Combatting the Ever-changing Trends and Tactics Associated with Complex Corruption to Improve Transparency, Accountability, and Democratic Institutions.
Intensive Anti-corruption Training Programs For Prosecutors, Investigators, And Judges
The CEELI Institute is a leader in the delivery or effective, interactive anti-corruption programs. The Institute’s programs are designed to engage all of the key sectors and stakeholders in combatting corruption, including actors from government, civil society, journalists and business.
Our highly acclaimed, one week training program on “Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption” continues to be in high demand. The Program is now in its eighth year, having been continually revised and improved based on our past experiences and input from faculty and participants. 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.
Our anti-corruption programs are designed as highly interactive trainings which walk participants through the actual investigation of a case involving official corruption, for example, in the public procurement process. Participants work in small groups to develop their own investigation strategies, learning to use time-tested investigative tools along the way. Participants are ultimately tasked with 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 also provides one-on-one mentoring throughout the program.
Recent programs have drawn participants from a number of countries in the region and beyond, including Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Supporting Anti-corruption Activism
Official corruption undermines public trust in democracy and the rule of law, strengthens oligarchies and autocracies, bolsters populist responses, harms state institutions, and weakens legal and judicial systems. In response, the Institute supports civil society organizations, journalists and lawyers striving for greater public accountability and transparency in Central and Eastern Europe. CEELI efforts tackle the problem from two angles. First, we work to train journalists, civic advocates, lawyers, and civil society organizations on methods of conducting research about governmental activities, on finding and collecting publicly available data, and on using that data in the design of advocacy efforts to highlight and expose official corruption. We support activists in their development of anti-corruption campaigns to promoting public accountability, including public interest litigation. Second, because successful efforts by activists often draw retaliation from powerful, public officials or from the oligarchs, we will also work to equip lawyers to effectively represent bloggers, activists and investigative journalists who are exposing corruption and who are attacked as a result of their efforts. CEELI’s efforts engage civil society participants from the Visegrad, Baltic and Balkan regions, as well as the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anti-corruption Compliance Training
The CEELI Institute has launched a curriculum designed to train practitioners on effective corporate compliance with international anti-corruption standards, including the operation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Anti-Bribery Law and the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The program is targeted at individuals who have responsibilities for advising their clients or employers on internal corporate compliance, including compliance officers and in-house lawyers. CEELI recognized a growing demand for such training, particularly for practitioners in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. In-house advisors are increasingly required to have detailed knowledge of industry practices, relevant anticorruption statutes, and the broader international context in which multi-national corporations must now function. Avoiding corporate liability for corrupt practices is now critical to business operation, yet many lawyers in the regionhave had limited experience with international anti-corruption laws and with corporate compliance mechanisms.
The program examines various situations which present corruption risks, and explained how a good compliance program is a risk-reduction tool that can help manage corruption risks and reduce the likelihood of improper conduct and violations of law. Based on the enthusiastic participant response, we look forward to making this program a regular component of our anti-corruption program offerings.
Promoting Corruption Reforms In The Balkans
The CEELI Institute is delighted to continue its partnership with the International Foundation Electoral Systems (IFES) to strengthen the implementation of anti-corruption standards in Europe, with particular focus on Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro. The project focuses on assisting local stakeholders in implementing anti-corruption recommendations made by relevant international observers and evaluators; for example, addressing as of yet unmet recommendations arising out of the evaluations undertaken by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). CEELI has helped to assemble an impressive consortium of local partners for this project, and is working with domestic stakeholders and influencers in each of the countries to pursue reforms. This project continues long-standing collaborative work between CEELI and IFES, which has included organization of a number of joint roundtables at the Institute in Prague, as well as the hosting of IFES regional events.
Fighting Corruption in Health Care: Central and Eastern Europe
Public corruption in the healthcare arena has taken on increasing importance as a result of the prolonged health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the pandemic exacerbates opportunities for corruption as public expenditures for health care increase and oversight lags. Corruption in healthcare takes many forms including informal payments, bribes, fraudulent billing practices, and procurement fraud. There are also numerous instances in the region of conflicts of interest on the part of individuals appointed to senior positions in public health ministries that can exacerbate favoritism and corruption in public institutions. Accordingly, the CEELI Institute has undertaken a new project designed to foster greater government accountability for its management of public resources in healthcare expenditures and awards and strengthen capacity of civil society organizations and individuals and to help identify public corruption. The Institute has assembled a consortium of local partners in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. We provide the support and share the tools to assist them in (1) monitoring and identifying public procurement fraud and other financial crimes, (2) implementing relevant EU anti-corruption directives at the national level, and (3) monitoring appointments and identifying conflicts of interest at healthcare sector ministries and institutions.
Supporting The Tunisian Anti-corruption Agency
In 2014-2016, 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.