IACA Reiterates Importance of Human Rights Approach to Anti-Corruption at Global Summit

IACA this week reiterated the importance of using a human rights approach to tackle corruption during the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. One of three main themes of this year’s Summit was fighting against corruption, in addition to civic engagement and public service delivery.

The Summit brought together heads of state or government, ministers, public servants, members of parliament, local authorities, researchers, academia, journalists, and representatives of civil society and international foundations. Focus during the Summit was on addressing challenges in upholding the principles of open government, a field within which tackling corruption is crucial. The Summit coincided with Nelson Mandela International Day 2018, which marks 100 years since the birth of Mr. Nelson Mandela, a key historical figure in the global fight against corruption.

IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, Mr. Martin Kreutner, joined high level speakers on a panel discussion on “Rebooting Public Service Delivery” during the Summit. Other panel members were Ms. Helen Clark, OGP Ambassador, Former United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator and Former New Zealand Prime Minister; Ms. Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Public Service & Administration of The Republic of South Africa; Mr. Janek Mäggi, Minister of Public Administration of Estonia; and Ms. Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia. The panel was moderated by Ms. Nora O'Connell, Associate Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy, Save the Children.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Kreutner spoke inter alia on the importance of the Agenda 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He highlighted that “without implementation of Goal 16, on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, achievement of the other Goals is simply not possible; the involvement of all stakeholders is crucial in this regard.”

Mr. Kreutner also mentioned the positive impact that new technologies can have on increasing government accountability to citizens, but also emphasized the potential downsides and risks of over-idealizing e-government and the need to remain vigilant and take an active approach to ensure accountable and human rights-based systems are in place for privacy, data handling, and consent. Human beings shall be governed also in the future by humans and not by algorithms or artificial intelligence.

Another area he touched upon was the importance of ensuring equity when considering corruption issues in the global south and the global north, noting the need to avoid a double standards approach, and stressing that no country is free from the risk of corruption. 

Additionally, Mr. Kreutner held bilateral discussions and meetings with high-level officials of the Government of Georgia. Discussions centered on fostering continued cooperation between IACA and Georgia such as the delivery of tailor-made training programmes, technical assistance, and exchange of expertise. Mr. Kreutner also provided updates on current developments including the upcoming seventh session of IACA’s Assembly of Parties.   

In 2017, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia successfully hosted a module of IACA’s Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) programme in Tbilisi, the focus of which was Corruption Prevention and the Future of Anti-Corruption.

Georgia is a Party to IACA, having acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in March 2015.

IACA Highlights Security and Anti-Corruption Nexus at Ministerial Meeting

IACA highlighted the nexus between national and regional security and anti-corruption efforts, stressing in particular that corruption is a push factor for illegal migration and a facilitating element for human trafficking and smuggling, at an informal meeting of the European Union (EU) and Eastern Partnership Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs last week.

The meeting brought together justice and home affairs ministers from Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Romania, representing the troika of presidencies of the Council of the EU and the incoming presidency, with their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The European Commission was represented by the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Ms. Věra Jourová, and the Commissioner for the Security Union, Mr. Julian King; the European External Action Service was also represented.

The focus of the meeting was on promoting the rule of law and combatting corruption in security and judicial authorities, in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and Deliverable 9 of the 20 Eastern Partnership Deliverables for 2020, which is to “strengthen the rule of law and anti-corruption mechanisms”.

During the meeting, IACA reaffirmed the importance of the fight against corruption, which was also recently highlighted as a priority contemporary criminal justice issue by UN Secretary-General António Gutierrez at the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in May in Vienna.

Furthermore, IACA restated its availability to support EU and Eastern Partnership countries in providing integrity and anti-corruption training for security and judicial authority officials.

nexus 2 28509053817 cea2937b3b k webIACA’s Dean and Executive Mr. Martin Kreutner spoke on the important relationship between anti-corruption and safeguarding the Rule of Law, in particular within judicial systems, as well as on the eminent role of (anti)corruption in a comprehensive notion of security. He also pointed out that investing in anti-corruption, including in capacity-building for officials, is a strategic approach for countries to take, given the high cost of corruption on a nation’s GDP and the relatively small resources required to strengthen anti-corruption efforts and capacities.

