Fighting Corruption

Anti-Corruption Training for Prosecutors, Investigators & Judges

The CEELI Institute’s highly acclaimed training program on “Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption” continues to be in high demand, and the Institute again conducted spring and fall sessions of the week-long course. The program brings together an extraordinary faculty line-up consisting of some of the world’s most experienced anti-corruption prosecutors, forensic accountants, and practitioners.

The CEELI Institute anti-corruption programs are designed as highly interactive trainings which walk participants through the actual investigation of a case involving official corruption in the public procurement process. Participants work in small groups to develop their own investigation strategy, learning to use time-tested investigative tools along the way, and ultimately making a recommendation to the larger conference on whether this was a case they would pursue to prosecution or not. The course is designed to develop and improve practical skills as the participants pursue the investigation, augmented by expert guidance and instruction.

The CEELI Institute puts great emphasis on designing and conducting programs that use case-based, interactive curricula. Using practical case scenarios as a learning tool demands that participants take an active role in the workshop. With each session, participants are presented with additional facts and legal obstacles to confront and overcome as the fact pattern becomes more complicated. Participants start with a few red flags, indicating a possible case involving corrupt activities. They work in small groups to pursue their investigation. The case studies are designed to expose participants to all aspects of an investigation – initial allegations or suspicions, preliminary inquiries, development of an investigation plan, collection and analysis of documentary materials, forensic accounting analysis, interviews of witnesses and targets, and preparation for trial or other disposition. The use of a case scenario as a teaching tool allows the participants to form close bonds as the training progresses, challenging their intellect and expanding their skills and knowledge base as they are exposed to new approaches in the investigation and prosecution of complex high level corruption cases. The case scenario is supported by relevant faculty presentations on key topics. Our highly experienced faculty provide mentoring to the small groups, as well as one-on-one mentoring throughout the program.

This year‘s programs drew together investigators and prosecutors from a number of countries in the region, and beyond, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kenya, Montenegro, Serbia, and Tunisia. Participants were funded by a number of donors interested in promoting anti-corruption efforts, especially as official corruption has emerged as one of the most prevalent and pernicious threats to the rule of law around the world. Sponsors included the US Department of Justice, the State Department’s INL Bureau, USAID funded projects, and various US embassies in the region.

Supporting the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Agency

In 2016, the CEELI Institute continued its multi-year program to provide support and training to the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Agency, Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre Corruption (INLUCC). The INLUCC is charged with leading Tunisia’s anti-corruption efforts as an agency with direct responsibility for pursing the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. The CEELI Institute’s efforts are designed to support INLUCC staff and a broad cross section of other Tunisian government agencies and non-government actors with responsibilities for combating corruption in the public and commercial sectors partners as they take on these roles. With funding from the Swedish International Development Agency and in partnership with the International Legal Assistance Consortium, the CEELI Institute’s program is specifically designed to assist Tunisian stakeholders in their efforts to identify and investigate corruption, and to build cases for prosecution.

This year’s programs again brought together representatives from a wide range of Tunisian stakeholder agencies and other bodies with anti-corruption and compliance responsibilities, including the INLUCC, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the High Commission for Administrative and Financial Control, various banks, the Association of Internal Auditors, academics, and journalists. The CEELI Institute was able to work closely with INLUCC to continue to develop highly specialized sessions based on the agency’s stated priorities. Institute programs in 2016 included training focused on corruption and fraud in the financial and banking sector, fraud in securing government permits and licenses, and fraud in tax administration. The Institute also partnered with the International Association of Women Judges to provide specialized training on “sextortion“ crimes, i.e. abuse of power by government officials (often police) seeking sexual favors in exchange for safety, security, or access to government resources or services.

Through the course of these programs, Tunisian participants were familiarized with strategies employed for the investigation and prosecution of corruption, with emphasis on how to identify, acquire, and preserve relevant information for investigation. Special emphasis was given to the use of forensic accounting tools and on new trends in computer forensics. The Institute also included a Tunisian delegation of participants selected by INLUCC at our course on “Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption,” held in Prague in April.