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G20 ACWG Accountability Report 2021

Among the recurrent exercises of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG), the Accountability Report is a fundamental tool for monitoring the implementation of previous commitments at national level.

May 19th, 2021

G20 ACWG Accountability Report 2021

The Anti-Corruption Working Group is not based on a multilateral Convention: therefore, the Forum does not provide for formal peer review mechanisms. Assessing the level of implementation of Principles and Guidelines is therefore based on a voluntary exercise called “Accountability Report”.

In the past, the exercise covered all areas of action of the ACWG: the Accountability Report was an update on the state of the art regarding prevention and countering corruption in each jurisdiction.

More recently, the Group decided to focus the Accountability Report only on specific topics, to deepen the monitoring in selected policy areas, chosen by the rotating Presidency.

The Italian Presidency, recognizing the importance of the private sector – and, more generally, of sustainable business – as an essential partner for an effective and holistic fight against modern forms of corruption, has made private sector integrity the main term of reference of the 2021 Report.

This is coherent with the notion of inclusiveness and consistent with the multi-stakeholder approach. It also gives added value to the Group’s work and promotes joint efforts in the concerted fight against corruption.  

A Questionnaire, negotiated with the G20 countries, seeks to identify relevant parameters that can expose the effectiveness of the results achieved in implementing Anti-Corruption standards adopted by the G20.

In a world where economy is primarily driven, both nationally and internationally, by legal entities, economic crime also needs effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for legal persons.

The lack of transparency in accurate and up-to-date information on effective ownership remains a crucial factor in the fight against corruption, as is the accessibility of such information for competent authorities. This is also true for the establishment and development of efficient policies against corruption and money laundering. In this perspective, well aware of the proximity of the objectives shared by anti-corruption and anti-money laundering efforts and of the importance of ensuring synergies, the ACWG also hosted a joint meeting with the FATF, five years after the previous one.

An inclusive approach helps to ensure the widest possible scope in efforts to strengthen the transparency and integrity of the private sector. It is necessary to continue working with the private sector and civil society to encourage businesses to strengthen compliance programmes, internal controls, due diligence of supply chains and ethical codes as a cornerstone for an effective fight against corruption. Large companies should lead by example and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to act with transparency, integrity and accountability.

The focus on these thematic areas is also consistent with the principles set out in the Action Plan of the Anti-Corruption Working Group 2019-2021, namely to adapt the methodology and working mechanisms to facilitate, as much as possible, the implementation of past commitments and increase the impact of the Anti-Corruption Agenda and the development of further targeted actions where the G20 can best add value. The focus on these three items, along with the systemic effect of their interconnections, could also contribute to assessing the G20 countries’ preparedness to prevent and combat corruption in emergency and crisis situations and provide a strong boost to the global fight against corruption.

The ultimate goal of the Accountability Report is to promote a transparent and effective self-reporting exercise, which will also allow to test the level of progress of the G20 this year in a specific area of anti-corruption.