The Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) is the local chapter of Transparency International (TI), the leader of a global coalition against corruption.
TI was founded in 1993 as an independent, non-political, non-profit, civil society organisation dedicated to increasing transparency and accountability and curbing both international and national corruption. It works in a non-confrontational way with governments, the private sector, development agencies, international organisations and other civil society organisations to seek ways and means to combat corruption—defined as ‘the misuse of entrusted power for private gain’—mainly through the promotion of good governance in both the public and private sectors.
TTTI was formed in 1998 and is registered as a non-profit company under the Companies Act, 1995.
This Strategic Framework sets out the strategic directions that TTTI has chosen to take in the period 2010 to 2012.
2 Annual Planning
Each year, following the Annual General Meeting, the new Board of Directors, assisted by the Board Committees, will establish a twelve–month Action Plan based on the current Strategic Framework. The plan will select programmes to be given priority during the period and will identify specific projects to be implemented under them.
From time to time during the twelve–month period the plan will be updated as circumstances change and new needs arise. Towards the end of the period the Strategic Framework will be reviewed and updated for the next three years.
3 Vision and Mission
TTTI’s vision is of a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. TTTI’s mission is to work towards a country and region that are free of corruption.
TTTI’s main challenges are:
- citizens’ high tolerance of corruption and the widespread practice of petty corruption;
- vested interests: bureaucratic, political and commercial;
- lack of demonstrated political will to effect meaningful change;
- identifying and implementing transparency and accountability promotion programmes that are effective;
- securing resources—both human and financial—needed to implement its programmes; and
- designing, building and maintaining a governance structure that effectively supports its mission.
5 Strategy and Objectives
TTTI will implement a strategy to pursue its vision and mission based on the following:
- the promotion of integrity and reduction of corruption in the public sector, the private sector, and the daily lives of citizens and
- the development of a supporting resource base to achieve that objective.
The strategy will be implemented through activities arranged under the following headings:
- Operational activities:
- Public Sector integrity promotion (Section 6.1 below)
- Private Sector integrity promotion (6.2)
- Civil Society strengthening (6.3)
- National Community education and empowerment (6.4)
- Supporting activities:
- Branding (7.1)
- Organisational capacity enhancement (7.2)
- Funding (7.3) o Research capacity enhancement (7.4)
- International agency liaison (7.5)
6 OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES
TTTI plans to carry out the following operational activities on a phased basis over the period 2010 to 2012 having regard to its current limitations and capabilities and the potential for decreasing the former and increasing the latter. The annual Action Plan (see Section 2 above) will determine priorities.
6.1 Public Sector Integrity Promotion Activities
6.1.1 Public Contracting
TTTI will by building coalitions with all stakeholders:
- Advocate the reform of the public sector procurement regime, especially by the introduction of new legislation;
- advocate and monitor the adoption of TI’s Integrity Pact1 and the wider use of public consultation for major public projects.
- Undertake reviews of the procurement procedures of public bodies, including State Enterprises, with a view to promoting the adoption of TI’s Minimum Standards for Public Contracting and other elements of current best practice.
6.1.2 Integrity in Public Life
- seek to promote the increased effectiveness of the Integrity Commission as an anti– corruption agency;
- advocate the introduction of whistleblower protection legislation in the public service and address issues of public sector management reform;
- explore ways of supporting corruption prevention in the Protective Services; and continue its ethics training programme in Government departments and seek to extend this to State Enterprises.
6.1.3 Access to Information
TTTI will undertake a critical evaluation of the Freedom of Information Act, 2001, with special emphasis on the legislation’s effectiveness in satisfying the public’s right to know.
6.1.4 Political Party Regulation and Election Financing
TTTI will advocate the inclusion in any revised Constitution of updated provisions for regulating political parties and election campaign financing.
6.1.5 International Conventions
- monitor the implementation by Trinidad and Tobago of the provisions of the Inter–American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) and of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
This will include the preparation of a UNCAC Gap Analysis Report that will identify gaps between the laws/regulations currently in force in Trinidad and Tobago and the requirements of the UNCAC.
- continue to respond to requests from the TI Secretariat for action at the national level to advocate TI’s recommendations regarding the implementation of the provisions of these treaties, the introduction of implementation review mechanisms and the signing of other international treaties and conventions.
