Skip Navigation
United Kingdom

Anti-Corruption Strategy (UK0065)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom – Third National Action Plan 2016-18

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Cabinet Office and Home Office

Support Institution(s): All government departments; Bond Anti-Corruption Group (ARTICLE 19, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Corruption Watch, Global Witness, Integrity Action, ONE, Public Concern at Work, The Corner House, Transparency International UK), Campaign for Freedom of Information, International Budget Partnership, mySociety, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Publish What You Pay UK

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Objective: To continue to have a robust cross-government Anti-Corruption Strategy that builds on the existing plan and brings together the UK’s current and up-to-date anti-corruption efforts in one place. The plan will be developed with civil society and delivered with strengthened accountability to Parliament.

Status quo: The first UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published in December 2014, features actions that have now been delivered. A new strategy will meet the government’s commitment to create a living document, which evolves alongside the nature of the threat from corruption and our response both here in the UK and abroad.

Ambition: This presents an opportunity for a new strategy to:
• present a strong strategic narrative around our anti-corruption efforts
• to capture international activity from the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit
• to maintain our ambition to develop new commitments in areas of concern

Enhanced engagement with civil society organisations and more accountability to Parliament will help demonstrate the government’s openness to ensuring the principle of transparency is applied to all anti-corruption efforts.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

3. Anti-Corruption Strategy

Commitment Text: To develop, in consultation with civil society, and publish a new Anti-Corruption Strategy ensuring accountability to Parliament on progress of implementation.

Objective:To continue to have a robust cross-government Anti-Corruption Strategy that builds on the existing plan and brings together the UK's current and up-to-date anti-corruption efforts in one place. The plan will be developed with civil society and delivered with strengthened accountability to Parliament.

Status quo:the first UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published in December 2014, features actions that have now been delivered. A new strategy will meet the government's commitment to create a living document that evolves alongside the nature of the threat from corruption and our response both here in the UK and abroad.

Ambition: this presents an opportunity for a new strategy to:

Present a strong strategic narrative around our anti-corruption efforts

To capture international activity from the Prime Minister's Anti-Corruption Summit

To maintain our ambition to develop new commitments in areas of concern

Enhanced engagement with civil society organisations and more accountability to Parliament will help demonstrate the government's openness to ensuring the principle of transparency is applied to all anti-corruption efforts.

Milestones:

1. To consult with civil society on the content of and publish a UK Anti-Corruption Strategy

2. To publish progress against actions within the Strategy

3. To introduce a mechanism allowing greater Parliamentary scrutiny of anti-corruption work

Responsible institution: Cabinet Office and Home Office

Supporting institutions: All government departments, Bond Anti-Corruption Group (ARTICLE 19, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Corruption Watch, Global Witness, Integrity Action, ONE, Public Concern at Work, The Corner House, Transparency International UK), Campaign for Freedom of Information, International Budget Partnership, mySociety, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Publish What You Pay UK

Start date: May 2016

End date: June 2018

Commitment Aim:

The commitment stemmed from a series of anti-corruption initiatives in the second action plan and built on the UK's first Anti-Corruption Plan, published on 18 December 2014. The new strategy created a set of aims against which government action can be assessed or judged. The strategy potentially provided a long-term vision and set of priorities across government for the UK's anti-corruption activities.

Status

Midterm: Limited

At the end of the first year, the commitment's implementation was limited and behind schedule. Although consultation and work has taken place, the publication of the strategy was delayed 11 months beyond its November 2016 deadline.[Note 18: Interview with Alice Pilia and Jeremy Foster, Cabinet Office, 15 August 2017.]

