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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

SUNY/CID meets with Serbian Anti-Corruption Delegation

New friends welcomed to Albany – ICCR Serbian Delegation with CID staff (May 2019)

New friends welcomed to Albany – ICCR Serbian Delegation with CID staff (May 2019)

Corruption in the government hinders the development of a nation and its people. As part of its mission, SUNY/CID actively participates in anti-corruption related work to improve good governance. One such opportunity arose with the arrival of the Serbian Anti-Corruption Delegation, sponsored by the Open World program. SUNY/CID volunteered to host a session with the delegation as part of its visit to Albany, New York. Anti-corruption work is often an element of the project activities SUNY/CID implements as part of its portfolio of governance work.

The Serbian Anti-Corruption Delegation’s visit was organized by the International Center of the Capital Region (ICCR) that works to foster local and international cultural exchanges, education, and understanding. Participating in events like these complements SUNY/CID’s central goal of supporting democratic institutions through integrated development. CID Deputy Director, Jim Utermark, presented SUNY/CID’s work on anti-corruption within the region, such the USAID Strengthening Governing Institutions and Process (SGIP) project that took place from 2013-2018 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Major activities conducted by the SGIP project included: anticorruption checklists; Fiscal Impact analysis (FIA); engaging civil society in anti-corruption efforts; legislative review of anti-corruption agency reports; and parliamentary review of audit reports. The results of these activities included: training over 850 government officials on the mandatory FIA process; training and mentoring for Civil Society Organizations: implementing a sustainable training process and software for FIA, improvements in legislative review of audit reports and providing sustainable audit review templates.

CID Deputy Director, Jim Utermark, presenting information on anti-corruption programs to the ICCR Serbian Delegation (May 2019)

CID Deputy Director, Jim Utermark, presenting information on anti-corruption programs to the ICCR Serbian Delegation (May 2019)

The Serbian Anti-Corruption Delegation included representatives from municipal government, academia, journalism and civil society watchdogs. The group presented information about their respective organizations and the role they play in curbing corruption in Serbia. A useful dialogue ensued with many questions and answers about improving governance and reducing opportunities for corruption.

This meeting provided a forum for SUNY/CID and the Serbian Anti-Corruption Delegation to share information of best practices and provide questions and answers. The fight against corruption includes challenges of political will from within the governments themselves but there is popular support for the fight. One way to battle corruption is through the strengthening of institutions: separation of powers; a strong, independent audit function with follow up actions and sanctions; and creating a culture of ethics, transparency, and accountability.

SUNY/CID hosts international delegations through the ICCR several times a year. We also organize study tours for foreign legislatures to meet with their counterparts around the US and around the world. SUNY/CID’s mission for more than three decades is to enhance the knowledge and practice of governance. Over this period, The Center implemented more than $300 million in projects across five continents.

Posted July 12, 2019