This article was originally published via the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service by the same author. Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MNNS)— With escalated ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids striking nationwide, Milwaukee is no exception. Information will be shared between local and federal…
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (CopBlock)— After over 60 days, the Wauwatosa (Tosa) Police Department finally released an ex-detective’s 2013 resignation letter. However, WPD redacted large swaths in an admitted effort to protect their officers’ reputations. Its unaltered portions included accusations of systematically…
In Ukraine, revolution and reform has given way to reaction, with vested interests entrenching themselves even further.
Last week, as the world prepared for the Christmas holidays, Ukrainian MPs gathered in parliament at 10am, and departed 20 hours later. This legislative marathon happens every year, when, in a regime of secrecy and sleeplessness, Ukraine’s parliamentarians pass the budget for Europe’s biggest country. After all, when else can you carve up assets in a country that has seen the overthrow of an authoritarian president, a revolution and occupation by Russian forces?
For the past three years, parliamentary deputies, unashamed of television cameras, surround the country’s prime minister in the chamber as they trade for benefits and state contracts. Take Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party. Since 2014, this party, known for its populist rhetoric, has managed to triple the level of state support for a company that builds fire engines. In 2017, direct state financing of the company in question (which, of course, belongs to members of Lyashko’s party) will reach $25m. The Radical Party, meanwhile, positions itself as an opposition platform, yet still votes for the state budget from year to year.
The Uganda Police Force has been continuously ranked as one of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, and was identified as the most corrupt East African Region institution in the Transparency International East Africa Bribery Index. To its credit, it does have a promising legal framework, including a national information access law and law mandating discipline for police misconduct. The work now is to make those legal requirements work for the people of Uganda.
The people of Uganda deserve law enforcement agencies that are accountable and transparent. With the opportunities created by the 2006 Access to Information Act it’s possible for them to move forward by providing useful public information. There are some signs that the police are trying to make progress, principally with their publication of information about the public’s complaints. While this is a good first step, it’s insufficient. The quality and timeliness of this data must improve. In addition, police must work more effectively with the media to ensure that their information is getting out to a public which is unlikely to be able to find their information online.
Five months ago, 21 year old Christopher Davis was shot dead by police in Muskego, Wisconsin. Today, his family wrestles with the frustrating reality that Chris’s killer won’t be charged with a crime. Key details gleaned during federal investigations, however, bring that decision into sharp questioning.
During February of 2016, Christopher Davis accompanied friends driving from Milwaukee Wisconsin to Muskego. Driver Jose Lara told investigators they’d gone to inspect a car for purchase. At the time of the shooting Davis’ cousin, a US Army private, stated this as well. Being uncomfortable with freeway driving, Davis allowed Lara to drive his car. Davis and Lara were accompanied by a third individual, Roberto Juarez Nieves, MJS reports. Nieves’ name, however, was redacted in the investigative report.
From torture to campaign finance, the president can still order important transparency reforms — but there isn’t much time.
President Obama took office promising to usher in an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability in the federal government.
Back in 2009, when he said federal agencies “should take affirmative steps to make information public,” he promised that the administration would make openness a centerpiece of its agenda.
But as the curtain closes on Obama’s second term, many of his lofty promises remain unfulfilled.
For example, despite signing the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which was supposed to usher in a new era of protections for officials who speak out against waste and fraud, the Obama White House has brought more cases against whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
What steps did the London Anti-Corruption Summit make towards eliminating corruption?
On 12 May 2016, David Cameron hosted the Anti-Corruption Summit in London. This summit aimed to bring together world leaders to discuss ways to expose corruption, punish those responsible, and to eliminate institutionalized practices that encourage corruption. I previously wrote an article explaining why this conference was unlikely to result in meaningful reform. So far, many civil society organizations have claimed that the Summit was underwhelming and did not go far enough. However, some positive steps were taken and as a result, I believe that it is worth exploring the end result of this Summit.
In the days before the Anti-Corruption Summit, tension started to brew as David Cameron was caught on camera stating that “Nigeria and Afghanistan are possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” This was expected to cause problems as the Nigerian and Afghani presidents were high profile invitees to the conference. Fortunately, this faux pas appeared to have been forgiven and the summit was able to proceed in a cooperative manner. At the Summit, several commitments and provisions were agreed to and published in a communiqué. Some of these provisions are as follows: