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10 anti-corruption ideas deliverable before the election

Written by Robert Barrington on Wednesday, 14 January 2015

During a meeting with the government’s new Anti-Corruption Champion last week, Transparency International presented Matthew Hancock with a list of ten practical actions that could be taken before the election.


Last week, Transparency International was invited in to see the government’s new Anti-Corruption Champion, Matthew Hancock.  It was by my reckoning the first time that the Champion had met TI for five years – not a great record of engagement with civil society, but not the fault of Mr Hancock who has only been in post since October.  One of his early actions was to launch the much-delayed UK Anti-Corruption Plan, which we gave a qualified welcome.  The Plan itself was a curate’s egg, but our main concern was that with an election looming the Plan would simply gather dust.  So we came to Mr Hancock with a list of ten practical actions that could be taken before the election.  Here they are – we will be interested to see how many he scores out of ten before his time is up in May:

 1. Resourcing

Create a fund that can be accessed by those agencies tackling corruption e.g. SFO, Met/NCA POCU, to supplement their budgets; fund to be filled by proportion of fines and settlements.

2. Corrupt enrichment

Introduce Unexplained Wealth Orders into the Serious Crime Bill or commit to doing so if elected.

3. Revolving Door

Abolish ACoBA and replace with a body that is fit for purpose.

4. Anti-Corruption Champion

Introduce a formal annual reporting to Parliament; commit to continue appointment if elected, and at Cabinet level.

 5. Departmental risk assessments (Action 17)

Publish a timetable for when each department will undertake its assessment, and clarify which agencies in addition to government departments are to be involved.

 6. Confirm the future of the SFO

Make a clear public commitment that supports the SFO and removes the speculation that it will be folded into the NCA.

 7. Debarment list (Action 23)

Publish a consolidated national debarment list of companies that currently appear on other debarment lists (e.g. World Bank).

 8. Publish BIS research on the Bribery Act

Publish the survey of small resources-resources-businesses on the impact of the Bribery Act, as referenced in the BIS Research Strategy 2014-15.

 9. Commission research (Actions 3&4)

For a small spend, commission

  • National Integrity System reports into the four countries of the UK
  • Detailed polls into types and prevalence of corruption

 10. Manifesto commitments

  • Commit to implementing the plan, reviewing and updating it within two years of the election
  • Formalise the position of Anti-Corruption Champion, including its status at Cabinet level and accountability
  • Commit to introducing Unexplained Wealth Orders



Read 1862 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

Robert Barrington

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

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