The Global Port Integrity Platform

Currently, no international standard or systematic method of measuring integrity in ports exists. MACN has therefore engaged a broad group of stakeholders from the shipping industry, ports and terminals, industry associations, international organizations, civil society, and academia to develop indicators and criteria to capture integrity in ports. This has resulted in the development of the first ever Global Port Integrity Platform (GPIP) – a platform measuring integrity in ports worldwide. GPIP builds on MACN’s incident data but gives further context and depth to the risks and challenges at port level by using several data sources, vetted by external experts, researchers, and port level stakeholders.

The aim of the GPIP is to clearly present key comparative information on ports’ corruption and bribery risks and integrity potential and performance. It should serve MACN’s purpose of encouraging collective action against corruption in the maritime sector and should open evidence-based conversations with both ports, authorities, and governments as well as other MACN stakeholders on reducing corruption risks and promoting integrity in ports. The platform will allow users to compare and contrast ports, identify areas of weakness and strengths, and sources of best practices and actionable recommendations for ports to improve their policies and practices. By systematically measuring integrity over time across ports regionally and globally, the platform will encourage more competition between ports. GPIP will also be a useful advocacy and investment tool for international donors, the private sector, investors, and any stakeholder with an interest in port sector reform and development, as it can help to highlight ports or governance reform areas that requires attention and investments. Finally, GPIP should be useful for the maritime industry and be a tool that empowers the Captain and individual companies to assess risks and reject corrupt demands during port calls.

The Global Port Integrity Platform compiles data from different sources: MACN’s Incident Data, Marine Traffic vessel call data, TRACE Country Risk Score and Port Integrity Commitment Data. The use of these different sources ensures that the GPIP is a robust platform to measure corruption risks and port integrity. Using these data sets, the GPIP assesses three areas: port bribery risks, port integrity commitments and country level bribery and corruption risks.

A. Port Bribery Risks

Port Bribery Risks are assessed with MACN’s Incident Data and Marine Traffic vessel call data. This section indicates the severity, scale and trend of corrupt demands relative to the proportion of all MACN reports received and number of port calls.

MACN’s data comes from its anonymous incident reporting system which enables maritime players to submit reports on corrupt demands they have faced during port calls. While MACN checks the data for accuracy and ensures that no identifying information has been reported, individual incidents have not been verified by MACN or any other entity. In addition, the data has been submitted by the stakeholder who faced a corrupt demand. Stakeholders allegedly making corrupt demands have not been given the opportunity to respond to verify the data.

The outputs of the anonymous incident reporting system allow MACN members to learn from each other to potentially avoid similar incidents in their own operations. The use of the mechanism has significantly increased over the years and to date, MACN has collected over 45,000 incidents of corrupt demands across 150 countries in over 1,000 ports worldwide. MACN uses this data to analyze trends in frequency and severity of incidents, allowing MACN to target collective action efforts and engage with governments. The database for the GPIP pulls real-time data from MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System as reports come in globally.

In addition, Marine Traffic Vessel call data is used to understand the average number of port calls the port handles.

B. Port Integrity Commitments

The Port Integrity Commitment indicators are based on desktop research conducted by academic institutions which collected data on integrity efforts put in place by government agencies and port entities operating in the ports. This section gives an overview of integrity efforts at the port and government agency level.

Each port was assessed across 5 key areas focusing on:

  1. Systems for Electronic Exchange
  2. Port procedures for vessel clearance and inspections
  3. Anti-corruption policy
  4. Whistleblowing mechanism
  5. Complaints and appeals mechanism.

For each of these areas, the following stakeholders were analyzed: Port Authority (or other relevant port management entity), the Customs Authority, the Immigration Authority, and the Port Health Authority.

The authorities were assigned a score between 0 and 100 for each of the five key areas, based on their level of implementation, with a score of 100 if there was full implementation. Indicator scores were aggregated using a simple aggregation method combining the score for each authority to determine the average score for the 5 key areas. The overall scores were assigned a color representing low, medium or high port integrity commitments.

Contact details and sources were recorded along the data collection process. In addition, a survey was sent out to all port authorities in order to collect more data on the level of implementation of the Systems for Electronic Exchange in the ports.

A feedback mechanism will also be put in place to give a chance to relevant stakeholders to respond to the assessment and provide input that may not have been captured during the desktop research. The data for all ports will be reviewed annually and additional data for new ports will be added.

If you would like access to the raw data on port integrity commitments collected through desktop research, please reach out to macn@macn.dk.

C. Country Level Bribery and Corruption Risks

Country level bribery and corruption risks are measured using the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix which measures business bribery risks and gives an overall country risk score. This overall country risk score is a combined and weighted score of four domains: Business Interactions with Government; Anti-Bribery Deterrence and Enforcement; Government and Civil Service Transparency; and Capacity for Civil Society Oversight.