6.1.6 Constitutional Reform
TTTI will continue to work with the Constitutional Reform Forum (CRF) and other bodies engaged in promoting constitution reform.
6.2 Private Sector Integrity Promotion Activities
- work with business and professional associations and companies to facilitate the adoption by local companies of TI’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery;
- develop approaches for tackling corruption in sport;
- collaborate with Private Sector Organisations in corruption prevention and the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities;
- promote anti-corruption alliances within commercial sectors including the formation of an Anti Corruption Forum for the Construction/Infrastructure sector; and
- support the development of higher standards of corporate governance.
6.3 Civil Society Strengthening
- continue to collaborate with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in civil society mobilisation activities that are compatible with its remit.
- implement a project to develop and disseminate a Civil Society Accountability Toolkit to enhance other CSOs transparency and accountability practices.
6.4 National Community Education and Empowerment
6.4.1 Public Education
- continue to seize the opportunities that arise to educate the public on the forms corruption takes and on how individuals and groups can combat it. TTTI will pay particular attention to the issues of executive transparency and accountability and appropriate constitutional reform; methods of communication with the public will include public statements, articles in the press, discussion forums and radio and television appearances;
- continue efforts to undertake public education campaigns that may entail media advertising, seminars and workshops for stakeholders, outreach programmes — including competitive events — for schools, dissemination of literature and the issuing of public statements;
- advocate the inclusion in school and teacher training syllabuses treatment of ethical questions of integrity and openness;
- promote the observance of International Anti–Corruption Day (IACD) as a major event in the national calendar. To this end TTTI will, among other things, use the occasion of IACD to present awards won in the competitive events mentioned above and to honour the winner of TTTI’s Investigative Journalism award (see 6.4.2 below); and
- disseminate information via social media to an increasing number of recipients.
TTTI will introduce an Annual Transparency Institute Award for Investigative Journalism in Trinidad and Tobago aimed at improving the quality and quantity of investigative journalism. Awards will aim at capacity building of journalists.
6.4.3 Petty Corruption Prevention
- seek ways of helping members of the public and public officials to avoid engaging in petty corruption, particularly facilitation payments;
- establish of an Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC)2 to assist persons who are the victims of corruption or wish to expose corruption.
6.4.4 Youth Integrity Education
TTTI will seek to introduce integrity education for the youths in the nation’s schools through the adaptation of the programme developed by TI-South Korea. When developed further, the plan will be presented to the Ministry of Education.
TTTI will seek to implement the recommendations of consultants on the branding of the organisation with a view to improving the image, the communication of the message and increasing the general public’s support for our work.
7.2 Organisational capacity enhancement
TTTI will seek, by April 2010 at the latest, to employ an Executive Officer to manage its operations and, subsequently, one or more Project Officers to execute specific projects as well as one or more Research Officers as required by particular projects.
In order to carry out successful programmes, TTTI needs funding both for operations and project expenses. Income will be generated as follows:
- continue its drive to increase corporate and individual membership sufficiently to sustain staffing and operations and provide a pool of volunteers to help in the implementation of programmes. The drive will involve direct invitation of individuals and corporate bodies as well as, among other things, talks to groups, articles in the press, appearances on radio and TV and e–mailing campaigns.
- continue to supplement its income through undertaking consultancy and training engagements.
- seek special funding for operations and projects from both local sources and international funding agencies.
- undertake an ongoing fund–raising project to establish an Endowment Fund of at least TT$1,000,000 to generate interest income to meet in part overhead costs.
7.4 Research capacity enhancement
TTTI will establish a Research Committee that will include qualified members and non–members where needed to support its programmes and the development of effective anti–corruption strategies. Wherever possible, the Committee will collaborate with universities and research institutes.
7.5 International agency liaison
- continue discussions with the Craicom Secretariat and other stakeholders on having Caricom declared a corruption–free region.
- continue with its efforts to establish TI National Chapters in other countries of the English– speaking Caribbean.
- continue and strengthen its close relationship with the TI Secretariat and be represented at its international meetings whenever possible.
- establish closer relations with other National Chapters with a view to mutual benefit.
- deepen its relationship with locally based diplomatic missions and, where possible, undertake with them projects of mutual interest.