CoE: UK Must Step Up Prevention of Corruption in Government
The Council of Europe (CoE) has called for the United Kingdom to be more proactive in the country’s fight against government corruption, the organization’s anti-corruption unit GRECO said in a statement Thursday. It also released an evaluation report on preventing corruption in top UK government offices and within law enforcement agencies.
Though GRECO sees no issue with the framework the British government has set up to tackle corruption, assessments must be in place to regularly identify and prevent risk at a central government level.
GRECO called for better transparency in lobbying, saying that the government needs to expand the register for consultant lobbyists to include corporate in-house lobbyists and those who meet with special advisors and other senior officials.
The anti-corruption body also recommends police in the U.K. provide better protection within their own ranks to support police coming forward reporting misconduct.
The U.K. has been attempting to crackdown on corruption and money laundering while continuing to face graft accusations.
However, it denied a French request for assistance in its investigation into alleged money laundering and tax fraud by Lycamobile, a U.K. telecoms company, reported BuzzFeed News in April. The British government said in its refusal that Lycamobile is the “biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party.”
The U.K. had previously been connected to the Russian Laundromat, a vast money laundering scheme from Russian officials to move billions of dollars uncovered by OCCRP and its partners.
In efforts to tackle corruption issues, the country announced that it plans to close a 100 year loophole to stop the flow of dirty money through it, followed by new regulations forcing companies in its territories to join public registers in order to combat corruption and tax avoidance.