Transparency International

Holier than thou

Jeremy Pope, the founding managing director of Transparency International, and, he tells us, a Human Rights Commissioner, has made an attack on the essay below.  He cites it as an example of a problem whereby not everyone accepts  his organisation’s self-description.  He complains that: “There have been continuing attacks on the organisation on various websites,” and on Pinkindustry he states that it is:  “typically not always factual accurate,” which does not really make much sense; but he offers no further insight into what the errors are, why they are wrong.   Pope also complains that:

We were less enthused about consistently being labelled a CIA ‘front’ by the French journal, Le Monde Diplomatique, who consistently declined offers to have free reign of our accounts. Others suggest additional links to MI5 and regularly referred to the fact that TI’s earliest corporate supporter, GE, had been heavily fined for its part in international corruption in 1992.

I doubt this about  Le Monde Diplomatique, but I’ll have the accounts.  Why not publish them online?  But what would we be expecting here—a section in the accounts marked ‘Central Intelligence Agency Funding’?  According to Pope, what is behind both Le Monde Diplomatique and Pinkindustry’s criticisms are:

…corporate interests unhappy with our creation were getting their retaliation in first. If some people were not unhappy with us, then clearly we were wasting our time.

Pope was a legal advisor, but he has made no effort to point out how these corporations are orchestrating their campaign or who they are.  But is it much of a criticism?  Everyone (apart from those who are infallible) makes mistakes, and most people interested in getting at the truth would be interested in putting the record straight.  Are these mistakes substantial or irrelevant?  But Pope is having us on here, have a look at what his sponsor was caught doing according to his own account:

GE ‘… [pleaded] guilty to diverting some $26.5 million from the U.S. foreign military aid program used to finance General Electric’s sale of F-16 jet engines and support equipment to Israel. […] The company said in a statement that it took responsibility for the actions of a former marketing employee who, along with an Israeli Air Force General, diverted Pentagon funds to their own bank accounts and to fund Israeli military programs not authorized by the United States.

Let’s just think about this.  A huge US multinational war monger — a merchant of death permanently fanning the flames of discord, is so brazen that it gets caught doing what?  It is in charge of millions of US tax dollars (yes selling war needs a form of socialism) which went astray — given the level of overt support, what one wonders is an Israeli military programs not authorized by the US.  The answer is probably murder, but since when did the US confront Israel on that?  So one of the organisations that helped set up Pope’s company provides the weapons that Israel uses to bomb the territories it thinks belong to it and are run by terrorists who should be wiped off the face of the Earth.  But Pope didn’t really look at it like that, like a good ‘marketing employee’ he just wanted the money.

After assuring us of the lack of any contact with the intelligence world he mentions another founder of TI, George Moody-Stuart of the huge multi-national Shell.  Type that into Google and the first hit you’ll get is an article by Alfred Donovan, written for the nephew of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Charles Wiwa, one of the parties in a US Class Action lawsuit being brought against Shell in respect of what it did in Nigeria.  I won’t go into the details, but with Shell and General Electric backing them, the idea of the CIA providing direction for TI or using it in some way seems by the by.  But why shouldn’t the US government (that’s who the CIA are supposed to work for) fund TI by some round about way: it is not that it is opposed to the the universal expansion of capitalism, it is all for it, it is an agent for it.

According to its accounts TI is funded by over £500,000 each year by the Foreign Offices of Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark and also by the UK and German Department for International Development (rather than directly actually help poor nations). And the US Ford Foundation, which the CIA used to use to fund various projects during the cold war (TI is also funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).  Money under £200,000 is provided by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office which is in charge of MI6 and the US Centre for International Private Enterprise that is one of the core institutes that make up the National Endowment for Democracy that we’ll come back to below.  Less than £10,000 is provided by the squeaky clean Government of Azerbaijan and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which works with the CIA, as indeed do the Government of Azerbaijan.  So why are all these pro-capitalist agencies supporting a spanner in the works?  The answer is ‘democracy promotion.’

Let us turn back to this CIA allegation.  One fact we can examine is that John Brademas, is Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, and a member of Transparency International’s International Advisory Council.  The NED was concocted to put a mask over what the CIA used to do.  It was heavily involved in Reagan’s ‘Project Democracy.’  Aspects of this stretched from Oliver North’s insane adventures to ‘Democracy Promotion’ during and after the cold war.  That meant funding anti-soviet rebels in Afghanistan (including before the Soviets invaded to goad them into doing so), and dissidents in Poland and Eastern Europe (this also went alongside George Soros’ endeavors).  Money was also sent to anti-CND groups in the UK and Europe.  When the cold war ended the NED funded various organisations to meddle with the elections with an organisation called the IFES who also fund Transparency International.  This is the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) which was established by F. Clifton White who worked with CIA director William Casey on the Reagan administration’s pro-contra propaganda network (see: IFES (2007) International Foundation for Election Systems web site, About IFES, and the Clifton White profile at

The purpose here, if we can reduce it to one thing, was to open up the former Soviet Union to US capital and the expansion of NATO.  The network is very complicated and below I’ve sketched out how interlinked it is below.

We can break this down further and explore the network within the NED.

The likelihood is that TI is more or less a front for its corporate funders — making them look like they are doing something about bribery and corruption rather then participating in it.  The bulk of the money comes from the Foreign Offices of various EU states and this would mean they find that TI acts in their interests in pushing other countries (probably ex-colonies) around.  So it all depends on what selective focus we can identify in what TI actually does, who it finds wanting and why.  We must also examine the timing of their campaigns and their outcomes in terms of who benefits.