The government cited the change of government in July 2016, the General Election of June 2017 and the need for more time to consult with other governments as the key factors delaying the commitment's implementation.[Note 19: Interview with Alice Pilia and Jeremy Foster, Cabinet Office, 15 August 2017.] CSOs confirmed these factors and felt that a delayed strategy was preferable to a rushed, poor strategy.[Note 20: Interview with Rachel Davies Teka, Transparency International, 14 August 2017. ] Nevertheless, they were disappointed in the delay, as they see this as an important area.[Note 21: Interview with Joseph Williams, 5 September 2017,]

End of term: Substantial

On 11 December 2017 the new 72-page strategy document was published, more than a year later than the government's initial commitment date of November 2016.[Note 22: DFID/Home Office (2017), UK anti-corruption strategy 2017 to 2022, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-anti-corruption-strategy-2017-to-2022 ] It was intended to pull together cross-government strategy and offer a six-point vision for the UK's anti-corruption activities:

1. Reduce the insider threat in high risk domestic sectors

2. Strengthen the integrity of the UK as an international financial centre

3. Promote integrity across the public and private sectors

4. Reduce corruption in public procurement and grants

5. Improve the business environment globally

6. Work with other countries to combat corruption[Note 23: Ibid.]

Following the concerns of partner CSOs, John Penrose MP was appointed as the anti-corruption champion.[Note 24: [1] John Penrose (2017), John Named Anti-Corruption Champion, http://johnpenrose.org/wp/2017/12/11/john-named-anti-corruption-champion/ ]

According to the final government update of April 2018 the Joint Anti-Corruption Unit are now working with departments to implement the strategy and have developed a monitoring and evaluation framework, which was signed off at the cross-Whitehall Directors' meeting on Anti-Corruption.[Note 25: UK government (2018), 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan: April 2018 Commitment Progress Updates, https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/resource/2016-18-open-government-action-plan-april-2018-commitment-progress-updates/ ] In Decmeber 2018, outside of the timeline, the government published an update to the strategy[Note 26: See Home Office (2018) Policy paper Anti-corruption strategy: year 1 update: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anti-corruption-strategy-year-1-update]

While the strategy itself has been published, the move to publish details of what progress is being made is reportedly ‘ongoing' across government.[Note 27: Interview with Katie Holder and Thom Townsend, DCMS, 8 August 2018: UK government (2018) 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan: April 2018 Commitment Progress Updates, https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/resource/2016-18-open-government-action-plan-april-2018-commitment-progress-updates/ ] In terms of the reporting mechanism, it has been decided, according to the UK government, that the parliamentary accountability mechanism will be via an annual written update.[Note 28: Interview with Katie Holder and Thom Townend, DCMS, 8 August 2018.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Marginal

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

The strategy represents an important step forward, but time will be needed to see how or whether the strategy works as a blueprint or guide for action and if it provides the ‘vision' across government that many argued was needed.

The strategy was broadly, if cautiously, welcomed by civil society. The Bond anti-corruption group welcomed the breadth and remit across domestic and international politics, the appointment of a new champion, the maintenance of the Serious Fraud Office and requirement that the government report annually to Parliament. However, it qualified this by saying ‘the Bond Group also feels that in several places the Strategy does not go far enough - for example, on transparency in the Overseas Territories, corruption in UK politics, golden visas and on a criminal corporate liability offence'.[Note 29: Bond Group (2017), UK makes welcome anti-corruption commitments, now action is needed,

 https://www.bond.org.uk/press-releases/2017/12/uk-makes-welcome-anti-corruption-commitments-now-action-is-needed ] Transparency International also called the strategy a ‘welcome advance in the fight against corruption both at home and abroad' but made a similar point that ‘the Strategy fails to address corruption in UK politics and avoids confrontation with Britain's infamous offshore financial centres'.[Note 30: Transparency International (2017), Transparency International gives qualified welcome to new UK Anti-Corruption Strategy, http://www.transparency.org.uk/press-releases/transparency-international-gives-qualified-welcome-to-new-uk-anti-corruption-strategy/#.Wjfgn3nLjIW ]

So far, access to information and public accountability have not improved, especially as the parts of the commitment that track progress were incomplete. The strategy did not contain any new information or open up any new areas. There was a marginal improvement on participation, as members of the Bond group were involved in the consultation and met with government for face-to-face discussion in the summer of 2016. The government accepted that the strategy should cover domestic corruption, the UK's international influence, and the nexus between the two regarding, for example, illicit financial flows.[Note 31: Correspondence with Rachel Davies Teka, Transparency International UK, February 2019] The measuring of progress and annual reporting to parliament will provide a means of understanding its effects into the future, though this may depend on what form it takes (e.g. if there are questions in parliament).

