The National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection of Mexico (INAI) organized the Network’s second plenary session in Mexico City on 10 and 11 December 2018. These two days were an occasion to look back on the actions carried out since the creation of the Network in Paris on 9 December 2016, in parallel of the Open Government Partnership Global Summit.
The High Authority, which held the vice-presidency until 10 December, succeeded the INAI as the president of the Network. The National Integrity Agency (ANI) will be the vice-president. Beyond this handover, the first day allowed to look back on the first two years of existence of the Network, which was an occasion to recall that the initiative counts an additional member in 2017 and two new observers in 2018. In addition, the Network’s visibility increased thanks to the workshops and panels organized in parallel of events of international organizations or initiatives, such as the workshops and panels created on the sidelines of events held by international organizations or initiatives, like the Network’s workshop organized in Paris in March 2018, or the panels at the global summit of the Open Government Partnership in Tbilisi in July 2018, and at the International Anti-corruption Conference in Copenhagen last October.
During the year 2018, three working groups were set up on ethics in the public sector, on digital tools and open data to promote transparency and integrity, and on international anti-corruption initiatives. Each group was able to report on the objectives pursued and the progress of its work. The three groups decided to produce publications for members that should be released in 2019. The High Authority acts as the rapporteur of the working group on developing digital tools and open data to promote transparency and integrity. Emilie Cazenave, International partnerships coordinator, presented the activity report of this group that was followed by a discussion which will enrich and strengthen the ongoing exchanges. Moreover, to end this first day, Alice Bossière, deputy secretary general, presented the roadmap of the High Authority and the ANI for the upcoming two years. The activities to be led will following on from the actions implemented during the first two years, with a will to launch new projects and to discuss topics that are essential for the members, such as conflicts of interest or the influence and regulation of lobbying.
A public event was organized during the second day. After an opening ceremony, Alice Bossière, delivered a keynote speech on the notion of integrity and the integrative nature of the integrity policies, in France and in other countries represented in the Network, but also at the international level. Five panels followed one another to review the missions, challenges and results of the members of the Network, as well as the analyzes of representatives of international organizations. The panelists underlined that an atmosphere of mistrust towards public officials still prevails on all continents. They also reiterated the necessity to fully implement legislative and regulatory provisions, and to improve national public integrity systems. Besides, cooperation with actors in charge of preventing and fighting corruption, but also with anti-money laundering services, remains crucial to the full implementation of the missions of the members of the Network. The latter also stressed the importance of this singular and specific initiative, in which they can freely discuss their tools and procedures, the obstacles they face, and their achievements. Finally, the commitment of citizens and civil society organizations was highlighted as an indispensable condition to ensure an actual cultural evolution in terms of public integrity.
A few days after the International Anti-Corruption Day, the members of the Network renewed their commitment to continue their exchanges on transparency, ethics and integrity in the public sector. In the upcoming weeks, the High Authority will pursue the facilitation of their regular discussions within the working group on digital tools. The next plenary session will be held in Paris in two years, to close the presidency by the High Authority of the Network for integrity.