Working with the Open Government Partnership to advance anti-corruption reforms

Filed under - Politics and government

article image

Corruption continues to be one of the most pressing problems affecting countries all over the world. Transparency International’s (TI) 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) indicates that many countries still have a long way to go to end corruption. Corruption takes away much needed tax dollars that should go towards essential services for citizens and undermines democratic institutions. It affects people’s daily lives and erodes their trust in political and economic systems, institutions and leaders.  Only when effective measures are taken to tackle corruption, fraud and waste will service delivery improve and citizens regain trust in government. However, implementing effective anti-corruption measures requires committed governments and an engaged civil society.

To this effect, Transparency International is working with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to advance ambitious anti-corruption commitments. Every two years countries participating in the OGP develop and implement action plans with concrete commitments in pursuit of more transparent, participatory and accountable governments.  Relevant stakeholders at the national level can use these action plans to embed anti-corruption reforms that are aligned with internationally agreed standards. At the same time, action plans can help fulfilling country obligations to implement integrity policies acquired through different international and regional fora. While over 200 anti-corruption specific commitments have been included in OGP Action Plans to date, more can be done to promote more specific, actionable and ambitious anti-corruption commitments.

For the past few years, Transparency International Secretariat TI-S has provided coordination and advocacy support to the numerous TI chapters engaged in their domestic OGP processes, to governments developing anti-corruption related commitments, and thought leadership related to anti-corruption in the OGP.

TI-S continues to work with its network of country chapters, in close collaboration with the OGP Support Unit (OGP-SU) and other strategic partners, to lead the anti-corruption theme within the OGP and achieve increased adoption and implementation of strong anti-corruption related commitments in participating countries. To achieve this, TI-S will focus its engagement on the following key areas: 

  • Support ambitious anti-corruption commitments at the country level
  • Enable better cross-country learning on key anti-corruption sub-themes within the OGP
  • Coordinate on action from global forums to the national level on anti-corruption

More information on our collaboration with OGP is available in this Memorandum of Understanding.

Below are a series of materials to assist governments and civil society organizations looking to develop and implement ambitious anti-corruption commitments.

Compendium of Good Practices on Anti-Corruption for OGP Action Plans

This guide is a curated list of internationally accepted policies and practical approaches to tackling corruption. It provides examples that are useful not only in developing OGP commitments but also during their implementation. It is written for government officials and national civil society organisations developing ambitious commitments for the OGP action plans.

This document is divided into six sections following these priority issues:

  • asset and interest declarations
  • beneficial ownership transparency
  • transparency in political financing
  • whistleblowing
  • transparency in lobbying
  • open contracting

Within those sections, there is a brief discussion of the issue and its importance in fighting corruption, followed by a list of references. Each reference includes a description and information about where practitioners may find particularly relevant information for the development and implementation of an OGP commitment. A specific effort was made to identify country case studies and practical examples. Finally, each section ends with an example of an OGP commitment on the issue.

Videos:

- Beneficial Ownership Series

- The Value of Beneficial Ownership Transparency


Recommendations on Beneficial Ownership Transparency for OGP National Action Plans

Anonymous companies underpin corrupt and criminal financial transactions. They were used in 70 per cent of grand corruption cases reviewed by the World Bank and are one of the oldest tricks in the book for moving, laundering and spending dirty money.

Governments are ending anonymous company ownership by creating open, public registers of the true “beneficial” owners of companies – the individuals who ultimately control or profit from a company. Open registers of beneficial owners make it harder for corrupt individuals to hide their connection to illicit flows of capital out of a national budget. They can also help authorities recover stolen assets, prosecute criminals and deter others. Beneficial ownership transparency contributes to sustainable development, a fairer business environment and increased public trust.

This briefing discusses:

  • why beneficial ownership is a priority for Open Government Partnership (OGP) members
  • good practice for creating open registers
  • existing and model commitments in national action plans

Recommendations on Political Financing for Open Government Partnership National Action Plans

The financing of political parties provokes distrust and cynicism - often for good reason - about the motives and activities of both the donors and recipients of political donations. Yet modern elections cannot be contested without money. Staff costs and campaigning expenses are necessary facts of political competition.

To ensure that elections are free, fair, and sufficiently funded, governments must enhance their political finance regulations. This promotes political integrity and participation and protects against undue influence.

