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Anti-Corruption Conference – London

BIA Investor Relations participated in the Anti-Corruption Conference and Summit, held in London 12 May 2016.  The specific mission of the conference was to identify trends in corporate governance, compliance, transparent procurement and transparent communication.  The London-based firm supported a public call to the UK government to do more to improve global governance and anti-corruption efforts.  Ferdinand Balfoort, BIA Director, Global Services, was recognised in the Financial Times Letters section on 11th May 2016, as among the senior corporate executives, institutions and academic signatories to the letter titled “We need more than words to tackle corruption” and can be found here http://on.ft.com/1rU1fTp.

In brief, on 12 May the UK Prime Minister hosted the Anti-Corruption Summit.  42 countries, 11 at Head of State or Government level, seven international organisations, including Heads of the IMF, OECD and World Bank, representatives of five UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and a wide cross-section of business and civil society attended.  A number of participants had also attended the Tackling Corruption Together conference on 11 May. The main Summit documents are a Global Declaration Against Corruption and Communique, agreed by all countries present.  There are statements by individual countries  and by international and regional organisations, setting out concrete actions they will undertake to fight corruption.  The UK country statement and wider Summit web pages  provide more information on UK commitments.  These include a Charter for Sports Governance, Open Government Action Plan and consultation on whether to extend criminal offences of failure to prevent bribery and tax evasion to other economic crimes, among other initiatives.

The Prime Minister’s closing statement at the Summit highlighted achievements against the three Summit objectives:

·         Exposing corruption: six countries committed to public registers of beneficial ownership, and six more to similar arrangements.  29 leading international professional services firms published a Statement of Support setting out commitments including effective systems, education and training, fostering cultures that refuse to tolerate corruption.

·         Punishing the perpetrators: a new International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre will help police and prosecutors work together to tackle grand corruption; a Global Forum for Asset Recovery in 2017 and new asset recovery legislation in 22 countries will help return proceeds of corruption.  There will be stronger protection for whistleblowers.

·         Driving out corruption:  As part of leadership to change cultures, 17 countries committed to institutional and professional partnerships, including ‘twinning’ of different countries’ tax inspectors.  A new Innovation Hub brings together 16 countries and business and civil society to share technological and other innovative techniques to tackle corruption, including DFID and Omidyar Network’s new People Powered Anti-Corruption Programme.

BIA Investor Relations focuses on the development and introduction of transparent communications for its clients.  As part of its corporate social responsibility BIA supports public initiatives that aim to improve governance and transparency within the corporate and other sectors.