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One year on: How OGP can make the most of the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit

Jameela Raymond|

This time last year the international anti-corruption community had its eyes on London, where a global Anti-Corruption Summit would take place and our leaders would make promises with the potential to catalyse our shared goals. Between the 43 governments represented (for which 11 Heads of Government attended the Summit), Transparency International counted 648 commitments which were either ‘concrete’ or ‘somewhat concrete’.

As I wrote last year, if implemented those 648 commitments could make a real impact on the levels of corruption around the world – but only once they are implemented will we be able to see which leaders are serious about the global agenda for anti-corruption, transparency and accountability. 548 of these commitments were made by the now 34 OGP countries that were represented at the Summit (Germany and Afghanistan have since joined), and it is still crucial that as many of those commitments as possible are embedded in upcoming the national action plans for the OGP countries that were at the Summit.

In December 2016, around the OGP Global Summit in Paris, the OGP’s Anti-Corruption Working Group looked through the commitments from the Summit, and found that a third of the commitments were “ready to incorporate” into OGP national action plans. Currently, across the 22 national action plans published by OGP countries who were at the Summit, 46 commitments have been taken from the Summit and embedded in the action plans. This means that those 46 commitments are now time-bound pledges which sit in a formal mechanism for accountability and follow-up – making them a lot more difficult for their governments to abandon. Some of the most exciting commitments that have made it from Summit statements to national action plans are:

  • Ukraine has committed to improve the mechanism for verifying information about ultimate beneficial owners by 2018
  • Nigeria will adopt the Open Contracting Data Standard and establish a public register of company beneficial ownership by the end of 2019
  • Australia will improve whistleblower protection for those who report corruption, fraud, tax abuse and misconduct within the corporate sector by June 2018

For the commitments that haven’t gone into the OGP national action plans, there are other ways we can publicly hold our leaders to account. The UK Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker is Transparency International UK’s way of keeping a close eye on our Government’s activity on the pledges that it made, and we are working with partners in Kenya, Ghana and Afghanistan to develop national pledge trackers in their countries too. Each tracker is different – different sizes, scopes, languages and designs – but they all have some things in common. They enable citizens in their country and beyond to watch whether progress is or isn’t being made on specific issues and, most importantly, they let the government know that we are watching.

In the UK we’ve found the Pledge Tracker to be an exceptionally effective accountability tool, and there’s no reason why an equivalent can’t also be as effective in your country – whether for Anti-Corruption Summit commitments or for other commitments from your national action plan. If you’re interested in finding out how our Pledge Tracker works and learn how to develop one yourself, feel free to get in touch with jameela.raymond@transparency.org.uk.

I’ll be collaborating with the Anti-Corruption Working Group to co-host webinars on 18 May (11:00 GMT and 17:00 GMT), where we’ll be discussing practical assistance for embedding Summit commitments into your action plans, how to monitor progress of your government’s Anti-Corruption Summit commitments, and showcasing the newly launched pledge trackers from Ghana, Kenya and Afghanistan. If you’d like to join these webinars, please email jmarin@transparency.org to register your interest.

 

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