Shruti J. Shah | Contributing Editor
Shruti J. Shah is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog.
She’s the President and CEO Coalition for Integrity (formerly Transparency International-USA).
She has led many of the Coalition’s key initiatives, including developing practices to combat corruption and promoting greater transparency and accountability to stem the flow of proceeds of corruption, with a specific focus on reforms in the areas of beneficial ownership transparency and anti- money laundering laws.
Shruti previously worked at both PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. She has managed investigations of alleged accounting fraud in publicly held companies and assisted companies in designing anti-corruption/FCPA compliance programs.
She’s a CPA (licensed in Colorado), a Chartered Accountant (India), and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
The Coalition for Integrity released its Enforcement of Ethics Rules by State Agencies: Unpacking the S.W.A.M.P. Index report last Thursday. The report demonstrates tremendous differences in United States’ ethics enforcement and a lack of transparency in actions taken by state ethics agencies.
After several delays, the first trial of Najib Razak, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, began on April 3rd. He is accused of plundering the Malaysian Sovereign Wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he set up to drive the development efforts in Malaysia. This represents a stunning reversal in fortune for Najib Razak who after ruling for nearly a decade was handily defeated in the elections last year amid allegations of massive corruption.
While much of the focus on the mid-term elections was on who got elected, there were significant results regarding how candidates get elected and the ethics rules to which they are subject once in office. Important changes were approved in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, the City of Phoenix and potentially Utah.
Two weeks ago the Coalition for Integrity released the S.W.A.M.P. Index, which ranks and scores all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on the laws governing ethics and transparency in the executive and legislative branches.
After a summer of hard work, I am pleased to present Coalition for Integrity’s Index of States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public officials (S.W.A.M.P.).
In November 2018, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 34 Senate seats, and 36 governorships are up for grabs. We must challenge our candidates to compete on the basis of their commitment to integrity.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, the United States suffered a “Trust Crash” in the past year, reflecting a 37 point loss of trust in four institutions (government, business, media, and NGOs), more than any of the other countries surveyed.
I have written several times in the past about how anonymous/shell companies facilitate corruption and limit the ability of investigators to hold corrupt officials accountable. I have also been critical of the limited progress in the United States on this front.
Recently U.S. Senator Robert Menendez joined the (growing) list of politicians who have managed to beat back corruption charges despite engaging in ethically questionable behavior.