My impression is that the over-riding message given off is an attempt to restore our faith in big business and the trustworthiness of the ‘corporate community’ amidst all the scandal, rip-offs, failure, profiteering etc.  But what of the CIA connection that Pope denied.  It is actually quite simple to establish.  Nancy Zucker Boswell, a Member of the Board of Directors, and President of Transparency International (USA) also sits on the Advisory Board of the  Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) long thought to be an offspring of the intelligence world—it has included figures such as Michael Ledeen and many others.  Beside Boswell on the CSIS board is William Webster a Former Director of both the FBI and the CIA.  As we note below, Jeremy Pope has started up his own organisations Tiri with similarly high level funders plying much the same trade.  On the Academic Council of the CSIS is Fredrik Galtung, Chief Executive Officer of Tiri.  That is a bit suspicious.  The Hills Program at the CSIS that Boswell oversees was founded by Roderick M. Hills and Carla A. Hills, who the CSIS tell us:

…currently serves as a member of the board for American International Group, ChevronTexaco Corporation, Lucent Technologies Inc., and Time Warner.

Oil, war and its mediation.  Scroll down on the same page and under Hills is Jerry Hyman, who serves as both a senior adviser at CSIS and also as president of its Hills Program on Governance:

He serves on the Advisory Council to the Center for International Media Assistance of the National Endowment for Democracy. Dr. Hyman served with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1990 to 2006, and was director of the Office of Democracy and Governance from 2002 to 2007.

The CSIS was founded in 1964 by Admiral Arleigh Burke who oversaw the Naval aspects Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and fell out with Kennedy over it. He then set up the US’ secret team of assassins, the Navy Seals.  It was also started by David M. Abshire,responsible for the public diplomacy mission to make sure cruise missiles were stationed in Europe in the 1980s (until he was brought back to dig Reagan out of the mess of Iran/Contra).  Are Transparency International far away from the CIA or the NED?  No: they interlock.

Boswell was part of a 2008 White House Summit, here she is described as: “a cleared advisor to the US Government, serving on the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.”  Organised by USAID, they described themselves as part of the projection of US power:

Through our close cooperation with the Defense Department we are actively implementing the “3Ds” of U.S. National Security Strategy –Diplomacy, Development, and Defense […] USAID has been forging ahead strengthening its institutions to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. USAID has launched the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI) to significantly increase the size of its permanent Foreign Service Officer corps enhancing the impact of its programs with more “development boots on the ground.” Our increased size and presence enables us to further strengthen country ownership and implement smaller, more tailored programs that will have a great impact. We are at the frontlines of America’s smart power.

Other contributors to the Summit included  Admiral Tim Ziemer who went abroad to:

Vietnam to fly during the war. During this tour, he flew 550 combat sorties in support of the Navy Seals and riverine forces.

He now works with USAID.  Other participants include Robert Mosbacher, Jr., who inherited the huge Mosbacher Energy Company of Houston, Texas, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. For Boswell TI is independent from government, but I can’t see evidence of this and plenty of evidence to the contrary is easy to find.  So who are TI.

London Bridge is Falling Down

Transparency International (TIUK) is based on the 3rd Floor of the Downstream Building, 1 London Bridge, London SE1 9BG. It is part of a collective called Mezzanine 2 comprising some 50 organisations including Internews. This is a development from the Mezzanine office used by groups such as Demos, CAN, ERA, Foreign Policy Centre, Ashoka and The Policy Network as a nexus of lobby front groups, think tanks, astroturf organisations, funding bodies, venture philanthropists and political action committees. It also had the NED’s Internews above.  TIUK had a connection with this previous group through Peter Eigen of Transparency International now also with The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Advisory Council

Peter Berry is a CMG, or ‘Call Me God’ as they are fondly called. President and Chairman of the International Management Committee of the Establishment money-spinner the ‘Charities Aid Foundation’ (1), along with Lord Cairns the ‘Receiver-General’ (that’s bag man to you and me) of the Duchy of Cornwall—Cairns collects all that ancient Feudal scrounge. Berry, on the other hand is the croupier of a relic of the British Empire, the Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations (and its banking and asset management subsidiaries), which he joined in 1982, and is now the President of their Foundation which celebrates its 175th anniversary. Crown Agents fund Transparency International’s and Berry was a founder member of TIUK’s advisory council, another indication of the paucity of TIUK’s much vaunted ‘independence,’ which should be a central feature of any analysis of the organisation together with the methods and the targets of its fight against corruption. Formerly Berry was the manager of Kuala Belait Brunei (1968) Indonesia (1970); Anglo Indonesian Corp., (1973); Thomas Tapling Ltd 1987; Anglo-Eastern Plantations Plc, 1991; Rubber Growers Association, (1978-82).

These positions correspond to membership of a range of trade promotion groups —the UK Task Force on Kuwait (1991); UK Japan 2000 Group; Council of the Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Association (1982-87); Indonesian Association, (1974-93) and the British Arabian Technical Co-operation Ltd, 1991. He is also with Four Millbank holdings Ltd (a subsiduary of Crown Agents): here, in what passes as ‘accounts’ , the amounts of money sloshing around is a bit of a hassle:

Because of the magnitude of advances, together with the continuing difficult nature of some of the situations to which the Board is committed, it is inevitable that the final amounts which will be recovered cannot yet be precisely calculated.

It is a ‘winding up‘ operation as they say and there is a certain ironic tang to that. Quite a lot of the accounts are a bit difficult to follow for those of us expecting accounts to follow the basic principle of addition and subtraction (multiplication and division being forms of addition and subtraction themselves) ‘Official Documents’ loose a lot of their prestige— and it is revealing that this word’s root stems from in the sense of illusion, conjuring trick ‘illusion, glamour,’ and this glimmer is also removed by its front page which states that:

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir John Bourn, is an Officer of the House of Commons.

