UK backs global anti-corruption academy

Britain has extended its support to a new international anti-corruption academy aimed at boosting the fight against fraud, bribery and theft across the world.

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2010, 16:32 PM IST

London: Britain has extended its support
to a new international anti-corruption academy aimed at
boosting the fight against fraud, bribery and theft across the
world.

International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell,
said the academy will provide professional training and
technical expertise to individuals and teams tasked with
combating the scourge of corruption in both developed and
developing countries.

The academy, launched in Laxenberg (Austria) last
week, is the first anti-corruption centre of excellence that
will focus on all aspects of global corruption activity, from
early prevention through to asset recovery.

The UK will be one of 31 founder member countries who
will direct the academy`s work.

Training will focus on four key pillars, based on the
UN Convention against Corruption that are prevention,
criminalisation, international cooperation and asset recovery.

While the prevention aspect of it aims at activities
designed to block corruption upstream including stronger
government systems and safe-guards, the criminalisation is to
use the legal system to catch and prosecute those involved in
fraud and theft.

Increasing joint operations to combat cross-border
corruption, and using robust auditing practices to track
proceeds and return stolen money to the country it came from,
will be among the key features of the system.

Mitchell said: "Corruption is a plague that hits the
world`s poorest people hardest.

"This Government has incredibly tough safe-guards in
place to protect UK funds against corruption but we must
strengthen the international effort if we are to make real and
credible progress globally".

The academy will offer a variety of training, ranging
from one-day courses to full three year degree level
education.

Expert trainers and teachers will be based in Vienna
but ready to deploy to specific countries to run courses
tailored to circumstances on the ground.

The launch is part of ongoing efforts to increase the
implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, which
came into force in 2006.

An international `Peer Review` is currently underway,
which will assess whether the 146 countries which are parties
to the Convention are implementing it effectively.

Thirty countries have already been selected for
review, which will take place during the next six months.

The UK has provided 250,000 pounds to support the
start-up of the academy.

PTI