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Systemic Corruption in the Construction Sector brings Chinese and International Experts Together

A capacity-building workshop held in Beijing this week set out to combat corruption by increasing the capacity of local actors, improving procurement transparency and outlining strategic actions for implementing agencies.

Transparency International (TI) co-hosted a capacity-building workshop on developing Anti-Corruption Efforts in Construction Sector. Held at Tsinghua University in Beijing on 21-22 August, participants included TI’s national contact in China - the Anti-Corruption and Governance Research Centre - and the Engineering Management Research Institute.

The capacity-building workshop is the second phase of the ‘Promoting Transparent Procurement and strengthening Corporate Responsibility’ project led by TI’s national contact in China. The project is funded by the FCO program of the UK embassy in Beijing. The workshop intended to:

  • Raise awareness among different stakeholders of the type of corruption that commonly takes place in the Chinese construction sector by presenting a case study on “Integrity in Chinese Construction Sector”
  • Introduce a draft handbook outlining a set of tools that constitutes TI’s proposal to establish a network of complex anti-corruption systems in the construction sector.
  • Refine existing tools and case study materials with relevant experience in order to ‘learn from practice’
  • Outline strategic actions for implementing agencies.

Aside from building capacity within the construction sector to fight against corruption, the workshop was also designed to meet the specific needs of Chinese state owned enterprises. To accomplish this, the workshop included a review of international norms and guidelines for preventing corruption in public procurement and discussions on how bribery in state owned enterprises functions and how could it be prevented.

Following this, poor corporate governance structures were exemplified using case studies, and PACS were explained in detail. This was followed by an assessment identifying common characteristics and areas of bribery when doing business in China. The workshop concluded with an outline of what a successful corporate governance structure looks like.

65 representatives from state owned enterprises, public contracting institutions, the public sector and civil society attended the workshop. Among those attending were representatives from the Tangshan Caifeidian Project, the China Railway Construction Corporation, the Beijing Urban Construction Group, the International Tendering Ltd. of Three Gorges Dam, the Auditing and Supervision Department of Beijing Olympic Games Organization Committee, the China Association of Construction Engineers, as well as World Bank Project representatives. A representative from UK embassy also participated in the workshop.

Individual training sessions were led by Neill Stansbury, Director of Construction and Engineering with TI (UK) and Marcela Rozo, Project Manager of Public Procurement at the TI-Secretariat. Mr. Stansbury pointed out that “in the Workshop, Chinese and international experts exchanged great ideas on how to prevent corruption in the construction sector. This form of cooperation would greatly help both Chinese and the international anti-corruption systems.”

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Gypsy Guillén Kaiser
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