Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–November 12, 2010. Today, the President joined other G-20 leaders in releasing a comprehensive Action Plan to strengthen anti-corruption efforts worldwide. With this initiative, the G-20 signaled its commitment to fighting corruption in the public and private sectors and ensuring that corrupt officials cannot access our financial institutions or find safe haven in our countries.
The G-20’s agenda is built around three pillars: (1) a common approach to building an effective global anti-corruption regime, the principles of which are enshrined in the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC); (2) specific commitments to show collective leadership by taking action in high priority areas that affect our economies; and (3) a commitment to directly engaging our private sector stakeholders in the development and implementation of innovative and cooperative practices in support of a clean business environment.
The United States believes that the central challenge in driving forward this agenda is not in figuring out what needs to be done. The UNCAC, the Anti-Bribery Convention, and the Financial Action Task Force, among other instruments, outline the necessary steps and set in place clear and high standards. Our collective challenge is to summon the political will to embrace these instruments and standards, strengthen them where appropriate, but most importantly take actions to effectively implement them. This is why the Action Plan endorsed by the G-20 today is so important.
Under the Action Plan, G-20 Leaders agreed to lead by example in key areas, including: to accede or ratify and effectively implement the UNCAC and promote a transparent and inclusive review process; adopt and enforce laws against the bribery of foreign public officials; prevent access of corrupt officials to the global financial system; consider a cooperative framework for the denial of entry to corrupt officials, extradition, and asset recovery; protect whistleblowers; and safeguard anticorruption bodies.
U.S. Leadership to Combat Corruption
The G-20 Action Plan builds on the President’s global leadership in the fight against corruption, which this Administration has made a top national priority. Over the past year, U.S. leadership has included:
Prosecuting Bribery and Corruption Overseas
- Increased enforcement capacity to pursue bribery of officials overseas, including enhanced enforcement efforts of the Fraud Section at the Department of Justice and the creation of a dedicated unit at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has helped to level the playing field for ethical businesses that operate internationally.
- Filing 105 enforcement actions involving bribery of foreign officials overseas since the beginning of 2009, and collecting over $2 billion in criminal and civil penalties.
Denying Safe Haven to Kleptocrats and Proceeds of Corruption
- Using Presidential Proclamation 7750 and other immigration authorities to prevent corrupt officials and those who pay them bribes from entering the United States, with increased focus on corruption in extractive industries and a decision to double staffing to provide more capacity to the State Department’s anti-kleptocracy efforts.
- Launched a Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, initiating the process to substantially increase staffing in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to pursue the proceeds of foreign official corruption and foster international cooperation.
Developing the International Standards and Architecture for Fighting Corruption
- Led the creation and initiation of a new peer review mechanism to review the efforts of 147 countries in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and set an example to other countries by being one of the first countries to be reviewed.
- Continued U.S. leadership in the OECD Working Group on Bribery including by: ensuring greater accountability through published statistics on investigations and prosecutions; negotiating a new OECD Recommendation to enhance the implementation and enforcement of the Antibribery Convention; developing good practice guidance to help companies strengthen compliance programs to prevent and detect bribery; promoting regular meetings of prosecutors to address cross-cutting issues; and supporting the third phase of monitoring on enforcement of transnational bribery laws.
Building Capacity of Other Governments to Tackle Corruption
- Provided over $1 billion in fiscal year 2009 in anti-corruption and related good governance assistance aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and participation in government institutions and public processes at all levels.
- Posted expert prosecutors and law enforcement officers in over 35 countries this year to assist in building sound and fair justice systems and establishing non-corrupt institutions. Provided specialized anticorruption assistance, including three initial pilot programs on recovery of assets stowed abroad by corrupt officials, in targeted countries.
- Signed three new Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts in 2009 and 2010 totaling $1.2 billion with countries selected, in part, on performance on control of corruption.
Promoting Public-Private Partnerships against Corruption
- Increased efforts in business education and awareness including outreach to potential importers and investors in developing countries and support for ethics initiatives.
- With this year’s financial commitment, became the largest donor to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative — providing $10.5 million to the Trust Fund over the last three years — and worked with international organizations, the private sector, and governments to help resource rich countries build transparent and accountable practices in the extractive industries sector.
- Worked with the U.S. Congress to pass a “Publish What You Pay” law requiring that oil, gas, and mining companies report payments to the U.S. or any foreign government for resource extraction.