And the subsequent revelation that the Members of the Board during 2004 were D. H. Probert CBE and Chairman P. F. Berry CMG. Mr Probert must be a wild character whose out bursts of protest necessitates a personal chairman. They certainly have carte blanche and need account to no one when it comes to doing whatever they want with the fabulous assets of the organisation, page 4 tells us that if they blow the lot they will be bailed out and if they make a bit of money some of it might be creamed off: all they have to do is provide four pages of ‘accounts’, the term clearly contradicted to meaninglessness a priori. Who gives a toss they have been rubber stamped by that stickler for detail John Bourn by page 8. The Gross income for both 2004 was ZERO which cost (in Administration and other expenses Thirteen Grand in 2004 and then walloped up to Thirty-four the following year. Its Current assets are the same figure for ‘Cash at bank and in hand’ £1,734 with a Fiver popping up the following year. The cost per year to manage the money sitting in the cashbox or in the bank breaks down like this: Management charges for the year (£14,000) , Auditors remuneration (£4,000) Legal and professional expenses (£6,000 and then £5,000 — the vacuum of the accounts are dizzying but this could mean something staggering: that even the lawyers feel guilty about taking the money) Payment of property taxes have possibly been put off till next what with all the chaos. It gives big loans to its subsiduaries, namely Four Millbank holdings which got £219,630 way back in 1971 and to the novice there seems a hell of a lot written off and a hell of a lot of adjustments adjacent to large amounts of money —nine figure sums. The chairman’s reports say not much more than “The majority of the Board’s assets relate to companies in the property and secondary banking sector which are in the hands of liquidators or receivers.” Buy we can rest assured that any proceedings from the wind-up will wing their way back to the Treasury.

Berry is also chairman of the Martin Currie Portfolio Investment Trust plc (which manages £12.6 billion for a range of institutions); non executive director of Henderson TR Pacific Investment Trust plc (with other inspectors Arms and Oil people and ‘Old Money’ going back to the Opium wars); He is an adviser to the government’s trade development arm, Trade Partners UK, and a retained adviser on economic development to the Corporation of London.
Berry is also a director of Kier Group plc: Its activities span building and civil engineering contracting, open-cast mining, facilities management, residential and commercial property development and of course the succour of PFI project investment. Major shareholders include: JP Morgan Chase & Co, Barclays Bank Plc, Legal & General and Lloyds TSB Group PLC.
Also a director of Bank and a Governor of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (who have a powerful lust for genetic modification).

Our next Transparency man is Paul Batchelor: recently retired member of Pricewaterhousecoopers’ Global Management Team (the company’s divisional heads are called ‘Global Leaders’), responsible for strategy development and of the Supervisory Group of AIESEC. A member of the Advisory Council of Transparency International, and Chairman of Oxford Policy Management and a non-executive board member of Crown Agents. [2]

Baroness Chalker of Wallaseywho is the subject of a separate post; Philippa Foster-Back: According to a biographical note on the Institute of Business Ethics Website: She began her career at Citibank NA before joining Bowater in their Corporate Treasury Department in 1979, leaving in 1988 as Group Treasurer. She was Group Finance Director at DG Gardner Group, a training organisation, prior to joining Thorn EMI in 1993 as Group Treasurer until 2000. In 2001 she was appointed Director of the Institute of Business Ethics.
She has a number of external appointments, including at the Ministry of Defence, where she sits on the Defence Management Board and chairs the Defence Audit Committee; she sits on the Board of the Institute of Directors and the Professional Accreditation Committee; and the Association of Corporate Treasurers, where she was President from 1999 to 2000. In 2002 she was appointed a Commissioner of the Public Works Loan Board. Contracts galore there.

Lord William Goodhart: formerly member of The Committee on Standards in Public Life (the Neill Committee), appointed by The Prime Minister:

“To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life”.

Part of its study is a look into the funding of political parties, which has become rather simplified in recent years thanks to Lord Levy. Lord Goodhart was on the Committee on Standards in Public Life when it drew up the original donation rules, with its famous ‘loophole’ concerning ‘loans’. But there is a a loophole with the loophole, as noted here by Andrew Turner in Hansard:

“The Minister said that no one in this House recognised the loophole that existed. Does that mean that the then chairman of the Labour party and the Prime Minister—as well as Lord Levy, who I accept is not a Member of this House—did not recognise the loophole?”

All those smart lawyers, Lords and constitutional experts: and no one thought that loans would blow through the hole. It is not really a huge qualification for a place on an organisation supposedly fighting corruption such as Transparency International, but then who have TI ever caught out? The only real problem they identify is all this freedom of information: the Committee asserts that ‘openness can be used to increase the worryingly low level public trust of politicians in the UK.’ Yes, if people find out what is really going on in simple terms of what the hell happens to their actual money —they might not like it.

Goodhart, is a Liberal Democrat Life Peer, and was a founder member of the SDP and the Liberal Democrats and on their Policy Committee from 1988 to 1997, fighting four parliamentary elections and Chairman of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee in the House of Lords. TI seem to have a grip on the House of Lords, Hansard revealed many members coming out of the woodwork and declaring interests while debating the BAE Al Yamamah investigation. It would appear that TI is all that stands between us and corruption. As Lord Neill of Bladen observed:

“My Lords, I add to what the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, said, in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Chidgey, and Transparency International on their initiative. It is a matter for regret that it has been left to private initiative to move forward in this absolutely vital area. Anybody with any experience of international contracts and their performance around the world would have found, time and again, either direct bribes being reported or commission of a dubious character being demanded by intermediaries. I am afraid that it is a bad and corrupt world out there; it is getting better, but there is a long way to go.”

