National and International Integrity Standard

ACD’ National and International Integrity Standard (NIIS) is a new method of measuring political corruption. Using NIIS, ACD conducts case studies in countries with high corruption indices and a high potential for change. ACD’s distinctive assessment standards were created based on an analysis of the deficiencies of existing assessment systems used by World Bank, USAID, and other entities which monitor corruption and good governance.

ACD’s approach focuses on analyzing the implementation mechanisms of existing legislation, public integrity, good governance, procurement, liberalization and privatization, and laws governing the financial sector, as referred to in the ACD Integrity Index. Our findings serve to design programs to address the special needs of each country, and provide the appropriate training mechanisms to correct and control those problems. ACD case studies span 3-4 months apiece. Following the case studies and the development of models for reform, the ACD can provide training for government officials, corporate executives, international organization personnel, public interest groups, the media and the like, in ways of fighting corruption and effectively stopping terror financing.

Thus far, ACD has conducted studies in Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Hungary.

For ACD articles on political corruption and how to combat it, click here.


Bulgaria’s PM letter of commitment

Important Note: Contrary to media reports, ACD received no governmental compensation for its work in Bulgaria. Please see below.

On July 9, 2008, The Austrian Die Presse, published FRANK STIER’s: “Bulgarien: Sofia macht PR-Druck auf EU”. The article was full of inaccuracies, innuendo and baseless allegations. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director of the American Center for Democracy wrote to the paper asking for correction, but her letter to the editor has yet to be published. For the sake of accuracy and transparency, see Dr. Ehrenfeld’s response (in English translation, and German, below):

TO: Die Presse

Dear Editor,
Clearly, in his article Bulgarien: Sofia macht PR-Druck auf EU, July 9,2008, Mr. FRANK STIER has not done his homework, since it is full of inaccuracies and false information. Moreover, he never contacted me or others at the American Center for Democracy (ACD) to check the facts. In addition, he misinformed the readers by using innuendoes instead of facts.

Let me set the record straight: The American Center for Democracy (ACD) has not received any payment whatsoever from the Bulgarian government. Our work in Bulgaria was financed by the Center. We are an independent organization and we do not receive funds from any government.

Our evaluation of the situation in Bulgaria is based on an in-depth study of Bulgaria’s history and its current efforts to fight corruption. This study lasted many months and included an intensive week-long fact-checking visit to Bulgaria. Our independent report reflects our studies and in-country evaluation.

We were glad to report that the Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei STANISHEV and his government are committed to fight corruption and to make all the necessary long term reforms that will help Bulgaria to function as a free market democracy and a valuable member of the EU.

We take our work seriously. It is unfortunate that Mr. STIER has not done the same.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
American Center for Democracy.

TO: Die Presse
Korrektur: “Bulgarien: Sofia macht PR-Druck auf EU” –

Sehr geehrter Herausgeber
Herr FRANK STIER hat nicht seine Hausaufgaben gemacht, da es voll von Ungenauigkeiten und falschen Informationen wimmelt. Außerdem trat er nie mit mir selber oder mit anderen vom “American Center for Democracy” in Verbindung, um die Tatsachen zu überprüfen.

Zusätzlich unterrichtete er die Leser falsch, indem er Anspielungen, anstelle von den Tatsachen verwendete.
Folglich lassen Sie mich bitte daher für den Rekord die Tatsachen gerade stellen:

Das “American Center for Democracy” (ACD) hat niemals von der Bulgarischen Regierung Zahlung empfangen. Unsere Arbeit in Bulgarien wurde durch unser Center finanziert.

Wir sind eine unabhängige Organisation und wir empfangen nie Kapital – Zahlungen – von irgendeiner Regierung. Unsere Auswertung der Situation von Bulgarien war lediglich basiert auf eine eingehende Studie, der die Bulgarische Geschichte und seine gegenwärtigen Bemühungen die Korruption zu bekämpfen vorausgingen.

Diese Studie hat viele Monate gedauert, und ein intensiver Ein-Wöchiger Besuch von Bulgarien war eingeschlossen in die Studie. Unser unabhängiger Report reflektiert unsere Studien und Inlandauswertung.

Wir waren erfreut berichten zu können, dass der Bulgarische Premierminister Sergei STANISHEV und seine Regierung sich verpflichtet haben den Kampf der Korruption und alle notwendigen Lang Zeit Verbesserungen zu verwirklichen, welche Bulgarien helfen werden als eine Freie Demokratie zu funktionieren, und ein wertvolles beitragendes Mitglied der EU zu sein.

Wir nehmen unsere Arbeit ernst.

