Does certifying anti-bribery programmes add value?

Earlier this month, on the eve of the publication of a new International Standard in bribery risk management, I joined a panel debate on the value of anti-bribery programme certification, hosted by Ethic Intelligence at the OECD in Paris.

The event was attended by a number of eminent counter-corruption experts and provided a rare opportunity to examine aspects of corruption usually addressed unilaterally, or otherwise left to academics.

The debate codified into two camps; those who viewed the ISO approach as unnecessary and those who, like me, believe a certifiable International Standard will add real value. My view may not surprise some as I Chair the British Standards Institution Anti-Bribery Committee and Head the UK delegation to the International Standards Organisation (ISO) creating the new International Standard – ISO 37001. (more…)

Focus on corruption at European Union Development Days

The European Union Development Days bring together the development community each year to consider and exchange ideas on enhancing international development efforts. The theme of the two day event in Brussels in June this year, was the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in action.

The event attracted high level delegations from donors and the developing world with keynote speakers including the UN Secretary General and the Presidents of Kenya, Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Samoa, Ethiopia and Timor-Leste.


The new International Standard in Bribery Risk Management – ISO 37001 – is almost ready for publication

After three years of hard work the new International Standard in bribery risk management is nearly ready.

Following the success of British Standard 10500, the Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS), in 2013, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) approved the development of an ISO Anti-Bribery Management System. (more…)

The first UK National Action Plan for Anti-Money Laundering. Concrete progress towards making the UK a hostile environment for money launderers.

Annual global illicit money flows are counted in trillions of US dollars and the new UK Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Action Plan is a part of the international ‘direction of travel’ in tackling money laundering. “The international community has made the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing a priority,” notes the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (more…)

Strict liability for companies that fail to prevent financial crime

Within a raft of proposals, commitments and promises announced during the London Anti-Corruption Summit on 12 May 2016, was a proposal to consult on holding companies to account for failing to prevent economic crimes committed by those they control.

The idea has been floated a number of times over the past few years, not least by David Green the Director of the Serious Fraud Office. In an article I wrote at the end of the term of the coalition government, Preventing Financial Crime and Deferred Prosecution Agreements, I predicted that such a law would be enacted during the life of this administration. However, it seemed my crystal ball had clouded over as in late 2015 the government announced that it would not be extending the concept of strict corporate criminal liability beyond the Bribery Act.

So what has changed? The Panama Papers. (more…)

Lithuania enhances its anti-corruption effort on its journey to join the OECD

During April, I was honoured to be invited by the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice to address an audience of Lithuanian private sector companies in relation to the new International Standard in Bribery Risk Management – ISO 37001.

In the 26 years since independence the country has come a long way and is a full member of NATO, the EU and the Eurozone. Lithuania now seeks membership of the OECD and must fulfil a number of pre-admittance requirements. (more…)

Corruption is “the greatest enemy of progress in our time”

Corruption is “the greatest enemy of progress in our time” said Sir Eric Pickles, the UK Anti-Corruption Champion during his keynote speech at the OECD Integrity Week in Paris in April.

The focus of the OECD Integrity Week this year was “Global Trade without Corruption” and I was honoured to be invited to be a panellist discussing the new International Standard in bribery risk management – ISO 37001. This particular panel formed part of the European Symposium on Ethics and Governance and was chaired by Roxana Family, the Chair of Law and Business Ethics at the Université de Cergy-Pontoise. (more…)

Anti-corruption initiatives remain a priority for government

The Global Anti-Corruption Summit, an initiative of the Prime Minister, is scheduled to take place in London in May 2016.

There are a number of civil society and government initiatives taking place in the build up to the summit and, building upon the momentum created by the summit, the UK Anti-Corruption plan is likely to receive a fillip in the summer. (more…)

Is the UK less corrupt?

The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that ranks countries by the perceived level of public sector corruption, was published by Transparency International on 27 January 2016.

The CPI has many detractors but is, nonetheless, read attentively by governments, companies and interested individuals around the world. One of the interesting facts about this year’s results is that the UK has re-entered the top ten of cleanest countries after an absence of more than a decade. (more…)