Anti-Corruption in Infrastructure Projects Workshop

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Vientiane 13-16 June and Savanhnakhet Province 20-23 June (Lao PDR) – In recent years, Laos has embarked on a journey to enhance its infrastructure and facilitate economic growth. The country has witnessed significant progress in various infrastructure sectors, reflecting its commitment to improving connectivity, transportation, and energy systems. The development of new roads, bridges, airports, and hydropower plants has been a key focus, with the aim of bolstering regional integration and attracting foreign investments. These infrastructure projects are not only transforming the physical landscape of Laos but also fostering greater connectivity within the country and the wider region.

In this context, promoting the capacity of Laotian law enforcement authorities to address corruption in infrastructure development projects is of great importance. Recognizing this, the State Inspection Authority (SIA), with support from UNODC, organized two trainings on this topic for law enforcement authorities in the country.

The trainings were held in two locations, Vientiane, and Savanhnakhet Province, from June 13 to 23, and brought together a combined 64 officials from key stakeholders, namely, the SIA officials and relevant government officers. The participants learned how to identify and investigate common forms of corruption in the planning and building of roads, public buildings, and other infrastructure projects, as well as how corrupt officials and their accomplices conceal the payment of bribes using corporations and trusts based in the nation or another jurisdiction.  

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Additionally, they gained knowledge of the function of correspondent banks, the SWIFT system for international transfers, and how to obtain information from each source to track down and retrieve stolen money and bribe receipts. At the end of the training, participants had a basic understanding of how companies and trusts - both those incorporated overseas and in accordance with Lao PDR law - are organized, as well as what information is required when conducting an investigation.  These workshops aimed to enhance the knowledge of related officials, as well as to sharpen officials’ skills to tackle corruption in infrastructure projects, as well as to develop an understanding of corruption in infrastructure projects overall in Laos by fostering dialogue, sharing best practices among participants and hearing the expert’s presentations.

This activity was funded by the Kingdom of Denmark through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea (KMOJ).

Other Useful Links:

  • A description of a Financial Crime Investigations workshop held in Laos in December 2022 can be found here.
  • A summary of an Anti-Corruption and Financial Crime Investigations training held in Laos in March 2021 can be found here.
  • A description of a workshop to improve institutional corruption complaints mechanisms held in Laos in December 2018 can be found here.