Ethics and Anti-Corruption

A rigorous anti-corruption regime is a critical aspect for attracting trade and investment in foreign markets. CLDP assists foreign partners to align their laws and practices with existing international agreements and best practices that maximize transparency and minimize opportunities for corruption. The scope of this assistance has increased in recent years at the behest of U.S. Embassies concerned with market access barriers caused by corruption. CLDP designs and delivers these programs within the U.S. Government interagency framework, which has long emphasized anti-corruption activities as an essential element to technical assistance. By reducing corruption, these activities also expand markets for U.S. export, strengthen ethical business conduct, and level the playing field for American and in-country, domestic businesses.

CLDP’s initiatives to fight overseas corruption have taken four main forms:

  • fostering anti-corruption cultures and enforcement capacity in the public sector;
  • promoting corporate governance and ethical business cultures;
  • enhancing transparency in public procurement; and
  • increasing compliance with the transparency notification requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Fostering Anti-Corruption Cultures and Enforcement Capacity in the Public Sector

CLDP works with partner countries to improve the level of transparency in laws, regulations, agreements, and practices that affect business or trade. This assistance helps to foster anti-corruption cultures in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and builds enforcement capabilities within the public sector. CLDP promotes transparency in government processes by holding inclusive consultations on legislative drafting, by assisting partner governments adopt and implement notice and comment procedures for policy-setting and rulemaking, and by aiding in the development of policies and procedures for freedom of information requests. CLDP enhances government accountability through skills trainings that build the institutional capacity of regulatory bodies to conduct audits and investigations, through guidance on ethics policies and financial disclosure statements for government officials and workers, and through assistance with streamlining administrative procedures for granting permits and licenses that obviate administrative steps that enable exacting bribes. Ethics, integrity, and fairness are emphasized in CLDP’s judicial programming, which also focuses on efficiency and transparency in court administration.

Promoting Corporate Governance and Ethical Business Cultures

CLDP supports both public and private sector stakeholders in their efforts to limit unethical business conduct through corporate governance frameworks. Unethical business conduct undermines consumer trust, creates unfair business conditions, stifles innovation and investment, and leads to divergent standards across borders. This conduct ultimately contributes to curtailed trade and the increased cost and legal risk of doing business. CLDP trains private sector companies to develop corporate governance frameworks and implement corporate practices that attract capital for investment and growth. CLDP assists foreign government counterparts to develop and implement mechanisms that incentivize, promote, and facilitate the widespread use of best practices in corporate governance and ethics in the public and private sectors. Introducing corporate governance and ethics rules and requirements in state-owned enterprises, for example, help make those enterprises more competitive and efficient and reduces opportunities for corruption.

Enhancing Transparency in Public Procurement

Transparency, efficiency, and good governance are necessary prerequisites to effective public procurement systems. In many developing countries, the government remains the largest employer and buyer of goods and services. When done effectively, public procurement provides reliable income and promotes economic development. When not properly regulated and controlled, government procurement can serve as a focal point for systemic inefficiency, corruption, and loss of market share for international companies. CLDP assists partner countries develop efficient, transparent, and impartial government contracting infrastructures. CLDP’s public procurement programs address accession to, and compliance with, international government procurement agreements, including the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. CLDP also provides capacity building support in implementing legislative and regulatory frameworks that are based on internationally accepted principles for government tendering.

Increasing Compliance with Notification Requirements

CLDP’s engagement in transparency initiatives around the globe includes assisting partner countries meet the transparency notification requirements of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). In coordination with the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, CLDP collaborates closely with host country governments to improve their respective interagency coordination and publication practices. As a result of CLDP’s assistance, several countries have successfully completed and submitted their respective TFA Article 1.4 Transparency Notifications to the WTO that identifies relevant trade-related information across ministerial websites. This increased transparency enhances accessibility to trade-related information, improves the efficiency of cross-border trade, and results in reduced costs in two-way trade. Supporting robust transparency initiatives such as the TFA notifications encourages trade, while simultaneously increasing clarity about import and export procedures, thereby diminishing the potential for corruption.

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020

Most of Iraq’s hydrocarbons are located in the province of Basrah. In spite of these mineral resources, unemployment is high in the province. To increase the likelihood that university graduates will be hired, since the summer of 2019, CLDP, in close cooperation with the University of Houston/Petroleum Technology Initiative (PTI), has been conducting a program to equip students from four Basrah universities with the skills sought by International Oil Companies (IOC) that operate in the province. A key skill required from new hires by the IOCs is competence in project management. To this end, PTI, under a contract with CLDP developed and taught in Houston in August 2019, a two-week course on “Project Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production”. This course was taught to delegations from four Basrah universities: Basrah University, Southern Technical University, Basrah University for Oil and Gas, Basrah Oil Training institute. Each university was supposed to send one professor and three students to Houston. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond their control, three of the professors were unable to attend the two-week course in Houston, a course that was very well-received by the lone professor and by all the students. Therefore, at CLDP’s request, PTI will now develop an online version of this course, to be used by the universities of the professors who could not go to Houston in August 2019. This development will take place in July and August 2020. 

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

CLDP in Action

July 30, 2020

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Russia, Europe, and Eurasia (ORUE)CLDP participated in a video meeting with Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States on June 25, 2020, to discuss Uzbekistan’s Strategy for the Development of Agriculture in 2020-2030.