Mr. Kreutner also highlighted the “let crime pay principle” as an avenue for financing anti-corruption efforts, as recently applied by the Principality of Liechtenstein in its voluntary contribution of funds from a bribery case to IACA’s general budget. This principle is exemplified by Article 62.2(c) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and reaffirmed by the IACA Assembly of Parties.

The official press release is available here.

Afghan Ambassador Visits IACA

H.E. Ms. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the International Organizations in Vienna, visited campus last Friday to discuss potential further cooperation between IACA and Afghanistan in the areas of anti-corruption and compliance.

In addition to her talks on this theme with Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, H.E. Ms. Fana Ebrahimkhel also received updates on IACA’s current programmes and trainings and met some Afghan students and participants.

“Afghanistan greatly values its close and long-standing ties with IACA and sees them as an important element in its fight against corruption. IACA’s programmes and trainings have already empowered and inspired many Afghan anti-corruption professionals, benefiting both them and their country. Long may this continue,” H.E. Ms. Fana Ebrahimkhel commented.

Afghanistan has been a Party to IACA since 2013.

Liechtenstein Contributes 100,000 CHF to IACA under the “Let Crime Pay Principle”

The Principality of Liechtenstein has made a voluntary contribution of 100,000 CHF to IACA’s general budget in accordance with the “let crime pay principle”, laid out in IACA Assembly of Parties (AoP) resolutions and also in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). This is one of the first such contributions to an international organization.

The funds will help to support IACA’s operations and activities, especially with a view to implementing its Work Programme 2017 - 2020.

Liechtenstein’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the support was an expression of its appreciation for IACA’s efforts in corruption prevention and — in the subject case — the Principality’s bilateral cooperation with Austria in fighting corruption.

The Ministry added that the contribution was guided by the call by IACA’s AoP for alternative sources of financing and lays down a best practice marker for the case-specific application of IACA’s AoP Resolution AoP2-Res1 as well as the rationale of Article 62/2.(c) of the UNCAC, which both exemplify the “let crime pay principle”.

The funds came from a bribery case, decided and sentenced by the provincial court for criminal matters in Vienna and further executed and enforced by the Princely country court in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein became a Party to IACA in 2011.

Training for Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association

Professionals from the Republic of Korea’s Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association were at the IACA campus last week for a specially developed anti-corruption and compliance training programme.

Expert lecturers delivered sessions on topics ranging from corruption prevention and media relations to ethical dilemmas and organizational integrity. Particular focus was placed on maximizing compliance effectiveness in the pharmaceutical industry, and participants also gained key insights on specific pharmaceutical sector corruption case studies.           

The programme also encompassed study visits to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption of the Republic of Austria (WKStA).

Korea pharma 1 DSC 0498 editFollowing the seminar, the participants have become part of IACA’s alumni network of over 1,700 anti-corruption and compliance professionals in 157 countries and jurisdictions.

Tailor-made trainings are IACA’s customized programmes for specific organizations, corporations, or institutions, addressing the unique challenges that each one faces in preventing and fighting corruption.

IACA’s Fifth Alumni Reunion a Success

Last week IACA alumni gathered at the Academy for a two-day Alumni Reunion, an annual event providing the opportunity for alumni to learn from expert anti-corruption and compliance lecturers and also extend their professional network with other alumni, staff, and participants and students of various IACA programmes.

Alumni from different countries enjoyed sessions featuring the latest insights on hot anti-corruption issues from globally renowned lecturers. Lecturers were Michael Johnston, Distinguished Professor at IACA and Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Colgate University and a pioneer in the anti-corruption field, Rebecca B. L. Li, Consultant on anti-corruption and corporate governance and former acting Head of Operations of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Paul Myers, British investigative journalist, and Tina Søreide, Professor of Law and Economics at NHH Norwegian School of Economics.

al reunion 2018 DSC 0793 editAs a new feature of this year’s alumni reunion, several IACA alumni took the opportunity to share updates on their own research, work, and professional paths during structured alumni sessions which were incorporated into the overall timetable. Alumni attending the reunion also enjoyed the annual gala dinner with participants of IACA’s Summer Academy and students of its International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action Programme (IMACC).

