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GOPAC Serbia Elects New Chair

In Belgrade, Serbia in May, members of GOPAC Serbia unanimously elected Olgica Batić as Chair of the national chapter. The election took place at GOPAC Serbia’s fifth meeting where, in addition to the election, members approved GOPAC Serbia’s first Annual Report for the period of June 2013 to May 2014.

The meeting included a presentation on the chapter’s social media strategy by Biljana Ledeničan and Marko Vujacic, representatives from the United Nations Development Program. With the goal to increase the flow of information from the chapter to media, civil society, the private sector and the public, 
GOPAC Serbia launched a blog and a Twitter account. The meeting also served as the launch for the Serbian translation of Financial Oversight: A handbook for parliamentarians.

The chapter’s next steps include a workshop which will focus on curbing corruption in public procurement as well as developing a work plan for the coming year. The chapter will also be working on capacity building in the national chapter as well as exploring possibilities of developing a regional chapter.

Promoting Accountability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has established APNAC-DRC, a national chapter of GOPAC in the African region, led by the Honourable Jean-Pierre Pazi Zapamba Buka. The chapter was officially recognized by the DRC National Assembly President on 28 March 2014.

The newly established chapter partnered with the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust and the Economic and Finance Commission to host an anti-corruption workshop in Kinshasa, DRC, the 8 and 9 April 2014. The joint workshop brought together parliamentarians from the DRC National Assembly interested in promoting accountability, transparency
and public engagement in government and the management of public resources as the best way to fight corruption. The parliamentarians were trained on the budget process, enhancing the oversight role of parliament, and strengthening the role of parliament in the fight against corruption.

In addition, the workshop also provided a platform for the APNAC-DRC Executive to consult their members and stakeholders on issues of interest to inform the development of APNAC-DRC’s two-year work plan.
Who do you think shows the most accountability in how they spend money in your country?

Share your thoughts here: GOPAC Question of the Month

GOPAC Argentina Organizes Legislative Transparency Meeting

In May, GOPAC Argentina convened a meeting to discuss legislative transparency with the goal of creating a resolution on access to information that both Houses in Argentina can accept. The meeting was organized in collaboration with Argentina’s members of the Red Latinoamericana por la Transparencia Legislativa, a group of civil society organizations dedicated to legislative transparency in Latin America. The meeting also welcomed legislators as well as representatives from NGOs in Argentina.
A draft of the resolution will be sent to all parties to give them an opportunity to provide input on the resolution before sending it for final approval. The group agreed to meet again next month to discuss the next steps.

Lending Support to Fight Grand Corruption in Ukraine 

The past months have been a challenging period for the people of Ukraine, one fraught with instability that was brought on by corruption and a decrease in public trust.  But we sought to act swiftly and use our expertise to lend support.

At the close of April, the Anti-Corruption Action Center, the Ukraine NGO functioning as the secretariat for GOPAC Ukraine, hosted a daylong conference on asset recovery. The conference sought to establish an action plan for the repatriation of funds illegally looted from Ukraine by the previous government and its supporters.

The event welcomed Hon Viktor Chumak, GOPAC Ukraine Chair, who moderated a panel discussion on the legal regimes of asset recovery. That panel was followed by one which set to establish a road map and action plan for the recovery of stolen assets and GOPAC Executive Director, Akaash Maharaj, lent his expertise and support to the conversation. Mr Maharaj discussed GOPAC’s experience in asset recovery primarily in the context of the Middle East and shared lessons Ukraine could learn.
While asset recovery is the issue that most excites public enthusiasm and interest, it is the final step in a long process of trying to establish good governance and democratic institutions in a country that recently ousted a kleptocracy. As important as it is to identify, freeze, and recover illicit assets, these steps are only possible if they are accompanied by building new, accountable and democratic institutions that are more worthy of public trust than the ones they have replaced.

In addition to addressing the conference, Mr Maharaj met with international institutions including representatives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and NATO as well as with the leadership of GOPAC Ukraine. Together they discussed the work GOPAC will undertake globally to support GOPAC Ukraine to help the rebuild and secure their country. 
Copyright © 2014 Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), All rights reserved.

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