If you go ‘around the world’ you come back to where you started so, let’s not fool ourselves: “Out there” might as well include “in here”, and this is the problem with TI it is all about finding corruption elsewhere—but what fool just hands himself in. The BAe case was abandoned because, according to the Financial Times to continue with it would damage “UK/Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic co-operation.” So any corruption hunters should look “out there”, elsewhere, not here, and that they (being of it) must surely not, in the wake of being warded off by persons known, identify the process whereby the security, intelligence and diplomatic nexus controls things with impunity.

In the Guardian Goodhart stated that he believed:

“In the UK we are relatively free from corruption and we claim to be helping to reduce corruption in other countries […] The real public interest is that corruption should be rooted out and should not be allowed to distort international trade or to put bungs into undeserving pockets.”

Clearly then, as with the Al Yamamah case, the task is to put bungs into deserving pockets, i.e. those who maintain security, intelligence and diplomatic co-operation.
Now Goodhart is a council member of the The Royal Institute of International Affairs and was a speaker at Chatham House and the Defence Academy’s – “Winning the Peace” along with Rt Hon Lord Ashdown KBE the President of Chatham House; Lyse Doucet, Presenter, BBC World; Sir Ronnie Flanagan GBE QPM now with Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary; Professor Christopher Greenwood CMG QC, Barrister and Professor of International Law, London School of Economics and Political Science; Lt Gen Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, Director, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom; Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House; Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, Director General, Development, Concepts and Doctrine, Ministry of Defence; Douglas Brand, Chief Executive Officer, Global Conflict Solutions; Dr Roger Hood QVRM TD, Defence Adviser & Corporate Strategist, FUJITSU Defence & Security; Professor Sir Michael Howard; Steen L Jorgensen Director of Social Development, Sustainable Development, The World Bank; Bill Mawer, Vice President Strategy and Technology, Smiths Detection; Louise Perrotta, Conflict Resolution and Rule of Law Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Transparency International also hasSir Nicholas Monck: Former Permanent Secretary to the Employment Department and Second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. According to Who’s Who, Monck is an ‘international consultant’.
Educated at Eton and Cambridge, Monck joined the Ministry of Power in (1959-62); The National Economic Development Office (1962-65); the National Board for Prices and Incomes, (1965-66); Senior Economist Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania, (1966-69); HM Treasury, 1969-92; Board member of British Steel, UK Treasury, 1978–1980; PPS to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (1976-77). Monck handled the Domestic and international aspects of UK application for International Monetary Fund loan. Dennis, now Lord Healy, because of bad Treasury forecasts went cap-in-hand for an IMF loan, after which he concluded ‘that most of the theories on which economics is based are bunkum.’ The wildly innacurate assessment of the governments finances that forced a loan which came with IMF conditions that forced the Labour government to adopt budget cuts and pay restrictions that caused the famous ‘winter of discontent’. Roy Hattersley argues in the New Statesman that the Treasury statistics turned out to be categorically wrong:

“The sacrifice for which they called was a reduction in the public sector borrowing – a result achieved partly by cuts in social services. In fact, it turned out that the Treasury had grossly overestimated the size of the public sector borrowing requirement. The cuts were unnecessary.”

Monck’s Treasury work has also involved Privatisation, especially BT & Water and Competition policy: takeovers & restrictive practices. Monck is also a Senior Associate at the Oxford Policy Management and Chair of the Oxford Policy Institute; Member of Fabian Commission on Taxation, 1998–2000; Council member of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research; 1995–2000; Deputy Chairman of the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation (IMRO), 1995–2000 and director of Standard Life 1997-2005.


As a consultant he has carried out assignments in:

2001 Albania: Workshop on Public Administration Reform.
2001 Ethiopia: Public Enterprise Reform & Privatisation.
2000 Malawi: Medium Term Expenditure Framework:
1999 UK: Good Practice in Public Expenditure Management.
1999 Tanzania: Joint author of a report on strengthening capacity of Government Economic Service.
1999 Hungary: Member of a team producing ‘Guide to Output and Performance Measurement in Central Government’.
1998 Cuba: Presented paper on UK experience to International Seminar on Role of the Treasury in Reform Process of the State’s Financial Administration.
1996 Bulgaria: Report on Planning and Managing Public Expenditure in Bulgaria with emphasis on leading a value for money drive from the Ministry of Finance.
1996 Mexico: High level seminars about innovations in the UK public sector in the last decades leading to improvements in the control and value for money of public expenditure and to improved quality of service and accountability.
1996 Hungary: Produced a report on future policy and management of their Social Security (ie. Health and Pensions) Funds.
1996 South Africa: Member of team producing an Institutional Review of the Land Reform Programme.

Baroness Whitaker: council member of Friends Provident’s Stewardship Trust She is a member designate of the proposed Joint Parliamentary Human Rights committee, a member of the European Union Select Committee on social Affairs and International Development Liason Peer.

“Baroness Whitaker: My Lords, the International Crisis Group report suggests that Commonwealth member countries in southern Africa should help to mediate a political settlement for a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe. Is my noble friend seeking to detect and support currents of opinion in the African Union which are going in that direction?”

She is vice-president of the British Humanist Association, vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Civil Rights and International Development Committees and vice-chair of the All Party Group on Ethiopia. She is a member of Transparency International (UK)’s Advisory Council and of the Council of the Overseas Development Institute. Baroness Whitaker is also council member of SOS Sahel, vice-president of One World Trust, a patron of the Runnymede Trust and a member of Population Concern. She is currently the Labour Party International Development Liaison Peer, Advisory Board of the British Institute of Human Rights. She is a trustee of UNICEF UK, a member of the UNA-UK Advisory Panel.

