Mr. Manzoor Hasan is presently the Chair of the UNCAC Coalition and Executive Director of the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal & Human Rights Studies, BRAC University. Prior to that he was the Director of the BRAC Institute of Governance & Development (2006-2012) and the Deputy Executive Director of BRAC (2004-2006). Mr. Hasan was the founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003) and then the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of TI in Berlin. In 2003 he was awarded the Honour of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to Transparency International Bangladesh. Mr. Hasan graduated from the London School of Economics and was called to the Bar from the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
Enhancing Transparency and Accountability: Building on International Commitments
EThe UK Summit should build on international anti-corruption commitments already made, including the UN Convention against Corruption, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and regional conventions, as well as other instruments such as the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations.
Governments should commit to ensuring maximum transparency as well as broad public and parliamentary engagement in the review mechanisms of international instruments and related follow-up processes; ensuring adequate resources for international review processes and assistance to countries in their follow-up; and developing international procedures for addressing serious non-compliance and lack of effective enforcement by states of international anti-corruption obligations.
The UK Summit must seize the opportunity provided by the “Panama Papers” to take bold and meaningful action on corporate transparency through national public registers of companies and trusts. Governments should commit to establishing national publicly accessible registers with updated, current information about beneficial owners; collecting and publishing beneficial ownership information on bidders for public procurement contracts; and strengthening and enforcing customer due diligence obligations.
Governments can also take action to empower citizens and the victims of corruption. Governments should commit to ensuring that harmed individuals and communities, as in cases of tainted public procurement contracts, are provided legal standing and entitled to claim for damages; ensuring that information about foreign corruption proceedings, including out-of-court settlement negotiations, is accessible so that third parties can present and have their views considered and the full public harm caused by corruption is taken into account in determining the gravity of the offence and its consequences; and arranging for appropriate mechanisms to compensate the people of nations harmed by corrupt conduct where their government fails to act or is deemed unqualified to obtain damages.
Article 51 of UNCAC recognizes the return of stolen assets as a fundamental principle. Returned assets should be used for the benefit of the people of nations harmed by corruption and insulated from risks of further abuse. Governments should commit to ensuring that the repatriation of stolen assets will be conducted with transparency and accountability, in line with UNCAC Articles 9, 10 and 13; ensuring the participation of all sectors of the public with respect to repatriation processes; and providing additional safeguards and controls where public sector financial management is recognized as being weak.