Press release 03rd Dec 2020

Substantial progress made towards anti-corruption pledges, but more work to be done

New report takes stock of progress from 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit


3rd December 2020, London – The UK has made substantial progress towards implementing its commitments from the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit, but there is still more to be done to make good on outstanding pledges, according to a new report by Transparency International UK.  

Released today, From Practice to Impact, tracks anti-corruption commitments made by 20 countries, including the UK.    

It finds:  

  • 78% of the 169 commitments that have been monitored are ‘in play’, meaning that they have seen progress over the last six months.   
  • 87.5% of commitments made on asset recovery (returning the proceeds of corruption to victims) are in play.
  • 82% of commitments on public procurement (the purchasing of goods and services by government departments and public authorities) are in play.
  • 71% c on beneficial ownership transparency (transparency over the real person who ultimately owns, controls or benefits from a company) are in play.
  • And 91% of commitments on whistleblowing protection (protections for those who speak out to reveal neglect or abuses within the activities of an organisation) are in play.  


Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:   

“As the host of the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit, the UK made important commitments for the fight against corruption, among them the creation of a new national anti-corruption strategy, transparency on UK property ownership and companies that bid for public contracts, and a consultation on a new law on the failure to prevent economic crimes.    

“In the four years that have followed, substantial progress has been made with the publication of a national anti-corruption strategy, Unexplained Wealth Orders introduced in law, and the launch of the International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre.    

“However, there is still more to be done for the UK to make good on its commitments and ends Britain’s role as a global hub for dirty money. In particular, we await the introduction of legislation to create a public register of the true owners of overseas companies that hold property here. This would help end the role of the London property market as a safe haven for unexplained wealth. Requiring the same of companies contracting with the public sector would also help prevent fraud and corruption in procurement.” 


The 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit gave governments the opportunity to sign up to ambitious targets and saw forty governments commit to implement more than six hundred specific pledges to fight corruption.   

In order to ensure a monitoring process for the progress of these commitments, Transparency International UK takes this initiative and advocates for their completion. It is never too late to take a step forward and initiate anti-corruption reform. 


Notes to editors:

Progress towards the implementation of commitments made at the 2016 Summit can be found on Transparency International UK’s Global Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker.

About Transparency International UK:

Transparency International is the UK’s leading independent anti-corruption organisation.


Harvey Gavin

+44 (0)20 3096 7695  

+44 (0)79 6456 0340 (out of hours)