Whitaker is an Associate of Opportunity International UK which is “motivated by Jesus Christ’s call to serve the poor and we work with all people to transform their lives through microfinance.”


Laurence Cockcroft, Chairman: Cockcroft is a development economist who has worked for the Governments of Zambia and Tanzania, as a consultant to various international organisations (UN, FAO, World Bank, etc.), for a large private UK-based agri business company (Booker) and for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. He was a founder member of the boards of Transparency International and Transparency International UK, serving two terms on the former. During the period from 2000-2002 he has chaired the international group which has developed the Business Principles for Countering Bribery. He became Chairman of TI-UK in 2000 and pioneered the work of TI-UK on Corruption in the Official Arms Trade.
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation works with the Rockerfeller Foundation. At a 2004 conference Cockcroft stated:

‘… that TI in the UK ‘needs to focus more on what is going on in defence and politics’. In the private sector changes happen much faster than in the political or public sectors. The day after Cockcroft’s forum, the Financial Times reported that there had been no major prosecutions of businesses for corrupt practices. The paper quoted Cockcroft as saying that corporate behaviour would ‘only change markedly when there are a couple of high-profile prosecutions’.

Cockroft, in an ‘interview’ with the former CIA run (now Soros owned) Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty told us that:

At the most senior level, Cockroft said, ministers have access to information and decision-making powers that have the potential to earn them millions of dollars, so doubling or tripling their salaries can have little effect. “If we move up the scale to the level of ministers, then certainly in terms of the developing world, whether we’re looking at India or Cameroon or Colombia, the fact of the matter is that ministers are paid a small sum and do find it difficult to survive on those salaries,” he said.

“On the other hand, the fact of the matter is that in those cases, the means of sustaining or increasing their take-home pay is really to become involved in very large contracts where the distortion of public finances is rather serious and the implications for society as a whole are likewise very serious.”

Access to information and decision-making powers would seem to be a hard thing to extinguish in world affairs.

TI’s origins are in the World Bank:

“But then [James D] Wolfensohn came to the World Bank and we immediately made contact with Wolfensohn. And he invited us over to Washington to make a presentation to the senior staff on the effect of corruption on World Bank projects because our argument was that corruption was an economic matter, not a political one. This was about 1995. And then Wolfensohn made a very famous speech in Hong Kong when he said the World Bank was going to take on the corruption issue and not one government opposed this.”

This interview with Jeremy Pope tells us of the organisation’s origins:

Peter Eigen was the first chair. In fact, he’s retiring next month. Laurence Cockroft, who is a British development economist; Joe Githongo, a Kenyan, who is an accountant; Michael Hershman, an American, who had been in control of USAID, who is very strong on corruption in institutions. There was Kamal Hossein, a former minister of justice, minister of foreign affairs of Bangladesh, a very distinguished international lawyer, and considered in Bangladesh to be the most honest person in the country – that’s why when he stands for Parliament, he loses. Frank Vogel was in there as well. He was a former correspondent in Washington for the London Times and had spent two or three years at the World Bank running their information division.”

This adds that the initial money was provided by the Rowntree Foundation, and the Nuffield Foundation. The German development agency guaranteed their rent, and then, the Ford Foundation came in. “Finally, what really made TI was when USAID came with about $3 million. At that stage, I decided I didn’t want to manage this thing anymore.”

Michael Hershman
Michael Hershman was a Special Agent with U.S. Military Intelligence and both the Ford Foundation and USAID have close connections with the US Secret State.

Hersham was a co-founder of Transparency International and the chair of Decision Strategies/Fairfax Internationalnow one of the biggest private investigation, security and business intelligence companies in the US. Or so they say.

According to his biography:

“Michael Hershman began his career in intelligence and investigations in Europe during the late 1960’s as a Special Agent with U.S. Military Intelligence, specializing in counter-terrorism”. After leaving the military, he has worked for the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the Mayor of New York City. Later, he served as a Senior Staff Investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee and as Chief Investigator for a joint Presidential and Congressional commission reviewing state and federal laws on wiretapping and electronic surveillance. He also worked for Federal Election Commission, as Chief Investigator and Director of Security, and as Deputy Auditor General for the Foreign Assistance Program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), Hershman serves on the Board of Directors of the [[U.S. Chamber Foundation]] and is a Member of the U.S. Chamber Homeland Security Policy Group and the Coalition against Counterfeiting and Piracy. He is also Chairman of the Board of Advisors of INFRAGARD an FBI program which links with the private sector for information exchange on homeland security issues”.

Hershman is also a co-founder of The Civitas Group, a homeland security strategic advisory firm, and he is Chairman of Allegent Technologies, a leading company in the area of ‘enterprise network security solutions‘. Civitas is a joint venture between Stonebridge International LLC]and BKSH & Associates (a part of the Burson-Marsteller ‘family’), and a WPP]operating company. The press release states that:

“Stonebridge is a global business strategy firm founded by former National Security Advisor Samuel R Berger that helps U.S. and other multinational companies shape and execute strategies to solve problems and seize business opportunities worldwide. Stonebridge has assembled the highest quality team of specialists with deep experience working in key countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and beyond.”

