Anti-Corruption and Transparency
In Los Cabos in 2002 and in Bangkok in 2003, APEC Economic Leaders committed to implementing general and area-specific APEC Transparency Standards. In November 2004 in Chile, APEC Leaders acknowledged that corruption is a serious threat to APEC Agenda and priorities to sustainable economic growth, good governance, market integrity and enhanced trade and investment in the Pacific Region and they agreed that APEC could make a difference by working together to fight corruption and promote transparency in the Asia Pacific region.
In this regard, and given the crosscutting nature of activities related to combating corruption and ensuring transparency, there was a need for a procedural structure to promote and coordinate this matter within APEC framework. In 2005, APEC Senior Officials established the Anti-Corruption Experts’ Task Force, which was upgraded to a Working Group in March 2011, following a 2010 recommendation from its members to institutionalize its work. The last update of the Terms of Reference of the Group was made in February 2018. The ACTWG Strategic Plan for 2019-2022 can be accessed here.
The Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group (ACTWG) is tasked to coordinate the implementation of the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency (2004), the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption (2004) and the APEC Transparency Standards. It also has the purpose to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations against Corruption (UNCAC). In 2014, the Working Group adopted the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption.
Observing the urgent demand for enhancing join efforts against transnational corruption and considering the necessity to advance greater collaboration and cross-border coordination between APEC economies in the region, the ACTWG established a Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcements Agencies (ACT-NET) during its 17th Meeting in Indonesia, 2013. As a subsidiary body, ACT-NET reports annually to the ACT Chair and ACTWG on its activities.
The ACT-NET aims to supplement existing cooperation programs and assist in the implementation of ACTWG’s decisions and other international initiatives against corruption. Consistent with each economy’s legal system, it provides an informal platform for bilateral—or multilateral if appropriate—case cooperation in the areas of corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade. In conjunction with the ACTWG, it will coordinate with other anti-corruption organizations and activities to facilitate contact, communication, and capacity building among regional anti-corruption partners, and advance pragmatic cooperation in fighting corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade. The Terms of Reference of the Network can be accessed here.
Last page update: May 2019
The ACTWG had its 28th Plenary Meeting on the 1st and 2nd of March 2019 in Santiago de Chile. Ms. Marta Herrera, Director of Specialized Unit of Anti-Corruption – Public Prosecutor Office (Chile)- chaired the Meeting.
In the meetings, members reported on their progress and developments regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, and other international compromises related to anti-corruption and transparency. ACTWG also approved its Workplan 2019 proposed by Chile, which contains several activities and actions that will be carried out this year, among them, the celebration of the 15 years of the Group’s establishment. ACTWG discussed actively how to move its work forward to continue implementing its commitments, strengthening cooperation and promoting cross-border coordination between APEC Member economies. Representatives of UNDP, UNODC, Transparency International and World Bank, attended the meeting and discussed with ACTWG members on further collaboration in anti-corruption and transparency initiatives at the regional and global level.
Two side events leaded by Chile took place in the margins of the 28th ACTWG Plenary Meeting: a) self-funded Workshop “on Digital Governance, Integrity Policies and Corruption Prevention Mechanisms in APEC Economies” on February 27; and a Cross-Fora Collaboration Meeting (28 February). In this Meeting, ACTWG members interacted with other APEC Foras representatives to identify areas where further coordination can be developed: Customs (SCCP), Gender (PPWE) and SMEs (SMEsWG).
The ACT-NET held its 5th Plenary Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in August 2018. In the meeting, chaired by Ms Jena Kuliniasi (Papua New Guinea), law enforcement officials and representatives from APEC Member economies shared information on anti-money laundering and asset recovery cases, and domestic working mechanisms on cooperation across borders on bribery related cases. ACT-NET discussed the importance of ensuring intra-government and cross-border cooperation to tackle the challenges faced by APEC economies and to advance greater collaboration among anti-corruption authorities and law enforcement agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.
The next plenary meetings of the ACTWG and ACT-NET will be held in Chile in August 2019 (SOM 3).
Declarations and Statements
- APEC Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct for Business; Conduct Principles for Public Officials and Complementary Anti-Corruption Principles for the Public and Private SectorsStatement on Actions for Fighting Corruption through Improved International Legal Cooperation (2007)
- Singapore Declaration on Strengthening Governance, Enhancing Institutional Integrity and Combating Corruption (2009);
- Vladivostok Declaration to Integrate to Grow and Prosper (2012) – Annex E “Fighting corruption and ensuring Transparency”
- Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption (2014);
- Cebu Manifesto for the Protection of Anti-Corruption Officials (2015);
- Lima Statement: Addressing the Converging Threats of Corruption And Illicit Trade: Multiplier of Governance Dividends Across Economies and Markets (2016)
Research and Documents
- APEC Guidelines on enhancing Governance and Anti-Corruption (2009) –Annex A
- APEC Principles on the Prevention of Bribery and Enforcement of Anti-Bribery Laws (2014)
- APEC General Elements of Effective Voluntary Corporate Compliance Programs (2014)
- Best Practices in Investigating and Prosecuting Corruption, Using Financial Flow Tracking Techniques and Financial Intelligence. A Handbook”
- Requesting Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters from APEC Economies: a Step-by-Step Guide.
- Handbook on Prosecuting Corruption and Money Laundering Cases "Designing Best Models on Prosecuting Corruption and Money Laundering Cases Using Financial Flow Tracking Techniques and Investigative Intelligence for Effective Conviction and Asset Recovery to Promote Regional Economic Integration.”
- APEC Compilation of Good Practices on Promoting Social Engagement in Anti-Corruption (2017)
Latest Workshops and Events
- Self-Funded Workshop on Digital Governance, Integrity Policies and Corruption Prevention Mechanisms in APEC Economies. 27 February 2019, Santiago de Chile
- “ACT-NET Training Workshop on Asset Recovery. 20-22 March 2018, Bangkok, Thailand
- APEC Best-fit Practices and Experience Sharing Workshop on Corruption Prevention Mechanisms in APEC Economies”. 24 February 2018, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
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- ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific
- Transparency International
- European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
- Australian Attorney-General's Department
- Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong, China)
- Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission of Korea
- Philippines Anti-Corruption Agency
- Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission
- Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
Ms Marta HERRERA
Public Prosecutor Office, Chile
ACTWG Chair 2019
Ms Claudia ORTEGA
Anti-Corruption Specialized Unit
ACTWG Chair Assistant
Ms Denisse HURTADO MORALES