The GPIP focuses on 4 key stakeholders involved in port operations.

  1. The Port Authority (or the relevant port management entity)

A Port Authority is a public or a private entity that operates at port or national level and, under national law or regulation, is empowered to carry out the administration, development, management and operation of the port land and infrastructure, and the coordination and control of port operation activities.

Whenever such public or private Port Authority does not exist, data refers to the practices of the Port Operator that maintains this managing role at the port.

  1. The Customs Authority

The Customs Authority is a government agency that regulates and controls the flow of goods into and out of a country and is therefore in charge of issuing clearance for the importation and exportation of goods. The authority can either be in place at the national level or at the local port level.

  1. The Immigration Authority

This is the government authority that is responsible for controlling immigration and can be in place at the national level or at the local port level.

  1. The Port Health Authority

The Health Authority is responsible to protect the health of people, the environment and animals by carrying out a range of health controls. The authority can either be in place at the national level or at the local port level.

A. Port Bribery Risks

All Port Bribery Risk indicators are based on data from the past 12 months on rolling basis.

A1 – Trend indicator of reported corruption incidents in the port

Increase/decrease of the share of incidents in the port reported through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System, as a percentage of the total number of global incidents reported in the MACN database over the past 24 months.

A2 – Number of reported Incidents

Absolute number of reported incidents through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System, in the past 12 months.

A3 – Corruption incidents in the port as a percentage of country total

Percentage of incident in the port based on total number of incidents in the country reported through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System, in the past 12 months.

A4 – Percentage of cash demands

Percentage of cash demands (small and large cash demands) from total corrupt demands, reported through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System in the past 12 months.

A5 – Percentage of severe incidents

Percentage of incidents related to harassments of crew and/or vessel navigation and safety (threat of imprisonment, safety of the vessel, safety of the crew, and physical violence) reported through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System in the past 12 months.

A6 – Top 5 Stakeholders involved in reported demand

Top 5 stakeholder involved in corrupt demands in the port, based on data in MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting System from the past 12 months.

A7 – Number of Port Calls

Total number of port calls (all commercial vessels) in the port in the past 12 months, based on Marine Traffic data. Low traffic ports are ports with less than 1000 port calls in 12 months, medium traffic ports are ports with 1000 to 4000 port calls in 12 months and high traffic ports are ports with more than 4000 port calls in a period of 12 months.

B. Port Integrity commitments

B1 – Implementation of systems for Electronic Exchange of Information

Based on the research question: does the port use systems for Electronic Exchange of Information between Ships and Port? (as defined in April 2019 FAL Convention)

This was examined for the Port Authority and Port Operator where applicable and full implementation is based on the member state having ratified the IMO FAL Convention from 2019 and put in place a system for electronic exchange of information between ships and ports.

B2 – Online accessibility of Port Procedures for vessel clearance and inspections

Based on the research question: Are Port Procedures for vessel clearance and inspections available online?

Port procedures should be accessible online and cover the inspection, verification and clearance of vessels at ports.

This was examined for the Port Authority and Port Operator where applicable, the Customs Authority, the Immigration Authority and the Port Health Authority.

B3 – Online accessibility of the authority’s anti-corruption policy

Based on the research question: Is the authority’s anti-corruption policy (sometimes part of broader code of conduct) available on the authority’s website?

A fully comprehensive anti-corruption policy should include a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and facilitation payments; managing conflicts of interest; due diligence; and management of third party relationships. An anti-corruption policy is sometimes part of a broader code of conduct or code of ethics.

This was examined for the Port Authority and Port Operator where applicable, the Customs Authority, the Immigration Authority and the Port Health Authority.

B4 – Accessibility and reliability of the whistleblowing mechanism

Based on the research question: Does the authority or other relevant government body have a comprehensive whistleblowing mechanism in place?

A whistleblowing – or internal reporting – mechanism is a set of policies or procedures within an organization which establish effective channels and a comprehensive protection and support for reporting persons. All employees should be able to raise concerns and/or report violations without risk of reprisal.

This was examined for the Port Authority and Port Operator where applicable, the Customs Authority, the Immigration Authority, and the Port Health Authority.

B5 – Accessibility and reliability of the complaints and appeals mechanism

Based on the research question: Does the authority or other relevant government body have a comprehensive complaints and appeals mechanism in place?

An easily accessible complaints/grievance reporting mechanism or contact point should be provided and publicized online. It allows for anonymous submission of complaints and there are no limitations regarding the type of complaint. It includes a follow-up and appeal process.

This was examined for the Port Authority and Port Operator where applicable, the Customs Authority, the Immigration Authority and the Port Health Authority.

C. Country Level Bribery and Corruption Risks

This is based on the Trace Country Risk Score and is updated yearly.

MACN would like to express appreciation to all individuals and organizations who made this project possible. We are particularly grateful for the support provided by The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA), The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Basel Institute on Governance.