Anti-corruption summit London 2016

New Zealand Government's pledges tracked from the Anti-Corruption Summit London 2016

David Dunsheath

TINZ Board Member

Delegated authority for Parliamentary Relations and Co-Editor Newsletter

In May 2016, 43 countries and six international organisations were convened at the Global Anti-Corruption Summit in London (ACS). The Summit encouraged the pursuit of ambitious individual action plans by asking countries to make specific commitments or pledges.

Following the Summit, Transparency International (TI) and a network of partner organisations including TINZ, began monitoring the implementation of ACS pledges: 384 made by governments and 69 by international organisations. Transparency International UK (TI UK) published in September 2017 a high-level report “Promise to Practice: Monitoring Global Progress of the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit Commitments" based on TI’s pledge-tracing database.

Of the New Zealand Government’s total of seven ACS commitments, one is reported to be completed namely:

INTERNATIONAL SPORT INTEGRITY PARTNERSHIP: “NZ will work with the international sports bodies to develop a partnership for combating corruption in sport.” (with no ongoing pledges).

New Zealand has five ACS commitments reported to be ‘Underway’ as follows:

  • TRANSPARENCY AND INTEGRITY (Public Procurement): “NZ will continue and intensify efforts to develop procurement capability, including initiatives that safeguard integrity in the procurement process”, as evidenced by the NZ Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS).
  • PUBLIC REGISTER (Beneficial Ownership): “NZ commits to exploring the establishment of a public central register of company beneficial ownership information.” No evidence is offered (For details of TINZ concerns, refer to "Public register of beneficial owners saves time and money" in this newsletter).
  • FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (Anti-Money Laundering): “NZ will also explore how to appropriately incorporate the FATF standards on preventing money laundering in the non-financial professional services sector into domestic legislation”, as evidenced by The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill passed in August 2017, establishing "Phase 2" of New Zealand's AML/CFT laws. Work is underway.
  • DENIAL OF ENTRY (Denial of Entry): “NZ will also, where appropriate under New Zealand law, deny entry to specific individuals who are identified as being involved in grand scale corruption.” No evidence is offered.
  • ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT (Beneficial Ownership): “NZ will also continue to implement bilateral arrangements that will ensure law enforcement in one partner country has full and effective access to the beneficial ownership information of companies incorporated in the other partner country.” – No evidence is offered.

New Zealand’s remaining ACS commitment is deemed “inactive”, namely:

DEBARMENT DATABASE (Public Procurement): “NZ will explore establishing an accessible and central database of companies with final convictions for bribery and corruption offences, and ways of sharing information on corrupt bidders across borders.”

For comparison, global progress is summarised across 453 pledges (comittments) within status categories as follows:

global progress summarised across 453 pledges within status categories

The role of TINZ has been to:

  1. Select the New Zealand ACS commitments for Transparency International to monitor, after eliminating any which were too vague to track.
  2. Contact and work with our Government to: (i) identify the government department responsible for delivering each ACS commitment; (ii) inform the responsible department that their progress will be monitored; and (iii) identify the expected timeline for delivering each commitment.
  3. Track the ACS commitments by: (i) looking for and providing public evidence for each commitment where progress had been made; and (ii) making a note of which commitments were ‘inactive’, ‘overdue’, ‘ongoing’, ‘underway’ or ‘complete’.

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