Es ist unglücklich, dass Herr STIER nicht das Gleiche erstrebte.

Wir erwarten daher von Ihrer Seite eine Korrektur , indem Sie unseren Brief folglich veröffentlichen, um falsche Eindrücke zu beheben.

Mit Freundlichen Grüssen
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
American Center for Democracy


The following proposals were offered, upon request of the Attorney General of Indonesia, Marzuki Darusman, and were endorsed by Abdurrahman Wahid, the President of Indonesia (Spring 2000).

1) Selection and Training of Investigators and Prosecutors for an Anti-Corruption Task Force at the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

The creation of a carefully vetted, special Anti-Corruption Task Force of investigators and prosecutors to strengthen the AGO and to form the core for building Indonesia’s forensic investigation and prosecution capabilities. Taking Indonesian sensitivities into consideration, ACD submitted a detailed proposal for reform to the President and AG. The proposal enumerated how to announce and select the Task Force, vetting procedures, training programs, and more.

2) White Paper

To assist with the preparation of a White Paper on Civil Service Reform. ACD will provide: A. Assistance by examining and making recommendations with respect to the adequacy, implementation, and monitoring of Indonesia’s laws regarding the ethics, integrity and efficiency of the Civil Service and the public sector; and  B. Proposals for:1. Pragmatic reforms that, when carried out and enforced, will reduce and limit governmental corruption; 2. Procedures for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of these reforms. (A detailed proposal has been submitted to the President and the AG).

The ACD Team of international experts is expecting to work in cooperation with local prominent pro-reformers and other national and international organizations.

Below is correspondence related to ACD’s project in Indonesia, including communication from the office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

—————————————————— (COPY)


September 14, 2000

Dr. Mark Baird The World Bank- Indonesia

Dear Dr. Baird:

As is widely known, one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed if Indonesia is to make substantive progress, both economically and in building democracy, is the drastic diminishing of corruption.

We are convinced that Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s Center for the Study of Corruption and the Rule of Law (CSC) is highly qualified to assist the Attorney General’s Office, and advise the AG about his plans for reform. . She will be assisted in cooperation with the appropriate Indonesian as well as international agencies and organizations, in establishing the rule of law in Indonesia.

Hence, I am asking you to take the necessary steps to make the funds available to bring Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and members of her ACD team to Indonesia by the end of September 2000, so they can collaborate with the Attorney General and his office to work out the details of how precisely to carry out their proposal to us, including the needed coordination with you and your agency.

As you know, the ACD proposal to us is, in close collaboration with related Indonesian initiatives already underway, to conduct a fact-based, systemic, and systematic analysis of corruption in Indonesia, and then develop strategies that include action plans for structural and institutional reform, training, support, follow up, and asset tracing. More concretely, ACD proposes to advise the AG to:

1) Create a carefully vetted, special Anti-Corruption Task Force of investigators and prosecutors to strengthen the Attorney General’s Office.

2) In conjunction with national and international Indonesian experts, prepare a “White Paper on the State of Corruption in Indonesia and Civil Service Reform,” which would serve as a benchmark for policy planning and reform.

The creation of these two Task Force and the preparation of the White Paper will not only increase the public’s confidence in the government, domestically and internationally, but, most importantly, it will strengthen Indonesia’s efforts to fight corruption and enforce the rule of law.

Needless to say, I am extremely grateful for your assistance in this matter.



Abdurrahman Wahid

cc: Attorney General Marzuki Darusman Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld

—————————————————— (COPY)


September 14, 2000

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld,  Director,  The Center for the Study of Corruption

Dear Dr. Ehrenfeld,

I am grateful on the basis of our meeting today to reiterate my support for your work on behalf of the Indonesian Republic for honesty and transparency and against corruption.

I hope that the plans between our Attorney General and you will be concluded by the end of this month.



Abdurrahman Wahid




Jakarta, 9 October 2000

Director Indonesia and Singapore Affairs at the Business Council

Dear Mr. Lohman,

A functional AGO is a prerequisite for the establishment of the rule of law, thus, in keeping with the President’s letter commending Dr Ehrenfeld and the ACD’s work with the AGO , and following Ambassador Dorodjatun’s request, I’d like to convey my support and hope that the US-ASEAN Business Council would lend its support to this important and urgently needed project.

While the Indonesian government is committing itself to and supporting this project vital to the building of Indonesian democracy and flourishing business, it is likewise critical that companies doing business in Indonesia also contribute their support to this mutually beneficial undertaking.


Dr. Alwi Shihab

CC. 1. Attorney General Marzuki Darusman 2. Ambassador Dorodjatun Kuntajoro-Jakti  3. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld

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