The UK is to back a new international anti-corruption academy aimed at boosting the fight against fraud, bribery and theft across the world, International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, announced today.
The academy will provide professional training and technical expertise to individuals and teams tasked with combating the scourge of corruption in both developed and developing countries.
The academy, launched yesterday (Thursday), is the first anti-corruption centre of excellence that will focus on all aspects of global corruption activity, from early prevention through to asset recovery.
The UK will be one of thirty one founder member countries who will direct the academy’s work.
Training will focus on four key pillars, based on the UN Convention against Corruption:
Prevention. Activities designed to block corruption upstream including stronger government systems and safe-guards.
Criminalisation. Using the legal system to catch and prosecute those involved in fraud and theft.
International cooperation. Increasing joint operations to combat cross-border corruption.
Asset recovery. Using robust auditing practices to track proceeds and return stolen money to the country it came from.
Welcoming the academy’s launch, International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said:
“Corruption is a plague that hits the world’s poorest people hardest.
“This Government has incredibly tough safe-guards in place to protect UK funds against corruption but we must strengthen the international effort if we are to make real and credible progress globally.
“The academy will do just that, bringing together the world’s best experts to enhance the fight against corruption at every level.”
The academy will offer a variety of training, ranging from one-day courses to full three year degree level education. Expert trainers and teachers will be based in Vienna but ready to deploy to specific countries to run courses tailored to circumstances on the ground.
The launch is part of ongoing efforts to increase the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, which came into force in 2006. An international ‘Peer Review’ is currently underway, which will assess whether the 146 countries which are parties to the Convention are implementing it effectively. Thirty countries have already been selected for review, which will take place during the next six months.
The UK has provided £250,000 to support the start-up of the academy.
To demonstrate the Coalition Government’s own commitment to transparency across UK aid spending, Andrew Mitchell announced in June that all DFID’s spending will be published on the departmental website. The ‘Transparency Guarantee’ will allow UK taxpayers to see exactly how and where overseas aid money is being spent. Alongside this, a new independent aid watchdog will be set up to look into the impact of UK aid to ensure it is providing full value for money.