Corruption is a significant threat to global growth and financial stability. Corruption destroys public trust, undermines the rule of law, skews competition, impedes cross-border investment and trade, and distorts resource allocation. As a group of the world’s largest economies, the G20 is continuing to fight corruption and alleviate its negative impact on economic activity. There are practical steps that all G20 members can take to reduce the costs of corruption for growth and development. In 2014, the G20 developed high-level principles on beneficial ownership transparency to improve the transparency of company ownership and control. This will support a stronger investment climate and will also protect developing countries from losing further revenue.
G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group
(Co-chairs in 2014: Australia and Italy)
G20 Leaders established the Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) at the Toronto Summit in 2010 in recognition of the significant negative impact of corruption on economic growth, trade and development. Since 2010, the work of the ACWG has been guided by two-year action plans that include commitments by G20 countries to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption, criminalise and prosecute foreign bribery, and cooperate with other countries to investigate, prosecute and return the proceeds of corruption. The G20 renews its pledge to fully implement actions agreed in previous action plans. In 2014, the ACWG held three meetings:
A high priority for the G20 in 2014 is the effective implementation and enforcement of all outstanding G20 anti?corruption commitments. Key achievements to date include: development of the G20 High-Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership Transparency (2014) a commitment by all G20 countries to complete a self-assessment of their domestic foreign bribery frameworks, and to provide annual updates (see 2014 self-assessments by country) to the ACWG on their progress as part of the annual ACWG Accountability Report questionnaire the development of the G20 High-Level Principles on Corruption and Growth (2014) resulting from a continuing study on the impact of corruption on growth, led by the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) development of the G20 Compendium of Good Practices for Integrity in Public Procurement (2014) development of the G20 Guiding Principles on Enforcement of the Foreign Bribery Offence (2013) and note development of the G20 Guiding Principles to Combat Solicitation (2013) and note development of the G20 High-Level Principles on Mutual Legal Assistance (2013) and note development of the Requesting Mutual Legal Assistance In Criminal Matters from G20 Countries (2012) development of the G20 Asset Recovery Guides (by country) (2014).
At the 16-17 October ACWG meeting, the Group reached agreement on the 2015-16 G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan. The plan will guide the G20 Anti-Corruption Agenda following the completion of the current Action Plan. The ACWG has also agreed to a 2015-16 G20 Anti-Corruption Implementation Plan, which provides a detailed outline of the Group’s work program for 2015-16. Leaders endorsed the 2015-16 Action Plan at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane in November 2014. The ACWG works closely with G20 engagement groups, including representatives of business and civil society, in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Agenda. In 2014, the G20 Engagement Groups have participated in every meeting of the ACWG. The G20 Anti-Corruption Roundtable in February brought together representatives of G20 engagement groups and the ACWG to discuss the future G20 Anti-Corruption Agenda.
The Roundtable opening address was delivered by Australia’s Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis QC. Another forum, the OECD-G20 High-Level Anti-Corruption Conference for Governments and Business in June , also involved representatives of G20 engagement groups. In addition, the B20 has recently established the Collective Action Hub, a collaborative anti-corruption information sharing forum for businesses and governments. Resources from the Anti-corruption Working Group are available on the Current Presidency page of the G20 Official Resources library.