One can see how eagle-eyed Hershman is when it comes to spotting the potential for corruption from the report below. When the the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tried to start the $600-million contract for the rebuilding of Iraq:

“USAID’s attempt to make the process both secret and ultra- quick has drawn suspicion, criticism and investigations. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chair of the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, is co-sponsoring the Sunshine in Iraq Reconstruction Contracting Act of 2003, which would make public all documents on secret Iraq contracts that aren’t classified.
Meanwhile, at the behest of two other members of Congress, the General Accounting Office is looking into a contract that the Army Corps of Engineers gave the oil-services giant Halliburton Corp. without any competition. “This is pretty darned unique,” said Michael Hershman, a former deputy auditor general for USAID. “I don’t recall this much controversy over the awarding of contracts before the work had even begun.””

Indeed, Halliburton suspicion? Iraq Revenue Watch would seem to think so. But is was Hershman’s connection with USAID (part of the NED ‘Family’) that brought money to the table of Transparency International.

Ford Foundation
Jeremy Pope has started up his own organisations Tiri with similarly high level funders.
According to TI The first Board comprised Chairman Peter Eigen (Germany), Vice-Chairman Kamal Hossain (Bangladesh), Vice-Chairman Frank Vogl (USA), Laurence Cockroft (UK), Dolores Espanol (Philippines), Theo Frank (Namibia), Joe Githongo (Kenya), Michael Hershman (USA), and Gerry Parfitt (UK).
The first Advisory council comprised Oscar Arias Sanchez (Costa Rica), Paul Batchelor (UK), Peter Berry (UK), Alberto Dahik (Ecuador), Boubakar Diaby-Ouattara (Ivory Coast), Ugo Draetta (Italy), Hansjörg Elshorst (Germany), Dieter Frisch (Germany), Johan Galtung (Norway), Roy Herberger (USA), Gerhard Kienbaum (Germany), Alain Marsaud (France), Ian Martin (UK), Hans Matthöfer (Germany), Ronald MacLean Abaroa (Bolivia), Peter MacPherson (USA), Ira Millstein (USA), Festus Mogae (Botswana), Miklos Nemeth (Hungary), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah (Mauritania), Devendra Raj Panday (Nepal), Joe B. Wanjui (Kenya), Andrew Young (USA).
According to TI funding from the Ford Foundation was organised by Fritz Heimann Counselor to the General Counsel, General Electric Company and founding member and director of Transparency International. Heimann writes for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs with John Brademas, Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, and a member of Transparency International’s International Advisory Council. Fritz Heimann was Chair of Transparency International-USA from 1993 to 2005. For someone crusading against corruption Heimann adopts some strange tactics.
Wesley A. Cragg and William Woof’s The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its implications for the Control of Corruption in Political Life, states that when American MNC Westinghouse claimed that the commissions paid in the course of its contract for nuclear generating facilities for Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos were proper and that no US laws were violated, the company’s assertions were challenged by other sources within the Philippine government who claim that commissions of $50 million were actually paid, out of which Marcos himself received $30 million. The arbitration of the case was heard by the International Chamber of Commerce, which ruled in December 1991 that there was insufficient evidence to support charges of bribery against Westinghouse. Of Heimann they say:

“Fritz Heimann notes in correspondence to Wesley Cragg, dated December 18, 2000, that ‘the ICC ultimately decided that the Westinghouse payment to the brother of Imelda Marcos was not a bribe because he was not a government official and the Philippine government had produced no evidence that any of the money had been paid to a government official’. It should be noted that the US courts refused Westinghouse’s attempt to throw out the case based on the ICC decision. We replied to Fritz Heimann that Mr. Romualdez served in various government posts and could hardly claim to have an arm’s length relationship to the Marcos family.”

In October 2002, parliamentarians from different parts of the world set up the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC). In 2003, a committee made of representatives of the private sector (including General Electrics, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Gerry Parfitt mentioned above is PwC) and Shell International), non-governmental organizations, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD elaborated the Business Principles for countering bribery. See Julie Bajolle (2005) The origins and motivations of the current emphasis on corruption: The case of transparency international.

Our next director of Transparency International UK.Jeremy Carver, CBE: Carver is a London-based consultant with Clifford Chance since 1987 and he heads their Public International Law Group. According to their website, his expertise:

Represents states, government agencies and international organisations in relation to proceedings in England and elsewhere; representing Kuwait’s Oil Sector companies in claims to the United Nations Compensation Commission. Areas of expertise include state and diplomatic immunity, status, privileges and immunities of international organisations, upstream oil and gas operations, international economic sanctions, maritime and territorial boundary issues, world trade law, jurisdiction, conflicts of laws, extraterritoriality.

In a TI 13 February 2007 meeting at the Commonwealth Club Is the UK Government Serious About Fighting International Corruption? Carver spoke of the Al Yamamah and BAe outlining the troublesome nature of Article 5 of the OECD Anti bribery Convention:

“…whereby all Contracting States expressly agreed that when considering prosecution in respect of offences under the Convention, i.e. bribery of foreign public officials, no weight must be given to three distinct factors: (1) national economic interest;
(2) relations with other States; and (3) the identify of those involved.”

Carver goes on to point out:

“According to the UK’s government’s highest legal adviser, prosecution for bribing foreign public officials is virtually impossible in the UK, whether the person paying the bribes is in the UK or outside, and irrespective of where the bribery took place.[…] so far as the UK’s domestic law on corruption is concerned, the UK cannot be taken as “serious” about fighting international corruption. On the contrary, a serious case can be made that the UK government has, by what it has done in misleading parliament, passing Part XII of the 2001 Act and presenting an even weaker Corruption Bill in 2003, and by what it has not done in failing to present clear and compliant legislation as is so manifestly required, the government has done its utmost to undermine the efforts that so many others have been making to combat foreign bribery.”

