G20 vows to make cos, not only individuals, liable for graft

9 Jul 2017

Adopting a strong resolution to fight corruption, India and other G20 members have committed to make their public administrations more resilient against the menace, while ensuring that companies too are held liable in addition to individual perpetrators of this crime.
The declaration assumes significance as an OECD Anti- Bribery Convention, adopted nearly a decade ago, has been actively enforced so far only by a few countries and the prosecution rate is dismal even in the majority of the countries having ratified it.
In their joint declaration issued after the end of the two-day Summit on Saturday night, the G20 leaders said they remain committed to fighting corruption, including through practical international cooperation and technical assistance, and will continue to fully implement the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2017-18.
"We endorse four sets of High Level Principles aimed at fostering integrity in the public and private sector. By endorsing the High Level Principles on the Liability of Legal Persons, we commit to ensuring that not only individual perpetrators but also companies benefiting from corruption can be held liable," they said.
G20 countries have already committed themselves to a number of measures to strengthen transparency and integrity in the public sector, including requirements for the conduct of public officials.
In their 2017 declaration, the G20 members also made a strong commitment to make their respective public administrations more resilient against corruption.
The leaders also said they will intensify their fight against illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products.
"Wildlife trafficking is a threat to the planet s biodiversity, economic development, and, among others, health and security, and is facilitated by high levels of corruption, which the G20 cannot tolerate," the declaration said.
The leaders also endorsed the High Level Principles on Countering Corruption in Customs and called for publishing a guide on requesting international cooperation in civil and administrative proceedings.
"We will continue our work to address integrity in sports and urge international sports organisations to intensify their fight against corruption by achieving the highest global integrity and anti-corruption standards.
"In this respect, we strive for a common understanding regarding corruption risks in bids to host major sport events.
"We are also committed to fighting corruption in contracts, including in the natural resources sector. We call for ratification and implementation by all G20 members of the UN Convention against Corruption and for a strong involvement in its review process," it added.