HSE University Anti-Corruption Portal
G20 Summit: Summary of Anti-Corruption Deliverables

On 15 and 16 November, Bali (Indonesia) hosted a regular G20 summit of heads of State and government that adopted, among other things, the High-Level Principles on Enhancing the Role of Auditing in Tackling Corruption.

The summit concluded with the adoption of leaders’ declaration, where the member States reiterated their commitment to the principle of non-tolerance of corruption in the public and private sectors and committed to:

  • Criminalising bribery, including bribery of foreign public officials;
  • Strengthening international cooperation in countering economic crimes, including corruption crimes related to organised crime and money laundering also through GlobE Network and the G20 Denial of Entry Experts Network;
  • Denying safe haven to corruption offenders and their assets;
  • Enhancing engagement with stakeholders such as academia, civil society, media and the private sector in the fight against corruption.

The leaders also endorsed a number of deliverables of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG).

1. G20 High-Level Principles on Enhancing the Role of Auditing in Tackling Corruption.

The document identifies six main areas for enhancing the effectiveness of anti-corruption action through external audit:

  • Support the role of auditing bodies in contributing to preventing and countering corruption;
  • Strengthen the role and capacity of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and public sector internal auditors to identify, prevent and counter corruption in accordance with their mandates and build their capacity in these areas;
  • Develop robust national frameworks to promote the follow-up of the audit findings related to corruption;
  • Strengthen efforts to build and enhance cooperation among SAIs, internal audit functions (IAFs), anti-corruption agencies, law enforcement and other relevant institutions in countering corruption;
  • Promote the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to support the role of auditing in countering corruption;
  • Encourage the private sector audit profession to take a role in identifying and reporting corruption.

2. 2022 ACWG Accountability Report.

This year, the regular Accountability Report explores the best practices and challenges the G20 countries face in 1) countering corruption in customs, and 2) tackling corruption in sports.

2.1. Countering corruption in customs.

The ACWG has paid particular attention to the efforts of the G20 countries in countering corruption in customs since the adoption of the High-Level Principles for Combating Corruption in Customs in 2017. The Report stresses that many G20 countries have already undertaken a number of positive steps to combat corruption in this area, including:

  • Implementation of integrity standards for customs officials also with regard to specific corruption risks;
  • Ratification of international customs administration standards aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of customs, including those of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the EU Customs Code and other EU documents relevant for the G20 countries that are EU members, the Kyoto Convention, such as the implementation of codes of conduct for customs officials, publication of all legal acts, including those related to customs procedures and administrative regulations concerning activities of customs etc.;
  • Implementation of control and supervisory mechanisms with regard to customs bodies, including conduct of external and internal audit, establishment of dedicated units to monitor the decisions of senior executives of customs bodies, implementation of fraud risk management programmes, analysis of existing risk management etc.;
  • Provision of sufficient financial and human resources to implement integrity strategies in customs;
  • Fostering a culture of integrity in customs through transparent internal decision-making, raising awareness of employees about integrity, adoption of codes of conduct and thematic training;
  • Conduct of the Time Release Study as per the WCO recommendations to determine the effectiveness of customs’ performance;
  • Use of ICTs, including customs automated systems, with a view to accelerating customs processes, reducing the number of faults and mitigating corruption risks in direct contact between customs officials and users of customs services;
  • Participation in international forums and other events to share experience and best practices etc.

The ACWG stresses, however, that in spite of the fact that the G20 countries have achieved considerable progress in countering corruption in customs, they still encounter certain challenges. This is why the Group has put forward the following recommendations on how to enhance the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures:

  • Participate in the ACWG activities focused on the fight against corruption in customs also with a view to sharing experience and best practices and cooperating and partnering with the G20 countries;
  • Develop cooperation between customs and the public and private sectors with the aim to effectively implement the measures recommended by the WCO, including those that concern anti-corruption, enhanced transparency of their interaction etc.;
  • Allocate sufficient financial and human resources to counter corruption in customs;
  • Expand the use of ICTs to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of customs processes;
  • Ensure proper control over gathering and processing of reports of violations in customs;
  • Build capacity of customs to ensure that their activities are in line with international standards;
  • Conduct corruption risk assessment in customs, particularly as they relate to organised crime and money laundering.

2.2. Tackling corruption in sport.

In the recent years, safeguarding sport from corruption has been ever more actively discussed in international venues and addressed in analytical papers of international organisations. For instance, last year saw the adoption of the G20 High-Level Principles on Tackling Corruption in Sport and the publication of the Global Report on Corruption in Sport by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and reports by the UNODC and the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport.

The ACWG notes that the measures adopted by the G20 countries to counter corruption offences specific to sport include:

  • Amendments to existing laws aimed at directly countering corruption in sport, for instance, criminalisation of match fixing, illegal betting and the like;
  • Establishment of specialised bodies to counter corruption in sport, organisation of training focused on combating corruption crimes in sport in law enforcement and other competent authorities;
  • Imposition of the obligation to adopt corruption prevention measures on sports organisations etc.

In order to further enhance the effectiveness of the fight against corruption in sport, the ACWG recommends that the G20 countries:

  • Hold events to share experience and best practices, also in the framework of the ACWG;
  • Develop comprehensive anti-corruption programmes in sport with due regard for specific corruption risks associated, in particular, with important sporting events, organised crime, match-fixing, illegal betting etc., and relevant materials of international organisations such as UNODC;
  • Establish dedicated bodies responsible for preventing, detecting and suppressing corruption offences in sport and provide them with sufficient financial and human resources and autonomy, publish reports on the performance of these bodies accessible to a wide range of individuals;
  • Ensure cooperation in safeguarding sport from corruption among law enforcement, criminal justice, anti-corruption, legislative and executive bodies and sports organisations;
  • Gather information on corruption offences in sport, including legal cases, develop/adjust public anti-corruption policies in sport based on these data, and assess the effectiveness of existing mechanisms for the exchange of information and cooperation.

