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Anti-Corruption Champion Announced

Written by Robert Barrington on Sunday, 12 October 2014

Our response to the announcement that the Matthew Hancock had been appointed as Government’s new Anti-Corruption Champion.


Responding to the announcement that the Matthew Hancock had been appointed as the Government’s new Anti-Corruption Champion Dr Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said today:

‘The UK faces a significant threat from corruption, and this post is important.  In the past few months alone, it has become crystal clear that corruption undermines the UK’s national security by fomenting revolution and fragile states, facilitating home-grown and cross-border organised crime, eroding key public institutions like the police and propping up unsavoury dictators and oligarchs who are acting against the UK’s national interests.’

‘It is frankly astonishing that the Government has taken four months to fill this post since the previous ‘champion’ was sacked and very disappointing that for the first time it is not held by a Cabinet Minister.  The onus is now very much on Mr Hancock to prove he can be the genuine Champion that is so badly needed.  It is now a year since the Prime Minister announced there would be a national anti-corruption action plan which must now be published; and the hotchpotch of anti-corruption initiatives within different government departments, some of which are very good, need to be properly coordinated.  We also need to be reassured that this post will have adequate resources and not just be a name on a piece of paper, and will be properly accountable to Parliament.’

Transparency International is calling on the new Champion to act in five areas:

  • Launch the UK’s anti-corruption action plan ensuring it covers all key areas of corruption relevant to the UK, including police prisons, politics local government defence money laundering and freezing of corrupt assets
  • Create for the first time formal Terms of Reference for the post that cover domestic corruption, international corruption, and the interface between the two.
  • The Anti-Corruption Champion must have adequate resources and support in order to effectively oversee cross-departmental anti-corruption efforts.
  • Introduce a formal accountability mechanism to review the work of the Anti-Corruption Champion and the implementation of the Action Plan. We recommend that the Anti-Corruption Champion provides an annual report to parliament on her/his work and the implementation of the plan. This would allow Parliament and other stakeholders to judge what progress has been achieved, accompanied by an opportunity for Parliament to review or debate progress. The parliamentary report should be distinct from wider reporting on serious and organised crime and include, at a minimum, a written ministerial statement.
  • Formalise and institutionalise the cross-governmental coordination anti-corruption activity and the accompanying accountability mechanism so that the process does not depend on the political will of those in post and will continue despite any changes in personnel that may occur.

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Read 2693 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:18
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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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