Deputy Commissioner Theresa Hamilton of the Independent Commission Against Corruption of Australia, Deputy Chief Commissioner Hon Dato' Hj Zakaria Jaffar of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Commissioner Adnan Pandu Praja of the Corruption Eradication Commission of Indonesia, Acting Director Ricky Yau of the Independent Commission against Corruption of Hong Kong, Deputy Director Ang Seow Lian of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau of Singapore, and Deputy Inspector General Nguyen Van Thanh of the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam.
At the meeting, the participants shared achievements, activities, and the latest trends of corruption cases in their countries and discussed ways to enhance international policy cooperation.
They paid strong attention, in particular, to presentations titled “Policies and practices of gifts and gratuities excluding typical forms of bribery” by Commissioner Adnan Pandu Praja of the Corruption Eradication Commission of Indonesia and Acting Director Ricky Yau of Independent Commission against Corruption of Hong Kong at the meeting.
At the open discussion session following the presentation, the participants shared opinions on various issues of anti-corruption policies of their countries, ranging from the comprehensive, legal definition of bribery in each of their governments and anti-corruption policy implementation, to anti-corruption law enforcement.
ACRC chairman Lee Sungbo said that Korea has been playing "a leading role as a secretariat country in the ACA since its establishment in 2002." Lee also said he aims to introduce “anti-corruption policies" and "the will of the Park Geun-hye administration to counter corruption and strengthen transparency."
The ACA Forum will be also held on September 3 at a hotel in Seoul, gathering public officers from Korea and ACA member countries and anti-corruption experts in the private sector.
This forum is designed to share policy information on anti-corruption and spread outstanding cases among ACA member countries under the “Seoul statement” adopted at the previous ACA heads’ meeting held in Seoul in September 2009. The Seoul Statement contains agreements among the heads of ACA member agencies who agreed to take cooperative measures to enhance the capacity of member agencies for technical assistance and training, sharing of information and best practices, and partnership and coordination on anti-corruption.
Chairman Lee will deliver his presentation titled “Korea's anti-corruption strategies and experiences” at the forum, where representatives from other ACA member countries will present their views on a wide range of issues, including protections for whistleblowers, investigation of corruption cases, guarantees of independence of anti-corruption agencies, public education and preventive efforts, and anti-corruption training.
Apart from delegations of ACA member countries, the forum will be attended by about 100 additional people, including representatives of the anti-corruption agency of East Timor, Korean government officials, business people, the academia, and civic groups.
The ACA is held every two years. The next meeting will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2015.