More than 200 senior anticorruption officials and heads of investigation and prosecution agencies have gathered at World Bank Headquarters for ICHA 2012.
Meeting themes include international cooperation, technological innovation, regional priorities and transnational enforcement.
This year's meeting of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance is supported by the Governments of Australia and Denmark.
June 5, 2012 - The World Bank Group is hosting the second meeting of its International Corruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA) on June 5- 6, 2012. With support from the governments of Australia, Denmark amd the donors to the StAR Initiative, this international gathering brings together more than 200 senior anticorruption officials and heads of investigation and prosecution agencies from all six regions where the World Bank operates.
With a focus on international cooperation, regional priorities, technological innovations and stronger transnational enforcement, the actions and experiences of members of the Alliance are defining progress for a concrete and sustainable foundation against global corruption.
Leading with Integrity: ICHA 2012 is accelerating the global momentum against corruption.
At the first ICHA meeting in December 2010 members agreed on a number of priority actions:
Step-up criminal action against corrupt officials
Pursue multi-jurisdictional prosecution
Track and return illegal proceeds
Provide effective tools and information to prevent and attack corruption
Monitor and disclose investigative results
Since then, the Bank and its partners have taken a leading role in supporting these priorities.
ICHA Progress Highlights: Collective Action against Corrupt Officials
Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission, the KPK, secured jail terms against thirty-nine people; seized one billion rupiahs of bribe money in a sting operation; and is now using a new National Integrity Index to track the performance of government officials. Working with Interpol, the KPK successfully extradited two corrupt fugitives, both of whom have been tried and sentenced.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office efforts led to a court order for Macmillan Publishers to pay more than £11 million for its unlawful conduct in a World Bank education project in South Sudan.
A prosecution by Norwegian authorities led to the bribery conviction of three individuals connected to a World Bank-financed project in Tanzania.
This Alliance is a gathering of the like-minded in the global fight against corruption. Here at the World Bank we help law enforcement authorities in their pursuit for credible investigations and bringing competent prosecutions so that judges can judge. We build a spirit of resilience and subscribe to the belief that the rule of law is paramount.
— Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Vice President for Integrity
Breaking through Information Barriers Many corruption fighters are familiar with the challenge of quality and accessible information.
When ICHA was launched in 2010, members agreed improving the quality and speed of information sharing among anti-corruption authorities was a top priority. For many, it is a question of capacity, resources and access. Working with members of the Alliance through memoranda of understanding and parallel investigations, the World Bank is demonstrating how bilateral and multilateral cooperation can make information more accessible in a way that can expedite investigative outcomes.
Recovering Stolen Assets and Driving the Anti-Corruption Agenda: What are Alliance Members Doing?
A partnership of the World Bank Group and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR helps countries recover stolen assets by connecting them with international authorities and financial centers, and providing research, policy advice and technical expertise. This year, StAR helped Tunisia recover two jets worth an estimated $US 30 million that had been hidden in Europe. In his address to ICHA members, the World Bank Group President acknowledged “international commitment and cooperation toward asset recovery” as critical to supporting such actions.
At the request of the ICHA, StAR is finalizing a study on settlements related to foreign bribery cases. The study’s findings are being shared at ICHA 2012 to inform its future program of action. In addition, the Bank is an active member of the international investigators community and through the Alliance and other initiative such as the Global Focal Points on asset recovery is fostering links between international and national enforcement agencies.
ICHA 2012: What next?
In his opening address to the Alliance, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick called on members to insist on greater integrity in financial institutions. Not surprisingly Alliance members voted this among the priorities defining the outcome of their meeting.
Many recognize that an accountability function is critical to reducing corrupt behavior. The majority are looking to the Alliance for knowledge, advice and support on how best to implement and monitor accountability as part of their integrity agenda. Many members of the Alliance also acknowledged that political corruption and public procurement represent the most significant vulnerabilities to sustaining progress in their fight against corruption.
Maintaining the focus on international cooperation and information exchange, capacity gaps, knowledge resources and promoting best practice is another area where the collective experience of the alliance members can help.
In its global circle of investigators, prosecutors, regulatory and anticorruption officials, the International Corruption Hunters Alliance, with the support of the World Bank, is ready to take the fight to the next level.
About the World Bank’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance: The World Bank’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA) was launched in 2010 with the support of the Governments of Australia, Denmark and Norway. ICHA 2012 is sponsored by the Governments of Australia and Denmark, the World Bank, the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative (WB/UNODC).
In conjunction with ICHA 2012, the World Bank is also hosting a Technology Expo which features technological tools and resources that can support forensic work and financial investigations.
As part of the ICHA 2012 program, the World Bank, in partnership with StAR/UNODC and George Washington University are hosting a training program on operational skills for financial investigators.