To find out inside information on the deal he could have went to Transparency International’s ‘president’, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey and talked about her work with Merchant Bridge and Co. Ltd . They are the advisor to the British Government on the Offset Programme which is a supposed £1 billion economic investment agreement in Saudi Arabia as part of the Al Yamamah (‘the Dove’) arms deal. MerchantBridge thus become part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Saudi Armed Forces Project — the staff includes a number of secondees from BAe Systems. Merchant Bridge runs the ‘Iraq Construction Materials Fund’ to finance manufacturers and suppliers of construction materials in Iraq. Materials such as ready mixed concrete: Chalker is a member of the international advisory board of Lafarge et Cie — which, following the acquisition of Blue Circle, became the world’s leading cement producer.
Clifford Chance sponsor the work of the The International Law Discussion Group which organises events at Chatham House. Stuart Popham, a Senior Partner of Clifford Chance, is a Chatham House director. And it is not all Corporate corruption cover-up at Chatham House: Nicholas Hildyard’s The Lesotho Highland Water Development Project – What Went Wrong? (Or, rather: What went Right? For Whom?) formed a presentation to Chatham House Conference, London “Corruption in Southern Africa – Sources and Solutions.” But then one’s man’s corruption is another man’s cocoa:
…Carver reportedly told Palast:

“I went to a DTI reception. I was introduced to someone who identified himself as the chairman of a company and we were talking about corruption. He announced with great pride that he personally handed over the cheque to the government minister for the Pergau dam ‘bribe’ in Malaysia.” Identifying Carver’s interlocutor as “the chairman of Balfour Beatty”, Palast continues: “The corporate honcho was not confessing, but boasting about the payment which he may have considered not a bribe but just the cost of doing business Malaysian-style.”

Did Carver reveal this?
One of the anomalies of Transparency International’s map of corruption is that it appears to ignore that Western companies are said to fuel corruption abroad, or factor in the relevant amounts. In Transparency International’s Bribe Payers’ Index, which measures perceptions of the frequency with which bribes are paid by companies from the 19 leading exporting countries, the US appears in the middle of the ranking. But of the world’s leading exporters, the ‘US government is perceived to be the most likely to engage in ‘unfair practices’ to benefit its businesses’.

It is argued that Africa is kept destitute as western firms shift cash to tax havens:

“More than $150bn a year is looted from Africa through tax avoidance by giant corporations and capital flight using ‘a pinstripe infrastructure’ of western banks, lawyers and accountants, according to the African Union. This £75bn equivalent shortfall easily eclipses pledges made by leaders of the world’s richest nations to increase aid and write off debt at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005.”

The World Bank (who initiated TI) and the International Monetary Fund have not researched capital flight and tax. Similarly the role of Export Credit Agencies (EVA) is overlooked. Noreena Hertz in the Ecologist argues:

“Not only do ECAs finance self-aggrandising or misguided projects and corrupt elites; they are, historically, rarely subject to any kind of regulatory safeguards. Most export credit agencies, for example, have no legal obligation to screen out projects with adverse environmental and social impacts, no obligation to ensure that their projects comply with human rights, environmental and development guidelines, and no obligation to consider the environmental impact of their investments or the contribution they will make to local development. […] Western countries use ECAs for 80 per cent of their investment in developing countries. The agencies subsidise corporations and provide risk-free bonuses for the commercial banks lending the investment capital. There is no quid pro quo at all that the businesses favoured should employ the peoples of the subsidising government, invest in its country or fulfil any national interest.”

Carver is also a trustee of the Thunderbirds-sounding International Rescue Committee-UK. The IRC “serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression or violent conflict worldwide. Founded in 1933, the IRC is committed to freedom, human dignity, and self-reliance. This commitment is expressed in emergency relief, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement assistance, and advocacy.” Its overseers include such peacemakers as: Madeleine K. Albright, Henry A. Kissinger, Colin Powell, James D. Wolfensohn; and John Drysdale, Neil Holt, Lady Moody-Stuart, Anne Moore-Willliams, Monty Raphael, Ian Trumper, Kate Wilson, Karl Ziegler. Former Directors: David Murray: Senior Adviser to the Chairman, The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative International Advisory Group, and former Deputy Chairman, TI(UK).


Chandrashekhar Krishnan – Executive Director
Graham Rodmell – Director Corporate and Regulatory Affairs
Jan Lanigan – Company Secretary
Ian Trumper (Forensic Accounting) – Treasurer
Jeremy Carver, CBE (Clifford Chance) – Legal Advisor

Charities Aid Foundation and Transparency International

One can see an interesting relationship between the Charities Aid Foundation and Transparency International and their lobbying abilities towards the persistantly gullible. At the 13th meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee on Lobbying on 11th September 2002, the Committee ‘considered an invitation’ from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) ‘Consulting and Development’ to the Deputy Convener to attend a conference on lobbying. The conference – entitled ‘Regulating Lobbying Activities in Central and Eastern Europe’ – is jointly organised by CAF and Transparency International (TI) to take place in Budapest (hey a freebie!). The ‘organisers’ offered meet accommodation and related costs in Budapest but have requested that delegates meet the cost of their own airfares. To hell with that thought the Committee and agreed that it “would be appropriate to seek further information about the conference organisers before making a decision to apply for Committee travel funds for the Deputy Convener.” Page 12 of the document sets out “more information about CAF and TI”. Most of the information was simply “taken from web sites set up by both organisations”. Although the information “has also been checked with a third party organisation (CAF with the Charities Commission and TI with BDO (accountants) and the Department for International Development).”
Earlier the Executive had met to discuss the role of Lobbyists in the parliament.