IACA’s alumni network comprises anti-corruption and compliance professionals in 155 countries and jurisdictions, and the annual reunion is one way in which alumni can benefit from the rich network. Read more about other benefits for alumni here.

Third Module for IMACC Students

Students in IACA’s International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC) were recently on campus for two weeks for the in-class part of Module III, which focuses on designing and implementing effective anti-corruption and compliance programmes.

The diverse group also had the opportunity to network with participants of IACA’s Summer Academy and “Best Of” Seminar, as well as with alumni and local residents during various joint events at the Academy.

Lecturers included Heike Böhme, Attorney-at-Law, Guillermo Jorge, Director of the Program on Corruption Control at San Andres University School of Law, Argentina, and Milda Zilinskaite, Assistant Professor at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Special guest DeAnn Hargis, Supply Chain Director at Convergent, discussed procurement issues. Among IACA’s own permanent faculty, Pawan Kumar Sinha spoke on RegTech and anti-corruption compliance, including artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain, Eduard Ivanov lectured on identifying suspicious transactions, and Emmanuel Breen led a workshop on risk management and codes of conduct.

imacc news 1 DSC 0487The students will be back in Laxenburg in October for Module IV on anti-corruption and compliance programme management.

The IMACC is IACA’s specialized master’s programme for business professionals working in anti-corruption compliance and collective action. The two-year MA degree is an internationally recognized programme with 120 ECTS credits under the EU’s Bologna Process.

The IMACC 2019 – 2021 class, which starts in January 2019, is open for applications until 1 October 2018, with scholarship applications being accepted until 1 August. Read more about the IMACC here.

Tina Søreide Delivers IACA’s Eighth “Best Of” Seminar

Tina Søreide, Professor of Law and Economics at the Norwegian School of Economics and a member of IACA’s Frequent Visiting Faculty, delivered a two-day seminar on campus this week, showcasing the best of her work in anti-corruption.

Held on 3 and 4 July, this was the eighth IACA “Best Of” seminar aimed at professionals wanting to strengthen their anti-corruption efforts and stay abreast of current trends and issues in the field.

Over the two interactive days, participants learned from Prof. Søreide’s expertise in areas including, among others, the effectiveness of debarment in public procurement; organizational vs. individual liability; the benefits, drawbacks, and regulation of corporate bribery settlements; and future anti-corruption regulatory developments. Participants also had the opportunity to network with attendees of IACA’s Summer Academy during joint events on campus.

Tina 2018 DSC 0489 edited printFollowing the seminar, the participants have become part of IACA’s alumni network of over 1,600 anti-corruption and compliance professionals in 155 countries and jurisdictions.

IACA will hold its next “Best Of” Seminar in autumn this year, and more information will be published soon.

Past editions have featured internationally renowned experts including Johann Graf Lambsdorff (University of Passau), Michael Johnston (IACA and Colgate University), Robert Klitgaard (Claremont Graduate University), Drago Kos (Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery), Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale University), and Bo Rothstein (University of Gothenburg).

A Festive Open Day for Local Residents

IACA welcomed residents of Laxenburg and the neighbouring communities of Achau, Biedermannsdorf, and Münchendorf on Friday for the organization’s second Open Day (“Tag der Offenen Tür” in German).

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The festive occasion gave the local population the chance to tour IACA’s historic campus, get insights into the organization’s work and daily activities, and enjoy a taste of its current programmes, including the 2018 Summer Academy.

Palais Kaunitz-Wittgenstein, IACA’s home since 2011, has a long and fascinating history. It was previously an aristocratic residence, military hospital, and girls’ school, among other uses, and some of the visitors who took the guided tours last Friday had their own personal connections to the building.

The guests were then formally welcomed by Mr. Martin Kreutner, IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, and Ms. Elisabeth Maxim, the vice-mayor of Laxenburg, with the police band of Lower Austria providing musical accompaniment.

Many visitors also joined the opening ceremony of the eighth IACA Summer Academy, which this year has attracted anti-corruption and compliance professionals from some 40 countries and all regions.

