This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.
We are interested in measures and approaches that fall under the category of “anticorruption through the North”, i.e. actions developed countries like Germany could/should take in their own country to reduce the likelihood of corruption occurring in partner countries. How well is Germany doing?
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1. Applying global anti-corruption instruments at home
2. Facilitating financial transparency and asset recovery
3. Using development assistance to promote anti-corruption and aid transparency efforts
In an increasingly globalised world, there is a broad consensus that developed countries have a key responsibility to prevent international corruption and promote a better use of resources. Three major levels of interventions can be envisaged in this regard.
The first level of intervention consists of addressing the supply side of corruption by applying global anti-corruption conventions and initiatives at home. The aim is to tackle bribery and corruption in the private sector as well as to address weak transparency and accountability in international trade, taxation and export credit regimes that may facilitate corruption. Targeting the supply-side of corruption can be done by supporting the ratification and full implementation of legally binding international anti-corruption instruments or supporting voluntary initiatives such as the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises, the UN Global Compact or the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Germany has somewhat of a mixed record in this regard. While the country is an active enforcer of the OECD Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, it is one of only two G8 countries that has yet to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Combating money laundering and closing international loopholes that facilitate tax evasion and illicit flows is a second important dimension that developed countries should incorporate into their anti-corruption efforts. While Germany is committed to strengthening its anti-money laundering framework, it is not fully in line with the FATF recommendations, especially with regard to sanctioning for non-compliance with anti-money laundering requirements. Moreover, Germany’s efforts to curb tax evasion, while improving in recent years, are largely lagging behind the recommendations of international expert groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Thirdly, development assistance can also contribute to support the fight against corruption by creating positive incentives for change, ensuring the transparency of aid flows, promoting a policy dialogue on governance and supporting partner countries’ efforts against corruption. Among these areas, Germany could strengthen its efforts in terms of aid transparency which emerges as a fundamental element of aid related anti-corruption interventions. While Germany is a member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a global standard for disclosure of flows, it still has yet to fully implement the agreement’s measures.
AuthorsMarie Chêne, Transparency International, firstname.lastname@example.org