OSACO Investigates Global Corruption From Blenheim
The last place you might expect to find the headquarters for a global corruption investigation group is small town New Zealand, Sophie Trigger writes for The Marlborough Express. But after working in some of the darkest places in the world, Sean and Jaydene Buckley have found an unlikely home among the vines in Blenheim.
Both former detectives, and then UN investigators, the Buckleys now run OSACO Group, one of the only businesses in the world that specialises in independent investigation into corruption, fraud and sexual assault within the humanitarian sector, Trigger reports in the story published by Stuff.
Organisations – often NGOs or UN based – come to them with allegations and concerns within their own ranks, most of which are in Africa or the Middle East. With 20 consultants around the world, OSACO investigates and makes findings based on the data they collect.
“The selling point is that we’re only going to report on the facts that we find, we’re not tied to any of the internal politics of an organisation,” Sean said.
Sean took up his first role with the UN in 2005, dealing mostly with cases of child exploitation and sexual assault committed by UN peacekeepers, in places such as Liberia and Somalia.
The group has 10 projects on the go at any one time – at the moment, they’re in Pakistan, Afghanistan, East Africa, the Congo, the US and Europe. While they prefer to manage projects “sitting in our shorts under the pagoda”, they travel out into the field multiple times a year, when someone is needed on the ground.
The Buckleys have uncovered “horrendous things” in many of their projects, but say their drive comes from giving people a voice and uncovering the truth.
“It is quite dark sometimes and it can be quite disconcerting when you see how much money is wasted through theft and the amount of corruption,” Jaydene told the Express.
“But at the end of the day, the value for me is being able to get to the root cause of that.”
Original article by Sophie Trigger, The Marlborough Express, Stuff, February 16, 2020.
Photo by Scott Hammond.