3. Compendium of Good Practices on Public Participation and Anti-Corruption Education.

The objective of the Compendium consists in exploring the possibility to engage civil society in the fight against corruption, in particular, by implementing educational and awareness-raising initiatives on ethics, integrity and anti-corruption and using ICTs to monitor and assess decision-making, submit reports of violations, participate in public consultations etc.

The Compendium stresses that cooperation between the State and civil society increases the effectiveness of anti-corruption action also through enhanced transparency and accountability. To promote this cooperation, it is recommended to adopt dedicated legal acts or include respective provisions in the national anti-corruption strategy/plan. Argentina for instance adopted Decree of 3 December 2003 No. 1172/2003 “On Access to Public Information” (Decreto 1172/2003 Acceso a la Informacion Publica) that enshrines the right of all stakeholders to participate in the drafting of bills before they are submitted to parliament. In Indonesia, Government Decree of 18 September 2018 No. 43 “On the Modalities of Participation of Society in the Prevention of and the Fight against Corruption” (Tata Cara Pelaksanaan Peran Serta Masyarakat dan Pemberian Penghargaan dalam Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Korupsi) provides for the incentives for citizens to engage in anti-corruption activities, including whistleblowing.

Besides the legal framework, the G20 countries are invited to establish feedback channels for the citizens to apply to public bodies also on the matters concerning the effectiveness of anti-corruption programmes. For example, China has a Chinese Government Network that citizens can use to apply to the administration of the chief executive through the function “I Have a Word for the Premier”; all public and municipal bodies have similar functions.

Additionally, public educational and awareness-raising initiatives have an important role in engaging civil society in anti-corruption action. In order to enhance their effectiveness, the Compendium suggests, in the first place, building capacity of educators in anti-corruption education: a number of countries, including Russia, Singapore and Spain, have already taken necessary measures in this regard, while others hold dedicated workshops for educators.

Finally, in order to promote participation of society in the fight against corruption, the ACWG recommends:

  • Sharing experience and best practices in the area of participation of society and awareness-raising on ethics, integrity and anti-corruption in international forums;
  • Ensuring access to anti-corruption education;
  • Providing stakeholders, including civil society representatives, with the opportunity to contribute to the fight against corruption etc.

4. G20 ACWG Compendium on Supervisory Measures and Regulatory Framework for Legal Professionals to Mitigate Corruption-Related Money Laundering Risks.

The paper analyses the G20 countries’ approaches to regulating the activities of legal professionals from the point of view of anti-money laundering, as these professionals are frequent enablers of corruption, ensuring the concealment of proceeds of crime.

The Compendium stresses that many G20 countries have already taken steps to counter the involvement of legal professional in money laundering. In particular, they:

  • Adopted legal acts regulating the activities of legal professionals;
  • Implemented the mechanisms for preventing the involvement of these professionals in money laundering also in the AML/CTF framework, including disciplinary, administrative and/or criminal liability;
  • Use ICTs to report, monitor and implement other measures to enhance the effectiveness of detection of money laundering risks;
  • Have, among other things, law enforcement practice concerning the laundering of proceeds of corruption with the assistance of legal professionals (relevant for some G20 countries).

However, there are a lot of unresolved problems in this area, in particular:

  • Limitations to investigation due to legal and professional privilege;
  • Difficulties in exchange of information between jurisdictions;
  • Lack of financial and human resources;
  • Time-consuming investigations also due to the need to undergo mutual legal assistance procedures etc.

The Compendium makes the following recommendations to the G20 countries on how to enhance the effectiveness of the fight against the laundering of proceeds of corruption with the assistance of legal professionals:

  • Analyse the existing anti-money laundering laws, ratify and incorporate the norms based on the recommendations of international organisations such as FATF in the domestic legislation;
  • Share experience and best practices in the fight against the misuse of the international financial system;
  • Develop recommendations for legal professionals with a view to resolving the contradiction between respecting legal and/or professional privilege and disclosing violations;
  • Strengthen cooperation between law enforcement authorities, other representatives of the public sector and associations of legal professionals to ensure prompt exchange of information between different jurisdictions etc.

5. G20 ACWG Background Note on Mitigating Corruption Risks in Renewable Energy.

The paper is focused on the matters of corruption risks mitigation in renewable (“green”) energy which has become increasingly popular in the recent years.

The Background Note stresses that few G20 countries have conducted comprehensive analysis of corruption risks in the relevant area. In most cases, these risks emerge at the stages of development of public policies, public procurement, construction, extraction and sale of critical minerals. The key risk is bribery and the most vulnerable area is public procurement.

The authors also highlight the link between reduced corruption risks in renewable energy and the implementation of the ESG principles that, in particular, promote transparency of organisations.

Taking account of the fact that the topic is new and unexplored, the paper contains the following recommendations:

  • Continue to discuss the possibilities to mitigate corruption risks in renewable energy in the ACWG and obtain relevant information from other work streams, international forums and initiatives;
  • Enhance the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in this area also by increasing transparency of public procurement, criminalising all forms of bribery, ensuring effective enforcement of relevant legal provisions etc.;
  • Raise public awareness of corruption risks in renewable energy;
  • Promote the implementation of the principles of good governance throughout the supply chain in renewable energy;
  • Promote the implementation of the ESG principles and accountability systems in the G20 countries with due regard for the national and regional context.
Tags
AML
Corruption whistleblowers
Corruption in sport
Education
Compliance
Corruption in public procurement
Civil society
International cooperation
ICT
Standards of conduct
Transparency
Sanctions

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