Individual Contractor ? Corruption Risk Assessment in the Education sector (International) – Yangon with travel in Myanmar

UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and secretariat to the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention, has the mandate to provide support and technical assistance to States parties to effectively implement the Convention. The backbone for UNODC anti-corruption work is the normative framework provided by UNCAC.

The UNODC Country Programme for Myanmar consists of five Sub-programmes addressing drugs and crime in Myanmar, including Sub-programme 2: Anti-Corruption.

Under this Sub-programme, UNODC supports Myanmar to more effectively prevent, raise awareness of, detect, investigate and prosecute corruption including through:

  • Improved legal and policy environment to support the Government anti-corruption efforts in line with international standards,
  • Enhanced institutional capacity to prevent, raise awareness of, detect, investigate and prosecute corruption
  • Improved the capacity of private sector and civil society organizations to prevent and contribute to combating corruption

Corruption is widespread in Myanmar, and this has significant negative effects on its development. In response, the President Win Myint carried over from his predecessor the fight against corruption as a national priority. Despite Myanmar’s gradual improvement in corruption rankings, it still ranks as one of the most corrupt Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Although progress in combating corruption has been made in some areas, there is much still to be done.

Prevention of corruption has been at the forefront of action against corruption in the country with the creation of Corruption Prevention Units in the GoM. In December 2018, the Government of Myanmar approved the creation of Corruption Prevention Units (CPUs) in Union Ministries. 22 line Ministries and Central Offices formed CPUs, that have three roles to play: 1) conduct awareness raising on corruption, 2) conduct corruption-related enquiries, and 3) conduct corruption risk assessment (CRA).

The COVID-19 pandemic provides both challenges and opportunities to education worldwide.  Worldwide, corruption in education remains a sensitive issue where quantitative data is often partial and disparate. Fraud and corruption in education destroy the fundamental cement of countries: the trust based on the belief that rules apply equally to everyone. They also destroy legitimate aspirations to quality education, the equal opportunities of children in life and every child’s right to fair education based on merit, efforts and achievement. Globally, different types corruption in the education sector have witnessed ranging bribes paid by parents to teachers/professors for grades; procurement issues; and examination results; preferential positing and promotion etc. A less visible form is the lack of transparency of information such as: income and expenses at public universities, information about wealth statements of the management of universities, information about implementation of codes of ethics, lack of practice to involve students in evaluation of professor’s work etc.

In recent years, UNODC has developed considerable expertise and has generated impactful results while supporting organizations to identify and manage corruption risks that can weaken and undermine regulatory and enforcement frameworks, prevent them from achieving their mandate, and lead to significant lost revenue, wastage of public resources and lack of confidence that stakeholders hold in these organizations. In this framework, UNODC will conduct a study on the corruption risk in the education sector using the UNODC guide on conducting CRA : https://www.unodc.org/documents/corruption/Publications/2020/State_of_Integrity_EN.pdf

While most organizations recognize the importance of strong anti-corruption controls, not many have identified the points in their operations where corruption is most likely to occur, nor developed and implemented strategies to prevent this corruption from occurring in the future, or put in place measures that ensure that all members of the organization work with integrity to achieve the organization’s mandate. By undergoing a corruption risk assessment and implementing corruption risk management strategies, organizations can be better placed to meet their own objectives. 

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