In May, 120,000 people in northwestern Colombia were endangered by the potential collapse of a hydroelectric dam being developed by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), a client of Canada’s export credit agency. EPM is currently under investigation for possible corruption and environmental damage linked to the project.
Export Development Act
Last month 13 people protesting the expansion of a copper smelter owned by Vedanta Limited were shot and killed by police in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Vedanta Ltd. is financed by the Canadian government despite being blacklisted on human rights and environmental grounds by many investors.
Above Ground has long questioned Export Development Canada’s assessment of environmental and human rights risks posed by its clients' operations. Now the auditor general is warning there are “significant deficiencies” in the agency’s overall management of risk.
Legal and policy reforms are needed to bolster anti-corruption mechanisms at Export Development Canada (EDC), according to a report released today by Above Ground. The publication identifies key weaknesses in EDC’s anti-corruption screening procedures and names several EDC clients investigated and/or charged with corrupt practices.
Anti-Corruption and Export Development Canada: Recommendations for an Effective Policy and Improved Regulatory Oversight
In this report, we examine reforms needed to raise Export Development Canada’s anti-corruption client screening to a more robust standard. The recommendations are informed by leading anti-corruption policies and guidance documents from other export credit agencies, international financial organizations and the private sector.
Ongoing media coverage regarding the sale of a Bombardier jet to the Gupta family has triggered an important public debate about the accountability and transparency of Export Development Canada. With Parliament set to review EDC’s governing legislation this year, the timing for such a discussion could not be better.