Chicago Tribune: Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs law requiring additional disclosure from lobbyists. “When the General Assembly approved the measure last month, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle described it as a small step toward fixing state government ethics laws amid an ongoing federal corruption probe that has ensnared Democratic politicians from Chicago City Hall to the Capitol in Springfield. The law, effective immediately, also requires the secretary of state to create a combined online database for information on lobbyists, campaign contributions and public officials’ annual statements of economic interest.”
The Star (Kenya): New database to help document ‘fight against corruption’ in courts. “Transparency International Kenya recently launched the ‘Rada Database’, which is the most comprehensive and ambitious attempt to track and document all cases on corruption processed through the courts.”
InSight Crime: Can a New Database Help Tackle Argentina Police Corruption?. “The launch of a new registry detailing thousands of corrupt officers removed from Argentina’s largest police force could signal a fresh effort to clean up the institution, but questions remain as to whether it will be effective, or even sufficient. The registry, which contains the names of 8,500 officers discharged since 1966, was announced this past month by María Eugenia Vidal, governor of the Province of Buenos Aires.” Unusually, this database is open to the public, which is why I include it here. Most of the database page translates from Spanish except the database itself, I think because it’s embedded. Look for the “Accede a los datos completos en” link at the bottom of the embedded data and that’ll open a new page which you can translate.
WRAL: Search NCSU records submitted to the FBI . “As part of an investigation into potential corruption in college basketball, U.S. attorneys with the Department of Justice subpoenaed North Carolina State University officials on Jan. 17 for a trove of documents related to the recruitment and enrollment of former player Dennis Smith Jr. The university on Aug. 16, 2018, began publicly releasing documents submitted to federal investigators in response to a public records request by WRAL News and other news organizations.”
Premium Times Nigeria: CSOs to establish database on corruption cases. “Say No Campaign, a coalition of some civil society organisations, says plans are underway by the organisation to establish database of corruption cases across the country to enhance investigation. One of the conveners of the group, Jaye Gaskiya, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday when the group visited the National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja.”
The Verge: 200,000 Died In Guatemala’s Civil War — This Digital Archive Is Finally Bringing Families Closure. “An estimated 200,000 people were killed, and 45,000 more disappeared, during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. A truth commission later found the state to be responsible for 93 percent of the human rights abuses during that time. And the 80 million pages of police documents currently being cataloged and digitized reveal incriminating details of how forced disappearances were carried out by the state.”
Lawyers Weekly: Global launches ‘groundbreaking’ anti-bribery tool. “A global law firm has launched a new tool which promises to put key aspects of worldwide anti-corruption laws at the users’ fingertips and consequently distil the ‘complex web’ of global anti-bribery laws in one easy, digestible format.”
University of Texas at Austin: Researcher to build Latin American corruption database sourced from newspaper coverage. “Corruption, a common concern among citizens and journalists from several Latin American countries, will be the theme of an exclusive index for the region that plans to launch next month. Daily Corruption: News Feed & Database will provide quantitative and qualitative data on a range of relative variables for ongoing cases in 29 Latin American and Caribbean nations. The source of the cataloged information is selected from newspapers of each country, focusing on cases of medium- and high-level corruption, as well as anti-corruption initiatives.”
New York Times: He Tweeted About Chinese Government Corruption. Twitter Suspended His Account.. “Twitter on Wednesday briefly suspended the account of a Chinese-born billionaire who was using the social media service to publicize allegations of corruption against top Communist Party officials.” If that headline sounds familiar it’s because the same guy was recently accidentally (allegedly) suspended from Facebook and the NYT ran a story on it with a similar headline.
Voice of America: China Launches Corruption Crackdown on Social Media Ahead of Party Congress. “The Communist Party of China has recently warned its members of eight major “red lines” while using the popular social media platform WeChat, prohibiting behaviors like accepting or giving electronic ‘red envelopes’ to buy votes. The warning showcases the party’s resolve to fight corruption ahead of this year’s 19th party congress, which is slated to elect China’s top leaders for the next five years.”
Newswise: Facebook plays vital role in reducing government corruption, researchers find. “In new research recently published in the journal Information Economics and Policy, Sudipta Sarangi of the Virginia Tech Department of Economics said his cross-country analysis using data from more than 150 countries shows the more Facebook penetrates public usage, the higher the likelihood of government corruption meeting protest. In short, Sarangi said social media serves as peer of the press.”
A new “leaks” site is designed for whistleblowers in the EU. “The Greens-European Free Alliance announced the launch of a new website that will allow people working in the EU to anonymously and publicly post evidence of wrongdoing. The EU political party said that this is a move against a ‘the EU tendency toward secrecy.’ ‘Transparency is of the utmost importance,’ said Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, a Greens/EFA Parliamentarian and one of the founders of EULeaks, at a press conference announcing the launch.”
Journalists have launched a Web site specifically for whistleblowers in sports. No, not the referees. “Behind the website is, among others, German journalist Hajo Seppelt, who, in a series of documentaries aired on the German TV network ARD, has played a vital role in documenting a widespread doping culture in Russian athletics and its connections to the top of the international athletics federation, IAAF. These documentaries were largely based on information from the Russian couple Vitaly and Yuliya Stepanov.”
Update: apparently At least some files have been recovered.
And in our “I can’t even wrap my head around this” department, the Air Force’s Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS) going back to 2004 has pretty much been destroyed. “The database of the Air Force’s Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS)—which is used by the Air Force Inspector General’s Office to manage investigations into complaints from whistleblowers of waste, fraud, and abuse; Freedom Of Information Act requests; and congressional inquiries—has become corrupted, rendering over 100,000 case files dating back to 2004 unreadable. And because of the way the database was backed up, an Air Force spokesperson said that neither the service nor Lockheed Martin—the contractor that operates the ATCS system for the Air Force—can recover the data.”
Romania has a new online museum for corruption. “Romania’s new Corruption Museum hosts the Bribes’ Gallery, where visitors can find some of the most famous cases of bribery in Romania, and the Bribe Test, which lets people test their knowledge on local corruption. The museum’s website is currently available only in Romanian.” Dang. I tried translating this site with Google Translate and no luck. No good with Bing either.