The work on the benchmarks had been carried out since 2018. The recommendations are designed to help governments and public sector organisations to assess anti-corruption laws, procedures and instruments and make improvements if needed.
The document is a comprehensive anti-corruption roadmap for domestic action, covering major areas important for countering corruption or subject to increased corruption risks (benchmarks):
- corruption offences, sanctions and remedies;
- authority responsible for preventing corruption;
- investigation, prosecution, asset recovery, and policing;
- the court system;
- regulatory authorities;
- regulation of financial institutions and financial system;
- transparency of asset ownership;
- political lobbying, financing, spending, and elections;
- public sector organisations;
- public officials;
- issuing permits;
- contract management, concession, financial, and asset management;
- independent monitoring and auditing;
- anti-corruption training;
- reporting corruption;
- standards and certification;
- participation of professional institutions, business associations and civil society in the fight against corruption;
- international anti-corruption cooperation.
For each benchmark, the document provides the purpose and various provisions whose implementation is necessary to meet it (points of reference).
For instance, the purpose of the benchmark “anti-corruption training” is to “implement regulations which require that appropriate anti-corruption training is provided to all public officials and to the relevant personnel of organisations which execute major public sector contracts”. In order to achieve it, there are the following points of reference:
- develop and implement regulations which require that appropriate anti-corruption training is provided to the abovementioned categories of people;
- appoint the persons responsible for the provision of anti-corruption training in relevant entities (organisations);
- define training requirements (objectives; content; list of trainees and trainers; date and venue of the training; training frequency);
- take into account corruption risks that certain categories of trainees face in developing training programmes;
- engage only suitably skilled trainers;
- make and retain records of the training provided (trainees who received training and their number; date and content of the training; any scope of improvement in the training process; any weaknesses in anti-corruption policy, codes of conduct and other documents identified during the training);
- · take follow-up action, including the improvement of the training process and anti-corruption policy, codes of conduct and any other in-house documents of the entity (organisation), conduct investigations in the event that there are reasons to believe that a corruption offence has taken place.
The document highlights that the benchmarks are designed to be achievable, practical, and auditable. In spite of the fact that the benchmarks are largely based on the provisions of international and regional anti-corruption agreements, the authors of the document did not seek to totally replicate their content and in certain cases went beyond these documents, suggesting additional benchmarks that in their view would allow enhancing the effectiveness of the fight against corruption.
For each benchmark, the document also provides comments explaining the purpose, the legal grounds (provisions of international, regional and domestic documents) for its inclusion among the indicators of the effectiveness of anti-corruption action and abstract examples of how the recommendations given in the document will work in practice.
The answers to frequently asked questions concerning the document are available here.
*The document is developed by the Commonwealth of Nations in partnership with the Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and in consultation with representatives of the African Union, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and others.