The three day Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) hosted by Queensland's CCC and the New South Wales ICAC concluded yesterday in Sydney. The conference included some insightful presentations and case-studies from the various state, national and international jurisdictions in attendance.
The highlight for me was the keynote from the FBI's Special Agent George Bokelberg and his team's investigation into grand corruption by former Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin. Fascinating for me was the insight into Nagin's behavioural motivations and personal attributes, specific characteristics of how he perpetrated the frauds and the way in which he convinced others to (unknowingly) form a praetorian guard around him. But he got complacent in the end.
Risk Insights presented on how agencies can better use data to identify and monitor leading risk indicators for corruption, and we drew on three real life case studies where we demonstrated the value of open data in preventing and targeting corruption. Attendees were surprised by the significant resource and time efficiencies that can be achieved by having a data-centric approach to anti-corruption work. As we said to the audience at the conference, the more data becomes available, the more you will be expected to use it. So why not let the data do the leg-work for you!
As well as ramping up their data efforts, some of the other emerging areas of focus for anti-corruption agencies include:
- political donations, lobbying and the publication of allegations against candidates during an election campaign
- inappropriate release of confidential information and data to external parties
- building the internal capacity of agencies to be more corruption resistant.
But that's it for another two years when the next conference will be hosted by the IBAC in Melbourne which, coincidentally, has just had a new Commissioner installed, former Supreme Court judge, Justice Robert Redlich. Who knows, by 2019 we might even have a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission too...but I'll not hold my breath.