This briefing discusses:

  • why tackling political financing is a priority for Open Government Partnership (OGP) members
  • trends and good practice in regulation
  • existing and model commitments in National Action Plans

Recommendations on Lobbying for Open Government Partnership National Action Plans

To many observers, lobbying appears to be a process in which well-resourced interest groups shape public policy according to their own interests in clandestine meetings with officials. This negative perception prevails for good reason: the vast majority of lobbying worldwide is unregulated. Integrity norms and public safeguards are rare – while scandal is never far away.

Yet lobbying is also an age-old practice with legitimate purpose: it is a means of participation in public decision-making. Lobbying is an integral part of a healthy democracy, closely related to universal values such as freedom of speech and the right to petition of government.

The regulatory challenge for governments is to prohibit unethical activity while facilitating transparent and equitable public access to policy-making.

This briefing discusses:

  • why tackling lobbying is a priority for Open Government Partnership (OGP) members
  • trends and good practice in regulation
  • existing and model commitments in national action plans

Recommendations on Open Contracting for Open Government Partnership National Action Plans

Procurement is one of governments’ most economically significant activities, but it also poses one of the greatest public sector corruption risks. Governments are tackling this problem by implementing open contracting – a suite of complementary policies that improve transparency, public participation and accountability in procurement.

The benefits of open contracting extend beyond combating corruption. Governments can use data to understand and improve their own financial positions, create fairer and more accessible markets, and collaborate with civil society to monitor public services more effectively. The net result is greater value for money, improved quality of public services, increased public trust and a better environment for doing business.

Governments must make transformational commitments on open contracting.

This briefing discusses:

  • fighting corruption in public procurement in the context of the Open Government Partnership (OGP)
  • trends and examples of good practice in open contracting
  • existing and model national action plan commitments


Country / Territory - International   
Region - Global   
Topic - Access to information   |   Accountability   |   Civil society   |   Governance   |   Intergovernmental bodies   |   Politics and government   |   Transparency International   

Related news

13
Nov
2019

PACE needs investigative body to protect integrity of its mission

As members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) prepare to discuss the role and mission of PACE in Berlin this week, ...

11
Nov
2019

Proposed amnesty law in Lebanon would weaken accountability and reduce state revenues

The proposed general amnesty law in Lebanon contradicts the state's commitment to curb corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and illicit ...

30
Oct
2019

Crisis in Chile: Zero tolerance for corruption is at centre of the solution

Transparency International is severely concerned about the social and political crisis currently gripping Chile. Chile Transparente invites relevant ...

24
Oct
2019

Immediate and urgent anti-corruption measures needed in Lebanon

The Lebanese Transparency Association - No Corruption (LTA), the national chapter of Transparency International, today expressed its deep ...

Related publications

Publication cover image

Who is behind the wheel? Fixing the global standards on company ownership

To counter crime and corruption, law enforcement authorities around the world need to be able to swiftly uncover the identities of the real owners of ...

Report published – Oct 2019

Publication cover image

Building on the EU directive for whistleblower protection

On 7 October 2019, the European Union adopted a Directive on the “Protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law” (Whistleblower ...

Policy position published – Oct 2019

Related blog posts

The FATF report on the USA: More roof than holes on average

You arrive in a new city on a rainy day and check into your top floor hotel room, only to find the roof is leaking. When ... [read more]

Posted on 05 Dec 2016 by Shruti Shah

Cleaning up Georgia’s elections

Georgians are getting the message: elections are important and tampering with the process has consequences. This year, ... [read more]

Posted on 28 Nov 2016 by Levan Natroshvili

Why are three of the world’s richest countries doing so little to stop corruption?

One of the best-known data points in the anti-corruption field is the estimate from Global Financial Integrity that US$ ... [read more]

Posted on 18 Oct 2016 by Alesia Nahirny

Benin’s fight against corruption is only beginning

The Republic of Benin is one of West Africa’s most stable countries. Sandwiched between Nigeria and Togo to the east ... [read more]

Posted on 11 Oct 2016 by Samuel Kaninda

What are the candidates hiding?

A September 21 Gallup survey concluded that, “At no point in the last four decades have Americans expressed less trust ... [read more]

Posted on 08 Oct 2016 by Marian Currinder