The International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) was held in Copenhagen from 22 to 24 October. 1,500 representatives from both the public and the private sectors, as well as from civil society and international organizations, took part in this edition. The theme chosen this year was “Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is The Time to Act”. 70 sessions and panels followed one another during the three-day conference. They addressed current anti-corruption efforts around the world, alongside projects, innovations and new approaches in the area of promoting integrity, transparency and access to information, and with regard to money laundering, asset recovery, etc.
The first day was devoted to high-level discussions. France was represented for the first time at ministerial level by the Secretary of State Olivier Dussopt. In his various speeches, he reviewed the reforms implemented since 2013 and the results of the High Authority, of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office and the French Anti-Corruption Agency. Moreover, during a special session on open government, Mr. Dussopt pointed out the commitments of France, and notably of the High Authority, within the Open Government Partnership, and underlined France’s involvement in promoting transparency, integrity in the public and private sectors, and in preventing and fighting corruption.
After being invited to speak at a plenary session at the IACC’s 2015 edition in Malaysia and to participate in a panel on public integrity in Panama in 2016, this year, the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life took part in a session on “promoting accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”. This session was co-organized by the High Authority, on behalf of the Network for Integrity, of which the High Authority carries out the functions of vice president and permanent secretary, and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank and the UNODC.
Two members of the Network, the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (Mexico), represented by Commissioner Salas Suarez, and the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life, represented by Emilie Cazenave, international partnerships coordinator, participated in this panel. Emile Van der Does, the coordinator for StAR, moderated the panel, which was also composed by Laura Pop, World Bank expert on financial and interest disclosure for StAR, and Tetiana Shevchuk, legal counsel for the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Ukrainian civil society organization. The goal of the panel was to share innovative projects and experiences aimed at promoting transparency, ethics and integrity in the public sector.
Emilie Cazenave presented the digital tools created by the High Authority to collect and control asset and interest declarations. She also mentioned the open data strategy of the institution, which aims to improve how data from declarations and from the lobbying register are published, understood and reused. These subjects resonated with the trends highlighted by Laura Pop, the ongoing reforms in Mexico, and the projects conducted by Tetiana Shevchuk in Ukrainian civil society.
Discussions with the audience focused on the High Authority’s core mission, namely the control of declarations. Questions dealt with the development of digital tools, the strategies to involve civil society, the publicity given to declarations, the frequency with which to declare one’s interests and assets, the declaration of assets of family members or its absence, and the means of investigation for instance.
On the sidelines of the conference, several bilateral exchanges with representatives of foreign institutions, international organizations and development agencies should lead to new cooperation projects. Besides, the panel’s discussions will continue among members of the Network for Integrity’s working group on digital tools and the promotion of transparency and integrity, notably during the Network’s upcoming plenary session in Mexico in December.