The Strategy is designed to mitigate the risks of corruption offences in international cooperation. In this context, cooperation means France’s technical cooperation with one or several countries, official provision of development aid and the implementation of international initiatives with the participation of France.
The Strategy includes three lines of action, each with specific objectives to be achieved by 2030 in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goals.
1. Reinforcing France’s approach to combating corruption.
1.1. Reinforcing the effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanisms in international cooperation.
In the first place, France intends to enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation by conducting corruption risk assessment throughout the implementation of relevant projects, taking into account, in particular, the political landscape in partner countries, benefits obtained by the members of their political systems, and reforms undertaken by those countries in the area of public resources management and transparency.
Additionally, France is planning to develop a network of experts involved in international cooperation who will, in particular, regularly exchange information concerning the effectiveness of this interaction and changes in the political systems and legislation of partner countries.
1.2. Limiting the risk that the work of French actors fuels corruption.
To fulfill this task, France intends to:
- conclude the introduction of the mechanisms for detecting and preventing corruption infringements by public bodies and entities, including those engaged in international cooperation, and ensure an effective implementation of relevant measures;
- strengthen cooperation between French public bodies and entities in the detection and management of risks related to transnational corruption, in particular, by exchanging information and good practices;
- improve the mechanisms of cooperation with civil society also by conducting context analysis prior to country risk assessments;
- ensure the development of training programmes on anti-corruption issues, introduction of corruption prevention measures and imposition of sanctions on the French civil servants sent on an assignment abroad by their respective authorities.
2. Promoting anti-corruption and better governance in international cooperation.
2.1. Promoting transparency and accountability in the public sector.
To meet this objective, France is planning to foster a culture of internal control and risk management also by strengthening the systems of public internal control and audit, external inspection and oversight systems and providing support to audit bodies and institutions.
France will also continue its reforms on transparency and access to information about public resources management: in addition to simply publishing data and documents, France will encourage communication on public policies, planning and allocation of budgets etc.
In parallel, France will continue to actively support extending the Open Government Partnership to its partner countries and encourage them to conduct reforms on more transparent and inclusive governance, with the involvement of civil society in the development and monitoring of public policies.
Additionally, France intends to enhance the transparency of public officials’ activities, promote the audit of the integrity of officials involved in international action, and share its experience in the monitoring of assets of public officials and the prevention of conflicts of interest in the public sector with other countries.
Finally, France commits to ensuring that the mechanism for the return of proceeds of corruption is in line with the principles of judicial sovereignty, traceability and accountability.
2.2. Reinforcing France’s cooperation in priority areas to combat corruption.
Four topics will be in the centre of the implementation of the Strategy:
- whistleblower protection: France will appeal for provisions in multilateral documents concerning the protection of whistle-blowers;
- transparency in extractive industries: France commits to promoting recognized international standards on transparency in this area and encouraging partner countries to effectively implement them; it will also support efforts in producing countries to enhance transparency and promote the participation of civil society in increasing the accountability of extractive industries;
- public-private partnerships (PPPs): France will continue to implement appropriate legal and institutional frameworks, also by promoting the Quality Infrastructure Investment principles adopted by the G20, participate in the development of PPP infrastructure projects (at the planning, structuring, procurement and transaction stages) via dedicated programmes and the SOURCE project piloting tool, reinforce PPP audit and provide PPP actors with training;
- public procurement: France intends to provide support to public procurement systems, in particular, by promoting and improving the MAPS initiative, an international tool for the examination of contract award procedures, promote legal frameworks and instruments to reinforce integrity and transparency in public procurement, take measures to reinforce public procurement audit bodies and raise awareness among French companies bidding for public contracts abroad.
2.3. Building capacities and raising the competency level of officers in the law enforcement services and judiciary in the fight against corruption.
Cooperation with the countries that wish to reinforce their investigative procedures and judiciary with regard to economic and financial crime implies that France will encourage the development of relevant competencies of the officers of such bodies with the support of Expertise France, the international technical cooperation agency, and Civipol, the technical cooperation operator of the French Ministry of the Interior.
3. Supporting the work of international organizations, non-state actors and local institutions.
3.1. Reinforcing collaboration with international organizations.
France will reinforce its collaboration with international organisations, multilateral banks and development institutions operating in partner countries, as well as with regional development banks by signing cooperation agreements to facilitate joint investigations and the sharing of information on corruption risks.
3.2. Reinforcing collaboration with non-state actors.
France will pursue its action in order to develop partnerships between the public sector and non-state actors in partner countries.
Besides that, concerning technical assistance projects, France will pursue its action in order to promote the participation of non-state actors in the design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects led by local, regional and national authorities; it will also increase the capacities of counter-powers (civil society, investigative journalists) that can contribute not only to enhancing the transparency of the public administration, but also to detecting acts of corruption.
3.3. Strengthening the leading role of supreme audit institutions (SAIs).
France considers that SAIs with stronger powers and more capacity are an important factor in the development process. Therefore, the country is planning to support projects that reinforce SAIs, enabling them to develop their independence, as well as their technical skills, especially regarding investigative audit and the application of recommendations contained in SAI reports.
Additionally, France will support the development of cooperation among SAIs, anti-corruption and judicial authorities in partner countries.
To monitor the implementation of the Strategy, an accountability system has been developed. It includes the measures that should be taken to achieve each objective and the indicators to assess their outcome. A mid-term monitoring is to be conducted five years after the Strategy enters into force and the final one will be carried out in 2030.