From 27 February to 1 March, the High Authority was invited by Argentinian and French authorities – co-chairing the Group of Twenty (G20) – to take part in the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and a related side event, which were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The fight against corruption has been officially on the agenda of G20 leaders since 2009 and its Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) was created at the Toronto Summit in June 2010. Transparency and integrity in the public sector are main priorities of the current G20 Presidency.
The side event is an opportunity for the Presidency to organize round tables on a priority topic for the host country. In this edition, Argentina has chosen the theme of curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Emilie Cazenave, international partnerships coordinator, represented the High Authority by moderating two of the five round tables of the side event (sessions 1 and 3). The first session focused on core corruption risk factors in SOEs and allowed representatives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Petrobras and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to analyze the specificities of public companies in the face of these challenges. The second session dealt with transparency and integrity in key SOE sectors. The third session highlighted practices for preventing and managing risks, and for fostering integrity in SOEs, based on experiences of Latin American public companies, Transparency International and the Inter-American Development Bank. Finally, in the last two sessions, recent experiences in Argentina, China, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and Turkey, were shared. In general, all panelists agreed on the need to create, encourage and promote a culture of integrity and transparency in SOEs as a way of strengthening citizens’ trust in the actions of these entities.
The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group met to discuss the prevention of conflicts of interest. In this context, the High Authority’s missions of preventing conflicts of interest, advising public officials, and regulating revolving doors and lobbying, were presented. Canadian and Argentinean experiences in this area were also presented to all delegates of the G20 member states. The questions raised during the session, and in parallel, underlined a particular interest in the advisory function of the High Authority, which helps French public officials to avoid placing themselves in situations of conflict of interest. The objective of the group is to adopt high-level principles – currently under discussion – for the prevention of conflicts of interest. The group’s next meeting is planned for June in Paris.