Carried Forward?

This commitment was not carried forward into a new action plan.


Commitments

  1. Grants Data

    UK0090, 2019, E-Government

  2. Public Participation

    UK0091, 2019, E-Government

  3. Open Policy Making

    UK0092, 2019, Public Participation

  4. Open Contracting Data

    UK0093, 2019, E-Government

  5. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0094, 2019, E-Government

  6. Innovation in Democracy Programme

    UK0095, 2019, Public Participation

  7. Sustainable Open Government

    UK0096, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Local Transparency

    UK0097, 2019, E-Government

  9. Beneficial Ownership – UK

    UK0063, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0064, 2016, Extractive Industries

  11. Anti-Corruption Strategy

    UK0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  12. Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

    UK0066, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Open Contracting

    UK0067, 2016, E-Government

  14. Grants Data

    UK0068, 2016, E-Government

  15. Elections Data

    UK0069, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Revising Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice

    UK0070, 2016, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. Identifying and Publishing Core Data Assets

    UK0071, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  18. Involving Data Users in Shaping the Future of Open Data

    UK0072, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Better Use of Data Assets

    UK0073, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. GOV.UK

    UK0074, 2016, Open Data

  21. Ongoing Collaborative Approach to Open Government Reform

    UK0075, 2016, E-Government

  22. Open Government at All Levels

    UK0076, 2016, OGP

  23. Open Policy-Making and Public Engagement

    UK0077, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Public Sector Innovation

    UK0078, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. OCDS Implementation

    UK0079, 2016, E-Government

  26. Open-Up Government

    UK0080, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Open Data Plan

    UK0081, 2016, E-Government

  28. Open Data Service

    UK0082, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Statswales

    UK0083, 2016, E-Government

  30. Data Research Centre Wales

    UK0084, 2016, E-Government

  31. Government Social Research Publication Protocol

    UK0085, 2016, E-Government

  32. Gov.Wales

    UK0086, 2016, E-Government

  33. Code of Practice in Supply Chains

    UK0087, 2016, Labor

  34. Starred commitment National Indicators for Wales

    UK0088, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Starred commitment Well-Being Duty

    UK0089, 2016, E-Government

  36. National Information Infrastructure

    UK0042, 2013, Records Management

  37. NHS England Website and Network

    UK0043, 2013, Health

  38. Revised Local Authories Data Transparency Code

    UK0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Transparent Social Investment Market

    UK0045, 2013, Open Data

  40. Manage and Capture Digital Records

    UK0046, 2013, Capacity Building

  41. Starred commitment Cross-Government Anti-Corruption Plan

    UK0047, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  42. Starred commitment Company Beneficial Ownership Information

    UK0048, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  43. Access to Police Records

    UK0049, 2013, Justice

  44. Transparency in Construction

    UK0050, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  45. Legislative Openness

    UK0051, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  46. Whistleblowing

    UK0052, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  47. Open Contracting

    UK0053, 2013, Open Contracting and Procurement

  48. Open Contracting Scotland

    UK0054, 2013, E-Government

  49. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency

    UK0055, 2013, Aid

  50. Health Care Data

    UK0056, 2013, Health

  51. Open Policy Making

    UK0057, 2013, E-Government

  52. Sciencewise

    UK0058, 2013, E-Government

  53. Publication of Draft Legislation

    UK0059, 2013, Legislature

  54. Opendatacommunities Programme

    UK0060, 2013, E-Government

  55. PSI Re-Use Directive

    UK0061, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  56. Starred commitment Extractive Transparency

