Corruption is a major obstacle to social and economic development and increases the cost of doing business.
APEC Leaders acknowledged the threat that corruption poses to good governance and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific when they met in Santiago, Chile in 2004. They agreed that APEC economies should nurture and sustain good governance, economic development and prosperity by working together to fight corruption and ensure transparency.
To advance this work, Leaders endorsed the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency and the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency.
The following year an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts' Task Force (ACT) was established. Recognizing the importance of its work, the ACT was upgraded in status to a working group in March 2011. The purpose of the ACT is to coordinate the implementation of the Santiago Commitment, the APEC Course of Action and the APEC Transparency Standards. It also promotes cooperation in areas such as extradition, legal assistance and judicial/law enforcement (especially asset forfeiture and recovery).
The ACT is open to anti-corruption experts and law enforcement officials from all interested APEC member economies, APEC Observers (namely ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum, and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council), and representatives from the APEC Secretariat and the APEC Business Advisory Council.
More information on the purpose, structure and administration of the ACT is available in the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts' Task Force Terms of Reference (see Downloads).
Current Activities (2013)
The 16th ACTWG Meeting was held on 26-27 January 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, under the new Chairmanship of Mr Bambang Widjojanto. Key outcomes of the meeting include:
- Endorsement of the proposed 2013 ACT Work Program focused on continuing to promote and strengthen the implementation of existing APEC commitments, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and other related international standards and commitments. The “APEC ACT Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency” and the “APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency” will be the guidelines for the work of the ACT this year. Furthermore, ACT will commit to implement the “Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption” adopted by APEC Leaders in 2012 in Russia.
- Members reported on progress and development on implementing the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and other initiatives related to Anti-corruption and Transparency undertaken by their economies.
- ACT members welcomed new member economy activities programmed for 2013, ongoing and proposed projects and ACT initiatives and related synergies with other relevant international fora. Members welcomed the intervention of representatives of Transparency International and the World Bank.
- Members agreed to respond on recommendations of the 2012 ACT Independent Assessment.
- Members agreed to start drafting the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Expert’s Working Group (ACTWG) Strategic Plan.
On 28 January 2013, ACT members attended the Workshop on "Challenge and Strategy of Strengthening Anti-Corruption Authorities in Combating Corruption in a Modern World" organized by the host economy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- “APEC-ASEAN Pathfinder Project on Combating Corruption and Illicit Trade” scheduled for June 2013 in Siem Reap, Cambodia (led by the United States);
- "Capacity-Building Workshops on 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 Growth" scheduled for 11-13 June 2013 in Santiago, Chile;
- “Workshop on Maintaining Integrity through Gift Rules and Facilitation Payment Regulation” scheduled for Medan, Indonesia by the third Senior Officials' Meeting (TBC).
- A joint planning meeting with the Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade and Anti-corruption and Transparency Working Group will be held on 27 June in Medan, Indonesia (SOM III). The 2-hour meeting will be conducted in conjunction with EGILAT and ACT meetings, in order to discuss possible areas of collaboration, such as a proposed future workshop or joint meeting on law enforcement cooperation.
- ACT members are invited to attend the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum (LSIF) Workshop on Medical Products Safety and Public Awareness and Establishing of a “Single Point of Contact System (SPOCS)” Building International Cooperation to Protect Patients in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 22-23 May 2013.
- ACT members will work to develop Law Enforcement Authority network under the ACTWG.
- The ACTWG held its second plenary meeting of 2012 on 26 May; an ACT-OECD Workshop on 27 May; and an ACT-ABAC Dialogue on 28 May in Kazan, Russia. Key outcomes of the plenary 15th ACTWG meeting include:
- Discussion of the ‘Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption’ previously drafted by Russia and circulated for members comments. ACT Members supported the revised final text, although some delegates needed to confirm with their respective ministries.
- Updating on Interim Reports on implementation of APEC Anti-Corruption commitments submitted intersessionally. Shortly after the meeting the final consolidated document which compiled fifteen reports was circulated electronically in PDF format. This document will be presented to Senior Officials and Leaders.
- Members reported on their economies’ progress to implement the UNCAC, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and other Initiatives relating to Anti-Corruption and Transparency.
- Reports from International Organizations UNODC, The World Bank, and OECD on their Anti-Corruption activities and Synchronizing with APEC ACTWG.
- On 27 May 2012 ACT members attended the Workshop on Fighting Foreign Bribery in APEC Economies jointly organised by APEC-Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group (ACTWG) and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), hosted by the Russian Federation. Experts from member economies, special guests of governmental agencies and representatives of OECD Anti-Corruption Division and of World Bank StAR Initiative, shared relevant information and led open discussions on several relevant subjects related to the fight against foreign bribery.
The main themes of the workshop were:
- International Framework to Fight Foreign Bribery
- National Experiences in the Fight against Foreign Bribery
- The Battle on the Front Line: Challenges for Law Enforcement
- Preventing and Detecting Foreign Bribery
- On 28 May 2012 in Kazan, Russia ACT members attended the ABAC-ACT Public-Private Partnership and Dialogue: Anti-Corruption and Illicit Trade. The two Panels were: (1) Public-Private Cooperation to Combat Corruption, and (2) Public-Private Cooperation efforts to combat illicit trade.
