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TI announces 2005 Integrity Awards shortlist

"Corruption is a universal problem. What we see is not a singular phenomenon, is not a curiosity, is not individuals having lost their direction. It looks like a system."
Eva Joly, Integrity Awards winner 2001.

Transparency International (TI) is pleased to announce the shortlisted candidates for the Transparency International Integrity Awards 2005. This year we received numerous quality nominations from all over the world which made the selection process for the Integrity Awards Committee very challenging. Many thanks to all who participated in this year’s programme and congratulations to all of the candidates for the remarkable work you are doing to fight corruption.

The winners of the TI Integrity Awards 2005 will be announced at the end of October 2005. We will be notifying the winners individually.

In alphabetical order, the shortlisted candidates for the Transparency International Integrity Awards 2005 are:

1. Abdou Latif Coulibaly (Senegal): Nominated by TI’s national chapter in Senegal, Forum Civil, Mr Coulibaly is an eminent journalist who, for the past ten years, has devoted himself to the fight against corruption. Mr Coulibaly is the head of the first Senegalese private press group. He is an outspoken contributor to the fight against corruption, ensuring its place on the agenda of Senegal’s public administration and its development partners. Mr Coulibaly has brought to light the biggest financial scandals, embezzlement cases, and irregularities in public contracting. After he published a book in 2003 on the government’s poor governance practices, he suffered considerable pressure (including death threats) and has been the object of the political elite’s spite.

2. Arvind Kejriwal (India) was nominated by the Ashoka Foundation. Mr Kejriwal is helping to empower citizens by creating a sustainable model for systemic change, to move people to action. His organisation, Parivartan (which means “Change”) is more than just a conduit to expose corruption. Parivartan empowers citizens from all Indian communities to fight for their rights. It uses a grassroots approach to reach out to communities that have been exploited; it raises awareness about the damage of corruption and equips citizens with the knowledge and confidence to question the administrative system and state departments. By teaching communities to use the Right to Information Act to their advantage, Parivartan is working to ensure transparency and accountability in state machinery, which in turn will automatically check corruption. Parivartan workers and volunteers help local people collect and compile information into layman’s language, and show them how to share success stories that all ultimately motivate the people of the neighbourhood. So far Mr Kejriwal has taken on the Income Tax department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Public Distribution System, the Delhi Electricity Board, and others, which have restored services lost to communities as a result of corrupt government officials.

3. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) (India) was nominated by the U.S. based Centre for Victims of Torture. In India, as in many countries, corrupt officials and rural elites manipulate development schemes to their own advantage. This prevents projects from benefiting the poor and perpetuates poverty and social inequality. MKSS, a grassroots organisation in rural Rajasthan, spearheads the campaign for the Right to Information at the local, state and national levels. Their campaign has increased the public’s right to scrutinise documents on governance, enhancing the process of participatory democracy. For instance, the local population now organises public hearings to expose acts of corruption, such as the embezzlement of funds for development projects. Corruption has been exposed by comparing official records with what actually happened, and what is reported by witnesses. The work of MKSS to pass a law compelling officials to provide copies of documents when requested has been critical. This success sparked a national right-to-information movement that has succeeded in passing similar laws in other states and a Freedom of Information Bill in the National Parliament.

4. Movement for Quality Government (Israel) was nominated by SHVIL Israel, the Israeli chapter of TI. MQG, since its establishment, has established itself as the nation’s pre-eminent government watchdog organisation, increasing public awareness of the levels of corruption in Israel. This apolitical and independent movement keeps the pressure on the government on social and civic issues despite the ongoing preoccupation of security issues. MQG’s legal achievements have helped to install principles of sound public administration and quality government by: shining the light on secret coalition agreements, exposing financial arrangements connected to the state’s annual budget, establishing a rule requiring “Special Skills” for political appointments, developing petitions against corrupt city mayors and demanding an investigation of the Chief Police Commissioner, which brought about his resignation. These are just a few ways MQG is fulfilling its mission to ensure open, honest, accountable and effective government.

5. Khairransyah Salman (Indonesia) is an auditor at the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) in Indonesia. Mr Salman revealed grand corruption in the procurement activities of the General Election Commission and then exposed the bribery of one member of the General Electoral Commission. However, this act angered the head of the BPK and Mr Salman was accused of violating the code of conduct. He was then openly accused in the media of entrapping the KPU member to bribe him. Mr Salman is currently in a witness protection program with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Indeed, his cooperation with the KPK has enabled the Commission to uncover a USD 2.1 million scandal in the General Electoral Commission which involved virtually all of its members. Nominated by TI Indonesia, Mr Salman has shown that one whistleblower can tackle corruption. He is a role model for millions of Indonesians.

If you have questions about the Integrity Awards please contact the Secretariat of the Integrity Awards Committee:

Sarah Tyler
Transparency International Integrity Awards Secretariat
Alt Moabit 96
10559 Berlin, Germany

Tel: +49 30 3438 20 19
Fax: +49 30 3470 39 12

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