Cohen, N. (2002) Half-baked bean counters, The Observer, Sunday July 7. According to Cohen: “The big five accountancy firms, whose indifference to corporate fraud is the immediate cause of the stock market and pensions crisis, boast of their global reach.” Cohen cites Austin Mitchell MP and Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex, Prem Sikka’s, Dirty Business: The Unchecked Power of Major Accountancy Firms. This argues along the lines of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? and its findings (with its numerous indictments of PWC) would imply that people involved in Pricewaterhousecoopers are not particularly qualified as the guardians of morality the TIUK assume and posture themselves to be:

“Accountancy firms enjoy a state guaranteed monopoly of external auditing and insolvency markets. Yet no independent regulator regulates them. Major accountancy firms will do almost anything to make money. In pursuit of profits they operate cartels, launder money, devise tax avoidance/evasion schemes, bribe officials and obstruct inquiries into their affairs. They use external audits as a loss leader to sell other services. The internal organisation of accountancy firms encourages falsification of audit work. The absence of ‘duty of care’ to individual stakeholders affected by audits dilutes the economic incentives to deliver good audits. The longevity of auditor appointments encourages personal relationships with company directors. Frequently, audit staff are auditing their own former senior colleagues and partners, now enjoying a directorial position in a client company.”

Mitchell and Sikka’s enquiry notes that in addition to ‘auditing’ the late Robert Maxwell since the 70s: “Price Waterhouse simultaneously acted as auditor, the eyes and ears of the regulators and advisers to BCCI management […] The audit firm acted as private consultants and advisors to BCCI management to further their ‘private’ interests. Yet at the same time the state was expecting them to perform ‘public interest’ functions by acting as an external monitor and quasi-regulator” (p.37).

Who funds them?
Transparency International”’, (TI) was co-founded by Peter Eigen and Michael Hershman.
Another founding member of Transparency International, and Secretary-General for Jamaica, Ms Beth Aub, resigned her membership of the ‘global anti-corruption body’ in 2004, alleging corrupt practices such as “facilitation payments” by TI, a term she described as another name for bribery and corruption.


ABB, AMEC, Anglo American, Bombardier, BP International, Consolidated Contractors, EBRD, Fluor Corporation, Halcrow Group, Hilti Corporation, Hochtief, International Federation of Inspection Agencies, ISIS Equity Partners, KPMG, Motorola, Novo Nordisk, Obayashi Corporation, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rio Tinto, SGS, SIKA, Skanska, SNC Lavalin. Deutsche Bank

BETWEEN € 50,000 AND € 200,000: Federal Foreign Office, Germany, Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA), Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Ireland AID, The Charles S. Mott Foundation, USA.

OVER € 200,000: European Commission, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), UK, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands , Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), The Ford Foundation, USA, AVINA Group, Switzerland, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Private Sector

TI also received “generous contributions” from participants in the Global Corporations for Transparency International (GCTI) initiative:
*Exxon, General Electric, Lafarge, Merck, Norsk Hydro, SAP AG, Shell International, Sovereign Asset Management, Sovereign Global Development, Anglo American, Nexen, UBS.

Companies participating in this initiative typically contribute 50,000 Euro per year to Transparency International.

Participants in private sector projects

ABB, Amanco, Bombardier, BP, Calvert, Consolidated Contractors, F&C Asset Management, Fluor Corporation, Halcrow, Hilti, Hochtief, International Federation of Inspection Agencies, ISIS, Merck, Motorola, Norsk Hydro, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rio Tinto, SGS, Sika, Skanska, SNC Lavalin, TRACE.

Individuals and Other Donors

William F. Biggs (USA), Hartmut Fischer (Germany), Arnesto Goncalves Segredo (The Netherlands), Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland), Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE, USA), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG, Germany), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Fondation Pro Victimis (Switzerland), Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen (GWA, Germany), KPMG, IHK Frankfurt (Germany), Lahmeyer International, Ministry for Foreign Affairs Norway, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand (NZAID), Partners of the Americas (USA), Stockholm International Water Institute (Sweden), The World Bank (IBRD).

Further Reading

The origins and motivations of the current emphasis on corruption by Julie Bajolle, Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime, Italy.

This article offers a critical analysis of the development of the anticorruption movement and of the anticorruption NGO Transparency International. It looks at the self-interest underlying some anti-corruption initiatives, and at the composition and management of Transparency International.

Dr. Michel van Hulten (2007) Ten years of Corruption (Perceptions) Indices

The International Anti­Corruption Movement

Mondialisation & délocalisations


4 Responses to “Transparency International”

  1. […] an other view of Transparency International read Pinkindustry´s article and look at the net work schedules […]

  2. rijkswaanvijand Says:

    According to their own reports, for instance on Afghanistan, schemes for rent extraction are a major form of corruption. There seems no way around concluding neoliberalism is corruption institutionalized; as the main policy here seems to be the selling of of social infrastructure to rent seeking entities, and weaken democracies to do just that.

    At first I found it striking they did not draw the same conclusion, but after looking up some of their affiliations it all started to make sense…
    Thanks for the elaborate reporting; I could have been clicking and scrolling for hours, were it not for stumbling upon your inclusive oversight!

  3. nice article………several inaccuracies, and of course it would need updating now that the US TI has withdrawn from the organization and the UK Bribery Act has been passed (but without teeth). but generally there is a lack of self criticism in this anti-corruption ‘movement’. Some perspective is necessary, however. TI’s budget has been 10-12 mill eur per year. This is really the cost of like , one airplane. There is a question of scale here. anyway…nice job connecting the dots.

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