- “Workshop on Effectively Combating Corruption and Illicit Trade through Tracking Cross–Border Financial Flows, International Asset Recovery and Anti-Money laundering Efforts: Its Impact on Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth” held on 11-12 July 2012 in Phuket, Thailand.
- Seminar-Workshop on the “Implementation of the APEC Code of Conduct for Business: Integrity and Transparency Principles of the Private Sector” held on 20-21 September 2012 in Manila, the Philippines.
Multi-year project, "Capacity-Building Workshops on 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 Growth."
The ACT held its first meeting of 2012 on 2-3 February in Moscow, Russia. Key outcomes of the meeting include:
- The approval of the 2012 ACT Work Plan that includes focusing on promoting the implementation of the existing APEC commitments, including the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency, APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency, as well as other anti-corruption and transparency commitments made over the years. Members discussed the “APEC ACT Outcomes and Deliverables in 2012” and “2011 AELM Commitment: Regular Reporting and Progress on Implementing APEC Commitments: ACT Reporting Template.”
- Members supported Russia to draft an Anticorruption Declaration to be discussed in the next meeting.
- Members supported the Workshop on Effectively Combating Corruption and Illicit Trade through Tracking Cross–Border Financial Flows, International Asset Recovery and Anti-Money laundering Efforts: Its Impact on Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth on 10-11 July 2012 in Phuket, Thailand.
- Members supported the initiative of a multi-year project, "Capacity-Building Workshops on 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 Growth," proposed by Chile and Thailand.
- Members reported on development of their economies’ implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and other Initiatives related to Anti-corruption and Transparency.
- OECD representatives made a presentation, highlighting some relevant articles on its Anti-Bribery Convention.
- Members supported the initiative of the Workshop on Fighting Corruption in Business Transactions (May 2012 in Kazan) with participation of the OECD and other international organizations. Members also supported the initiative on the ACT-ABAC dialogue to be held in Kazan on May 2012.
The ACT has undertaken a number of activities and projects in 2010-2011 including:
The "Workshop on Successful Training Techniques for Implementing the Principles of Conduct for Public Officials" was held in Sendai, Japan in September 2010. Government officials, experts, and anti-corruption practitioners from APEC economies discussed innovative and effective anti-corruption training techniques to enhance understanding of anti-corruption standards and conduct.
The "ACT-ABAC Roundtable Meeting on Fighting Corruption and Market Integrity" was held in Sendai, Japan in September 2010. This meeting responded to the ACT 2010 work plan and APEC Leaders' recognition that good governance measures and anti-corruption actions, as well as public-private partnerships, enhanced governance, institutional integrity and combating corruption. At the roundtable, the current ACT Chair previewed the group’s work in 2011 on combating corruption and illicit trade in his concluding remarks.
In 2011, building on the ACT’s recent progress and achievements, the ACT will develop more robust strategies and actions that are consistent with its five-year 2010-2015 medium-term work plan.
The ACT will also put into action the call by APEC Leaders to strengthen cooperation to combat corruption – from preventing and prosecuting corruption to fulfilling our commitments related to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and combating corruption and illicit trade.
The 12th ACT Meeting was held in Washington, DC, USA, in March 2011. The ACT also co-hosted the “APEC Dialogue on Corruption and Illicit Trade: Combating Counterfeit (Falsified) Medicines and Strengthening Supply Chain Integrity.” The next ACT Meeting will be held in San Francisco, California, USA, in September 2011.
In 2007, the ACT developed a Code of Conduct for Business; Conduct Principles for Public Officials; and Complementary Anti-Corruption Principles for the Public and Private Sectors. APEC Leaders endorsed these codes, as well as the 2007 Statement on Actions for Fighting Corruption through Improved International Legal Cooperation. These codes are being implemented through the provision of capacity building seminars to government and law enforcement officials, civil society representatives, chambers of commerce and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
In 2009, the ACT focused on governance and anti-corruption. ACT members agreed on the following two documents, which were endorsed by APEC Ministers in November 2009:
- Singapore Declaration on Combating Corruption, Strengthening Governance and Enhancing Institutional Integrity; and
- APEC Guidelines on Enhancing Governance and Anti-Corruption.
The Singapore Declaration reaffirms the commitment of APEC economies towards creating a framework of transparency and accountability to strengthen governance and institutional integrity.
The APEC Guidelines makes recommendations on the following areas broadly:
- Establishing legal, enforcement and regulatory frameworks;
- Cultivating a culture of governance and anti-corruption across all sectors;
- Implementing measures, processes and standards that promote transparency and accountability;
- Enhancing public-private sector cooperation and dialogue.
In November 2010, APEC Leaders met in Yokohama, Japan and adopted “The Yokohama Vision – Bogor and Beyond,” which provides a roadmap for member economies to realize the collective vision of an economically-integrated, robust and secure APEC community in the 21st Century. In the Declaration, APEC Leaders recommitted to continue efforts to fight corruption and promote transparency, including leveraging collective action to combat illicit trade and dismantle transnational illicit networks across the Asia-Pacific region. APEC Leaders also called for improved and regular reporting by APEC on its efforts to meet our commitments in this area to build a secure community in the region.
Bambang WIDJOJANTO (Mr)
Commissioners of KPK
Corruption Eradication Commission of Indonesia (KPK)
Sergio NAREA (Mr)