    UK0062, 2013, E-Government

  57. Ensuring a Clear Process to Support Reduction in Collection of ‘Unnecessary Data’

    UK0024, 2011, E-Government

  58. Developing Data.Gov.Uk and Identifying Other Digital Channels to Support Users

    UK0025, 2011,

  59. Evidence and Databases Behind Policy Statements

    UK0026, 2011, E-Government

  60. Data Underlying Surveys

    UK0027, 2011, E-Government

  61. Examining Ways for Improving the Use of Existing Published Data

    UK0028, 2011, E-Government

  62. Stimulate the Market for Innovative Use of Open Data

    UK0029, 2011, Open Data

  63. Spend up to 5% of Budget Support on Accountability

    UK0030, 2011, E-Government

  64. Include the OGP Eligibility Criteria to Determine Readiness for UK Budget Support

    UK0031, 2011, Aid

  65. Publish Aid Information from All ODA Government Departments

    UK0032, 2011, Aid

  66. Use a Single Domain for Government Services

    UK0033, 2011, E-Government

  67. Mandate ‘Channel Shift’

    UK0034, 2011, E-Government

  68. Go Online for All Consultations

    UK0035, 2011, E-Government

  69. Develop Practical Guidelines on Departmental Access to Internet and Social Media

    UK0036, 2011, Civic Space

  70. Open Data and Application Interfaces in Ways That Encourage Businesses

    UK0037, 2011, E-Government

  71. Create Cross-Government Standards on APIs

    UK0038, 2011,

  72. Establish Standardised Formats for User-Satisfaction Data

    UK0039, 2011, Records Management

  73. Provide Government Documents in Open Standard Format

    UK0040, 2011, E-Government

  74. Implement Crowd-Sourcing and Engagement Processes

    UK0041, 2011,

  75. New Power to Secure Release of Valuable Datasets

    UK0001, 2011,

  76. New, Higher Cost Cap for FOI

    UK0002, 2011, Right to Information

  77. Meaningful Disincentives

    UK0003, 2011,

  78. Maximum Time Limits

    UK0004, 2011, Right to Information

  79. Altered Procurement Rules

    UK0005, 2011,

  80. Mandating Phased Introduction of ‘Public by Default’

    UK0006, 2011, E-Government

  81. Formalising Public Data Principles

    UK0007, 2011, Records Management

  82. Having in Place an Open Data Compliance Monitoring Process

    UK0008, 2011, Records Management

  83. Making Clear the Minimum Citizens Can Expect on Publication and Quality of Data

    UK0009, 2011,

  84. Ensuring a Line of Continuous Improvement for Public Service Providers

    UK0010, 2011, Open Data

  85. Encourage Continuous Improvement

    UK0011, 2011, Records Management

  86. Setting Out How Citizens Can Challenge Where There Is Failure in the Process

    UK0012, 2011, Public Participation

  87. Establishing an Obligation to Consider and Act on User Feedback

    UK0013, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Making Clear That Licenses Must Cover Free, Commercial Re-Use

    UK0014, 2011,

  89. Merge Information Asset Registers…Into a Single Data Inventory

    UK0015, 2011,

  90. Set Consistent Expectations of the Appropriate Quality of Meta-Data

    UK0016, 2011, Records Management

  91. For Data Co-Ordinated Across Government, Set Definitions

    UK0017, 2011, E-Government

  92. Introducing Corporate Responsibility at Transparency Board Level

    UK0018, 2011, Records Management

  93. Strengthening and Broadening the Public Sector Transparency Board

    UK0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  94. Bringing the Sector Transparency Board Model to Other Parts of Public Sector

    UK0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  95. Reviewing the Existing Governance and Regulatory Model

    UK0021, 2011, Records Management

  96. Establishing a Framework for Public Service Providers Data Inventories

    UK0022, 2011, Records Management

  97. Developing a Clear Methodology to Support Intelligent Inventories

    UK0023, 2011, Records Management