Feedback afterwards from the local population was highly positive, as was also the case with IACA’s inaugural Open Day in 2017. IACA would like to thank Laxenburg and the other local communities for their support and interest and looks forward to further joint activities in the future.

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Start of IACA’s Eighth Summer Academy

Yesterday saw the official opening of IACA’s eighth Summer Academy, one of the organization’s annual flagship training programmes for anti-corruption and compliance professionals from around the world.

SA2018 1 DSC 0864This year IACA has welcomed participants from some 40 countries and all regions to its Laxenburg campus for the training, which runs until 6 July. The diverse group consists of professionals from international organizations and the public and private sectors.

Under the theme of “Practice meets Science”, participants will develop and deepen their existing anti-corruption knowledge, learning from one another and gaining new insights into addressing and preventing corruption.

Over a dozen expert lecturers, from countries including Austria, China (SAR HK), Malaysia, Norway, Russia, Uganda, and the United States of America will address topics such as online investigation, good governance, ethics and compliance, public procurement, global and regional approaches to anti-corruption, and economic theory. 

Welcoming the participants, Martin Kreutner, IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, said “the Summer Academy encapsulates what IACA is all about - bringing together anti-corruption and compliance professionals from around the world and exposing them to different opinions. I encourage you to use the time to network, discuss with professionals and practitioners, share your experiences, and make friends among peers. Let’s have a great week!”

The training opens with teambuilding exercises, and in addition to intensive in-class sessions other highlights include a round-table discussion on corruption in sports, a tour of Vienna’s famous Ringstrasse, an excursion to the beautiful Wachau region, and a festive closing ceremony.

SA2018 3 DSC 0866During the week, Summer Academy participants will have excellent networking opportunities with students from IACA’s International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC) programme, participants in the Best of Seminar featuring Professor Tina Søreide of the Norwegian School of Economics and a member of IACA’s frequent visiting faculty (3 – 4 July), and IACA alumni who will gather in Laxenburg for the fifth annual Alumni Reunion (5 – 6 July). At the end of the week, participants will join IACA’s alumni network of over 1,600 anti-corruption and compliance professionals from more than 150 countries and jurisdictions.

The opening ceremony of the Summer Academy coincided with an Open Day at IACA’s campus that gave residents of the surrounding communities the chance to learn more about the organization.

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Also this summer, IACA will host participants in the fifth Anti-Corruption in Local Governance Training (9 – 13 July) and the sixth Procurement Anti-Corruption Training (16 Jul - 17 Aug, of which one week is at IACA), as well as the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) class of 2017 – 2019.

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September will see further IACA programmes including an anti-corruption training for representatives of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, a Regional Summer Academy for participants from East and Southeast Asia, and a seminar on Compliance Technology. Updates on all these activities will be published on IACA’s website and social media platforms.

IACA Board of Governors Holds Second Meeting of 2018

At its second meeting of the year on 28 – 29 June, the IACA Board of Governors approved the Independent External Auditors’ report for the budget year 2017 and discussed preparations for the upcoming seventh session of the Assembly of Parties (AoP), which will convene in Vienna at the end of September.

The external auditors, who were appointed by the Board from senior members of national supreme audit institutions or other suitable institutions of volunteering Parties, conducted the audit earlier this year.

Their report will be submitted to the seventh session of the AoP later this year for final acknowledgement.

Among other items on the agenda were new membership of IACA’s two Advisory Boards and a review of current developments at the organization, including host-country relations and visits.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Eduardo Vetere, the Chairperson of the Board. Members serve in their individual capacity and come from all regions of the globe, as well as from the United Nations.

IACA Joins UN-backed Responsible Education Initiative

IACA this week further underlined its commitment to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by joining the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative.

As a signatory to the PRME’s Six Principles, IACA joins over 650 leading business and management schools from more than 80 countries that have pledged to advance values such as sustainability, responsibility, and ethics in teaching, research, and thought leadership.

The PRME initiative was founded in 2007 and is supported by the UN Global Compact. It aims to realize the SDGs through responsible management education and to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world.

IACA has repeatedly emphasized the need to strengthen global anti-corruption efforts in order to fulfil the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 SDGs. The latter include Goal 16 with its target to “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms”.

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