Results Not Receipts: Counting the Right Things in Aid and Corruption

Results Not Receipts: Counting the Right Things in Aid and Corruption. Center for Global Development. Charles Kenny. June 19, 2017.

Results Not Receipts explores how an important and justified focus on corruption is damaging the potential for aid to deliver results. Donors treat corruption as an issue they can measure and improve, and from which they can insulate their projects at acceptable costs by controlling processes and monitoring receipts. But our ability to measure corruption is limited, and the link between donors’ preferred measures and development outcomes is weak. Noting the costs of the standard anticorruption tools of fiduciary controls and centralized delivery, Results Not Receipts urges a different approach to tackling corruption in development: focus on outcomes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 124.67 KB].

Value for Money: EU Programme Funding in the Field of Democracy and Rule of Law

Value for Money: EU Programme Funding in the Field of Democracy and Rule of Law. RAND Corporation. Ben Baruch et al. June 14, 2017.

This study explores the extent to which processes are in place to enable the delivery of value for money through EU program funding in the field of democracy and rule of law. It includes a review of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the Instrument for Stability and Peace. It considers current ways of working and the potential for improvement. Analysis is based on interviews with EU program officials and EU delegations, and related documentary evidence. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 194 pages, 4.51 MB].

The Importance of High Quality General Education for Students in Special Education

The Importance of High Quality General Education for Students in Special Education. Brookings Institution. Elizabeth Setren and Nora Gordon. April 20, 2017

Last month’s Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District sets a higher bar for the “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) guaranteed to students with disabilities by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In the unanimous opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives. This standard is more demanding than the ‘merely more than de minimis’ test applied by the Tenth Circuit.” While the new standard may be vague, it has rejuvenated public discussion around special education policy and practice.

As policymakers and practitioners think about what changes may be required to meet the new standard, they should not overlook the role of general education. New evidence suggests that it’s possible for special education students to make large achievement gains without their traditional services in schools with high quality general education programs. This points to the importance of the quality of general education for students schools might place in special education. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

How To End The Practice of Anonymously Held Corporations, One Year Post-Panama Papers

How To End The Practice of Anonymously Held Corporations, One Year Post-Panama Papers. Brookings Institution. Aaron Klein. March 27, 2017

One of the core tenets of America’s terrorism finance and anti-money laundering (AML) strategies is that financial institutions are under an affirmative requirement to ‘know your customers’—or KYC. The centrality can be seen in the ubiquity of the KYC acronym, often appearing alongside AML as a merged six-letter short hand.
Despite the importance of the tenet, however, corporations are still legally able to set-up anonymous shell entities that are entitled to open bank accounts and not required to provide information regarding the company’s beneficial owners—a shady practice that received international attention almost one year ago with the publication of the now-infamous Panama Papers. How can banks be expected to know your customer, when the customer is entitled to anonymity? What are the implications of anonymous ownership and of revising this practice? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Future-Proofing Justice: Building a Research Agenda to Address the Effects of Technological Change on the Protection of Constitutional Rights

Future-Proofing Justice: Building a Research Agenda to Address the Effects of Technological Change on the Protection of Constitutional Rights. RAND Corporation. Brian A. Jackson et al. January 10, 2017.

New technologies have changed the types of data that are routinely collected about citizens on a daily basis. For example, smart devices collect location and communication data, and fitness trackers and medical devices capture physiological and other data. As technology changes, new portable and connected devices have the potential to gather even more information. Such data have great potential utility in criminal justice proceedings, and they are already being used in case preparations, plea negotiations, and trials. But the broad expansion of technological capability also has the potential to stress approaches for ensuring that individuals’ constitutional rights are protected through legal processes. In an effort to consider those implications, we convened a panel of criminal justice practitioners, legal scholars, and individuals from the civil liberties community to identify research and other needs to prepare the U.S. legal system both for technologies we are seeing today and for technologies we are likely to see in the future. Through structured brainstorming, the panel explored a wide range of potential issues regarding these technologies, from evidentiary and procedural concerns to questions about the technologies’ accuracy and efficient use. Via a Delphi-based prioritization of the results, the panel crafted a research agenda — including best practice and training development, evaluation, and fundamental research efforts — to provide the criminal justice community with the knowledge and capabilities needed to address these important and complex technological questions going forward. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 44 pages, 795.50 KB].

Restrictions on Lobbying the Government: Current Policy and Proposed Changes

Restrictions on Lobbying the Government: Current Policy and Proposed Changes. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. CRS Insight. Jacob R. Straus. December 15, 2016

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump proposed a series of ethics measures, including several lobbying-related provisions. They are:
• extending “cooling off” periods on lobbying the government for five years after government service;
• “instituting a five-year ban on lobbying by former Members of Congress and their staffs”;
• expanding the definition of a lobbyist to cover former government officials who engage in strategic consulting;
and
• issuing a “lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.”
President-elect Trump’s ethics plan shares some features with past efforts to restrict Administration officials’ future lobbying activities (the “revolving door”) by adjusting “cooling off” periods—a period of time a former government official is restricted from contacting their former employer on particular matters they might have worked on in government. These previous efforts include a 1993 executive order issued by President Bill Clinton (E.O. 12834) and a 2009 executive order issued by President Barack Obama (E.O. 13490), and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) of 2007. The executive orders supplemented existing statutory revolving door and “cooling off” period requirements.

[PDF format, 3 pages, 96.68 KB].

U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues

U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Mark P. Keightley. December 21, 2016

Recent deficit reduction and tax reform plans have included broad proposals to reform the U.S. international corporate tax system. These proposals have raised concerns over how changing the way American multi-national corporations are taxed could impact the deficit and debt, domestic job markets, competitiveness, and the use of corporate tax havens, among other things. An informed debate about how to reform the system governing the taxation of U.S. multi-national corporations requires careful consideration of these issues, as well as a basic understanding of several features of the current system.
This report provides a general introduction to the basic concepts and issues relevant to the U.S. international corporate tax system. The explanations provided in this report emphasize the underlying concepts of the international tax system and are intended to be as simplified as possible. There are of course important and complex technical details that would need to be considered carefully if reform of the current system were to be implemented effectively and efficiently. These important technical details, however, are beyond the scope of this report. Where appropriate, references to other CRS products are provided within the report. A list of related CRS products and other suggested readings on international corporate taxation may also be found at the end of the report.

[PDF format, 10 pages, 565.19 KB].